Child Care Industry News
July 18, 2017
Welcome, are you a fan of interest based learning? This week Nicole Halton suggests that maybe it's time for educators to embrace the messiness of children's play and adapt their teaching accordingly. Also 10 fabulously easy minibeast craft ideas to try in your service.
Why we need to stop hijacking childrens' play under the guise of "interest based learning"
This week we are delighted to offer you an opinion piece on interest based learning written by Nicole Halton at InspiredEC

Lately I have been doing a lot of thinking about interest based learning. As someone who worked with young children in the early 2000s, when the concept of "emergent curriculum" was quite popular, I have always been a proponent of interest based learning. I always felt that by observing the children and understanding what they were interested in, I would be able to plan a program that facilitated those interests. Yet, over the last few years as my understanding of play has deepened to a level I perhaps never thought possible, I find myself critical of the concept of interest based learning and to be quite honest, of the whole concept of a program.
Mega Fun with Marvellous Minibeasts!
Did you know: the technical definition of a 'minibeast' is a small invertebrate animal such as an insect or spider? In Australia small children are brought up to have a healthy respect for spiders and the look but don’t touch approach to spiders, and insects more generally, is a sound mantra to adhere to.

Given the hands off approach we thought it might be fun and satisfying to create a swarm of touchable minibeasts for the children in your service.

Paper Plate Beetle - Where would early child crafters be without the humble paper plate? This is a quick and easy activity for kids of all ages.

Pebble Bees - Have fun collecting pebbles and making a swarm of brightly coloured bees, the googly eyes in this activity would need to be replaced for younger children.

Pompom Caterpillars - Use any colour of the rainbow to create a cute and cuddly caterpillar. Glue would work if you prefer to avoid needles and thread.

Beaded Butterflies - Use threaded craft wire to create a lovely hanging ornament. Thicker wire (maybe old coat hangers) and bigger beads make an easy modification for younger children.

Frog Masks - Although frogs don't fit the strict definition of a minibeast they are very cute and popular with kids so we thought it would be silly not to include this simple mask.

Mess Free Spotty Spiders - This quick and easy activity offers maximum fun for minimal mess.

Butterfly collage - You'll need a good glue and patience to achieve maximum effect for this little project, which offers lots of opportunities for sensory discovery.

Dragonfly Suncatchers - Use a simple template and contact paper to great effect in this lovely activity which will make all the windows in your service come alive.

CD Spiders - This is a fun way to use up any unused spools of DVDs or CDs you have hiding in the back of the cupboard. The children will enjoy decorating the spiders and the smooth plastic surface makes any stick on bling adhere quite easily.

Egg Carton Snails - Rescue those unwanted egg cartons from the recycling bin, cut them up into single cups and use them to create a swarm of slithering snails.

These craft ideas were originally sourced on Activity Village , No Time for Flashcards, The Spruce and Craft on Sea
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