Every day the children across the centre here at Story House Putney form friendships through their daily activities. Building friendships is an important part of children’s development to ensure they enhance social and communication skills. When children participate in group activities, attending school and events, they begin the process of developing bonds with friends and begin to feel a sense of belonging in their environment. This is an essential factor in an early childhood setting as it shapes who they are and who they can become later on.
As most children start their childcare journey in the Nursery Room, it is essential that the child feels safe and recognises their circle of security. As we do small, intimate group sessions with the children, they are able to trust their surroundings and develop a sense of belonging. The Early Years Frameworks outlines the importance of Being and Becoming and Belonging as it relates to a child’s identity. When the children feel safe and secure with their surroundings, they are able to grow confidently, explore and learn.
Forming relationships in the Nursery room starts with non-verbal communication such as laughing together, high fiving / hugging one another, then further develop into more interactive play as they get older. As educators, every day we are observing, reflecting, and listening to the children’s communication while they participate in play and group activities. When we can see that children are enjoying one another’s company, whether it be through verbal or non-verbal communication, it is such a fulfilling feeling for the educators as we love to see the children having fun throughout the day which is a goal we love to accomplish. Not only is it fulfilling for us, but also for the families. Through conversations with the educators, to seeing photos, it gives families a sense of safety and satisfaction.
Each morning when the children arrive with their parents, they glance into the nursery classroom even before entering! The look on the children’s faces is full of brightness and excitement, in particular when they can see their friends. Ariella and Ria run up to one another with big smiles on their faces, they point to one another and shout “Ariella’s here!”, and “Hi Ria!”. The parents love to see this and we as educators think it is an amazing thing to see. While this happens with several children on a daily basis, it is great seeing the ongoing connections the children build with one another. This is constantly proving that we are meeting the Early Years Learning Framework criteria of Being and belonging.
It is also a beautiful thing observing the grown babies interacting with the younger babies as if they are a big brother or sister. Zara absolutely loves to look after and assist Jacob during his daily routines, from outdoor play and his bottle time where Zara loves to assist him in holding the milk bottle. This is a huge step for our younger babies to develop a sense of welcoming and safety. As educators we love to see that the older babies are continuously growing and developing those social and self-help skills.
As we reflect on the continuous progress and development of the babies goals and enjoyment of building friends, we aim to create further activities whether it be social or physical, to provide the babies with even MORE enjoyment. We think to ourselves, it is amazing to see such young children so enthusiastic and quickly develop those connections with one another.
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For information regarding our childcare and kindergarten service go to: Story House Early Learning Putney