The first week of Summer is here and we are embracing the warmer temperatures. What a fantastic day we had on Friday exploring hundreds of kilos of ice in all sorts of different ways all over Cherry Grove! There were ice sculptures, ice cups, sandpits filled with ice, ice bricks with all sorts of loose parts frozen into them, and ice blocks for tasting!
Summer is filled with so many opportunities for learning and development because the weather allows so much exploring to be done without fear of cold or illness. Research consistently shows that during the Summer months the mind is sharper and more open to stimulation, which leads to children exploring more. Exploration helps children build self-confidence and gives them a great feeling of accomplishment as they try new things and succeed at a level that has incredible meaning to them. When children have more control over what they want to learn and how they want to learn it, the outcomes for development are better than when we try and contrive a learning experience for them.
This is especially true with sensory development. Children who can explore their senses and what appeals to them in their own time are more willing to give new experiences and opportunities to explore further a go. We have some children at Cherry Grove that will take every opportunity to participate in messy play, and definitely create their own messy play if the opportunity presents!
It's a wonderful practice of independence when a child can follow their interest and it also gives them more chances to make age-appropriate decisions, care for the things they are using, and problem solving using their knowledge of the world.
We will have loose parts available to our tamariki in all our environments through the summer.