|A reflective account of my outdoor activity day |
|Student Number 20018561 |
A reflective account of my outdoor activity day experience
For this activity I took two children, 3 year old twins, outside with a box of resources to observe what the children would do with the natural treasures I provided. I had planned to stay there for a minimum of 1 hour. Before taking the twins, I spoke to their mother, explained what I was going to do, detailed any risks the children may encounter and how I plan to ensure they will be safe. She was happy with my verbal assessment and my plans and gave her permission. This is in line with the Tickell Review (Great Britain. The Early Years: Foundations for life, health and learning, 2001) which has now been implemented in the new Early Years Foundation Stage framework (EYFS, 2012). Dame Claire Tickell states “... practitioners should not have to undertake written risk assessments when they take children out, but instead be able to demonstrate, if asked, the ways that they are managing outings to minimise risk”. Although it was quite cold, it was dry and stayed that way for the duration of the activity.
The resources I provided were: feathers (from a pillow), pine cones (natural and spray painted gold and silver), leaves (various colours and shapes), small pebbles and large stones, and a variety of twigs.
At first the children ignored the box and went straight to a paddling pool which had a little water in the bottom. This surprised me as I expected them to be curious to see what I had bought for them. The children splashed the water about and even got wet; considering the time of year was November, I can’t imagine the water was very pleasant! However, I was not prepared to stop their learning because of a little cold water and the children seemed oblivious to the elements. Children need to experience these things; change in temperature different natural textures and wet or dry, they will learn from these occurrences. Failure to allow this to happen, means children will grow up almost totally unprepared for the challenges they may bring and in the future could be hurt. But consider the alternative: that our children grow up without ever encountering these ‘difficult’ things, and enter the adult world unprepared for the challenges it might bring. (Moss, S. 2012, p. 8). Dr Maria Montessori’s theory is that each child is given the freedom of choice. The child’s interaction with the environment is most productive in terms of the individual’s development when it is self-chosen and founded on individual interest (Absorbent Minds, What is Montessori Education?, no date).
The children played with the water for a few minutes and then I got the box and started looking at the items myself, making a noise with the resources to try and attract their attention. This worked and they came over to see what there was which appeared to fascinate me. Child A asked what I had and I explained I had some toys of nature for them to play with. Child B put his hand in and took a pine cone out. He then took another which was spray painted gold and you could see him comparing the two. Child A went to take one from him and he gave her the natural cone, holding the gold one tight to his chest.
Child B took the box and put it on the ground so he could get a better look. The feathers seemed to get the most attention to start with and the children started to thrown them in the air and chase them. It was interesting to see them chase the feathers, with no visible understanding that the feathers would float in the same direction as the wind. The children lost some of the feathers because of the wind, which did cause a little distress. Playing with them indoors, would have meant they kept the feathers, but they would have fallen...