So in my role as childminder I currently care for 8 children, ranging from the ages of 3 to 11 but on this particular day I had seven children. I had collected them all from their respective schools and they were all chatting in the car on the way home…all fighting for attention…then one child proudly piped up, “I stamped on a spider today.” After a moments silence they all started discussing the does and don’ts of what this child had done and how would he feel if someone had stamped on him??The debate continued until we arrived home and I was happy that the final consensus seemed to be that stamping on spiders was wrong…phew, no intervention needed.
The area where we spend most of our time together, and where all the equipment is available, is about the size of a double garage and over my 11 years of childminding is constantly being reinvented to make the area more appealing and learner friendly. During the summer holidays I had done exactly that but also felt we needed some upgrading or maybe more age appropriate equipment. I decided to ask the opinion of the children that day….well i got some interesting feedback: an ice rink,baseball court,swimming pool…..and the list went on, none of them very practical…so out came the Argus catalogue. We finally decided on a 4 in 1 table that had pool,table tennis,football and hockey. the total price for this item was £70 and we next had to discuss how to get the money!
The children got paper and pencil and elected one child to write down the ideas, “As he is the best writer.”and the brainstorming began;
bake sale,sell all our old baby toys, 5 hour sponsored skate, sponsored silence (I liked this one!),empty our piggy banks (So sweet),..
I decided to intervene and suggested we Google for some ideas on the computer, which we did and eventually came up with the smartie tube idea. We had already worked out that each child needed to raise £10, so we would send the empty tubes home with a letter explaining what we wanted to achieve and that each child was prepared to do an odd job for a pound and then we would collect in the tubes after a designated time and see how much we had raised.
The reason I wanted to blog about this was because after they had all gone home and I was reflecting on the day I realised how much learning had been achieved in those few short hours; they had covered a lot of Ofsteds EYFS guidelines. Literacy; writing,discussing,conclusions. Numeracy;totals,division,currency. Knowledge and understanding;discussion on spiders,researching ideas. creative; as well as all the brainstorming they came up with an idea for a display so we could see how much we had raised and how much more we needed. |PHSE; debating,deciding,praising,sharing. Physical; maybe not so much of, at least until we achieve our goal!
So as you can see just in a day to day activity it was easy to incorporate a lot of learning in to one three hour session,in which all the children participated on some level and felt a sense of belonging and excitement as to the end goal.
If anyone else has some fun and simple ways for us to raise some funds please advise.
It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.