Building with 4 year olds
It’s an exciting time when services decide to renovate their outdoor environments. At this point though, many services are concerned about the balance between safety and risk. There is an emphasis on protecting children from harm and hazards in the NQS and Regs, but did you know that there is also the requirement for services to provide “challenging elements of outdoor and indoor environments that allow for experiences that scaffold children’s learning and development and offer chances for appropriate risk taking?” NQS Guide 3.1.1 What is appropriate?
EYLF and MTOP also include risk taking as evidence of children’s progress towards learning outcomes eg
1.2 children take considered risk in their decision-making and cope with the unexpected
3.1 Children make choices, accept challenges, take considered risks,
4.2 Educators plan learning environments with appropriate levels of challenge where children are encouraged to take appropriate risks
Here Tyler and Darcy are removing the excess dirt from the area that will be the maze at Dubbo Early Learning. Ensure children are helping and working for you. In previous regulations we needed to give notice to the department before this type of activity and children were removed. What learning opportunities were our wonderful children missing out on?
Here Dale and Darcy are measuring the hole to see if it is deep enough for the post and concrete.
In this photo children are moving the bark chips from the car park to the new maze area. This activity also includes lots of early numeracy learning. Below is the finished maze which was designed and constructed with the children.
The maze provides a space to create very interesting dramatic play
During outside play, Educator Brandi was walking around the playground and heard singing coming from the maze. As she approached the maze, there was Mia and Maddee (from Preschool.) She then found Ava and Jade both laying on the ground in different spots. She asked Ava and Jade why they were laying on the ground and they responded by telling Brandi that they had died during battle. Mia then told Brandi that she was singing because it was their funeral. The girls were very involved in their dramatic play.