‘Typical’ Pre KG children By the time children are three and four years old they have a wide range of experiences of the outdoor world. Their physical development benefits enormously from this. Children are now skilled movers, according to the abilities of their bodies. Long periods of inactivity such as watching videos or the television or being in a small play space will affect not only their physical development and health, but their behavior and their disposition towards learning as well. Physical Activity At IDEA ELC we know that three and four year olds are more aware of what they can do using their bodies, they want to climb and balance more. They are beginning to co-operate with their peers and enjoy using items such as see-saws, balls and bikes. They like to demonstrate what they can do and gain recognition for this. There is still a need to ensure they are playing safely and that they are given a variety of appropriate resources that challenge and stimulate them. All of this can be provided in a home environment to enhance the learning at IDEA ELC. Linking Home Experiences with Learning At this age, the earlier experiences of the natural world and their communities are forming into the development of understandings about natural phenomenon, such as changing seasons as well as a sense of place and location. The increasing concern that many parents share for their environment is taught to children, whether this is about not dropping litter, or the importance of walking to nursery, recycling rubbish or not leaving the tap on when cleaning teeth. Pets or interests in other animals is shaping into concern for living creatures, how to care for them or knowledge about where they live and whether they are endangered. Family Involvement Parents, grandparents and family friends are all involved in promoting young children’s experiences of being outdoors. They way that each family member does this is a unique interplay of their wider culture and how they interpret it and share it with children. Their interests, education and beliefs combine with the way that they interact with the environment to provide these rich opportunities for their children’s learning. They build on what their children show an interest in and support this as much as they can. Families are the perfect educators to offer children a range of experiences for learning outdoors, rooted in their cultures, lifestyles and knowledge, and provide their children with firm foundations that support their learning in nursery and school. Parents can further enhance a child’s experience of home by:
- Taking children to the library to get stories that feature the environment, animals and birds
- Helping children develop a love for living things
- Helping children to respect their environment by putting litter in the bin
- Having a pet or taking a neighbour’s dog out for walks
- Using their outside space to its best effect, whether it is a garden, balcony or shared communal space
- Exploring the locality, finding out where things are or new places to go, from libraries to museums to art galleries
- Talking about the features of the environment
- Following on whatever the child is interested in- be it cars, lorries, dogs, insects – helping to develop language and concepts
- Truly recognizing that what they do as parents with their young children in the outside environment supports their learning and development in many way and that their children benefit from and enjoy this so much.
Would you like to find out how we complement the relationship a child has with their parents at IDEA ELC? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a tour and see our wonderful team in action.