As we head into Week 6 of the term, we have noticed how settled and happy all the children are, how they so quickly have developed a sense of belonging to the Pre-school and how familiar they are with their group’s routines. Friendships are starting to develop, and the children are becoming more familiar with the names of their friends, as well as trusting and knowing their teachers.
The flow of each day is easier and during this first term the teachers work hard to develop relationships and respect for each other and the environment (grace and courtesy). We spend time on learning how to manage our feelings and resolve conflict (life skills), through role plays, Zones of Regulation and “How does your engine run” programs. We also introduce mindfulness strategies to the children, to support their mental health and wellbeing. Our days are full and busy, so much learning occurs in each day. I am grateful for the expertise and knowledge that the educators bring to the Pre-school and the beautiful vibe and energy they enthuse into the children to create such solid foundations for the littlest members of our school community.
The wet weather over the past two weeks has provided many challenges for us all, but most of all not being able to run and play outside for long periods of time. We have had to grab short moments to run outside and play. Exploring the playground when wet has provided many completely different experiences to play.
The playground looks, smells and feels quite different when wet. Our senses get heightened and it’s a wonderful time to explore, investigate, create and try new things.
The children have been using very creative ways to collect water. They discovered puddles in the playground that had not been there before, rainwater that had been accumulated in containers in the sandpit and mud patch, they collected drops that were rhythmically falling from the trees and shade cloth. They also noticed the various types of leaves that had fallen off the trees on the ground and engaged in beautiful pattern making. Magic happens in our playground when wet – opportunities filled with fun, curiosity, wonder, co-operation, experimentation, confidence, creativity, enthusiasm, problem solving and imagination.
The highlight for some children is being able to play in mud!
As a child, I remember playing with mud, making mud pies, squelching in it and experiencing the pure joy of what it had to offer. Some of my fondest childhood memories saw me covered in mud from head to toe.
Dirt and water – two very simple and basic ingredients have and continue to be the source of so much activity, creativity, joy, and sensory fun for children and even adults too. Mud play allows children to connect and interact with the natural world around them. It helps children develop tactile skills with sensory play.
As the children have been engaging in this freely available natural material, we have noticed how it has been an invitation for creativity, imagination, independent learning, teamwork and collaboration. Mud play holds immense value as a vehicle for learning and development. The sensory, manipulative aspect of the play enables children to follow their innate drive to explore and be curious, self-directed learners. Through hands on experiences, they learn about the world around them – textures, properties, consistencies. It’s very much an explorative process of discovery, understanding the effect they can have on materials.
Engaging in messy play is a fantastic way to encourage language development through the senses. Children begin to link words to textures, understanding the meaning of squelchy, squishy and slimy. At Kornmehl we value the opportunity to engage in messy, mud play.
We wish a very happy birthday to James Cartwright (4). We hope you had a lovely birthday.