Story by Educator Alisa
An interest area about birds was set up in Johnson House to link in with the community event ‘The Aussie Backyard Bird Count’, an initiative by BirdLife Australia as part of ‘Bird Week’ this week. This initiative was introduced by one of our parents.
Resources such as binoculars, pretend eggs, nests and birds made of fabric were made available for children in the area. The children immediately showed a strong interest and looked through the binoculars. They manipulated these to find out how to use them and to work out what they could see through them. While most of the children explored the concept of magnifying objects, for example, looking through the small lens to make objects appear smaller, and looking through the big lens to make the objects bigger, some also made the point that when looking through the smaller lens, they could see objects far away. The children also explored the concepts of light and heavy as they lifted and rolled the eggs on the grass.
This experience fostered the development of children’s positive learning dispositions such as cooperation, curiosity, creativity, enthusiasm and imagination. Through play children discover, improvise and test out their ideas to build new understandings. When playing, children can also ask questions, solve problems and enhance their desire to know and to learn about their emerging interests and the world that they live in.
Story by Educator Jung
Most of the children in Murray House infants love getting involved in physical activity and engaging in safe ‘risky play’ experiences. To extend this further, this week the children were invited to visit the ‘big tree’. As this become part of our routine, the children were remembering to wear their hats and shoes, to hold each other’s hands and to show their understanding of safety practices. Our educators were amazed to see children searching for their hats and saying “My hat” or “Hats on” to show us that they were ready to go outside.
On their way to the tree the children stopped over at the big lawn and the fish tank, and they got to meet some of the children and educators in Robinson House. The children even had a chance to say hello to Alisa, our beloved educator who has recently moved to Johnson House!
Playing around the big tree offers the children lots of learning opportunities. They are learning to connect with the natural environment and the community and practicing and challenging their skills as they climb on the tree.
Story by Educator Mandy
The ‘bottle’ house in the Murray House toddlers’ yard, made from recycled milk bottles, has been a source of joy for children seeking opportunities to explore schematic play, especially ‘enveloping’ (play in which children try to work out what happens if they wrap or hide an object).
Sadly, after months of being exposed to the elements and going through wear and tear, the bottle house needed some TLC and repair work. Educator Mandy invited the children to participate in fixing the house by collecting and cleaning used milk bottles and drilling holes in them to thread through cable ties. The children engaged in this in small groups, and used their fine motor skills to connect the bottles with cable ties to reinforce the old bottle house. Through this experience they practiced negotiating space and using their words to complete a task.
Story by Centre Director and Educator Isa Holmes
As the children in Rigby House explore the beautiful grounds and gardens of The Infants’ Home, they have been noticing the new leaves appearing on trees, and flowers growing.
The children have been collecting the leaves and flowers, and as we examine them, they notice the various colours of the leaves and flowers. We have been talking about what it means when leaves are green and what makes them turn brown, and why flowers have so many beautiful colours.
The educators have been extending on the children’s interest in the colour of the leaves and flowers through art experiences. The children have been using a range of mixed media, including natural materials such as leaves and twigs, recycled paper and small objects such as bottle tops, paint and glue.
Through using these materials the children have been demonstrating their creativity and imaginations.
As they work they have been talking about the leaves and flowers drinking water which makes them grow, and discussing what happens to them when they fall off the trees and shrubs, demonstrating their growing understanding of our natural environment.
Story by Educator Khine
The children at Robinson House are engaging in hands-on experiences which incorporate science concepts, and involve skills including hypothesising and problem-solving. Science experiments encourage children to use their senses and to enhance their observation skills as they identify changes in matter, for example, watching ice melt and a liquid form into solid. This week the children engaged in making butter and ice cream in a bag, and this experience encouraged them to ask questions, predict what would happen next, become aware of sequential steps, further develop their language skills, and explore cause and effect. The children at Robinson House are developing inquisitive and curious minds.