With December comes the end of another successful year at Today’s Family. There have been many incredible moments in each and every one of our programs this year, and so we want to close out the year with some of our favourite small stories from the past 365 days.
If you happen to have slightly older children or children-at-heart, you might be counting down the days until the next Star Wars movie hits theatres. This week’s story is not about Star Wars, but it is about space!
One day, our Early Childhood Educators noticed a group of children huddled together around something in our reading corner. As one might expect, they were all looking at a book – a book about rocket ships. The ECEs immediately thought of ways to integrate this newfound interest into a learning opportunity. Here is what they came up with…
The next day, one of the ECEs brought a bucket, some food colouring, and some glow sticks to the centre. She filled up the bucket with water, and then had each of the children take turns pouring the blue food colouring into the water. “We’re making the sky at nighttime,” she explained to the children.
When the water was nice and blue, the ECE moved on to the next phase of the activity. “What do you think our sky is missing?” she asked. “Stars!” the children replied. “That’s right, we need some stars!” Together, everyone helped crack the glow sticks and drop them into the bucket.
“These glow sticks give off light, just like the stars in the sky,” the ECE explained. “And the real stars are moving all through space, just like our glow sticks are moving in the water. It just doesn’t look like they’re moving because the stars are so far away.”
This activity perfectly illustrates one of the guiding principles of all of our Today’s Family programs: the Emergent Curriculum. Unlike other, more structured curriculums, the Emergent Curriculum, well, emerges as the ECEs watch the children interact with the world. The basic idea is that children – especially younger children – will care more about learning if they are learning about things that are exciting for them. Pay enough attention, and you will absolutely find opportunities to learn about all sorts of interesting subjects with your children!