“At the beach, the sun shines down. I see smiles on kids all around.Smiling kids in the sand, smiling kids in the sea…But the happiest kid at the beach is me!”
We’re not sure who was more excited about kicking off the Beach Kinder Program at Kids House Southport recently – the children or the educators!
Inspired by the beautiful coastal community, and the little beach at the end of the road, educators decided to create beach kinder sessions where children could spend time learning from and engaging with the natural environment through non-structured and inquiry-based play.
Outdoor learning improves children’s health, helps them engage with learning and leads to a greater connection with nature. Every session will be different for each group based on their needs and interests at the time. Children are encouraged to be self-sufficient and take care for their personal safety and wellbeing in an ever-changing landscape. The program aims to increase the children’s knowledge of the local beach and surrounding areas, local flora and fauna, indigenous culture and understanding of the interdependence of the manmade and natural environments.
So, with lots of planning, revising, reflecting and patience to get the program off the ground, the adventures begin! With Miss Dani, Miss Hannah, Miss Mel and Miss Helen in toe, the very first group set off with hats on head and water bottles in hand, along the no-through road, 3 minutes to the beach. This was a great time to talk about and learn the importance of road safety. The children made sure to check for any hazards (like stepping in doggy doo) on the way. It didn’t take long for the very enthusiastic youngsters to arrive at the beach where they all gathered to talk about the rules and safety of the program. The educators marked out areas on the sand that were safe to play and explore, and they learnt about the dangers of sharp oyster shells and how to climb trees safely.
To use up lots of playful energy, the children started the morning with a race along the sand before freely exploring the nature around them. Over the course of the program, children will have opportunities to build sandcastles, balance on fallen logs, climb trees, explore rock pools, get involved in dramatic play, participate in environmental clean-up days, find insects and sea animals, draw with sticks in the sand, have running races in the sand and make mud pies. Educators will support children as they take risks and face challenges, essential to well-rounded learning.
Kids House Early Learning are so fortunate to be connected to such a beautiful community and meeting some of the local neighbours was very exciting. To capture a special memory of the day, a friendly neighbour, Karen, allowed the group to take a photo in front of her beach house.
Once everyone returned to the service after their first outing, they all agreed on one very important point – they just didn’t get enough time! Miss Helen explained that she would make it possible for the children to stay longer next time which resulted in a tremendous cheer 😊.
Stay connected with all our adventures to the beach on the Kids House Facebook Page.