Children are play experts.
They inherently know what they want and what they need for their development and they learn best when they’re focused and engaged in play they initiate.
As an educator or parent, have you ever noticed that you tend to jump in and try to “help” children? If you can allow them to come up with solutions for themselves you are supporting them to empower themselves and this is going to have a lasting impact on the rest of their lives.
Child led play also gives your children ownership of their play and experiences. This is extremely important as it helps with the development of their sense of identity and self-esteem. It develops their belief in themselves as thinkers and learners.
As you can see, it's a skill and a tool that they will have for the rest of their lives, which will benefit them far greater in many areas of their life.
Intentional teaching is vitally important to early education, there’s no doubt about it but as educators...
As we navigate the many changes that have occurred and are still occurring in the world as a result of Covid-19, and we’re all stressed, over-worked, and fearful of our futures, it got me thinking about JOY.
Because that’s what we all need right, is a little joy.
To feel carefree, be present in the moment rather than fearful of the future, and connect with what we love doing.
This got me thinking about the innocence of children and their carefree nature, and how for the most part, the children we have in our care both at work as educators or at home as parents, are relatively unscathed by the recent world events.
Sure, their lives have changed. They have had more time at home with their parents, but they aren’t worrying about their future. They continue to be engrossed in the magic of whatever they’re doing in the present moment.
Children have an innate ability to connect with what they’re doing and love doing it, regardless of their external...
An essential part of children’s development is allowing them to have choice. By letting them problem solve regarding risk-taking we promote self-confidence in their learning.
However, when it comes to having choice over their daily activities, a less is more approach is best and here’s why.
Frequently I speak with educators about the program they’re providing for their children and they’ll have multiple major activities planned for one day. It’s not uncommon for a baking experience, craft, and some painting to occur all in a single day.
This is too much. Children are exhausted.
A less is more approach is needed to foster the deep learning of children and allow them the space to feel the joy of being present and fully engaged in what they’re doing.
When children can deeply immerse themselves into their games, their play and investigate their environment then they learn how to hold focus and think deeply.
Look around you and consider the space...
The role of an early educator comes with many challenges, there’s no doubt about it.
You’re simultaneously trying to support the implementation of an approved learning framework, support the children’s wellbeing, learning and development, whilst also providing care and fostering positive relationships.
There’s a lot going on.
But there’s also a lot of joy that comes with the role – otherwise you wouldn’t do it. You genuinely nurture the little people in your care and want the best for them.
As an early educator, you have an opportunity to innovatively plan your programming and conduct deep dives into each of the core areas whilst also making it about play for the children in your care.
I’ve spoken previously about the importance of rhythm.
Children thrive when there’s routine and rhythm that they feel they can consistently rely on and whilst they do adapt to changes fairly well, a perceived small change to an adult can actually...