Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tahunanui Community Centre Preschool

On Monday 8th November we took a group of 10 excited afternoon children to visit the Tahunanui Community Centre Preschool in Muritai Street. We have a number of children who attend this preschool or used to attend prior to starting at Nayland Kindergarten as well as some children at the preschool who will start attending Nayland Kindergarten next year. I saw this is an opportunity to foster links between these two EC settings. We were warmly welcomed when we arrived and I was surprised at just how readily the children started to explore the place, both indoors and out. There were so many new experiences and equipment on offer and the children did not waste a minute. My plan was for the children to have kai time there but they were far too busy for that! However we did join in with their mat time before we got back into our cars and returned to Nayland. What fun we had all had!

I think if I was to come up with one highlight for the children it would have to be the abundance of pets at the preschool.....frogs, fish, birds and the most favourite of all, (although not for me personally!), the two rats that belonged to one of the teachers and were there that day. It was exciting to watch the delight and sometimes, the uncertainty, on the children’s faces as they had hands on experience with these animals. The range of bikes, ride-ons and cars were also very popular for many and provided new challenges and risks as the children zoomed around the bike track.

This excursion was an example of children experiencing an environment where connections with the wider community are affirmed and extended. It is about children coping with change to the usual routines and how they respond to such change. I noticed that all the children, with the knowledge of having their friends alongside for support, showed courage and took risks as they explored all that was available to them. They were fully engaged and having fun. They were showing just how confident and competent they are and how ready they are to engage in active exploration, even in an environment not necessarily familiar. They were open to new learning experiences and approached these with wonderment and excitement. I found this just so exciting myself!

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