A young child knelt to check out the woodchips that he dug during playtime outside. He found some of the woodchips inside the inner lining of the recycled tire. He reached his hand with a red shovel to scoop it back. The child used to love scooping the woodchip and pouring outside the playground. The educator normally would say, “No thank you. Woodchips stay inside the playground.” Yet, the educator redirected the child to the recycled tires and poured some woodchips into it. “I wonder where the woodchips fell into?” said the educator. The child quickly scooped some and poured them into the tires.
Changing the focus point
The speaker, Lewis (2020), mentions how educators should embrace the ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’ when following up with children’s dailyness, curiosity, and experimentation. For example, he says, “it is important for [children] to climb. It is crucial for their development. We want to create space and show them what is okay to climb on. And we want to focus on that… But when we say ‘no, stop’ we’re putting the focus on the things that we don’t want them to do. And that means that they’re going to focus on it too.” When children meet their needs, things that educators ask, or mention may be natural for them to focus on. Physical activities are a large factor for children. When they have enough time and care for these factors, they focus more time on other factors.
Learning as a natural form
Lewis (2020) also states that academic learning can be projected in a natural way to children starting from a young age. It doesn’t have to be strict, rigid, and still. For example, he said, the educator needs to know and understand children’s interests and likings. If the child is interested in sensory explorations, they can present any learning opportunities such as phonics or numbers into the sensory explorations. Some of the activities and exploration that educators can incorporate in their curriculum are the Bitaa activities Fingerprint Counting, Colour Mixing with Light, and Carrot Counting. He continues to communicate about children with tantrums, he says “first thing is to identify what the tantrum is about. More times than not, children are not giving you a hard time, they’re having a hard time. They’re emotionally dis-regulated.” Like above mentioned, children go through many factors during the day and they drive themselves together with the educators to meet their needs.
- Chazz Lewis. (2020). How to Create Fun Learning Experiences for Young Children [ Audio Podcast]. Himama. Retrieved from https://blog.himama.com
- Bitaa Activities:
Colour Mixing with Light