Thursday, 1 February 2018

Plymouth Synagogue Visit

An important aspect of working with early years children is ensuring they have a good knowledge and understanding of the community within which they live. For this reason I try and provide the children with as many opportunities to interact with the local community as possible. Today we were lucky enough to be invited on a trip to Plymouth Synagogue.

The children (and me!) learnt some simple facts about Judaism. For example we talked about the Sabbath being a Saturday and a rest day and discussed how the women sit up in the gallery with the children while the men sit on the ground floor to worship. 

The tour was very hands on for the children and they enjoyed a variety of dressing up, handling items from within the synagogue such as bells and bowls and, their favourite part, trying some Kosher snacks.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Parkwood House Residential and Nursing Home

Channel 4 recently produced a documentary that followed the success for both children and residents of allowing four year olds to visit an old people's home. The theory behind the documentary was that a four year old is unhindered by prejudice and an 80 year age gap is no barrier to friendship. The young children are considered to force people to live in the moment. 

Following on from this a fellow childminder arranged for us to visit Parkwood House several times a month with our minded children. We have been for two play sessions now and ,on both occasions, the staff and residents have been so welcoming. The children are able to play freely in a room where only residents who want to participate come and join us. In only two weeks the children have gained so much from the interaction whilst the smiles on the faces of the residents demonstrates the mutual enjoyment.  One two year old went home telling his parents the names of the ladies he had met and asked me if we were going to go to the house with the blue door again!

Our activities so far have included singing, pom pom throwing, reading and puzzles and playing with the inflatable hoopla game. The children have already got to know some of the names of the residents and are keen to interact with these new play mates! The biggest all round success has been singing time which gets everyone attempting some tunes!

This is an activity that we would definitely like to develop further as we feel this not only benefits the residents but meets all areas of learning for the children:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: social interaction with both adults and their peers
Physical Development: We have done puzzles and throwing games developing fine and gross motor skills. 
Communication and Language: The children are following instructions, talking to residents and to each other. 
Literacy: Children are reading books with the residents
Numeracy: Children have been completing puzzles through to counting out the number of fish in the house fish tank. 
Understanding the World: Children are gaining an understanding of their community 
Expressive Art & Design: Children have been singing and dancing 

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Making Christmas Gifts 2017

The children take great pride in taking things home that they have made themselves as well as enjoying giving gifts to their parents. For that reason we focussed on a variety of different things that the children could take home from art and craft projects through to baked goods. 

For cards and decorations the children used their increasing dexterity to stick tissue paper to objects, spread glue and pick up small gems to decorate their items with. They used their language and understanding of the world to ask for different coloured paper and gems. We had some interesting reactions to glue on fingers with some definitely less bothered than others.   

The children were so excited to be making gingerbread shapes and all washed their hands in preparation. They took it in turns to weigh, pour, mix and roll as well as selecting cutters to finally cut out their shapes. They waited eagerly while the gingerbread cooked and were keen to tell their parents about the presents that they had made them for Christmas.