This week in the Koala group we looked at our relations with others in the room. This was facilitated through our love for sea animals. We have also seen the development of cooperative play between some of the children within the group.
Last week we had read a book about a shark struggling to make friends called Smiley Shark. This book encourages the children to see that people who look different to them still just want to make friends. In order to help personalise the story, we used puppets to act it out this week. By repeating the story, this helps to consolidate the message of the book. Each child had a puppet and we were better able to discuss the feelings of each of the characters; asking questions such as, why don’t the other sea animals talk to smiley shark? And, how does that make smiley shark feel? This required the children to empathise with the shark, and understand his feelings of being “other”, separate from the group. This story will be reused throughout the year to assist with understanding “other”.
Many of the children have expressed a desire to dance at kinder, so we have provided some opportunity for free dance in the past. This week we have been playing musical statues within the room. In this game, the children dance to the music and then freeze once it stops. This does require concentration from the children. In order to ensure the game was tied to what we had been learning this past week, the game was sea creature themed; we began sitting on “the sea” (a blue sheet) and then we danced to the music as sea animals and froze like starfish. This activity will be repeated throughout the year.
In order to facilitate the cooperate play which is developing within the room, we have been putting out more games for the children to play. These games do require cooperation along with patience and turn taking. These skills are essential for your child’s emotional and social development, and something which we will work on throughout the year. This year is the foundation for this area of development and ensuring strong social and emotional skills within the children will assist further growth in cognitive and physical development.
Jess and Fiona