The children in Johnson House have been enjoying going on nature walks and collecting a range of natural materials. A collection of tree branches, seed pods and leaves have been gathered, and the children have been busy exploring these. This interest was extended upon further this week as the children used these materials to paint with and paint on. The flower pods were used as brushes and the leaves were colourfully decorated. The children engaged in conversations as they decorated these materials, sharing stories of where else they had seen such items. It was a great way to incorporate and further develop children’s appreciation of nature and the possibilities it can bring to learning.
The children in Murray House love getting involved in creative experiences like drawing and painting. They enjoy sitting around the table to explore the colours and different art mediums. To provide a new learning opportunity, educator Yi used vertical surfaces such as easels and windows. The children stood around the easel and used big arm motions to draw lines onto the paper. They were also observed cruising around the easel whilst supporting their body to explore. Drawing on vertical surfaces allowed children to use different parts of their bodies and to practice their gross motor skills. The children were also learning to share their play and spaces.
In Murray House toddlers educators are taking holistic approaches to foster children’s wellbeing, development, and learning. Mealtimes offer many learning opportunities for children. This week during mealtimes the children have been learning about the importance of washing their hands before eating, about healthy food choices, and about the five food groups which include breads, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles and other grains; vegetables and legumes; fruit; milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives; and lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts and legumes.
This week we’ve also added additional equipment to the gross motor space and we have been facilitating many gross motor experiences to extend the children’s climbing and jumping skills. These experiences saw the children developing their confidence and persistence in their learning by taking safe risks to practice their climbing skills with educators’ support.
The children’s recent interest in animal movements and footprints has also been extended through puzzles and various sensory experiences such as playing with corn flour paste and goop. The children helped to measure, pour and mix the dry ingredients and then observed these changing properties when water was added, fostering their learning in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). Children’s creativity, imagination, and language skills were also enhanced.
Our educators received news from one of our families about their visit to the zoo. This sparked much conversation between children and children and educators about their experiences at the zoo, and their ideas and knowledge about animals.
The Rigby House educators supported this interest by creating a ‘zoo’ learning area for our children. It has become a very popular space with all of our children—even the youngest of our children crawl over to this space to explore and play.
We have seen beautiful interactions between the younger and older children and some lovely solitary play, where the children have become engrossed in their own thoughts and investigations.
Many of our older children have been demonstrating their maturing social and play skills as they create many dramatic animal and zoo play scenarios together.
Parent contributions to our program are very important, as our children learn so much from revisiting their experiences through play.
This week at Wangal Playgroup at Ashfield Public School the children enjoyed making sun visors. To strengthen their fine motor skills and enhance their cognitive skills, the children also enjoyed cutting out jelly fish, finger and brush painting, pasta threading and color sorting.