It’s about relationships not toys

Our weekly emails often talk about the importance of relationships. This is because the EYLF and MTOP have a focus on relationships as they’re based on the theory called Social Constructivism.

Social constructivism says that learning and development occur when children interact with their social and cultural environment. Children are active learners who construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world from their interactions with family, peers, friends and their community.

In the following paragraphs, Brenda, the nominated supervisor of Hay Early Learning Centre, talks about how she is working on strengthening the relationships between educators and babies.

Just wanted to say that I have enjoyed this week’s YouTube clips. I especially liked Matthew’s quote “It’s not the equipment that gives you the learning, it’s the relationship.”  I feel this reinforces what I did with the 0-2 room this week when I took the toys out and left books and hand puppets for the educators to use during their interactions with the little ones. Over the years one of our girls often asked for more baby toys, not realising that they don’t need lots of bright coloured toys, they just need our attention and interactions. I imagine babies have plenty of toys at home, so I would like to think our main role is to provide the quality interactions.

I am putting a bigger emphasis on language and literacy for this age group this year, another reason why I removed the toys. This means the educators have to interact with the children through singing, talking and reading, which is more beneficial for them than flash, bright toys.

I was pleased to see one of the girls lying on the floor playing with a baby today, whilst a near 2 year old thought it would be fun to hop onto her back.

Our girls have always had good relationships with the babies, but by removing the toys, these relationships will only get better, and I look forward to sharing this with the families. We have a larger number of 0-2s attending this year, which has prompted the review and changes.

How do you develop children’s learning? Do you focus on relationships or equipment and toys?


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