Today we had lots of fun exploring the natural environment.
On Thursday 10th of May we held our Mother’s Day afternoon tea. The children spent the week preparing for this special event by making gifts for their mothers as well as decorations to set up their rooms for the event. The Butterflies and Kinder rooms were buzzing with activities including a nail station where mothers and loved ones where treated to a special manicure from their children!
The children at Kool Kidz Preston went on an adventure with the help of the Myuna Farm Animal Nursery. They had the opportunity to interact with friendly farm animals like: chickens, ducks, rabbits, guinea pigs, goats, turtle, farm dog, rooster, geese and lambs. The children were able to look at the animals from a distance and for the more confident ones feed and cuddle them. We also had some parents and grandparents come and join in the fun.
Supporting children in their growing awareness and interest in animals can lead to deeper feelings of empathy in young children, more positive classroom relationships, and social-emotional development. As children have experiences with animals, they learn about differences and similarities, needs (such as for food, shelter, water and space), and compassion and empathy can grow and deepen.
How can you support children’s love for animals?
- Set up a bird feeding area outside your back yard or in another location where the children will be able to view the birds. (Note, many seed mixes contain peanuts, a common allergen.)
- Venture outside often! Even a trail of ants on a sidewalk can be exciting and special. If you do come across wildlife, allow the children to observe and share their discoveries. Encourage their questions and conversations.
- Encourage (but don’t force) quiet observation. Most of the animals you’ll likely encounter (insects, birds) are accustomed to humans, so often they won’t be too afraid of noisy, excited children. If children’s outbursts do frighten the animals away, just use that as an opportunity to make a scientific observation about the effects of noise on animals. As you know, it’s awfully hard for young children to stay silent when they are excited and surprised!
- Look and listen for evidence of animals every time you are outdoors. You may see tracks, nests, or other signs of animals. You may hear birds chattering in the cold winter morning. Allow the children to point out their observations and the “clues” that wildlife is everywhere.
This week we talked about different cities in Australia after one of the children shared their experience of flying to a different state on holidays. Other children joined in to the conversation and shared their experiences of travelling on aeroplanes to different places. When we participate in discussions together we broaden our understanding of the world in which we live, showing interest in others and being part of a group. Extending on from this discussion we used the ‘Map of Australia’ to locate different states and we made paper aeroplanes that children designed beautifully. The educators contributed to the discussion by sharing where their home countries were and how they travel to those destinations.
Children were interested in making play dough and they asked for a variety of colours so we ended up making 4 small batches of different coloured play dough. Giving children choices builds their confidence and self-esteem and shows them that their opinions matter and are valued.
Following on from the children’s interest in camping, the group collaboratively worked together to make a camp fire. We extended the role pay by cooking marshmallows on the fire and reading story books in our warm pyjamas.
As part of our intentional teaching this week we talked about composting. We watched a video on what to add into the compost and the worm farm. Children were excited to create our indoor worm farm and they helped to cut up the scraps from the kitchen and feed the worms. This experience was a great way of teaching children about recycling and sustaining the environment.
Children were supported with their letter recognition and learning to write their names. They are showing that they are curious and active participants in their learning. Children are beginning to understand letter-sound relationships and concepts of print.
Have a lovely week
The Kinder Team