In the Koala room, we have a strong interest in animals of all kinds. After reading about the beach last week, we have shifted further towards looking after the environment in which animals live. This coincided with Clean Up Australia Day which we celebrated on Thursday.
To prepare for Clean Up Australia Day, we read books about the sea and talked about rubbish floating in the water. The children all identified that rubbish “did not belong” in the water and we discussed where it should go. On Thursday, we had a lengthy discussion about what would happen to sea creatures if there was rubbish in their water. This discussion came about after we observed a very precious, dried seahorse which had been given to us by a parent from the Kangaroo group. The children provided answers for where the rubbish should go rather than on the ground. This was then followed up with a story about recycling. During snack time, the children are encouraged to throw rubbish away and put their food scraps in the compost bin; there is mention of not wanting the sea animals to get sick as they do this. Clean Up Australia Day is a focus for our group as in encourages the children to look outside their own family and kinder to the wider community. This creates better informed and empathetic citizens.
As we get to know each other, it is inevitable that there will be conflict that arises among the children, particularly with the development of cooperative play. Each time this happens is a perfect opportunity to discuss relations with others with the children. This gives them in the moment experience to reflect on their actions and how they impact others. These discussions are also held more generally at mat times with a focus on “room rules”.