Last week the children gathered to celebrate Uncle Terry’s birthday. We talked about what we usually do to celebrate birthdays, and some of the children exclaimed, “Sing happy birthday!”, while other others said, “Cake!”. Together, we sang happy birthday to Uncle Terry and, as a surprise, we also sang the song in Uncle Terry’s language, the Gamilaroi language (we have been secretly practising the song for weeks!) It was a nice surprise for Uncle Terry and he was really touched by the children’s efforts. He enjoyed the special treat we bought to celebrate his special day–a nice cold ice cream topped with frozen berries. It was delicious!
The lyrics to ‘Happy Birthday’ in the Gamilaroi language are:
Nyatma nyinda yarrai
Nyatma nyinda gubba
Nyatma nyinda yarrai yarrai
Nyarma nyinda yarrai
Many of our children have now returned from their holidays and were delighted to see the changes in our garden. They noticed how tall the plants have grown, that the flowers that have bloomed, and that the tomatoes that are growing on our plants. These experiences enhance the children’s language development. “Big”, “orange”, “pink”, “green”, “yellow”, “look”, “flowers”, “tomato”, “heavy”, “water” and “drink” are some of the words our young children have been using to describe their observations and what they do to look after their garden. The children ask to water the plants every day, saying that they give “the flowers a drink”. The children know that this is important as they too drink water throughout the day. The children take turns to fill the watering cans, and carrying the heavy containers of water is wonderful for their strength, balance and large muscle development.
As we have welcomed the New Year at Robinson House this week, we have had some new families and children join our community, with some children transitioning from Murray House and Johnston House toddlers’ spaces. A few children have also joined us, starting preschool for the first time. The children have spent time exploring and engaging in play with their peers and meeting their new educators within our learning environment. Existing children have supported and guided their peers, with educators showing them around and looking after them. There has been a lot of shared small group conversations during mealtimes about holidays and stories about each other’s families.
As a community we will continue to connect and build relationships by engaging in small group play and interactions. Some of the exciting play and learning opportunities this week have included reading stories, connecting with magnetic shapes and making a range of small buildings. The big outdoor swing is another favorite as four children can sit on this at the same time, and they have enjoyed singing songs and chatting away as they swing happily together. Friendships will continue to evolve while existing friendships will strengthen with fun and joyful playful interactions. Educators and children will continue to connect and build close and trusting relationships and connections.
Family Day Care
Recently the children at the Randwick/South Sydney Family Day Care Sydney Wide playgroup have been exploring indigenous culture. To follow this up the group made damper with the Warrigal Greens (a native Australian vegetable) grown in our bush tucker garden. The children had the opportunity to harvest the greens, prepare them for the dough by cutting them up with scissors and following a simple damper dough recipe. This experience allowed the children to develop their mathematical and practice the scientific concepts of measuring, pouring, mixing and discovering what occurs when dry and wet ingredients come together. The children were particularly interested in the process of kneading the dough, which helps support the development of their fine motor and dexterity skills.