Guardian Childcare & Education

Shadows, Dinosaurs and Flowers, Oh My!

28th March 2017

Playdays Rouse Hill

The children and educators at Playdays Preschool & Day Care Centre – Rouse Hill have been very busy this year – and it’s only March! With so many new discoveries and experiences had over the last few months, Centre Manager, Melinda Parker shares just a few of the stories from this wonderful childcare centre in Sydney.

Shadows are fun!

Our Discoverer educators noticed that Ethan, Benji and George were playing with their shadows up against the door in the afternoon as the sunshine shone through our room. They were running away from the door and their shadows, and then coming back to see their shadow change size and noticed when the shadow disappeared due to someone blocking the sunlight from shining on to the door.

So we turned off the lights, covered the windows with the curtains and began to shine a torch on to the cupboard doors and see if they would interact with the light. Benji came and sat next to me and I put my hand in front of the light and began making different hand shapes such as a star and a dog. Benji particularly enjoyed the dog shape and asked for more.

Benji then stood up and was interacting with the shadow of my hand, giving my shadow a high five when it appeared on the door, and trying to pat the dog. George took note of what was happening and then came over to investigate what was making Benji laugh so much. They both stood watching their shadows move along with them, going side to side and getting bigger as they stood back and got smaller as they came closer to the door.

Ethan enjoyed watching what his friends where doing, and got up when he noticed Benji’s shadow kept disappearing when Benji walked away, and Ethan then went to look for it but was mesmerised by his own shadow.

Benji kept saying “Dog, Dog!!” He really wanted the dog to come back to play, so moving my hand to different corners, I brought back my dog shadow and asking Benji if he could find it, which he did and then patted him, a huge smile on his face.

Through this activity the children have been able to use their creativity and build up their confidence with playing together in a group, investigate what happens to their shadows when they move away or stand up close to the wall and learn how to share the light and look and recognise each other’s shadows.

Sensory play with dinosaurs (left), observation painting (right).

Sensory play with dinosaurs

To continue on our sensory project we used arborio rice, flour, and cocoa powder and mixed it up with some peppermint water to create a Dinosaur Kingdom. Benji, who loves dinosaurs, was in his element. At first he was not sure about the texture of our edible soil, I then added some water and that’s when the fun started, and George was so excited he wanted to help with pouring in the water.
Ethan, George and Benji were squishing the mixture and pushing the dinosaurs into the mud that was created, Dylan was very happy to watch the boys and then he decided to join in. Dylan used one hand to touch the soil while supporting himself with the other to stand at the table he also used my shoulder to balance himself.

Through this experience children developed a range of skills such as inquiry, experimentation, problem solving. Children develop a sense of belonging to groups and communities and an understanding of the taking turns and social skills. We will to continue introduce different sensory experiences and continue to extend the children’s social learning, through different forms of play and experiences.

Observation painting – we painted flowers!

To further enhance the children’s observation skills, we introduced ‘observation painting’, setting the table with pots of flowers.

We invited two children at the time, sitting them down at the table and explained the possibilities within the experience. We asked the children to look closely at the flowers, leaves and the pot. We then encouraged them to talk about what they could see. The children talked about the different attributes and we encouraged them to critically respond to other’s opinions (whether they agreed or disagreed). For instance, we talked about the colours of the flowers – some agreed that they were red whereas others suggested they were pink.

We gave each child a clipboard with a piece of paper attached. Immediately they dipped their paint brush to explore the colours and started painting with excitement. We again discussed the pot, flower petals and leaves that we had observed, pausing to look at the flowers and paint again. We explained to the children the meaning of the word ‘observe’.

Our children are at the stage of their development where they are beginning to learn how to observe and begin to explain detail and we are helping them to process the information. It can be tricky and challenging but it is an essential skill.

Learn more about Playdays Preschool & Day Care Centre – Rouse Hill

Playdays Preschool & Day Care Centre – Rouse Hill is a childcare centre in Sydney that’s committed to providing high quality early learning for children. With bright open spaces, professional educators and lots of opportunities to learn and socialise, it’s a wonderful place for children to grow.

To meet the friendly team and to see the centre for yourself, book a tour here.

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