The children in Johnson House preschool have been keen to create their own books. From recipe books, to books about volcanoes, princesses, aliens and skeletons, many of the children were inspired by books in the environment. They also used their own imaginations to develop images and content for their books. Educators supported the children to write their stories and to further develop their understanding of how text can represent the images within the story. This experience offered children the opportunity to develop an idea based on their interest and to then share this with peers, helping to build their confidence to engage with others and to make meaning from what they have created.
Recently the children in Johnson House toddlers have been interested in exploring numbers and counting. To extend on the children’s existing interests and to facilitate their pre-numeracy skills they had the opportunity to engage in some counting and number concept experiences this week. The children are familiar with the story of ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ and as they shared the story together they counted the food on each page. At the conclusion of our story experience, the children played a game with the stacking blocks linked to the story. The children could recall the food from the story and they were able to order the blocks from 1-5.
In Murray House infants the children have been using open-ended materials such as wooden blocks, baby formula tins and boxes to create music. Educator Yi aimed to embed Aboriginal perspectives while extending on the children’s interest in music, and she implemented this through a series of experiences. Yi and the children went for a walk around the grounds of The Infants’ Home to collect natural resources such as sticks, barks and seed pods. She then provided the children with some cotton buds and paint. The children demonstrated their developing knowledge of Aboriginal art as they used the cotton buds to paint dots on the natural materials. As the paint dried, the children curiously explored the bumpy textures of the seed pods. Their creations were later used as musical instruments, and the children displayed excitement and enthusiasm as they performed their music! They also had the opportunity to take turns to participate and share their resources as they engaged in the group musical experience.
The children in Murray House Toddlers have been enthusiastically engaging in the ‘Bear Hunt’ project with educator Mandy since June. This was initially a dramatic play experience which focused on supporting children’s language and imagination. This has recently extended into a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) experience, as the children commented that they needed to build a house to keep themselves safe from the bear. As part of the room’s ongoing recycling project, the children are constructing the house with recycled food grade containers. We are also thankful for the support of families and our other centres onsite who have supported the project by collecting and contributing the recycled materials.
A construction site has been set up on the veranda to provide the children with the space and environment to create, practice, problem-solve and explore different ways of manipulating materials. In order to create a sustainable house that can be displayed and played with in the outdoor play area, we have been experimenting with different ways to safely and securely attach the resources together using different adhesive materials and tools such as masking tape, PVA glue and double sided tape. We will continue to construct our house over the next few weeks, and we are excited to use it as part of our pretend play!
The children in Robinson House have been building a Chinese garden with educator Emily over the last few weeks. They started off their project by looking at images of Chinese gardens for some ideas. As a group, Emily and the children had a discussion about what a Chinese garden looks like, and the children suggested that there should be some flowers, bamboo, rocks and Chinese-style houses. It seems the images were a great source of ideas and inspiration. After their discussion the children put their ideas on to paper as they eagerly drew their designs.
After all the discussion and planning, it was finally time to build their garden! Emily brought the children to Johnson House to see the real bamboo, which the children referred to as “panda house”. With Emily’s support and supervision the children used real tools to cut bamboo sticks for their garden. They dug the dirt and put in some plants, and they often water the plants and look after the garden. This ongoing project has been an opportunity for the children to explore the diversity of cultures and traditions. Emily will continue to share her knowledge about her own culture in different ways, for example by teaching the children Mandarin.
Family Day Care Sydney Wide
It’s not every day that Woolworths at Westfield Eastgardens invites 21 young children under the age of five in to their store to explore and learn what it takes to get fresh fruit and vegetables onto their shelves. An excursion was recently organised for seven educators and the children in their care from Family Day Care Sydney Wide to participate in a Fresh Food Kids Discovery Tour.
Everyone enjoyed a guided tour of the store, which included the very cold refrigerated area and the fresh food aisles, which offered a plethora of delicious looking and healthy fruit and vegetables. The children also enjoyed a tasting session when offered morning tea.
The children were very happy at the end of the morning to be given a reusable goody bag, which included crayons, a sticker book and a pack of quiz cards.
It may seem challenging to some to embark on an excursion with so many young children. Family Day Care Sydney Wide has strict guidelines in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children on excursions. The more exposure they have to being out in the community, the better prepared they are to becoming independent young people. The educators provide a flexible routine, but one where the children learn to anticipate their day and have boundaries in place to ensure they feel safe and secure. They are instructed in advance about expectations when out and about, and are taught to always remain close to their educators and friends, hold hands or hold onto the pram during an excursion.
To continue the children’s learning and extend their knowledge about the community and shopping they will enjoy ‘pretend shop’ play when next they come to visit us at our playgroup.
Gurung Playgroup (Croydon Park Public School)
Book Week celebrations continued at Gurung playgroup last week. The children arrived in their favourite character outfit and were able to participate in the Croydon Park Public School book parade – this was a wonderful experience for the children who will be starting school next year. The morning then continued with fun-filled activities including dramatic play, home corner, painting and craft.
Wangal Playgroup (Ashfield Public School)
This week at playgroup children were busy at the craft table creating photo frames and cards for their Dads, Grandpas or other caring males in their lives. They enjoyed making their dad at the playdough and felt table. They also enjoyed singing and dancing at group time, and the morning concluded with reading the story book ‘I Love my Dad’.