It would be fair to say that Educators at Faith Lutheran College make the most out of every opportunity for the children in their care. When they launched ‘water’ as a new avenue of inquiry alongside the children last week, they knew their journey would take them far and wide across the landscape of possibilities in Early Years learning.
“We describe water as an intelligent material because it adapts to the container that it is in,” explains ELC Co-coordinator, Nicole Owen, “Children learn about the world around them when they are able to experiment and make discoveries for themselves.”
Their investigations with water as an ‘intelligent material’ (a term that, in the scientific sphere, refers to material capable of responding to changes in the environment and adapting accordingly) has already been fruitful. Discovering that the water is reacting to their input and responding with changes has ignited great curiosity and dialogue amongst the children age three to five. “When you blow, something else happens to the water,” says Oliver. “I’m experimenting with water and numbers. You can fill this and see the numbers on here, it tells you how much is in there but mostly I just fill it to the top,” reflects Ava.
For example, “Playing with water provides children with opportunities to develop; socially and emotionally through working with others, discovery of sensory and therapeutic benefits, use of their imagination; physically through the development of fine motor skills and hand eye co-ordination as they pour, empty, squeeze, stirring etc.”
“Children grow creatively though the use of colours and dyes in their play, creating worlds, listening to and making sounds; early numeracy and literacy skills through comparing amounts, use and understanding of mathematical and positional language ‘full/empty’ ‘more/less’, discussing shapes and sizes of containers. They can also build upon understandings about science and technology through exploring the properties of water, asking questions and making predictions.”
In addition, embedded in their play is a strong opportunity for growth of awareness of sustainable practices, Nicole explains, “We are educating our children with a global perspective, they are becoming aware of water in our world as a precious resource.”
Due to the success of the workshop in August of this year, the ELC and Mulberry Room Playgroup are running another ‘Open For Play’ session on Thursday 7th November from 9:30am to 11am. The workshop, targeted at children and babies aged 0 to 5, is a fun free session of creative play which makes use of both adjoining spaces and gives families a taste of what learning looks like with Faith Lutheran College.
Children will explore and play with the intelligent object of water – splashing, pouring, rippling, dripping, flowing and more. Morning tea and ELC educator led workshop session is included in this free session, to register: www.faith.sa.edu.au/openforplay