Every Friday, the 10 eldest children at Mairtown Kindergarten along with a parent helper, a teacher and Sarah (our admin support) spend the whole of their Kindergarten session exploring Mairpark. Last Friday was the final nature programme for this term and we welcomed a visitor, Clair, a teacher from Auckland who wanted to discover more about our programme.
Developing physical and gross motor skills
Creating opportunities for risk-taking
Each week children have the opportunity to make their own decisions about the morning; which areas of the park to visit, how long to spend in any area, where to next? This is great for developing negotiation and team working skills.
Last Friday was very relaxed, and we took full advantage of the glorious winter sunshine. One of the first places the children decided they wanted to visit was the area known fondly as ‘the beach’. Several weeks ago at this same spot the children had engaged in some ephemeral art. You can imagine our surprise when we discovered (even after all the rain) that most of this work was still there and intact. This little revelation inspired the children to re-visit this topic and they spent a great deal of the morning creating more beautiful works of art, and all from the natural resources that surrounded them.
Developing ways to be creative and expressive
Next we moved onto ‘punga hill’ and after finding the long rope in our back pack had a lot of fun sliding on our bottoms down the hill, then used the rope to help pull ourselves back to the top.
And yes, even the teachers can't resist having a turn!
Children find their own objects in play
Learning about nature,
Learning alongside nature,
Learning in nature.
The rope is a fantastic resource and a short while later came in very handy in making a tree swing.
Before we knew it (time seems to fly past in the bush) it was time to leave, and say goodbye to Mairpark for this term. What a great morning!
“I am trying to understand not a single isolated object but nature as a whole – how the leaf has grown, how it has changed, how it has decayed, how the weather is affected by it. By working with a leaf in its place I begin to understand these processes.”
Here is a small video clip of our morning.