Story by Educator Shelley
During last week’s Book Week some of the children in Johnson House toddlers really enjoyed reading Pamela Allen’s ‘Who Sank the Boat?’. They showed interest as they shared their knowledge of the main character animals by imitating the sounds they make or describing their features. “It’s a sheep, it goes ‘baa baa’”, said one child, and “It’s a tiny mouse! ‘Squeak, squeak,’” said another.
This week we revisited the book to see what else we could learn. Throughout the book the question “Do you know who sank the boat?” is repeated. This question encourages the children to hypothesise and predict who it could be. It was impressive to hear them reason their thoughts out loud: “The cow is so big … it will sink,” said one child, “No, the mouse is too small,” said another, and “I sank the boat,” said a third child. After reading the book again we discussed why they thought the boat sank and it was wonderful to hear some of the children using mathematical concepts such as ‘heavy’ and ‘big’.
To extend upon the children’s interest and understanding around weight we conducted our own ‘sink or float’ experiments. Using an array of objects in a container filled with water, the children were encouraged to choose an object and predict the likely outcome of whether it would sink or float. After each child expressed their prediction, they excitedly tested out their hypothesis. There were squeals of delight when the majority ruled that the fish would float. It was fascinating to observe the children naturally feeling and weighing each of the objects in their hands without much prompting before making their predictions. After repeating the experiment a few times, the children started to work out that heavy objects are most likely to sink while lighter objects are most likely float. Afterwards the children continued to find various objects to test out and they were encouraged to try to sink a large blue plastic boat. The children wasted no time piling various objects into the boat to sink it with lots of splashing along the way.
Story by Educator Deepa
Nature provides countless opportunities for discovery, creativity, problem solving and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education.
This morning a group of children from Murray House toddlers went with me to explore the nature around us on The Infants’ Home grounds. On the way we saw some beautiful flowers on the ground, the blue sky, big trees and smaller trees, and green and brown leaves. Then children started to collect sticks. After that we went to the Goose Paddock for a run. Some children were coming for the first time to explore nature outside Murray House, and they were so excited to see the cubby house and to play chasing games their peers, and Lara and Quentin exercised and balanced on the rope.
Spending time and interacting with natural environments allows children to learn by exploring how the world we live in works. It is also an opportunity for children to explore nature through their senses.
Story by Playgroup Assistant Emerald
This term at Baby Time Playgroup we have been busy devising and planning information sessions for parents that run alongside our playgroup.
Recently, we were fortunate to be able to steal Janîce Francis, our Children’s Services Manager (Family Day Care) away from her very busy schedule to talk to our playgroup participants about the ins and outs of family day care, including how to set one up. A few of our parents came away wanting to find out more about setting up their own family day care and have since been in contact with The Infants’ Home Family Day Care team. Thank you Janîce!
Last week we were very lucky to have Ana-Luisa, our Community and Learning Engagement Manager, lead an incredible session alongside our Assistant Playgroup Educator Emerald on play and brain development in infants. The information session touched on topics such as baby-led play, creating a space just for baby play in your home, and the parent as a play facilitator. The session generated some amazing discussion and new ideas. Thank you so much Ana-Luisa for sharing your experience and insights with us!
Our goal with these information sessions is to gauge what our parents would most like to learn about and to build from there. We can’t wait to hold more sessions!