The month of August…
The month of August has brought us so much joy, as the days get longer so does our time in nature.
We have enjoyed frosty mornings, and sunny afternoons. The frost tickles our senses, we taste it, touch it, scrape it. The sun warms our bodies, from the inside out. And as it lowers in the winter afternoons it changes the way our bush looks, as glowing shadows appear all around us.
We continue to enjoy our bush days, and whenever the weather is warm enough we enjoy a bush sleep. On a few sunny days recently even our Baby Bear friends have come to join us. As five or six babies settle down to sleep in-between our Big Bears we see such enjoyment from siblings and friends, so grateful for each other’s company. When the Baby Bears wake they are taken down to the campfire zone to play and our Big Bears do such a wonderful job of caring for them during this time.
Pallet play has continued, as Barclay’s family and Kirsty. J made a large delivery of them. The children all worked together to lift the pallets off the Utes, and carry them to their new location. Stacking them, cutting them, nailing them, the children have enjoyed creating many new items with these resources.
In the first week of August many Big Bears enjoyed working together to build a cubby house at the top of the hill. Equipped with a letterbox, bucket and pully, window and much more, the children really created something worth showing off. As the educators watched on and supported the children it was wonderful to see so many creative inputs into the design of the cubby. During this experience educators realised how extremely well the Big Bears now hammer, and it became apparent that the new challenge they are trying to concur is knot tying, as rope became a favourite building resource.
Last year Sarah found a totem tennis game at a garage sale for us. After sitting forgotten in the shed for nearly a year we have set this game up in the bush.
With the addition of the Totem Tennis set many children have found a connection to their home environment and will spend endless time playing Totem Tennis with each other.
Swinging a racket is a simple way for your dominant hand to spontaneously cross the midline. The ability to cross the midline is important on the physical level as well as on the brain level.
Just like last month we have been enjoying the muddiest part of the bush, slipping, sliding and simply immersing our senses in it. One very rainy day we saw the river running very heavily! Unable to contain ourselves we jumped right in, some children even lying down in the river!
On this particular day we have a group of international TAFE students join us, coming along to see what childcare in Australia looks like. Boy, oh boy did we ever show them. The students were simply amazed at how resilient, caring and capable our children were in this rainy, wet, environment. Always helping each other up, tackling whatever obstacle lay ahead of them, with such a can-do attitude.
Each year as the children’s skills progress, we begin to see more items produced that take up lots of fine motor and hand-eye skills. Sewing, weaving, painting etc. all fall into this category. Upon being inspired by other centers around the area many educators have banded together to prepare for the first ever Gaia’s Nest Fair. During circle time conversations the children were consulted as to how they might contribute, as their many, many ideas sprang forth. One of the top ideas was to sew love hearts, an activity many of the older children did last year with our educator April before she left for maternity leave.
Together, with educators help the children have been cutting two heart shapes out, then sewing and stuffing them. At first the children often need assistance, and an educator must hold the heart for them and direct them as to where they should put their next stitch. After some practice the children will end up taking control of the entire operation, no longer needing assistance at all!
We have been very busy for this fair, rolling felt balls, getting mucky, yucky hands for seed bombs, rolling in paint for a canvas and much more! As we work the children are beginning to take ownership over the fair, placing their special items into the office cupboard ready for selling, often pondering over who might buy it.
Next month we look forward to our excursions to Molesworth and Sam’s house, along with more fair preparations!
All of our educators will be contributors to our blog. We really enjoy our daily reflections as we revisit our days with the children and their achievements and successes. These blogs will share the stories of the children and the beauty in our days. We hope you enjoy them!