Foundation building in Dolphins Room
Whats been happening in the first three months?
It’s been such a ride this year .
There is no better way to describe this journey than the classic metaphor ‘ Life is a roller coaster”
There has been high points and low points and sharp bends to navigate. Sometimes its scary and sometimes it’s fun but the important thing is…. to just enjoy the ride.
This is where we draw from our certified resilience program to guide our little people through lifes changes.
Resilience is a large sector of foundation building. Teaching resilience at this age is a preventative to anxiety.
For our Dolphins peeps we’ve been focusing on developing routines and implementing solid foundations for future learning.
Foundation building is about organised Learning elements.
The four elements that are considered essential to optimal learning and healthy development are;
Belonging, Well-Being, Engagement and Expression.
Our Learning in progress includes:
- Guiding the children to begin expanding on their language skills and developing longer sentences;
- Extending on the children interests with imaginative and sensory play;
- Strengthening the children’s fine motor skills and cognitive development;
- Laying the foundations for learning by encouraging group time routines to allow the children a calm environment for learning; and
- Gross motor movement and developing spatial awareness within our surroundings
Repetition is Key
Group time learning has been about setting the foundation blocks ready to build upon as the year goes on.
As a class we developed a group time routine that includes activities and intentional teaching aids like;
- Emotions flashcards;
- Colour matching games;
- Animal recognition; and
- Our growth mindset song.
It is important for toddlers to have predictable routine within their day as routines give children a sense of security and stability.
Routines help the children feel safe and secure in their environment.
Children gain an understanding of everyday events and procedures as they learn what is expected of them. Routines make their environment more predictable.
We started by setting a flexible routine and keeping it consistent, so the children could predict what happened next in our day.
Social and Emotional development
Our first three months of emotional learning is primarily recognising, that we choose to have different emotions and then how to self regulate them.
We did this by creating a set of “robot” flashcards that depict different emotions and used them as a visual aid every day at group time.
We constructed “no mess sensory bags” using rice that the children coloured with food colouring.
The children then matched an emotion card to the colour of rice and this was added to each bag.
Another favourite activity was our handmade sensory bottles which the children made using a variety of different sensory accessories from glitter to fluffy pom poms.
Their favourite part of the process was adding the baby oil to water then dripping in the food colouring and watching the drips of colour fall to the bottom of the bottle.
All these sensory items are available to the children each day to help with emotional regulation.
Builds nerve connections in the brain’s pathways, which lead to the child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks.
Sensory play supports;
- Language development;
- Cognitive growth;
- Fine and gross motor skills;
- Problem solving skills;
- Social interaction; and
- Creates mindful activities which strengthens connections between the children.
Three times throughout the year we assess the children’s development using the developmental milestones checklist.
This is a clear guide to the level of development the children should be at by a certain age.
Developmental milestones act as checkpoints in a child’s development to determine what the average child is able to do at a particular age.
The main categories of developmental milestones include the physical, mental, social, and communication skills learned at each stage in the child’s growth.
As each child develops the milestones give us a foundation to work from in helping the children reach each area of learning and development.
We offer a daily variety of achievable and tricky gross motor activities;
from teaching set activities like jumping games and yoga to self-directed play activities like the outdoor obstacle course, sandpit and fort play.
Fine motor skills involve the use of the small muscles that control the hand, fingers, and thumb.
They help children perform important tasks like feeding themselves, grasping toys, buttoning and zipping clothes, writing, drawing, and more.
The ability to complete self-care and everyday tasks helps a child’s self-esteem and confidence to increase.
Developing fine motor skills in early childhood education helps build the foundation for important future skills.
We have supported the children’s fine motor development by challenging their skills with;
play dough squeezing, threading, colouring in, self-dressing, cutting paper and painting with different objects.
All of these skills are vital to learn in early years to set the children up for a successful childhood and beyond.
We are looking forward to taking each child on their own personal learning journey throughout the rest of the year.
That’s all from us in Dolphins for Foundation Building, until next quarter.