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Nau Mai Haere mai. Welcome to Mairtown Kindergarten's blog.

21 Princes Street, Kensington, Whangarei, New Zealand

Phone: 09 437 2742

Email: mairtown@nka.org.nz

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Thursday, 17 March 2016

For the love of the sandpit!

Recently I have been reflecting on how much joy and engagement happens in our sandpit every day. When I first started my studies in becoming a qualified early childhood teacher, I would have to go on placements. In all my placements over the years I always found myself using the sandpit as a safe place to settle myself into my new surroundings, a space to support me in making connections with children who I had never met before and getting involved at their level in their play. I often notice to this day how children use our sandpit in a similar way, a settling tool, a way to build relationships with others and a place to indulge in wonderful play experiences.
The sandpit is often a space which is hive of activity, fostering individual and group play situations. Even in the busiest of times it seems to be un-chaotic, children deeply engaged in many different games and experiences but all working cohesively together.
Concepts such as co-construction, negotiation, cooperation, spatial awareness, sharing and problem solving are brought to the forefront for children as they utilise all the great qualities the sandpit provides. The benefits of playing in the sandpit for children is immense. The sandpit is a great space for social, emotional and language development. While playing in the sand children use communication skills as they talk about what they are doing and how to do things. They share equipment and learn to get on with others. The imaginary and role play that children also engage in provides lots of opportunities for storytelling and helps them make connections with others who have similar interests. This is wonderful for supporting them in forming meaningful relationships with their peers at kindergarten, which in turn will foster their sense of belonging.
“Sand provides many opportunities and possibilities for mathematical and science learning as children dig, measure, fill, construct, and compare... Sand play also gives many opportunities for children to develop the language of social interaction and negotiation.”
(ECE Educate, Ministry of Education NZ)
It is such a rewarding and wonderful part of my job to be privy to the benefits of such a wonderful resource. The sandpit will always be a space that is supporting and enhancing our children’s learning and development and it will also always be a space that I hold dear to my heart.
Till next time,

1 comment:

Christie said...

Your reflections on the sand pit are rather thought-provoking. Until now, I never took the time to stop and consider such a space as vital tool to introducing children to community. I think back episodes of the Rugrats playing in the sandbox and this notion reminds me children learn at very young age the importance of human connection.

Christie @ Waldorf School of Baltimore