Guardian Lilyfield Celebrates Successful First 2020 Excursion
4th March 2020
After weeks of planning, the team, children and family volunteers ventured off on Lilyfield’s first excursion of 2020 to their local park.
Here, Educator, Elizabeth, reflects on the success of the excursion and shares some of the children’s notable observations and experiences.
“The excursion on the 15th January 2020 was a wonderful experience for the children. Our Centre is located close to a body of water colloquially known as the Bay Run, which offers picturesque views of the Parramatta River and the Iron Cove Bridge.
The children walked down past the Bay Run to arrive at their highly-anticipated destination, Hippo Park, also known as Leichhardt Park, where they spent three hours exploring, playing and enjoying nature.
The children were excited by the prospect of walking to the park and playing on the equipment. The younger cohort of children got to the park first and they were able to have a play on the equipment. They also had some morning tea underneath the trees before engaging in a story book reading session before heading back for their quiet time.
The older children also walked down to the park, taking particular notice of the water and boats on their way. Once they got to the park, they engaged in free play within the playground. We then played a game of stuck in the mud, before gathering them to participate in a story book reading session.
The younger children noticed several people rowing boats out on the bay. They wanted to know how the boat balanced on the water as they were travelling so fast.
Once we got to the park, the children hypothesised as to why the park was known as the Hippo Park. They concluded that once a big hippo lived in the park and after it rained the hippo returned to the water.
One of the children noted the amount of boats along the water and began wondering who put them there. Another saw some flying fish jump out of the water which ignited a conversation about fish and sea creatures.
Once we were at the park, the conversations turned into imaginary games of pirates and princesses and trying to race each other.
When we finally returned to the Centre, the children could not stop talking about how much fun they had, and how tired they were after hours of adventure.
Planning the excursion took around two to three weeks. We had to ask for volunteers to meet the requirements for our ratio, which took the majority of planning time. We also had to arrange for staff to go and walk the route of the excursion when we were writing our risk assessment to assure everything was up to standard.
One of the main aspects that we emphasised prior to the excursion was sun safety. We discussed this a few times prior to excursion and again on the day. It soon became second nature to the entire Centre, with the children going on to remind their Educators to put sunscreen on.
The excursion explored several valuable learning opportunities for the children, including:
- Children feel safe, secure, and supported.
- Children learn to interact in relation to others with care, empathy and respect.
- Children become socially responsible and show respect for their environment.
- Children become strong in their social and emotional wellbeing.
- Children take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing.
- Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes.
- Children begin to understand how symbols and patterns work.
The feedback we got from families was outstanding. Our families were eager to volunteer and we got such a high response from the families of our younger cohort in particular.
The families were so happy that their children’s safety was at the forefront of our minds throughout the whole planning process and execution of the excursion as well. They can’t wait for the next one and have continued asking when it will be.
We received an outpour of support from our families throughout the entire process. It reminded the team about how lucky we are to have such supportive and involved families at our Centre.
We are planning to undertake some more excursions throughout the year. I would like to eventually take the children over to the local library, but that is a longer walk so we would have to slowly build up our stamina.
An excursion to another Guardian Centre is also one of our wish-list. What better way to build community connections than for the children to meet fellow Guardian peers?”
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