In the five months I have been at Gumnut Gardens I have only been to ‘bush kindy’ a few times. I have been this morning. WOW. What a fantastic, fun time with so many learning opportunities. The following is a summary of the children’s learning. I have chosen to document the learning in this format for the purposes of sharing with students at University.
|ACTIVITY||LEARNING /SKILL DEVELOPMENT|
|Freedom to explore the open space.|
Individual children are selected “to set the boundaries.” When the boundaries are selected the children play and explore within these spaces. The children are trusted to stay within the boundaries. To provide opportunities for a child to develop trust, also supports children to develop the skill of self-regulation and resilience.
Freedom of exploration is sense of agency.
|Initiating games and exploration.||To invent and initiate games with ‘nature’ as the prompt and the background develops the child’s sense of creativity and imagination. Because of the wide open unencumbered spaces children can be observed playing and moving differently to when they are in a confined space and area.|
|Social exploration||The children move in and around different friendship groups. Children will be attracted to a group because of the ‘game’ that is being played. Children tend to play in different groups. The size of the play group is dependent on the game and the open space encourages and supports larger group games, which is more inclusive.|
|Sustained learning||Research on children’s learning identifies the benefits for long uninterrupted periods/blocks of time to support and assist children in their exploration, problem solving and scaffolding their learning.|
|Nature – sustainability|
The park visit allows children to see and ‘be’ in nature on a regular basis. Hence, they have the opportunity to explore and experience nature as it changes with the seasons. They investigate the trees plants and birds. Children use the the “bird guide” to check what bird is that – this is children as researchers.
Educators discuss with children about caring for our natural environment, the relevance and importance.
|Meaningful curriculum||Projects are viewed and considered as meaningful curriculum rather than the approach of one off experiences. The ‘park’ is an going project which affords the children to revisit their learning. The documentation of the park project reaffirms the children’s investigations, acknowledges and validates the children as active learners.|
|Learning dispositions.||The ‘park’ affords children to engage their different learning dispositions. Learning dispositions are described as “habits of mind or tendencies to respond in characteristic ways” (EYLF). Exploring, running and having an adventure in the park engages learning dispositions of curiosity, problem solving, hypothesising, persistence, initiating and negotiating just to name a few.|
|Gross motor and fine motor development.||Some of the areas children choose to visit have lots of rocks to climb and navigate. I watched a child today negotiating and trying on several occasions to climb a rock to get to the top. He kept trying and after a few attempts without assistance achieved his goal. This is persistence with a successful outcome. This child now has an “image” of his capabilities. His success will be the motivation for further exploration.|
4th July, 2017.