Today we noticed the children were having a great time playing outside with the “sea themed” provocations that we had in place. There was much enthusiasm involved in exploring the sensory fun of the gloopy ocean, fishing in the pond, and dramatic play with larger sea animals in the water trough.
We read a story about a tiny turtle’s journey from hatching from an egg on the beach and making its way to the moana. Then the tamariki were invited to create their own turtle representation. They chose the colour paper that represented where their turtle is in the sand or ocean. They did a lot of cutting first the oval shape of their shell then the small octagon pieces to create the shells pattern. Lastly, they decided the remaining body parts.
It was great to see such a strong interest in the natural world from both the younger and older children. Whilst the younger were concentrating on naming the different types of sea animals and interacting with them, the older children were able to engage in more complex dramatic play.
They were inspired by the story that was read as they thought about where the turtle might be. They looked at the pattens of the shells of many turtles to think about their own. This experience required lots of fine motor and hand-eye co-origination as they cut, drew, glue and wrote their names.
Encouraging this familiarity, love and respect for the natural world is reflected in Te Wheke via the strand of Taha Tinana, or wellbeing of ourselves and the environment that surrounds us. We plan to extend upon this learning and assist the tamariki in exploring what it means to care for our natural environment.
We will explore reading more stories about the ocean and representing this knowledge and ideas through the arts.