Story by Educator Alisa
For the past few months, the children in Johnson House preschool have shown a strong interest in learning about tadpoles and frogs. Following the children’s interest by reading the book ‘The Big-Mouthed Frog’ by Keith Faulkner, and learning about the frog life cycle through reading informative books and visual displays, led educators and children to build a habitat in fish tanks for some tadpoles that were given to us.
As the children diligently feed the tadpoles, they have been learning about the unique but complex life cycle of frogs, for example that tadpoles eat vegetables throughout their tadpole life, however, once they develop their legs and breathe through lungs, they begin eating insects. Regularly cleaning the tank has also sparked several discussions about what makes a conducive habitat for the tadpoles and about which other creatures also live in the tadpoles’ habitat.
This hands-on experience has provided opportunities for children to patiently observe the tadpoles’ appearance and attributes, and the changes that take place in the tadpoles’ bodies each week. The children have commented “Our tadpoles have been growing because they have been eating so much food!” When they saw an extremely huge tadpole in the tank, one child shared with his peers, “Soon this tadpole will grow its front legs. Then the cycle to the next stage starts again.” Over the past couple of weeks, the children have marvelled at the metamorphosis of tadpoles to frogs. To the children’s surprise, several of the tadpoles are beginning to turn into froglets, meaning their front and hind legs have finally emerged, but they still have their tadpole tails. We have investigated the safest place for the frogs to be released to their natural habitat, and we are lucky to have a pond here at the The Infants’ Home where they can live happily.
Looking after the tadpoles here at Johnson House is an exciting and fulfilling experience for the children. It has fostered children’s appreciation and care of their natural environment, and helped them to develop a sense of responsibility to help these living creatures thrive in a conducive habitat. This experience has also fostered children’s growing understanding of the interdependence between people, plants and animals.
Story by Educator Andrew
Today in Robinson House we had an amazing morning, with the second week of our STEAM integrated group.
We made our way out to Robinson House’s back yard, where we gathered to share our welcome song and check in.
We then made our way to the synthetic grass area where we saw a huge collection of loose parts which included wooden planks, tubes, milk crates, rope, fabric and a wide range of other odds and ends. Our challenge was to create something using the many different resources available.
With so many people with such amazing ideas working together in close proximity, we also needed to ensure we provided a safe learning environment for everyone who was involved, and to welcome others’ ideas and respect everyone’s contributions to the project.
We were all systems go! We saw the huge cardboard tubes laid down, which were then covered with a large wooden plank. The plank was held in place by large black plastic spools to ensure that it didn’t move, providing the perfect base for what was quickly becoming a very impressive boat! The boat was quickly loaded up with oxygen tanks, shark fishing ropes, a mast, a pirate plank (that balanced across milk crates), treasure chests and a number of steering wheels to control the brilliantly created ship!
It was brilliant to see so many different ideas coming together to create one big project. We can’t wait to see how far we can go with these huge projects in the coming weeks!
Story by Playgroup Coordinator Rebecca
It has been wonderful to see so many of you at our playgroups after the Easter break.
The weather has not been kind to us, and we have been unable to return to Ashfield Park for our Red Bug Playgroup due to the rain and wet ground. Hopefully this will change soon, but thankfully in the meantime we have been able to run our Red Bug Playgroup in the indoor Rigby House Community space onsite at The Infants’ Home, and we have seen many of you attending playgroup there.
This term we will be having Occupational Therapists and Speech Pathologists from our Allied Health Team visiting us at our Red Bug and Baby Time Playgroups to provide information and answer any questions about children’s learning and development.
This week at Red Bug Playgroup we focussed on our fine motor and letter recognition skills. We played a matching game using tongs to find letters hidden in coloured chickpeas and then matched them to the letters on the table. Matching games are great for increasing short term memory and attention to detail, and for improving concentration skills. There are many types of matching games that you can make at home and play with your child, and websites such as pinterest.com have some useful ideas for these.