Family camping trips create a learning environment that leads to calm


Family camping trips create a learning environment that leads to calm.

Samuel used the bark pieces in the outdoor environment to construct with, making them into one big pile. Mel the Educator asked Samuel “what is it?” Samuel said “fire”. Mel asked “like the fire you made with Daddy on your camping trip?” Samuel replied “yes” and nodded his head as he continued to build the fire.

Planning the environment on the spot

Mel the Educator extended on Samuel’s interest inside. Mel set up a campsite with pots, pan and a fire made from cellophane. Samuel was intrigued by this as he gathered around. Matt the Educator placed the pan onto the fire and asked Samuel “What can we cook?” Samuel replied “eggs.” Matt then asked him “where can we get the eggs?” Samuel walked over to the home corner, returning with an egg and placing it into the pan (demonstrating he was actively listening and understood what Matt had asked).

Samuel’s friends Archie, Harriet and Ignatius showed interest as they also began to gather items from the home corner and place them into the pan on the fire (actively contributing to the experience.) Matt then exclaimed “our food is ready.” Samuel walked back to the home corner where he grabbed the plates in a basket (demonstrating his understanding of sequence and order and what comes next.) Harriet & Archie enjoyed sharing   Samuel’s family culture as they were watching and learning. They continued to engage in pretend play freely recreating this camping experience.

Samuel and Archie extended this play experience by moving over to where the dinosaurs were. They both placed the dinosaurs on the table where Matt was sitting. Samuel proceeded to transfer and adapt what they have learned from one context to another by getting the plates and food for the dinosaurs to eat.

Matt became the intentional teacher and planned on the spot by arranging the plates, food and dinosaurs in a sequence – three dinosaurs, three plates and three lots of food. Samuel handed Matt another dinosaur and Matt arranged it on the table and asked Samuel “What does this dinosaur need?” Immediately Samuel contributed constructively to mathematical argument by identifying the dinosaur was missing a plate and food and proceeded to get them for the fourth dinosaur.

See how planning the play environment occurs on the spot.


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