We have been lucky to have one of our parents begin weekly yoga sessions with the children recently. This has been a great extension of the existing mindfulness practices and experiences we have within the Johnson House preschool program. The children have had the opportunity to embrace the concept of ‘mindfulness’ through practicing yoga poses and breathing techniques. The children have also been able to use this time to discuss their emotions, helping them to connect to their own feelings in a supportive and safe way.
The children continued to follow their interest in water play this week. They showed their interest in playing with water every time we went for outdoor play by standing around the water tray waiting for the educators to set up the water play for them. The children joined in the water play with great confidence, showing an emerging autonomy and sense of agency, and their spontaneous approach to joining in with this play also shows their developing sense of security and positive self-esteem.
Children were also exploring the natural element of water, and developing their understanding about it through their senses. They were learning through feeling the water on their hands and sprinkling it on their faces and arms, and developing their sensory motor skills.
Through the play, the children were practising learning dispositions, such as, curiosity, enthusiasm, concentration, exploration and confidence.
The children in Murray House infants have been visiting the garden to look after the new plants which have been transplanted by Deepa (our toddler’s room educator) in into the playground. The children have visited with watering cans and they seemed to be excited as they exclaimed “Water?” “More water?” They used words to describe what they observed while exploring, and they followed the educators around the garden to help water. They also seemed to be curious about the watering can as they felt the inside and outside of the can with their fingers and observe the water dripping. Through these experiences the children are developing learning dispositions as they demonstrate curiosity, and they are connecting to the world around them by caring for and nurturing the garden. The children will continue to water and visit the garden regularly and observe the changes to the natural environment.
The children in Rigby House are continuing to show interest in the Lunar New Year experiences they have been participating in recently. The educators have made a book for the children, filled with photos of Lunar New Year traditions, as well as photos that families have contributed showing their Lunar New Year celebrations. The children enjoy looking through the book, and it is a wonderful tool for encouraging their language development, as the children work to express their ideas.
The fireworks that many of the children have seen have also sparked much interest. The children are enjoying examining photos and videos of fireworks. Educators and children have been talking about the loud sound fireworks make and how they look when they explode in the sky.
To extend on this interest, the educators have planned art experiences with various tools for the children to represent their ideas of fireworks.
At Robinson House we have been working on building connections and relationships together. A big part of this relationship-building has been having discussions together about or families, our favourite things and sharing our interests and new things we like to learn.
The children have had a common interest in painting, learning about the first letter of their name and talking about their favourite colour. Through these discussions we decided to create an artwork where the children could sit together, have discussions while painting, and use the familiar resources and toys they liked at Robinson House.
To support our settling process and sense of belonging we have been using toys and resources that are familiar from our learning environment. We have been using corks, singing songs as we paint and using letters of the alphabet to print on a piece of cardboard. Our discussions are encouraging us to share and learn about basic mathematical and literacy concepts like colour, shapes, patterns and letters.
Family Day Care
To explore different types of literature in the early years, educator Nicola at Sydney Wide Family Day Care Randwick/South Sydney hub has been looking at the Australian Poet ‘Banjo Paterson’ with the children. The children had the opportunity to listen to a well-known piece, ‘Waltzing Matilda’ through text, and unpack the poems’ meaning with beautifully illustrated pictures. The text included a small piece of history regarding why Banjo Paterson wrote the famous song and it included a glossary explaining the slang words in the song.
Exploring different types of literature allows children to be engaged in a language rich environment and to develop a love of reading from an early age.
Reading and sharing stories can:
- help your child get to know sounds, words and language, and develop early literacy skills
- learn to value books and stories
- spark your child’s imagination and stimulate curiosity
- help your child’s brain, social skills and communication skills develop
- help your child learn the difference between ‘real’ and ‘make-believe’
During group time at Playgroups this week, the children enjoyed dancing with rhythm sticks. They twirled around, moved up and down, and wen fast and slow to ‘The wheels on the Bus’, ‘Ring-a-Ring a Rosie’ and ‘Teddy Bear Turn Around’. The children also showed interest in sand play and painting.