by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Reflections Magazine : Reflections Magazine Issue 53 Summer 2013
Rita Moar is a Wanslea Family Day Care Educator who recently became a state finalist in the ‘Australian Family’, Early Childhood Educator of the Year Awards. Rita was one of 6 educators who made the final list of nominees for Western Australia. Her passion and enthusiasm in providing children with natural learning opportunities is demonstrated in how she sets up her learning spaces, and we invited her to share her story about adapting her family home to create these opportunities for the children she cares for. Christine Baker, Wanslea Early Years Executive Manager. Who needs toys? We have dirt and water and grass and wind and stones and sticks and flowers and, best of all, we have imagination. When EYLF was introduced it was daunting. I’m not going to lie. As soon as I heard about it I thought, “Here we go, another way of doing things that was designed by someone who is probably sitting behind a desk and has very little interaction with children.” Boy was I wrong. While this article is not specifically about the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), it has to be mentioned. Why? Because it is awesome. It has allowed us to take a step back and let children enjoy growing up and learning through play. Play and leisure activities provide opportunities for children to learn as they discover, create, improvise and imagine (EYLF, 2009: 15). It’s as though someone has finally listened to what I have been saying for years. I have always been a big fan of the outdoors and learning through our environment. When I was looking for our current home the biggest requirement for me wasn’t the size of my kitchen (which is tiny), the first thing I looked at when deciding if this home met my needs, was the outdoor space. It wasn’t a child’s paradise, it was barren, dry, overgrown in areas with no shade or anything pretty, but there was potential. Time to get started..... The first thing we did was excavate a 3.5m x 2.5m hole. This was to become our mega sandpit. My amazing husband dug it by hand and then finished it off with edging and added timber benches surrounding the sandpit and a shade cover to provide protection from the sun. The sandpit is used for many hours almost every day. We have ‘cooking classes’ in there, complete with an outdoor oven and saucepans, cake tins etc. The older children turn it into Masterchef headquarters, complete with ‘plating up’ and ‘judging’ the food. The sandpit is also a great place to learn about science without even trying. For example, just recently one of my day care children was trying very hard to make a sand shape using a plastic shell container. Time and time again he filled it with sand and carefully tipped it onto the table.When he removed the plastic container his sand shell did not hold its shape. His little face couldn’t hide his disappointment.We talked about why it wasn’t working. We concluded that the sand was too dry. Solution? Let’s gets some water. Author: Rita Moar Wanslea Family Day Care Educator, WA. 10 THE VOICE OF THE EDUCATOR: reflections.issue53_Layout 1 11/11/13 2:27 PM Page 10
Reflections Magazine Issue 52
Reflections Magazine Issue 54