At preschool we spend so much time discussing, imitating and replicating things from the “real world” to expand on the interests of the children in our care. But last Friday our red group (at our Clovelly centre) were lucky enough to spend the whole day amongst it. “While early childhood services are, in many ways, perfectly placed to play an important role in the local community, they can easily become cut off and isolated from that community. The busyness of the day, and the feeling that it may be safer and easier to stay inside the boundaries of the service rather than to venture out, can all limit how we connect with the outside world.”
It was with 11 very eager smiling faces that we set off on an adventure into the city to attend the Australian Museum’s Little Explorers Big Day Out. We travelled by public bus to Hyde Park and walked through the park to the museum.
One of the most important benefits of taking children on excursions is the journey to and from our destinations. By travelling on the bus the children got to experience and talk about the different ways their parents go to and from work and see how Sydney as a city works. We saw all kinds of people and sights along the way. We saw the new South-East light rail (trams) being tested, talked about the Hyde Park ANZAC Memorial and watch workmen setting up for the City2Surf.
Once we arrived at the museum we participated in science experiments, explored the exhibits and had dozens of discussions about everything we saw and experienced throughout the day.
“If we want children to learn about the value of community and connections with others, then we need to consider the example we set and the opportunities that we provide for such learning to occur. Highlighting the connections we have to the community, and making them visible for children, is an important way to do this—involving children wherever possible in such connections makes the experience meaningful in the child’s eyes.”