Story by Senior Occupational Therapist Justine
The children in Johnson House have been enjoying time on the communal lawn area of The Infants’ Home. They have loved playing with the parachute, practicing making ‘small’, ‘medium’ and ‘large’ waves. Then they learnt how to make ‘parachute popcorn’, by pretending that the parachute was a HUGE popcorn maker and placing lots of ‘popcorn kernels’ (coloured balls) on it and making them pop by shaking the parachute as hard as they could—lots of fun was had! Using a parachute is a highly motivating way to work on cooperation, upper body strength, turn taking, social connections and language development.
The children have also been practising their throwing and catching skills by trying to get some bean bags through a hoop! Throwing and catching requires upper body strength, hand eye coordination, motor planning, and body/spatial awareness. Opportunities to master both throwing and catching skills are important as they are integral components of many games and activities played by children in their early years. As part of our program the integrated team will continue to explore a range of opportunities to extend on these skills in fun and creative ways.
Story by Centre Director Isa
Going on a bug hunt
Young children are natural scientists and they love to learn about bugs and insects. One of the children’s favourite experiences in Rigby House is to go on a daily search for bugs. This morning they were rewarded with finding a beautiful butterfly. The children were thrilled, and they spent much time observing this little creature, talking about it and asking questions.
They were most fascinated with the beautiful colours and patterns of the butterfly. We returned the butterfly to its home in the garden, and the children demonstrated how gentle and caring they could be as they resisted the urge to handle the butterfly to keep it safe.
Playing in the outdoors, and connecting with nature, supports children to develop a love, appreciation and respect for nature and living things. It also supports children to learn about the importance of looking after our natural environment and all of the living things in it.