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By Website Team Technicians 17 Nov, 2017
The educators know that when children use their imaginations they are building their confidence and forming ideas on how to cooperate with others and negotiate roles. Through events that the children have participated in this year, the children have had the opportunity to engage in interactions that promote respect for diversity and value uniqueness while they explore their own culture, heritage, backgrounds and traditions, as well as those of their peers.

As part of learning about the events, the educators and families have the opportunity to share in the special fun through a range of activities. One of them is dressing up. The educators collaborate with each other and the children to look at ideas of what they can do to further their learning. For book week this year, the children and educators were encouraged to dress up as princesses or pirates. When discussing with the children what they might dress up as, the educators explained to the children about the special day and together they came up with ideas on what they could be. The children then took turns to communicate who they would like to be. The educators also love to join in and discuss what they can do to participate. Another event that the educators participated in was a dress-up week where the educators had a theme each day — princesses, superheroes, fairies and book characters. We have seen that some of the most creative outfits are not bought from a shop, but rather they are handmade.

One child was Cat in the Hat where his mum had made a hat out of painted stripped paper plates! Another was Olaf where they wore a white T-shirt with black paper dots taped onto it. We have loved seeing the creative ideas our children, families and educators have come up with and can’t wait to see what they create in the future.
By Website Team Technicians 24 Oct, 2017
At Atlas and Giggles we value the importance of children’s play. Three Key practices that guide us are; responsiveness to children, learning through play and intentional teaching.

The EYLF suggests that the educator’s role in play experiences for children is more than just providing experiences and resources that children enjoy. Atlas and Giggles value the important role our educator’s interactions and involvement play on creating a rich play-based learning environment. It is the shared experiences and involvement of the educator that really maximises the potential for all children’s learning through play.

Recent Australian studies about pedagogies that support learning through play (e.g. Edwards and Cutter Mackenzie, (2011) suggest that play-based learning needs to:
  • recognise children’s existing and cultural competencies 
  • include active involvement of adult educators to link to particular learning ideas 
  • promote teacher planning based on intentions for learning 

As Educators we are very selective as to what we document as we know it is not possible to capture all of the rich experiences and learning that occurs throughout the day. We aim to include at least one photo of every child in the Daily Curriculum. At times, it can seem as though capturing the photo is more important than noticing the learning that is happening! Constant photographing can be very unsettling and interrupt the flow of play and learning experiences.

Here at Giggles and Atlas we aim to ensure that we take meaningful photos of the children engaging in experiences to capture the child’s involvement as well as learning that is taking place. We would hate for our families focus to be on the educators taking lots and lots of photos which stops those meaningful intentional teaching moments and the children’s learning and play. (Early Childhood Australia)
By Website Team Technicians 20 Sep, 2017

Physical activity is vital for a child’s development and lays the foundation for a healthy and active life.
Our Munch and Move program supports a physical activity environment which includes both indoor and outdoor play. We have equipment that can be used both indoors and outdoors. This equipment includes large pieces like balance beams or small equipment such as bean bags. Whatever encourages movement indoors and outdoors!

 

Benefits of physical activity:

  • Promoting healthy growth and development
  • Building strong bones and muscles
  • Improving balance, coordination and strength
  • Maintaining and developing flexibility
  • Improving posture
  • Assisting with the development of gross motor and fine motor skills
  • Providing the opportunity to develop fundamental movement skills
  • Helping to establish connections between different parts of the brain
  • Improving concentration and thinking skills
  • Improving confidence and self-esteem
  • Relieving stress and promoting relaxation
  • Providing opportunities to develop social skills and make friends
  • Improving sleep.

 

Recommendations:

  • Infants (Birth to 1 Year) – Supervised floor based play in a safe environment.
  • Toddlers & Pre-School aged children (1 to 3 years & 3-5 years) – Should be physically active for at least 3 hours each day.
  • Infants, toddlers and preschool aged children should not be sedentary, restrained or kept inactive for more than one hour at a time (with the exemption of sleeping).

By Website Team Technicians 29 Aug, 2017
What can we do to make a change?:
 

 1. Get active each day
-Regular physical activity is an important part of healthy growth in young children.
-Children should be getting 60 minutes a day of physical activity. Walking, running, ball games and everything in-between!
-Parents need to be great role models for their children and join in!
 

 2. Choose water as a drink
-Water is the best way to quench your thirst!!
-Reduced fat milk for children over 2 is a good source of calcium and is nutritious
 

 3. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
-Eating fresh fruit and vegetables helps children grow and develop
-Aim to give your children two serves and fruit and five serves of vegetables each day
 
 4. Switch off the screen!
-Children should spend NO more than 2hrs a day watching a screen.
-Plan a range of activities to reduce screen time
 

 5. Eat fewer snack and select healthy alternatives
-Healthy snacks help children meet their daily nutritional needs
 
Remember that parents are the best role models and to get active and involved in a healthy lifestyle!
By Website Team Technicians 18 Aug, 2017

Screen time is where children sit in front of or with an electrical device such as TV, iPad, Phones, Ipods etc. Research has shown that children in Australia are spending to much time being sedentary or inactive with screens and not enough time being active, this can lead to health problems now and in their future.

Giggles and Atlas implement on a regular basis ‘Screen Free Days” where all the rooms within the Centre’s put away their Screen devices for the day and complete a range of active activities. These can be activities that are focusing on children using fundamental gross motor skills such as running, jumping, skipping, using spatial awareness skills, stamina, ball skills and much much more! Not only gross motor skills are focused on but also keeping the mind active by completing cognitive and sensory processing skills as well through problem solving puzzles, matching games, sequencing games, art and craft for imagination and the list goes on!

Some effects of too much Screen Time:

Looking at a screen intensely can cause sore, irritated and dry eyes, headaches and fatigue.

Looking down at a device can make your child’s neck and spine uncomfortable.

Being inactive for long periods using a screen can lead to a less active lifestyle, which could lead to obesity.

Parent Feedback:

“I love this idea, my daughter is obsessed with all things electronic, I can’t wait to implement at home.”

“We have implemented this at home and my children have learnt to love these days as we spend family time playing board games and other activities.”

Tips for reducing screen time at home:

- Set time limits for Electronic device use at home

- Designate the occasional Screen-Free day at home

- Use background music instead of background Tv

- Eat at the table with the Tv off

- Keep Tv’s and computers out of your child’s bedroom

- Be an active role model for your child


If you would like more information on this topic you can refer to: www.healthykids.nsw.gov.au

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