Appreciation in Early Years
In the Early Years, children appreciate the wonders and beauty of the world much more than adults do, without really knowing it. A ladybug fluttering from one place to the next can amaze young children; why does it do that? What is it doing? Does it always do that? The amount of questions they ask makes you realise just how mesmerised they are about this little creature we tend to take for granted. In the same way, they can be completely fascinated by the pebbles in our wonderful sandpit. They appreciate them; their different colours, shapes and sizes. These are only two examples of the spontaneous appreciation we see here in the Early Years area. Of course, there are also moments to explicitly appreciate the world around us, for example during our International Week. The Nursery children were introduced to many countries and their cultures and traditions. The children enjoyed trying new food, listening to songs and stories in many different languages and making things that are typical for a country like dragon masks when learning things about China and Chinese New Year. In Reception, the children are learning to appreciate the different countries their classmates are from through their individual projects and through the parents who come into the classrooms to present their respective countries. Whether we explicitly direct the children’s attention to appreciate the world around them or the children are completely fascinated by something during their play, appreciation seems to come naturally to the children in the Early Years. Something we as teachers cherish and use to trigger many learning experiences. The world is amazing and we love exploring it with these wonderful young children!