How Does It Grow?
To continue to follow the children’s interest in investigating insects and living things, they had the opportunity to choose to participate in a gardening experience with educators Janna and Cathy. The children had the opportunity to dig some new soil, plant parsley, spring onions and coriander seeds and then water them. As a provocation for discussion before we looked at the seeds, the children shared a story about gardens called ‘How Does Your Garden Grow?’ The illustrations in the picture book offered the children opportunities to see a variety of plants, flowers, and insects. The children discussed what was happening as they saw the illustrations of the seed, a watering can and then a flower growing in the garden. As the children engaged in the experience, they had the opportunity to learn about natural environments and living things. The children are also learning about the cycle of how plants grow.
The children have been preparing for the opening of our Johnson House preschool supermarket. They have been busy collecting materials, making food to sell and also creating money. This week the children set up the space and added the provisions. They engaged in active dialogue, talking about the roles of people at the shop and they took turns as these roles were swapped and negotiated. The addition of signs helped to embed many elements of literacy into the space, and the children were able to explore the use of these in the play they were creating. Such experiences help children transfer their knowledge from everyday life experiences into their play, helping to enrich their learning and development.
At Murray House infants the educators have been adjusting the learning environment to support children to engage in risky play experiences around the stairs outside the playground. In the past few weeks, it has been observed that they have increasingly developed their mobility skills. Big pillows are positioned on the wooden deck, allowing children to develop their spatial awareness and to orient themselves through their environment confidently and safely. The children are absolutely fascinated with the addition of these soft cuddly pillows. We heard lots of giggles and laughter as children climbed up and down, jumped, crawled and walked on top while balancing their bodies. During music time we turned the pillows into a seat for ‘Humpty Dumpty’. The children gathered and sat on the pillows and pretended to be little Humpty Dumpties! As they sang this nursery rhyme, they all had a ‘great fall’ off the pillow! It was lovely to see our children getting involved in play as a group and learning to develop their coordination skills while also developing their sense of belonging and agency.
Some of the children at Robinson House have been listening to the book titled ‘Stick Man’. Reading this book has become part of the natural rhythm of our day, with the children requesting it to be read to them almost every day.
The children have learnt the sequence of the story, reading along with an educator. Each time the book is read we discussed what happened first, then next, and last. This enables the children to recall what happens in the story. This is also great for their comprehension, ordering their ideas and developing their problem solving skills.
As an extension on reading the story we also have begun creating ‘The Stick Man’s tree house’, and we have been going on walks within the Infants’ Home grounds to collect branches and sticks. During the walks we have had several discussions about the sizes of the sticks and branches and how we could put our house together, as well as admiring and appreciating the natural surrounding environment. Some children have been collecting sticks and branches with their families at home and bringing them in Robinson House. This is a great example which highlights that when children are interested in their learning they feel confident and comfortable in contributing ideas and navigating their learning with others.
Family Day Care
At Rae’s Family Day Care Sydney Wide service, the children welcomed a new toy to their service – ‘Walter the Wizard’. Walter had left the children a note saying that the trees needed some medicine, and he left the children with a potion recipe for tree paste. They mixed a potion made of clay and sand, and enjoyed spreading this on the trees in the garden. This was a lovely experience the children enjoyed doing together as they talked about healing.
This week the children at playgroup have shown an interest in cooking. Activities varied from a café setup in home corner to the craft table children where enjoyed making tacos and pizza artworks. The children were also able to explore texture in a fun and messy way by painting using spaghetti, and they take took turns to search for fruit in shredded coconut using spoons and placing them in patty cases. The highlight of the week was the making of real pizzas–what fun was had by all!