Getting out and about into the community is not only an exciting change of scene from the early learning centre, but it also provides a whole host of benefits for children.
The children at Guardian Early Learning Centre Moorabbin and Bentleigh East can be seen out exploring the local area on their regular excursions. Rebecca Clifton, Centre Manager at Guardian Moorabbin says, “Our most recent excursion was to the athletics track out the back of our beautiful centre. We went out each day for a week and ran sporting, dancing and aerobic activities with the children. We love the glorious wide open space!”
But what are the children learning from being out and about? “So much!” says Ms Clifton. “We talk about road safety while walking to the park, they learn about the importance of listening to their educators in public spaces and respecting those around them. They’re also learning all about different gross body movements involved in the sporting activities.”
The children from Bentleigh East have been visiting the local parks in recent months. Educational Leader Jaimi Boyle notes, “We feel these excursions are a very important part of our program as we are able teach the children various topics or concepts in everyday, relatable environments and experiences. Children’s main influences are home life, school/centre life and their community. Through excursions we are able to bring these together to build a strong learning platform.”
Guardian believes that children should have a respected voice in the world and shouldn’t be invisible in our community. And they’re certainly not invisible when on excursion! By getting out and exploring, children get to know different spaces in their local community and can experience the natural environment outside of their immediate world inside the centre. Excursions also give children “time and space to move their bodies. To express themselves and feel good,” adds Ms Clifton.
And it’s not just children joining in on the excursions. Many of the children’s families come to help and join in and have nothing but positive things to say about the range of activities they’ve been introduced to. Ms Boyle says, “We’ve even had parents come on the excursion with us or meet us at the park [when] they did not normally attend on that day.”
What’s next for these excursions? Ms Clifton says, “We have been discussing the potential to make park visits an ongoing activity in smaller groups throughout the year as it provides so many peaceful learning opportunities.” Ms Boyle adds that due to the great feedback from families they will be holding more frequent excursions and are “hoping to expand them to include libraries and art galleries.”
Getting the children out of the centre doesn’t have to be a big event. Ms Clifton notes, “Sometimes our Kinder group finishes off some of their days by simply popping on some music and having a dance in the park.” In all honesty, we wish most of our days could end like this!
The children at Guardian Early Learning Centre – Mentone are looking forward to starting up their own excursions later in the year like their friends at Moorabbin and Bentleigh East. However their brand new outdoor spaces complete with sandpits, edible garden, climbing frame and fort are keeping them busy in the meantime! Keep your eyes peeled for the Guardian children when they are our and about in your local community and be sure to wave hello.
Find your closest Guardian Early Learning Centre
- Moorabbin: 488 South Road, Moorabbin. Phone 03 9553 6635.
- Bentleigh East: 236 East Boundary Road, Bentleigh East. Phone 03 9579 5700.
- Mentone: 37 Venice Street, Mentone, Phone 03 9583 4566.
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