Story by Educator Sanju
Early numeracy and literacy learning is a part of learning in Johnson House preschool. All the children in our preschool room get an opportunity to develop their literacy and numeracy skills through different learning experiences, for example, singing rhymes, reading books, playing numeracy and literacy games and by simply observing the learning environment, which scaffolds children’s learning in many different ways.
This week small groups of children were involved in a number game where they were provided with a sheet of paper that had written numbers, from 1 to 9, in boxes. The children were then asked to place the same number of shiny stones in each box to match the relevant number. We played this game with different groups of children at different times.
As I displayed the written numbers and pointed at the numbers one by one, all of the children started to count the numbers from 1 to 9. Some of them may have been counting the numbers by rote, but it was an exciting and fun way to help develop their numeracy skills. Through this experience the children were learning about different mathematical concepts, such as adding and subtracting, and developing their literacy skills, as we talked about how many stones they needed to add or take away to have the correct number of stones in the boxes.
Story by Educator Mary
This week in Gorton House babies’ room we were focused on natural resources. Spring has sprung, and with the sunny weather we have encouraged our babies to get involved in flowers in our amazing outdoor space.
We printed out a few flower pictures to show to the children, and then, in a small group, we went for a walk outside. We went flowers hunting under the big tree, and we had a look at all the different flowers we could find in the garden!
This was a great opportunity for the children to explore nature trough their senses: touching, looking, hearing and smelling. They were also using their gross and fine motor skills as they explored
Talking about nature also has many benefits for children:
- It makes them more confident in understanding the world around them
- It is a good opportunity to socialise with peers and to share the same experiences.
- It is a great chance to develop creativity and imagination.
- It provides a different stimulation in teaching children how to respect nature and learn how take care of our Earth.
Our babies were happy exploring a new environment, and they showed great interest in this. We will follow up on this topic with new and different activities.
Story by Educator Angelica
Today in Robinson House we continued our exploration of gross motor experiences in the Goose Paddock, setting up a tightrope between some trees, and challenging the children to try to get across without falling into the “crocodile water” below! This was a full-body exercise, with the children having to test how wobbly the line was, and then adjust their balance from one foot to the other, while crossing their arms over to traverse the gap.
As the children progressed, they demonstrated some great problem-solving skills too, using different techniques to get across, switching the side from which they approached the tightrope, using their body weight to lean forward or backward to balance, and hooking their whole arm over the rope for stability.
Family Day Care Sydney Wide
Guriwal Bush Tucker Track, La Perouse
Story by Educator Support Officer Maureen
What an absolute treat for children at our Family Day Care Randwick/South Sydney Hub, going out on Bidjigal Country to The Guriwal Bush Tucker Track at La Perouse, on a glorious sunny day last week. Educators Tanya and Sarah travelled with Barb and I (Educator Support Officers) on the playgroup bus, while Educators Lisa, Gabi and Elaine drove their children in their own cars and Ebony, lucky enough to live in the area, meandered along the 500 metres or so to meet us.
On arrival we sat together on the grass patch to perform an Acknowledgment to Country. The children all joined in with the actions. Tanya suggested we sing the Aboriginal song ‘Inanay’ (a song in the Yorta Yorta language), very fitting for our venue. Ebony spontaneously produced lovely wooden tapping sticks (amazing)!
We were then ready to head off and explore the beautiful Aboriginal wood carvings on the track. The children could run their hands over the carvings and were able to identify a cockatoo, fish, crabs, octopus, snakes, and dolphins.
Some of the children had ‘Collect/Borrow from Country’ bags with them, and they stopped to pick up pinecones, flowers, leaves, and twigs. Some of them used their twigs to draw pictures in the dry sand. They also planned to take some home to add to their loose part and nature play collections, which are always a lovely addition to the learning environment.
As we overlooked the beautiful vista of Yarra Beach, we saw a small abandoned boat sinking in the ocean. Ebony being a local explained that the boat was destroyed in a storm and was yet to be removed from the area.
Sadly, the morning came to an end, with lots of tired children. They did after all walk at least a kilometre—a great effort for little legs. We couldn’t resist balancing on a fallen tree trunk though and singing, ‘One Grey Elephant Balancing’.
We finished off the morning by using some of the twigs and sticks we had collected to build a pretend campfire and imagine we were toasting marshmallows. Yum!
Story by Playgroup Coordinator Rebecca
What a wonderful day to be outside!! At our Red Bug playgroup in Ashfield Park this week the weather was beautiful, and it was fantastic to see so many faces, both old and new, join us.
The children really enjoyed the insect matching activity this week. We hid insects in coloured chickpeas, gave the children access to kitchen tongs, and asked them to find the hidden insects and to match these to the chart on the table. This activity allowed the children to learn at their own level as they played. For some children, the sensory experience of the colours and texture of the chickpeas was enough. For others, the addition of the tongs and a matching chart allowed them to use their fine motor skills to pick up the insects and place them on the chart.
Sorting and matching activities help children to develop important skills such as thinking, memory and visual perception. These skills assist in the development of attention and problem-solving abilities. When our children become familiar with one-dimensional print (words and pictures) and are able to connect those to real objects, they begin to build pathways in the brain between the abstract and real world, an important pre-reading skill.
Take care over the school holiday break, we will see you next term!