Child Care Industry News February 17, 2015 -®
Child Care Industry News
February 17, 2015
Welcome, this week a contribution by Tony Innes founder of Small Green Steps on innovative sustainability practices in early childhood environments in Denmark and ideas on how to use water to foster learning opportunities.
Going green Danish style
by Tony Innes
It is well documented that Scandinavians are at the forefront of sustainability on a global scale. In particular, the country of Denmark is an environmental leader with a high use of clean energy sources such as wind and solar.

Therefore who better to look to for inspiration than a Danish child care centre regarded for its sustainability practices?

Stenurten Early Learning Centre is a 102-place nursery and kindergarten situated close to the central business and tourist area of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The centre was established in 2002 and since inception it was designed to operate with minimum impact on the environment from the building materials used to the everyday operations of the centre along with a passion to maximise childrens' interaction with nature.
new + improved
Enhancing learning through water play
by Sandra Crosser, Ph.D
As we reach the height of the Australian summer opportunities for water play offer a fun, refreshing and highly sensory experience for children in early childhood settings. This article by Sandra Crosser, Ph.D (originally published on the website of the National Association for the Education of Young Children) offers some helpful ideas on how to enhance both the fun and learning opportunities to be gained through playing and experimenting with water.

Puddles, spray bottles, garden sprinklers, and wading pools bring back gleeful memories of childhood. Even now, driving home after a rain, I secretly anticipate splashing down the little lane that the children and I have nicknamed the "puddle road." It is simply fun to play in water.

Early childhood educators have traditionally capitalised on the child's natural affinity for water play by including it as a centre in the classroom and by featuring it outdoors in warm weather. However, with the recent emphasis on academics typified by workbooks and ditto sheets water tables are becoming an endangered species, and in too many programmes children spend much less time outdoors than they used to. Perhaps it is time to look a little closer at the nature of water play and the potential it holds for engaging young children in meaningful learning.
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