As far as a warm and welcoming place to come together in the mornings, our campfire has been very popular with both adults and children every morning. Today was no exception. It was lovely to see so many parents stay for a chat and a play with their children, and to see the obvious pride from the children as they showed their parents all the wonderful experiences that had captured their minds and imaginations yesterday
It was also great to have a few brothers, sisters and cousins (many who are past kindy kids) have a chat at drop off time….most thought they would really like to stay the day!
While some children preferred to sit and watch the activities unfold by comfort and warmth of the fire…
some were straight into exploring the environment. With such a purposeful vision, you couldn’t help but wonder if some of the children had spent their time away from kindy planning and wondering about the learning opportunities that they wanted to explore upon their arrival today.
The structure that we started to construct yesterday quickly became a focal point for a large group of children.
They engineered ways to strengthen the structure, create walls and even a door – complete with a pulley system to raise it up,
there was collecting of additional materials from the park next door and around the yard,
and fabric and wool were used to weave through the tangles of sticks and leaves that create the walls.
Once you are inside it is the perfect place to watch as the busyness of the world continues around you,
to chat with friends,
or to just sit and contemplate all the wonder that surrounds you.
The fairy garden really began to take shape today. The fairy house that was painted by this group several weeks ago was moved into place, bulbs were planted, tiny little fences created, and many more decorative touches were added.
A see saw was created, tested, redesigned and put into use over the day. The children balanced, learned to shift their weight, explored using it alone and with friends, walked along, lay on it , jumped from it and generally had a great time with it!
The hay bales, giant cushions, and a wooden plank were made into a jumping pit. Children explored taking turns, taking risks, taking short or long run ups, jumping, diving and falling into the safe, softness of the cushions.
Our campfire grill, camp oven and coals provided a constant stream of food today. An ever changing team of budding chefs chopped, mixed, prepared, stuffed, wrapped and cooked flat bread, sausages, vegetable soup, stuffed apples and of course marshmallows.
During our day we had a few more visitors and we were very excited to be able to show them our special outdoor learning environment. A grandma (YaYa) surprised one of our children with a visit and play, Stan & Helen dropped of some crisp Joyson apples they had picked for us, we had an early childhood educator from Oakland Park visit to view our kindy environment, a mum who sat and knitted by the fire, and several other parents who stayed and played during the day.
The tubes and water were in use in the sandpit today.
It was great to see some of the children take some quiet time to themselves during the day. Some could be found in a comfy spot with a book…
others spending some time alone counting how many times they could let the ball bounce off the tree, or drawing with the charcoal as they enjoyed a juicy apple.
Our rest time was spent listening to our meditation CD as we watched the beautiful clouds move through the sky above us.
Kirri (our student teacher) shared a beautiful story with us and then we got to smash the piñata she helped us to make a couple of weeks ago.
There were discoveries of special treasures…..a lady bird who stayed for a while then flew away…
bugs under logs when they were moved, and precious feathers left from the magpies that frequent our yard once the children have left.
The collection of leaves and flowers were again fashioned into beautiful crowns.
Today at our group time around the fire, Nell taught us an aboriginal song.
We finished our day around the fire eating stuffed apples baked in the coals, and trying our vegetable soup.
Once all the children had left and we had tidied up, we still chose to stay outside to finish up some of our planning work. Each day we complete daily reflections, discuss the wonderful experiences we have been so blessed to be part of over the day, examine our successes and challenges and use all of this information as a tool to plan further experiences for the children.
Written by Nic