What is Happening When Your Toddler Engages in Pretend Play?
6th Sep, 2021
It’s been a long winter and our daycare team is so excited about the warmer, sunnier months that are just around the corner. We love this time of year, filled with change and anticipation, and we love including the children in our excitement. Here are five ways we celebrate spring at Learning Tree childcare centre – and tips to follow suit at home.
Embrace any weather
Spring is a changeable time of year, one day holding onto the chill of winter while the next showcases the summer sunshine to come. In Auckland, spring often brings plenty of wind and rain, so it’s the perfect time of year to show children there’s no such thing as bad weather – only bad clothes! At daycare, we encourage outdoor play regardless of the what’s happening outside because jumping in muddy puddles is just as fun as basking in the sun.
Reading books about the weather
From The Weather Monster to The Curious Garden, Maisy’s Wonderful Weather Book to Worm Weather, we’re always surprised how many books on our childcare centre’s shelves include themes of weather. Whether it’s central to the story line or simply a descriptive feature in the book, pointing out examples of weather, climate and seasons helps children make sense of the natural world and get ready for all the changes that spring brings – fewer layers and more flowers, lots of wind and daylight savings.
Planting the garden
Another daycare centre activity that can easily be recreated at home is involving children in the planting of seeds in the gardens. Not only is this a tactile activity that introduces children to many smells, sights and textures, but it also gives them an early appreciation of how important it is to nurture the earth. Plus, the excitement on their faces when the first seedlings poke through the soil is priceless!
We’re going on a picnic
A favourite among many daycare children is packing a (pretend) picnic complete with picnic blankets and stuffed teddies, food toys and pretend cups of tea. This is an excellent opportunity for imaginative play, relationship building and developing communication skills. At home, you can recreate this activity using the real thing – choose a warm day and get your children to help you pack the picnic bag full of snacks, drinks and blankets before enjoying a lunch or afternoon tea under the sun.
Spring-themed arts and crafts
The options are endless when it comes to spring-focussed arts and crafts activities for preschoolers. Some of our favourites include ice block stick flowers, egg carton painted caterpillars, and playdough insects. Set the stage by offering all the necessary materials and laying out books or magazines with springy images, and then leave the crafts as open-ended as possible. You’ll be surprised by where their imagination and creativity can lead!
If you’re looking for an excellent childcare centre, look no further than Learning Tree. We have five centres in Auckland – organise a visit for your nearest centre today and see the many ways our children are learning to embrace spring.
6th Sep, 2021
6th Sep, 2021