Building relationships when you’re two.
This week in the Burrow we have been exploring the paddock and focusing on the children’s physical skills and development. Our 2-3 year olds are at a very exciting stage of their development when they move from being babies into children. They have more control of their bodies and are becoming increasingly independent with their movement. They are also more confident to challenge themselves and this is something we are constantly encouraging in the Burrow. When a child says, ‘I can’t do that’ it is our job to challenge them and help them to realise their potential or just take a chance and have a go. If they don’t always succeed we can try things in different ways and all of this helps children become creative and critical thinkers, alongside fostering perseverance within each individual.
We are very lucky as a setting to have the challenging obstacle course in the paddock with logs and wooden planks providing the children with different surfaces and heights to move around on. They have to use lots of concentration and focus to balance and make their way to the end. When you look at the pictures, imagine what this looks like from a toddler’s height and this puts the challenge in perspective. We often take this for granted when we look at things from our adult height but when you get down on a toddlers level the world is a very different place!
Another unexpected aspect of outdoor learning which I observed taking place was the communication and positive relationships occurring between the children. I took the children out in groups of 3 so that I could give each child the time and attention needed, but I found myself taking a step back and watching what they did without adult input. For example one girl said to another ‘Go careful!’ and she replied: ‘I will be fine!’ demonstrating the children’s own risk assessment and awareness of danger. She then wobbled a bit on the wooden planks and another boy came over and held her hand. He said to me ‘I’m helping!’ He carefully held her hand and guided her along the plank. She then put her hands on his shoulder to steady herself. This example of children in their play also reminds us as practitioners that children need these opportunities to make relationships with other children, trusting each other and communicating with their peers. These early relationships make a big impact on children’s future relationships.
Overall, we have had a great week in the Burrow, building relationships and challenging our physical skills at the same time!