We have had a fantastic start to Term Two. It has been so great to see all the children return after the school holidays ready to go; it was like they hadn't even had a break! We are looking forward to the weeks ahead and have lots of exciting things planned.
Happy Mother's Day
We would like to wish all our Mums a very happy Mother's Day! It was just fabulous having you join us for our special celebration on Friday.
The children planned their Mother's Day Party with great care and consideration … playing, dancing, and singing was the order of the day!
It is so lovely to have families back in the centre again and we appreciate the effort that all our special visitors made to be in The Hive on the day!
Community Herb Garden
As part of our Unity of Inquiry, Sharing the Planet, we will be creating a community herb garden to be enjoyed by all. The children are involved in the planning process, and we value their voices in making and caretaking the garden. This project is a collaboration between both The Hive and The Cocoon and will capture the ideas and contributions of all children in the ECC. The children are deciding what to plant, and as you can imagine, there is an array of herbs, vegetables, and flowers. You will notice we have grown our seedlings in cardboard boxes. These can be planted straight into the ground when the seedlings are big enough. The children are taking on the responsibility of looking after the garden and have already demonstrated their developing understandings about how food can be grown.
Giving the children opportunities to plant the seedlings and herbs themselves provides a sense of ownership of the herb garden. Gardening is a hands-on learning experience involving all the senses, and for many, something they have experienced at home. The children's high levels of engagement reflect their prior knowledge and desire to be involved in authentic "work." The children have acted as researchers, looking closely at what was already in our garden, noticing the texture, smell, and feel of the herbs and plants in the garden. All educators support the children to identify and understand the resources plants need to grow (water, sun, and soil).
"Water the seeds, then dirt, then water again", Rose.
"I need soil now", Daisy
"It will need sun", Ezra
"Oh, I forgot the seeds", Flynn
"When the dirt is dry, it needs more water", Remi
"When will they grow up?" Rose
"We could plant potatoes", Austin
"Who will look out for these when it's not a school day?" Remi
"Rachelle can water it for us", Zoe
As we are discovering through our unit of inquiry, Sharing the Planet, nature is everywhere! Rachelle bought in some autumn leaves for the children to observe, and they quickly extended the invitation to find some natural treasures themselves.
Heather decorated our art easels, which provided a rich provocation for the children to express creativity.
It was evident the children delighted in this experience as they used all their senses to experience paint and nature. This hands-on experience saw evolving creations, patterns, colours, and various textures of the materials: hard pieces of bark, soft leaves, crunchy leaves, petals, sticks, and soft bottle brush pieces. Sensory play builds nerve connections in the brain's pathways, increasing children's ability to complete complex learning tasks. This learning experience also supported the development of the muscles in our hands; these skills were required to feel, paint and manipulate the natural materials.
In addition, this experience provided opportunities to sort, match, classify and order, which are essential in developing early numeracy skills and understandings. The children explored language as they described the various pieces of nature.
"This leaf is crunchy." Jake
"This one is soft, so it won't break when I paint it." Ezra
Active exploration and noticing the beauty of natural materials increase children's appreciation of our world which will deepen their respect for the environment. We were able to discuss concepts of sustainability and waste.
"These leaves were on the ground at my house, so did I need to take them from the tree", Rachelle
"No, it's dead now." Ezra
"How do you know it's dead?" Rachelle
"Because it's not on the tree." Ezra
"Yeah, it can't live on the ground", Dominic
"Why not?" Rachelle
"Because it needs the bit there to be on the tree", Ezra (pointing to the stem)
ANZAC DAY CELEBRATIONS
To acknowledge ANZAC DAY, we decided to build the children's understanding and knowledge of the traditions by sharing a story and making Anzac biscuits. Many of the children shared their stories of families that March. Research tells us that children learn best when they are interested and have opportunities to make decisions about their learning. Therefore, we planned a cooking experience, researched a traditional biscuit recipe, and inquired into the story behind why the ANZACS ate them.
Through hands-on, sensory, and real-life experience, the children created a shared experience for all that was extended with a picture story ANZAC TED.
Physical play and Wellbeing
Physical play is important in our program as we know during the early years' children are more willing to try new activities. Physical activity promotes healthy growth and development. Physical activities and opportunities to engage in physical games help develop motor skills, concentration, and thinking skills. Our indoor, outdoor program means physical play is integrated into your children's play to create a love of movement and activity that will be carried with them throughout their life. Educators have played a variety of games with the children which has helped improve confidence, self-esteem, cognitive and social, and emotional skills.