How does our outdoor visit support Early Childhood Learning
Trips to places outside the Early Learning Centre can provide children with new experiences and increase their understanding of the world around them.
The nature-based Early Childhood Education programs and the purpose of an outdoor visit are to encourage children to be active, support learning in a variety of environments and give them opportunities for conversation, enquiry and developing theories.
Places other than classrooms allow children to have a wide perspective about things, notice things belonging to nature more easily, restructure their emotions, gain information at their own speed, try different learning styles and offer learning opportunities different from those in classrooms.
Outdoor learning programs create many opportunities and contribute to the improvement of motor skills, awareness, social relationships development, motivation, awareness, observation skills, leadership, emotional control and concentration and imagination. Outdoor education allows Kindergarten programs to be offered in different environments and with appropriate educational opportunities.
Here at Learning Links Childcare Hector Drive, we value the learning that can be experienced beyond our classroom walls. The tamariki that attend the centre live within this community and are familiar with the nearby streets and landmarks, therefore we utilise it regularly to support their connection within Rototuna and the centre.
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Keerangi Place, Rototuna was utilised as an excursion as it offers a diverse environment; houses, walking paths and a local pond. It is also active in the development and enabled tamariki to witness valuable contributors to our growing community; concrete trucks, landscapers and builders.
Building upon the toddler’s current interests in colours, numbers and animals, a scavenger hunt was set up for tamariki to match, identify and recognise what is commonly visible within our community, whilst also being out and amongst it.
Learning Links Montessori visits places such as the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Library, and the Otago Museum which offers opportunities to extend children’s learning through active hands-on exploration and interaction in real-life experience.
Our recent visit to the Otago Museum Animal Attic was an opportunity to see close a huge variety of birds on display. This is followed by a local bird rescuer in our community. During the centre’s literacy celebration week, the tamariki also visited the Art Gallery and enjoyed the show ” Beyond the Hedge” by Jim McMurtry (Maquette).
Each of these experiences builds on and extends children’s learning in meaningful ways, and reflects the ethos and values of a Learning Links Childcare Centre.
At Learning Links Horowhenua Centre, we have many opportunities for tamariki to explore their local community including our Library Te Takere and local school. We enjoy going to a language and literacy-rich environment the library provides us with, where we can explore the books and deepen a love of reading. We will often find books about the tamariki’s interest and bring these back to the centre to further explore for a longer period of time.
We have strong relationships with our closest local school and take our Tuakana their for visits. This helps to familiarise the school environment and we get to see our past Learning Links friends again. In return, the school comes to visit us in centre with their books and will read these to our tamariki. This reciprocal relationship we have developed with our local school supports the child’s learning by deepening their awareness of people places and things.