Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Parkwood House Residential and Nursing Home

Channel 4 recently produced a documentary that followed the success for both children and residents of allowing four year olds to visit an old people's home. The theory behind the documentary was that a four year old is unhindered by prejudice and an 80 year age gap is no barrier to friendship. The young children are considered to force people to live in the moment. 

Following on from this a fellow childminder arranged for us to visit Parkwood House several times a month with our minded children. We have been for two play sessions now and ,on both occasions, the staff and residents have been so welcoming. The children are able to play freely in a room where only residents who want to participate come and join us. In only two weeks the children have gained so much from the interaction whilst the smiles on the faces of the residents demonstrates the mutual enjoyment.  One two year old went home telling his parents the names of the ladies he had met and asked me if we were going to go to the house with the blue door again!

Our activities so far have included singing, pom pom throwing, reading and puzzles and playing with the inflatable hoopla game. The children have already got to know some of the names of the residents and are keen to interact with these new play mates! The biggest all round success has been singing time which gets everyone attempting some tunes!

This is an activity that we would definitely like to develop further as we feel this not only benefits the residents but meets all areas of learning for the children:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development: social interaction with both adults and their peers
Physical Development: We have done puzzles and throwing games developing fine and gross motor skills. 
Communication and Language: The children are following instructions, talking to residents and to each other. 
Literacy: Children are reading books with the residents
Numeracy: Children have been completing puzzles through to counting out the number of fish in the house fish tank. 
Understanding the World: Children are gaining an understanding of their community 
Expressive Art & Design: Children have been singing and dancing 

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Post Office Trip

A big part of the early years curriculum is enabling children to engage with an understand with community within which they reside. The children get very excited about seeing the postman when we are out and about and always comment on the post that has been delivered when we get home. 

In order to help their understanding of this process all of the children drew some pictures that they were particularly proud of! We then placed them in an envelope and the children looked as I wrote the address, picking out the letter sounds that they recognised.

Our eldest two children both picked out the number 2 on the 2nd class stamp and stuck it on the envelope ready for posting. There was much excitement about posting the letter and even more excitement a few days later when our pictures finally reappeared on our doorstep courtesy of the postman. 

Finally we arranged a short visit to our Local Sorting Office so that the children could see where the post from all the post boxes is sorted. The staff were brilliant with the children and gave them lots of cards to colour on as well as giving a great demonstration of the sorting machines.