|Posted by sunshine-dayhome on January 9, 2015 at 2:20 PM|
Our first full week back from holidays has been challenging, because the low temperatures have kept us from playing outside. Instead of enjoying nature in the backyard, we have brought it in, along with a little bit of summer. These flowers were dried with the children back in July, when the grass was green and flowers were abundant. I love bringing out a little piece of summer to share, and to brighten our day!
A huge focus here is using an emergent curriculum. Basically, this means instead of planning activities weeks in advance according to my own ideas, I work with the children to learn about their interests, and planning follows that. Our events are more fluid, directly tied into the children's interests and play, and more relevant, because what the children are interested in, we are doing. One part of this is making a web of ideas that we can follow for the next 4-6 weeks. We all sit down together and come up with ideas, and I add those I have noticed the children enjoying. Then, when we want to bake or craft, we remember the web and use the children's ideas, rather than only mine. They love being consulted, and love doing things that they really like and are curious about in the now.
This final activity follows the emergent curriculum perfectly. Saxon has really liked playing with dinosaurs lately, and Liam and Kai have been talking about them in their play, too. When Keenan came this morning and his mom mentioned that they had been stamping the day before, I knew that the time was perfect to do some dino stamping as a group. As a special bonus, we were able to use the rubber dinosaur stamps and ink pads that Liam's mother had generously donated to the program. When things tie in so neatly together, and the children get to enjoy an activity they are into and that their parents helped facilitate, the dayhome runs just as I feel it should! Parents working together, caregivers catering to children's current needs and interests, and engaged, happy kids are what it's all about!