So often when we ask child care centre educators about the children’s favourite activities, they’ll say ‘excursions!’
The children love getting out and about in their local community, exploring new areas, getting to know people, and just having a change of scene.
1. Build their confidence at the local supermarket
Some centres will take the children on a trip to the local supermarket, as part of their cooking experience. So they’ll make a list of what they need, walk to the store, and find everything they need to prepare their recipe.
It’s a great lesson for children about how to follow instructions, and they also learn about weight (‘We need two kilos of potatoes’), measurement (‘let’s choose five long carrots’) and the value of money (‘let’s choose this brand as it’s a bit cheaper,’).
It’s not just the supermarket that they visit, many centres go for a trip to the local art gallery, botanic gardens, local parks - some even stop at a cafe for a babycino. It’s just about getting the children out into the community and exposing them to different people and experiences.
2. Develop a love of learning at the library
Many centres take their little ones on an outing to the local library. The children can choose books to read with their educators, listen to story time, and enjoy some nice quiet games with their friends.
Teaching children about borrowing books is a great way to prepare them for life at school, and it develops a love of reading that we know is so beneficial.
3. Prepare for the next step in their education at local primary schools
With many centres being close to their local primary schools, some have developed a relationship with them to help the children with their eventual transition to school.
This could be regular visits to the school, the library, the kindergarten class or the playground there. Anything we can do to get the children familiar with the space is going to reduce any anxiety that they feel when they begin formal schooling.
Many centres encourage their older children to bring a lunchbox in their final term at child care, to get them used to the new school routine.
4. Get close to nature with bush kindy
Nature is the greatest teacher of all, so what better way to educate our children than by taking them out to the bush or beach?
Some centres offer bush kinder, forest school, beach kindy, nature play...whatever you call it, it adds up to great fun for the children.
They get to head out to local bushland, climb trees, collect sticks, look for animals, jump, run and play in the great outdoors.
Read more about this centre’s ‘Forest School’ program
5. Develop relationships with the community at aged care facilities
Many centres have developed strong relationships with local aged care facilities. This gives the children an opportunity to form friendships with the residents, show them their artwork, perform songs and rhymes for them, share morning tea, and hold special events for them such as Mother’s Day celebrations.
For the residents of the aged care facilities, it’s a great chance to make a new friend and enjoy the company of the younger generation.
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