Month: May 2014

Babies in the Rain

As regular readers and members of the Flinders Community would be aware, we are very interested in outdoor play and winter outdoor play. Preschool and Sturt House both run successful winter play programs, and May Mills House are beginning their journey this year. But there is another house of educators and children who are interested in learning more…what would happen if we took the babies out to play? We wanted to share with you a video of babies engaged in rain play, but we couldn’t quite find the right one, the one that really resonated with us. So instead we have made a pinterest board to inspire us, we would love you to take a look at it by clicking on the link below… What do you think?

The Image of the Child

Over the past couple of months the Programming Educators and Assistant Directors at Flinders have been exploring the image of the child. What does this idea mean? What is our image of the child? What does the Flinders child look like? How does this impact on our practice and programs? An interesting journey… We began by exploring what the phrase ‘image of the child’ means. Originating in the Reggio Emilia philosophy, the image of the child corresponds to people’s beliefs about who children are and what they can do. Not individual children, but children broadly. So when we talk about the image of the child we are talking about all children; not just a quality or personality trait or disposition that is a part of one child’s character. The image of the child informs all areas of our practice, be it consciously or unconsciously. Because the image of the child has such a significant impact on our practice, we began to explore some descriptors, some terms that could encapsulate our collective image of children. This is a complex process to undertake within a group of educators; so much of this is about values and attitudes. Yet we recognise that having a statement or series of terms that we all agreed clarified our collective image of the child, a definition of the Flinders child, could helps us to support children, educators and families in new an interesting ways. We could use this statement as a touchstone to refer to in ourRead more

Hidden Woods – Being inspired

I’ve been watching this video over and over lately, and feeling inspired by it’s message. Connecting children to the natural world is a key part of our journey at Flinders, and finding moments of inspirations such as this help validate our path. This video is making us think about how we can translate these experiences to our context – how can we generate deep connections with nature for children? Especially those children who are under three? What environments should we develop, what experiences should we facilitate? How can we build hidden woods at Flinders?

Heuristic Play and Treasure Baskets

We’ve been thinking a bit about heuristic play and treasure baskets lately. Heuristic play is “used to describe the activity of a toddler when he plays with objects…this play is not a social activity as it concerns how the toddler experiments with the objects and the environment…This kind of play can be desribed as ‘experimental’, as the toddler’s primary interest is to discover what he can do with the objects he finds.” ( A. M. Hughes, Developing Play for the Unders 3s). Heuristic play is playing with real things, and treasure baskets are collections of real things that have a common connection, such as all wood, all metal, and so on. Treasure baskets are for one child at a time, to be explored as they see fit, with minimal interaction with an educator or parent, although the adult should always remain close by. The video shows 11 month old Freya with her treasure basket for the first time. We can see how engaged she is, how interested and involved, how exploratory and curious and competent she is. She remains here, playing, for eight and a half minutes, and many advocates of heuristic and treasure basket play recommend leaving space for half an hour to an hour of uninterrupted time for child’s play. We loved seeing how completely involved this child was, and are keen to begin exploring heuristic play and treasure baskets at Flinders. Imagine babies and young toddlers engaged in a single play experience for this length of time…trulyRead more