Story by Educator Asima
In Johnson House toddlers the children have been working together to create a collaborative artwork using a range of mediums. They have been using glue, paper and scissors to cut and paste on the canvas and they have been sharing their creative ideas. Inspiration was also drawn from some books. The children were shown the multicoloured stars from the story book, ‘Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me’, written by Eric Carle. The children all seemed very excited to create similar type of stars for their canvas. Everyone remembered their last venture, which was the big high mountain which they created. Some little plastic shiny stars which were pasted on, together with some paper stars.
This creative experience offered opportunities for group discussions, and there were many conversations about the colours, the number and sizes of the stars to promote mathematical concepts along with motor skills. As we were flipping the pages of the story book, a few of our friends asked when they will be making the big long ladder. It was great to see everyone’s enthusiasm and involvement in this experience.
Story by Centre Director Amy
The children in Johnson House preschool have recently been enjoying a range of sensory experiences. This week we added cotton sand (a soft, cotton-like material that is designed to engage children in learning through their senses) to a small world experience that had been set up. The children explored the new texture of this sand, and many explained that it felt like a bit like slime and playdough at the same time! The children used descriptive words such as “soft”, “stretchy” and “smooth” to describe the cotton sand’s texture. They also used the cotton sand as a means to extend on play ideas, using the provisions as hiding spots for the animals, and as caves and beaches, and some children even focused on creating scenes and scenarios.
Such experiences provide children with opportunities to explore their senses, and they also promote language development as children describe textures and consistency as they engage with their peers. Additionally, providing small group experiences that are open-ended helps to enhance children’s imaginative play skills as well as their abilities to develop ideas both independently and in conjunction with others.
Story by Educator Tracey
Gorton House’s babies have recently been interested in making marks with chalk, textas, crayons and pencils. The last time the children made marks, they did so using paint and thick brushes on one very large shared piece of paper. This was a messy experience which the children loved! The aim was not to produce anything, but to just let the children enjoy the process of making marks on the paper.
Let’s stack it up
Story by Educator Demi
Environmental sustainability is always a topic that our Educators consider when designing and developing activities for children. Recently Gorton House got some clapping sticks that are made from the bamboo from our garden, and we have been using them in our music time. They make a beautiful sound, and the children love them.
This week we got a special donation from front office—lots of empty iPad boxes. Recently The Infants’ Home had an upgrade of Educators’ devices for work, and so we had lots of iPad boxes left over, so why not put them into use?
In Gorton House’s toddler room, the children love to use these discarded boxes as construction blocks. They explore different ways to stack them up, testing which ways they can be made more stable, and they also line the boxes up or put them flat on the floor and then walk or lie down on them. It has been lots of fun.
During this play, problem-solving and risk taking have been encouraged. “Demi, can you help?” a child asked me, while trying to reach the top of her tower with a box. “Yes, I can, but I wonder if you can give it another try,” I replied. The child tried a few more time and then said, “I can’t do it.” “Maybe we can stand on a chair, I wonder if that will help,” I suggested. So, the child moved a chair over to the area and stood on it. “Remember, we only stand on a chair when an adult is around you,” I reminded her. With another child’s help we made a really tall box tower, and when the tower went down, both children laughed.
As the towers have gotten taller, there has been lots of peer cooperation and negotiation going on. Children gather into groups of two or three, with each child having a specific role. Some pass the boxes to their peers, while others focus on building their tower. When the towers get really tall, the children then take turns to knock them down.
Story by Murray House Educators
The children in Murray House toddlers have been curious and creative in an ongoing investigation where they have been exploring different ways of scientific thinking and learning.
Our beautiful educator Yi kicked off ‘sensory science’, and this open-ended project has inspired the children’s colour mixing curiosity through milk experiments and art making with cellophane!
We also made our own bungee wall to investigate the power of potential energy. We used big elastics to build our own ‘bungee race’, which the children loved, and they demonstrated so much of their own energy during this experience! This has been a really cool ongoing project to unpack.
It has been really wonderful to see our little people so enthusiastic and passionate about this learning.