Story by Educator Sophia
In Gorton House babies’ room, we are starting to notice some changes in the world around us…spring is about to arrive (though you might not have known it a few days this week!). We have been starting to see some flowers appearing on various plants, and this is inviting some insects to our space. We are having chats about bugs, ants, bees, spiders and, our favourite, ladybirds. Adding our large bugs to our outdoor environment has prompted bug hunts, hide and seek games and looking at the body parts of bugs. We even noticed a cobweb up high in our room, so that was an opportunity to see a spider web up close as well. Many questions we have wondered about, include:
Where so ladybirds live?
Why do the bees buzz?
Where do the spiders hide?
How do we find the ants?
Let’s see how and where our observation and sharing take us over the next few weeks… spring is about to spring!!
Story by Educator Alfroza
Our children in Gorton House toddlers have shown their interest in art and creative activities from the beginning of the year, as well as an interest in gross motor activities, so we decided to do some activities with both. The children love to participate in activities related to colours and painting, and they have started to draw their families, and to paint leaves to make trees.
I have also noticed that the the children love to experiments with water and colour. This week I set up water play. The children added blue colour to the water and waited to see how the colour mixed into the water slowly. The children poured the coloured water into cups slowly, without spilling it, and were confident in holding the kettle and pouring the water into tea cups. They showed patience as they waited for their turn.
Some of the children were talking each to other, saying “I can do it”, and gently asking “Can I have my turn please?” This activity builds gross motor skills as children lift, and helps develop fine motor control and hand eye coordination as children aim to pour the water into glass. The smaller the glass, the more concentration and coordination it requires.
Story by Educator Nicky
Last week the children from Gorton House preschool met our Chef Charoen near our Kitchen Garden, and they gifted him some fertilizer so that our vegetable garden would continue to grow healthy and well. Charoen and Lisa cook meals each day for the children across all services at The Infants’ Home, and the Gorton House preschool children felt really proud to contribute to this in some small way, by feeding the plants that would in turn feed them.
It was while gifting him the rich soil from our worm farm that Charoen invited us to meet him again this week so that we could help him to harvest the broccoli that was now at optimal growth. We were really excited. We found Lisa and Charoen waiting for us, and together each child helped cut the stalks of broccoli, proudly holding their bunch and seeing up close the multitudes of tiny little bunches of florets that each broccoli bunch seemed to be made of. We were even lucky enough to taste a little of the fresh broccoli, and everyone was keen about the idea of tasting it raw and freshly cut—some children expressed enjoying it, others said it tasted much better when it was cooked.
Charoen told us all to look out for broccoli in our lunch the next day as he planned to lightly steam it for us—and he did!!! It was so exciting for us to see lunch arrive, with a bowl containing carrots and broccoli. Thanks so much Charoen and Lisa for always embracing every opportunity to connect with and involve our children—and for the fresh and nutritious lunches you prepare and serve each day. We are really so lucky!!!
Story by Educator Shelley
Over the last two weeks the children in Johnson House toddlers have been really engaged in the hair salon that was set up in the dramatic play area. Here, the children share their knowledge about haircare and the goods and services industry by taking on roles as hairdressers and clients. It has been wonderful to hear the creative dialogue that the children come up with. “Here, I put shampoo in your hair, ok?” and “Do you like it?”. Without a doubt, being the hairdresser is the most desirable role with all those interesting accessories to use, but the children have demonstrated their willingness to work collaboratively and to take turns. During these play scenarios I have encouraged the children to describe their own and each other’s hair, feeding in new vocabulary where necessary. “My hair is blonde and curly and my friend’s hair is long and brown”. There has been much discussion about how we all have different hair types and styles. To extend upon the children’s interest, we have been reading the book ‘What I like about me’, by Allia Zobel-Nolan, which touches on the different features that make us unique, such as freckles, a monobrow, curly hair, dark skin, light skin and so forth. The children love reading this book and they delight in talking about their own unique features. We also used loose parts to try to create our own unique version of ourselves.
Story by Educator Angelica
For Science Week (13-21 August), the theme in Robinson House has been exploring glass! To explore this idea, we sat down together to make some paper-stained glass, using permanent markers, crayons to draw geometric shapes, before coating them with oil and watching the paper turn transparent!
While we drew, we discussed our knowledge of shapes, as well as practicing using a tripod grip while colouring in our masterpieces, before finally sticking them up on our windows!
Integrated Group Time
Story by Occupational Therapist Lisa
You can see from the photos that the ‘superhero’ spin board continues to be a highlight of the group in Robinson House. The children have really embraced each possible finger action which includes: Batman, Hulk Smash, Ninjago and Spiderman.
Today, whilst reading our story, the children each played a character and role played the story! Oliver was ‘Pete the Cat’, Ben was ‘Gus’, Ang was ‘Turtle’, Logan was ‘Squirrel’, Zarif was ‘Crocodile’ and Liam was ‘Grumpy Toad’, whilst Noah was our star narrator/storyteller. The children had a great time and some even remembered some lines from the story off by heart! Children acquire many skills from acting out stories, including the oral language skills of vocabulary and narrative understanding. These skills are identified as key predictors in reading skills, and they are also the basis for comprehension.
The activity this week involved a number of skills including: cutting; gluing; matching; and tracing. A number of steps were involved, which also meant listening closely to each instruction. The children were given a page with just the top of a cupcake (the icing), which had a certain number of sprinkles on it. They then needed to cut out the cupcake papers (each paper also had a number) and match these to the right cupcake top. Finally, the children traced each number and had a go at writing their name. Keep an eye out for your child’s work in their bag/locker!
Today Liam was our end of group ‘teacher’! He did a wonderful job choosing peers to help put the symbols away and choose the meditation, and he happily led the ‘goodbye’ song for us all!
Story by Playgroup Coordinator Rebecca
Redbug Playgroup was back at Ashfield Park this week. The weather was glorious and it was wonderful to see so many families, both old and new, come and join us.
This week saw us celebrating Book Week (22-26 August), and some of us dressed up as our favourite characters. Minnie Mouse, Batman, Fairy Barbie, Elsa and the Hungry Caterpillar were among us on Monday.
We were also lucky enough to meet Garanga Bumari, a big and beautiful pelican, who loves storytelling and reading, and is the mascot from Paint Inner West REaD. Garanga Bumari joined us at group time and sang and danced along with us.
We can’t wait to see everybody next week. Stay safe and take care!