Blog Written By: Irina and Helena
For our Hummingbirds, we value spending time outdoors and the developmental benefits outdoor play brings. Here are some valuable environmental opportunities the Hummingbirds gained from their time outdoors.
The children have been finding plenty of opportunities to discover and learn about the world around them by using all of their senses. The wide variety of natural loose parts such as sand, water, soil, wood, and rocks offer them rich sensory exploration.
The Hummingbirds love crawling, digging, carrying, jumping, and most of all, climbing. Climbing has become a favourite outdoor and indoor activity. We support them by providing safety and encouragement as they master their climbing skills.
By climbing tall structures, pallets, tree stumps, and more, the children practice their problem-solving skills, enhance their gross-motor skills, develop perception of the world around them, improve their balance, and master risk-taking skills.
The children love to swing in the hammock. The back and forth motions while enveloped inside help them to relax and enjoy the world around them, whether it is the sky over their heads, or the birds chirping from the trees. It is a very peaceful and relaxing experience.
Beside the treehouse is another relaxing spot we created. We hung wicker balls, beads, and ribbons from a tree and placed a soft mat underneath. This is our youngest Hummingbird's favourite spot. He would sit and watch the fluid movements of the ribbons, He would practice standing up and try to grab or push the ornaments.
By playing side by side, the Hummingbirds learn valuable social skills such as empathy, friendship, kindness, and respect with each other and the nature around them. We’ve been observing the older Hummingbirds helping the younger Hummingbirds with various tasks. We have also been observing that the younger children are following their lead in risky play such as climbing and other outdoor activities.
Connecting with Nature
The children have been so fortunate to observe one particular goose that comes close to our windows every day to drink water from the drainage hole. The children are always excited to watch the goose come down the stairs. The other day, the children noticed that two geese were sitting on the hospital’s roof. Immediately the children came closer to observe the birds. It was fun watching those geese walk, fly, and “talk”.
Recently the children observed a family of rabbits with four little bunnies. The Hummingbirds showed great interest and respect to the animals by keeping their distance and using soft voices. "Look, bunnies," said Q to J, as they watched the rabbits across the fence. It is great to see how our children connect to nature in such gentle and respectful ways.
One afternoon, we read Peter H. Reynolds' book, "Sky Color," to the Robins. It is about a little girl that looks for the perfect colours to paint the sky for a school mural project. The Robins really enjoyed the story. We talked about all of the colours that were used and mixed together to make the sky. Some of the children even compared it to the colour mixing experiment that we did a few days earlier.
We took this as another opportunity for the Robins to practice their colour mixing skills! We printed up different images of colourful sunsets, just like the examples in the book. The Robins chose which sky they wanted to try and recreate. The results are amazing!
The paintings and the sunset images were displayed on our documentation board. We also placed the children's pictures in a separate binder on top of the lockers so the Robins and their families can compare the children's paintings to the picture of the sky they chose!
Our next step is to take this project outside! We are curious to see what kind of natural materials the children will use to create their next art piece. Maybe even add some mud into the mix!
Blog Written By: Noelle