Here on the Today’s Family Blog, we’ve been sharing some of our favourite little stories in preparation to say goodbye to the month, the year, and the decade all at once! Tomorrow is the very last day of the 2010’s, but we’re not going to let that deter us from our course.
Today’s story is all about observation. It’s about how children are constantly watching us older folks and learning from us, even if we don’t really think they are. It’s also a story about how young children can become interested in anything – even washing the dishes!
As you might know, we take healthy eating very seriously here at Today’s Family. Our full-day care programs are all equipped with a fully stocked kitchen, staffed by very capable cooks that deliver healthy, nutritious, and delicious meals for our children. You might also remember that at some of our centres, the children actually grow some of their own vegetables for their lunches! Now, it’s the middle of winter, so the children haven’t been able to enjoy the fruits of their labour for a couple months now, but that does not mean that there isn’t anything to learn about in the kitchen until the ground thaws.
One of our Early Childhood Educators noticed something curious in one of our preschool classrooms: the children had been spending more and more time in the play kitchen area, pretending to make delicious meals for their friends. This wasn’t incredibly interesting – that is the whole point of the kitchen area after all – but what was interesting was that all of the children were also washing their dishes after their “meals.”
Seeing an opportunity for a valuable learning moment, the ECE jumped into action. “Let’s all wash dishes together,” she said, guiding the children over to the water play area of the classroom. The ECE explained that you need soap to wash dishes properly, otherwise they’re still dirty, even if they look clean. She put some dish soap into the water, and the children had almost as much fun playing with the bubbles as they did washing their dishes.
“Does anyone know what we do after the washing is done?” the ECE asked the children. What a tricky question! None of the children really knew what to do, until one boy noticed the towel next to the water station. He picked it up and started drying his plate, all by himself! The other children joined in, waiting for their turn with the towel to dry their dishes.
In this case, the children were interested in washing their pretend dishes because they had seen adults do so in the kitchen. They understood just by watching that washing and cleaning up is a necessary part of cooking in the kitchen. There’s another level in this story as well, one that shows deductive reasoning. When asked about what comes after washing, the children didn’t know what to do, but eventually they were able to collect clues from their environment and solve the problem without any outside help.
This little story just goes to show how smart and clever young children naturally are. This is why we believe that Early Childhood Education is so important!
Thank you very much for reading the Today’s Family Blog this year!
Whether you’re a new reader, or have been reading for years, we appreciate you taking the time to come here and hear what we have to say. We don’t know what sort of exciting advancements will come to Early Childhood Education in the next ten years, but we are very thankful to have this place to share them with you as they happen.
Happy New Year, from Today’s Family, to you.