Te ao kindy is a wonderful world of sights, sounds, and adventures for tamariki to explore. Come and see what you can discover and learn.
- Discovery is about exploring the world around you, often for the first time.
- A kindergarten environment is packed with sights and sounds, and sensory stimulation to encourage interest and learning.
- It’s also about learning about yourself, plus, how to get on with others.
- Competence and confidence grow through exploration.
- The freedom for tamariki of leading their own learning pays massive dividends in their growth and development.
- Our environments have been specifically created to provide a range of spaces, activities, and opportunities for exploration.
Always something new
When tamariki explore for themselves and look for answers to their questions, that’s discovery. It’s about observing, touching, using their senses, pulling things apart and putting them back together, and solving problems. It’s a big wonderful world with so much to see and do. This is te ao kindy.
Discovery helps tamariki to navigate the space they’re in and try to make sense of the world around them. It uses a child’s natural curiosity to teach them how to learn by experimenting and investigating their environment.
When you think about it, our world is jam packed with senses, experiences that we all have to assimilate and comprehend. This is what helps us to become functioning, competent adults with an understanding of the bigger picture.
Kindergarten children are so keen to explore for themselves. That’s the great thing. When they observe their environment and watch what other tamariki are doing, they’re taking onboard a lot of complex information that they then distil into a helpful guide for their day-to-day interactions. Doing this helps them to construct their own ‘roadmap’ for learning.
We like tamariki to enjoy our kindy experiences. We’ll often stand back while they investigate and try new things, (offering assistance of course when it’s needed) but letting the child work at their own pace and draw their own conclusions.
We know that play and exploration has a direct and genuine connection to brain development. Competency and confidence are grown through this behaviour. And studies have shown that when this happens naturally, it has a greater and more long-lasting effect.
Encouragement is vital without being directive. So is ensuring they’re safe and not doing anything risky. But, a little bit of freedom goes a long way in stimulating learning.
Naturally, our kaiako will plant the seed of an idea, or a suggestion for what tamariki might do, but then let the children follow their own path. Kaiako often use open-ended questions to prompt further discussion and discovery.
Some of the ways that discovery happens in kindy are familiar experiences such as water play, digging in the sandpit, touching and feeling different objects, interacting with nature, and creating their own artwork.
Our environments are filled with everything to foster such opportunities.
There’s always something new for tamariki to discover at kindergarten, from trees to climb, to bugs in the garden, to how you can express yourself creatively. How things feel and sound, new and interesting visitors, and getting along with other children you see frequently. It’s busy but fun.
There are so many experiences every day, and each day is different!
No-one quite knows what today, or tomorrow, will bring. What will we do next?
It might be watching the garden bloom in spring, flying kites in autumn, splashing in puddles with your gumboots on in the winter, or playing under the sprinkler at the height of summer.
Perhaps it’s a musical performance from some of our kindergarten friends, or a puppet show. Maybe the local policeman or a former kindy kid pops by.
It might be an excursion to the forest, or the beach.
It’s all about discovery, exploring the world around us, and learning new and exciting things.
Every day is an adventure at kindy.