Hello Forest Room Families and welcome to our term 1 newsletter. I want to start by saying it is great to have so many new families in the Forest room this year and how well all the children have transitioned into their new room. The children have settled into the room with confidence to explore the new environment and an eager attitude ready to learn and build on their skills and capabilities.
It is crazy to think how quick this term has gone by and where we stand this year compared to last. Looking forward, we cannot wait to continue seeing children learn , grow and develop, some of the events to focus on to include:
-April 22nd Earth Day
-April 25th Anzac Day
-April 29th Library Incursion (Forest & Field)
-May 7th Mothers Day/Special person day morning tea
-May 14th Beanie Day
-May 19th National Simultaneous Story Day
-May 26th National Sorry Day
-May 23-3rd June National Reconciliation Week
-June 14th-18th Nutrition Week
-July 4th-11th NAIDOC Week
This term has been all around adapting to the new environment, adjusting to forest room routines and discovering our strengths and areas to work upon during the year.
This has included morning and mid day group times, indoor/outdoor play, progressive meal times, relaxation/sleep period and engaging at set play experiences.
Just a few little reminders:
- please ensure everything that is brought into the centre is named labelled.
- as we move into the colder months ensuring children have multiple changes of clothes and include jumpers , jackets, beanies, scarfs and gumboots. We will be continuing our indoor/outdoor program over the winter months as it is a valuable part to their learning
- Please ensure children are bringing along a bag and drink bottle each day
- Remember we are always here to support your child and family the best we can. Do not hesitate to reach out through story park, email, phone call and of course in person
- Children are being signed in and out each day with the iPad in reception.
This term has been all about children adjusting to structured group times and using these times to focus on certain topics.
Our morning 'welcome' group time is all about welcoming the children to a new day as a group through dance and song. Across the year each morning the children will be singing the songs 'Together' ' Wake up' and then individually saying 'Good morning' . This group time enables children to start the day with a predictable routine and continues to build their sense of belonging and identity in the Forest room.
For term 2 we will be introducing further songs that incorporate Auslan Signing for the children to build their communication skills and explore different ways of being verbal.
Next up our group times in the middle of day have been focusing all about emotions, focus topics and the days of the week.
At this age children are navigating their way through a whole range of emotions and discovering how these emotions feel, look like and ways to manage their own emotions and those of others. This will be a topic we will covering all year, starting this term we have looked at:
Our aim is for children to be happy here at Haven, with themselves, their peers, engaged at activities and with educators. However this emotion is often over looked and not focused on. Focusing on the emotion of happy we looked at
-Happy Poster, describing that when someone has a smile they are happy. Other signs our how our body looks when we are happy included hands up on the air and jumping
-NeeNaw the Little Fire Engine. This story/song is a catchy one but the children loved to sing along and see what NeeNaw gets up to. NeeNaw explains we can be happy doing things we love - such as putting out fires and then we are happy when we love the person we are.
-When I'm feeling happy , this story was great for children to discover little bits of information such as when we feel happy we may feel bouncy , laughing feels great and helping someone can make us and others happy.
It is natural for children to feel sad within themselves and others. We need to ensure we can help children navigate their sadness and learn how they and other may express being sad.
-Sad Poster, Looking at a sad picture children could identify with tears on his face a child may be sad along with looking down and shoulders shrugged may be another visual sign of sadness.
-When I'm Feeling Sad, again this story provides little sayings children can relate to express. Such as feeling sad i feel droopy, i want to crawl into bed and it is ok to feel sad, leaning on others can make us feel better.
-Puff The Magic Dragon, this is a beautiful story and song where children can recognise feelings of sadness and identify moments in someone's life that may result to sadness and how this doesn't last forever.
Further Focus Topics have included
Days of the Week- Reading the Very Hungry Caterpillar & Mrs Honey's Hat
Cultural Diversity- This Love, Wombat Stew, Possum Magic, We paint the world with our colour
Identity- I am Me, The Feelings Book, Self portraits
Environmental Awareness- Where does all the garbage go
The Power of Imaginary Play
This term we have noticed the children have a huge interest in imaginary play and are wanting to be involved in as many imaginary play experiences as possible.
Each fortnight when we complete our programming we ensure that we are meeting this interest of children providing a variety of experiences, this has included home corner play of cafe/restaurant, baby doll play, technology table, all sorts of animal imaginary play , beauty table, pirate ship and car/digger and truck play. This sort of play has so many learning benefits for children that include:
- Builds language skills and vocabulary, communicating with one another and being exposed to new words
- Builds social play skills encouraging cooperation , negotiation and listening to the opinions of others. This in turn boosting self regulation and problem solving skills
- Expands children's imagination and creative thinking processes
- Allows for building self identity in role playing different identity roles and expressing themselves in play
Do you have any suggestions for imaginary play? We would love to hear your child's interests. We would also appreciate any donations of old items such as phones/computers/beauty/bags/dress ups.
What we have been up to !
This term has been a busy one on top of settling into a new room and new year, children have been engaged in learning about events that as a community we recognise and celebrate.
-Chinese New Year
The year of the Ox! For this event children were engaged in craft creating lanterns and dragons. With Lainie we made dumplings and furthered our learning looking at Chinese symbols and zodiac sings.
-Pancake (Shrove) Tuesday
The yummiest day of the children , children engaged in making pancake batter and then enjoyed these yummy treats for afternoon tea.
-Cultural Diversity Week
Combing this week with harmony day children explored different colours and features of identity though focused on the theme that we all may be different but we come together in harmony and respect.
-St Patricks Day
For this day we focused on the colour green and known symbols such as shamrocks and post of gold. Along with this we got cooking making traditional boxty (potato pancake)
This day is all about colour and spreading joy. The children created a group art work piece spraying paints and also enjoyed creating and eating samosas with Lainie.
One of the highlights of the term is engaging with children with Easter craft and our Easter Egg Hunt. The children love to tell stories of their family Easter celebrations.
-Woolworths Discovery Garden
Thankyou to all that donated discovery pots and milk bottles. We look forward to seeing our garden grow over the next term. The children loved engaging in planting lots of different herbs, vegetables, fruits and flowers. They have continued to help water, transfer into larger containers and watching grow each day.