Are you getting ready to kick-start a brand-new term? We spoke to Nicole Cormack, Account Manager for Education at Winc, to find out more about how to teach collaboration and encourage togetherness in early childhood groups.
Boost outdoor learning experiences
“Many children have spent the better part of last few years indoors, so a great way to encourage engagement is to incorporate outdoor learning experiences,” says Nicole. Research shows that in addition to improving children’s engagement in learning and enjoyment of it, outdoor learning also improves their skills in social interaction and improves their concentration and behaviour1.
Extending learning outside the centre and into the natural environment create opportunities for integrated learning, as well as supporting personal health and wellbeing. Ensure that hand sanitisers and cleaning products are nearby to disinfect hands and surfaces.
Add more colour in the classroom
Colour plays an integral role in influencing learning and mood by boosting productivity within early childhood groups. “Bright and bold colours affect sensory processing. Colours play a significant role in creating a positive working environment and helps to increase productivity,” says Nicole. Use artwork created by kids around the room to promote self-expression and creativity.
Allocate quiet spaces
While collaborative learning approaches such as group activities are great for boosting child interaction, it is also important to implement quiet time for focused work. “It’s a good idea to provide quiet spaces to help kids when they feel overwhelmed or overstimulated by their usual environments. Removing sensory distractions can help children focus on their work and boost their wellbeing,” says Nicole. Nicole recommends supplying arts and craft materials to help children to calm down, focus and express their feelings.
Create communal areas
“A great way to build room culture is by maximising nearby communal areas. Play areas, multi-purpose spaces, or even playgrounds can inspire learning and promote togetherness within the group,” Nicole advises.
Open spaces are a great way to form friendships and foster collaborative learning as many kids feel more comfortable sharing ideas with one another. Equip these areas with coloured pens, markers and paper to meet all your learning needs.
Functional furniture for fun activities
Nicole recommends filling rooms with movable furniture items such as drawers to facilitate sharing and easy access to supplies. “Having correct storage helps to educate kids by encouraging them to keep organised and share supplies with one another. Flexible furniture such as ottomans and stools can also help collaboration and group work.”
Winc can support you with everything your centre needs, with products from brands you know and trust. Browse our wide range of essentials online for your mid-year top-up.