This is set to be my favourite post so far… I absolutely love the idea that the children are learning so much as we go about our lives, without having to be structured about it or artificially create learning opportunities. Of course, I love our more organised, crafty fun, but this reminds me why learning at this age happens so rapidly, and why it is important to have unstructured time where the children learn and develop incidentally.
One day last week, I was feeling guilty about having done nothing educational or creative with the children all day. I was thinking what a boring day they had had and felt we had just drifted aimlessly with no structure… until I looked at my phone and snaps taken through the day, showing all that we (read, the children) had been learning and achieving as we went about our mundane everyday lives – so I thought that would be worth a post, just to show and remind myself what is actually going on in their world.
This is what we did together that day…
We shared a story, developed pre-reading skills, strengthened sibling relationships, and built self esteem through teaching younger ones…
F practised sitting (and looked completely astonished!)…
F played on the floor, developing gross motor skills
F practised self-feeding, developing hand-eye co-ordination, using chewing muscles ready for speech, and tasting new flavours…while the older children experienced using a knife and fork, cutting food, eating socially…
N made her own lunch, fostering independence and building self esteem.
We had an impropmptu blackberry hunt on the way home from school, learning about where our food comes from, how things grow, experiencing nature and talking about creatures we saw on the way.
We dyed pasta shapes, in preparation for an activity tomorrow, mixing colours to make the right shade.
We relaxed in the reading corner after school, developing further reading skills and using a range of material independently.
And that was just the things I had happened to photograph! Off the top of my head, I can add to the list…
* Learning about sharing and social skills
* Dealing with conflict (mainly between L and N, there is a lot of that in our house at the moment, challenging me as much as the children!) and learning to deal with frustration (ditto).
* Kicking a ball, learning about teamwork and to play together happily, as well as gross motor skills and exercise.
* L (5) and N(3) dressed themselves, building independence and self esteem as well as developing skills such as buttons and bows. We experienced the routines of our day, understandiong that certain things happen at certain times and developing necessary habits like cleaning teeth and washing hands.
*We played with water in the bath, pouring and measuring, learning about volume, properties of the water as well as having a damn good time!
* L and N helped look after F, learning mentoring skills, patience, and about the way we develop as babies.
* Add to that the barrage of questions from L (and sometimes N) about the way the world works, including “where do slugs live if they don’t have a shell?”, “why do we dream?”, “who decided when to use capital letters”, “how does our skin mend itself?” and “why is a volcano hot?”…we’ve covered a whole multitude of learning and understanding…
I’m sure I could add more, but three little people have definitely been very busy even if I thought we had done nothing much, and I feel less guilty!