Respecting and following the interests and skills of individual children is a priority within our service, as such we have many children (predominately boys) who prefer to explore and engage in learning in the outdoor environment for the length of the session. Although we provide opportunities for craft and creative exploration outdoors as well as indoors, the children outdoors do prefer to explore our sensory areas - mud, sand, water, slime etc.
Our skilled educator overheard Ethan and Jack discussing rockets in the sandpit. She observed as they filled buckets with sand and turned them over discussing that rockets needed to be bigger than what they had made. She asked one simple, yet extremely effective question, "What else can we use to make the rocket boys?" What happened next was 40 + minutes of creative, collaborative learning between quite a large group of children.
Children were teaching others and reinforcing or enhancing skills in creative, social, physical, cognitive, emotional and language development. Hypothesising, sharing ideas and concepts, previously learnt information, leadership roles, supportive roles and observer roles.
We will be looking for further opportunities to support the development of these skills with the group of children.