Gorton House preschool children enjoy Christmas in July at Bupa Ashfield Aged Care
The children from Gorton House preschool were invited by Bupa Ashfield Aged Care to celebrate Christmas in July with the residents and staff.
The children got really excited as we were approaching and as they saw lots of balloons and tinsel decorating the courtyard at Bupa. They were even more excited after we went into the courtyard area and found we had a special table reserved just for us. The children, Wyclef, Niam, Isaac, Austin, Annika, Frieda, Michelle N and Mirra all enjoyed the party food they had prepared for us. I’m sure they thought it was a special treat to have such yummy foods in their little tummies (especially right before lunch, oh dear!). Tammy, the coordinator of the event, had organised for various crazy Christmas hats for the children to put on, which they thought was great.
It was such a beautiful sunny day and the staff at Bupa went to great effort to make it an enjoyable day for the children and the residents. There was a live musician singing a variety of Christmas songs. The children, residents, staff and Lilian and I (Mel) danced and sang together. Our children Wyclef, Isaac and Niam showed their special ‘dance moves’ which was really impressive and we all laughed. Mirra, Annika, Frieda and Michelle were all doing some different moves that they taught Mel. Later on the children had turns on the microphone to sing. Michelle and Austin sang ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ in Chinese for all the residents then all the children joined in to sing the ‘ABC Song’ (very loudly!)
An unexpected and surprising visitor— Santa —came along, and all of the children crowded around and were excited and inquisitive. Mirra asked ‘“Why is your beard so long? Followed by Isaac’s very practical question of “How can you eat your food?”
Mirra, Michelle and Wyclef walked around with Santa to say hello to all the residents. Later Isaac, Niam, Frieda and Annika also warmed up a bit more to Santa and joined them. One of the residents, Maria was not feeling well so we went along to her room to say hello. We brought a bunch of balloons from our party and sang ‘Merry Christmas’ to her, which brightened up her day.
Our regular fortnightly visits to Bupa are proving to be really valuable learning opportunities to discuss many things with children ranging from why some people might behave differently to others (if they have Dementia, Alzheimer’s or look or act differently), why they need to be on certain machines, why some people can’t eat certain foods. It is also proving to be a great opportunity to support some of our families whose parents may be losing their memory, or who are simply getting old. It is generating lots of questions and inquisitiveness which is great as it is really important to foster these inter-generational relationships from a young age so that children grow up with an awareness of, and understanding and respect for, elderly people.
Our Growing Garden
This week the children in Johnson House toddlers were involved in watering the seeds, which they do regularly. We observed our seeds and how they were sprouting. We saw that the coriander sprouts grew into two green shoots. It was exciting for the children to see the tiny plants. They were using their fingers to touch the leaves. The children also picked few sprouts and held them with their hands. They will continue watering the plants and will watch them grow over the next few weeks.
This week the children in Johnson House preschool have been exploring healthy eating. They have been working closely with an educator, reading stories about different aspects of being healthy and categorising foods into ‘healthy’ food and ‘sometimes’ foods. The children have also been taste testing a range of different fruits and vegetables. They were curious about some of these fruits and vegetables as they explored taste, smell and texture, and they then worked together to create a delicious fruit salad. This learning experience has been a great opportunity for the children to gain more knowledge about healthy eating and to have a hands-on approach to help solidify and enhance their learning.
Children in Murray House infants have been observed engaging in dramatic play in the kitchen corner over the past few weeks, cooking, baking cakes, and making coffees for the Educators. Educator Rosie has been working on supporting the children’s interest by providing a variety of craft and cooking experiences. This week the children were invited to explore cooking using craft mediums such as paint, papers and playdough, with visual images used to stimulate children’s ideas about cooking. They added and mixed the materials to create their cupcakes while discussing the texture, colours and the process of the cooking experience. It is essential that Educators guide and support children’s everyday experiences which have a close connection to, and reflect, their daily lives. Dramatic play benefits children’s social and language skills, enhances cognitive development and helps them to connect with the world and community.
Several of our Rigby House families have been to visit the Australia Museum, and the children have been talking to us about the dinosaurs they saw.
The Educators have extended this interest by reading stories, singing songs and providing a dinosaur learning area and art experiences. Through these experiences the children have been learning many facts about dinosaurs.
The children collected leaves, sticks and seed pods on their walks around our grounds, and these natural materials were added to the playdough experience. During these experiences the children demonstrated how much they have learnt about dinosaurs, as they named various dinosaurs, fed leaves to the herbivores and playdough to the carnivores. They created forests for them to live in and made the dinosaurs roar and stomp across the playdough, leaving their prints in the dough.
Of course dramatic play is also very popular, and we have many children roaring and stomping pretending to be dinosaurs!
As a community the children at Robinson House have been learning about regulating their feelings and looking after each other’s wellbeing. Almost every day we gather together in a circle to greet each other, and to ask how our day has been and how we are all feeling.
This has been an extension of one of the integrated groups we have implemented at Robinson House during the past year. Educators invite the children to go around a circle of peers and identify how they are feeling and then select a treasure from the ‘feelings Jars’. The children have also been learning how to verbally express their feelings, as well as how to validate the feelings of their peers and our preschool teddy ‘BB the Bear’.
This learning journey has encouraged the children’s awareness of connecting with others, their developing positive self-awareness and their understanding of the importance of acknowledging the rights of others.
Family Day Care Sydney Wide
Two of our Educators provide the children in their care with regular opportunities to participate in and explore events within the community.
An annual teachable topic of ‘Space’ enabled the children to build a rocket ship from loose parts and provided a wonderful opportunity for families to become involved. This evolved into a fantastic learning area with lots of interest from children and questions asked about the moon.
The children’s interest prompted Educators Sally and Mel to research a defining moment in history, and the Educators, the children, and a mum and her baby headed into the city to explore some of the 200 objects on display at the ‘The Apollo 11’ exhibition at the Power House Museum who was commemorating the 50th
The children learnt about old and new technology as they meandered around the museum. They were able to view genuine moon rock encased in a glass dome. Neil Armstrong had to leave his boots on the moon to make room for bringing such valuable items back to earth. They walked through the space shuttle and Louis was even confident enough to volunteer to assist with building a rocket ship.
Congratulations to Mel and Sally for enriching the children’s lives with exploring such amazing historical events and looking towards the future with new technology. We shall look forward to hearing about your next adventure in the community!