As an early years setting, one of the most valuable opportunities for teaching and learning is to explore and celebrate different cultures and diversity.
The children in pre-school have shown a great interest in other counties and the world around them as they have been away on their summer holidays and come back in to nurseries excited to share their experiences. To continue and extend this growing our pre-school team planned a variety of learning experience that the children can engaged in.
Each day of the week we focused on a country with lots of inspirational activities. Our first stop was India. Fran took the children on an adventure! We introduced the children to the colourful world of expressive dance using the tablet to show the children Indian dancing. The children stood copying actions and making their own moves to the music.
Afterwards we enhanced the room with beautiful Indian materials and the children dressed as the ladies they had seen dancing. Kerry used face paints to create henna patterns on the children faces and hands.
Fran created opportunities for the children to use different materials to engage in mark making at the easel. Water was enhanced with Indian spices the room filled with aromatic smells inviting the children to paint with natural materials. The mark making area was enhanced with piping bags with brown paint in for the children to create their own henna handprints.
Micheala introduced the children to China this supporting one of our children’s home cultures. The children were introduced to the year of the pig with Michaela providing opportunity for the children to create their own pigs using a variety of art materials. New vocabulary was introduced to the children saying hello “Nǐ hǎo”. This was shared at circle time and the children greeted everyone with this phrase.
We took a short trip to Ireland on Wednesday with Julie. The children were given opportunity to make potato bread. They explored a variety of ingredients and used tools for a purpose when measuring out and mixing the ingredients together. The children enjoyed tasting their fine produce at tea time.
Julie took the opportunity to share with the children what nursery and school life is like in Ireland – they looked at the similarities and differences. Through a short video clip the children observed how the children participate in Irish Dancing. Soon it was time to have a go ourselves. The children copied the actions – lots of straight arms and high kicks!
Julie finished the Irish travel experience with a café experience in the home corner. The children sued sponges and scissors to create their own cakes and sandwiches. The area was enhanced with tea bags, coffee and water for the children to make their own drinks and re-enact their own experiences of being to a café.
Mexico was the focus for Thursday with Carly enhancing our pre-school room with all things Mexican. The children explored colours through the Mexican flag. Carly introduced them to the provocation this being a cactus. The children explored using their hands to touch saying “It is very prickly”. They then made their over interpretation using coloured rice in their sensory trays.
We finished our week of travels with a flying visit to France. Alison dressed up as a French person greeting the children with a big “Bonjour!” France was introduced to the children at circle time with a secret box hidden under the French flag. The children had to wake the box up by singing “What’s in the box” and as they sang the box opened to reveal a variety of objects. Alison revealed photos of iconic buildings, French food, flags for the children to hold and French writing. Conversation filled the room with the children talking about their own personal experiences of France and how we can travel to this country.
The room was enhanced with a variety of activities – we enhanced the art area with examples of Monet. They children were introduced to new materials, water colours and acrylic paints that they used to create their own interpretation of a variety of Monet pictures that were displayed on the table.
Constructions were created as the children built their models to represent the iconic buildings. We researched how tall the Eiffel tower was and the children made comparisons to this building and the Blackpool tower which from our research is half the size of the Eiffel Tower.
We finished our day by using technology to tune into Paris via their webcams to see what the weather was like and answer the children’s question in “What do French people look like and what are they doing?”
Throughout the week the activities the staff had planned covered the breadth of the Early Years Foundation stage and gave opportunities for the practitioner to observe how our children learn through the opportunities we provide. Running through our planning for this focus is British Values as we have given the children a wider perspective on the world around them and the cultures and traditions that represent them.