Kids Club Torquay has the great fortune of being so closely located in a beautiful beachside town. Since the end of 2016, the educator team had been discussing and brainstorming the best ways in which to offer learning programs to the children as a meaningful and relevant way to form connections with the town, environment, community and each other. And this is how ‘beach kinder’ came about.
Inspired by other centres’ ‘bush kinder’ experiences, the educators decided to do their own kind of bush kinder but tailored to their own amazing environments and community. After hearing lots of positive and inspiring stories from some other kindergartens in the area, they set to the task of creating a beach kinder session where children could spend time learning from and engaging with the natural environment in their community with their peers and teachers in non-structured and inquiry based play and learning form.
“I just wanted to say well done on such a successful first day at beach kinder! Delilah didn’t stop talking about it last night, she had such a sparkle in her eye! I truly appreciate all the hard work you guys put in everyday, thank you and keep up the amazing work!”
A Kids Club Torquay family
Educational Leader, Amy Hyland commented, “This was a first for any of the long day care early childhood services in our area, as the only settings that offered an ongoing session outside of the learning environment, were privately owned sessional kindergartens, so we were a bit nervous. But it was a true tribute to all our planning and our amazing children because our beach session went swimmingly (excuse the pun)!”
Walking the 30 minutes down to the beach, the children were chatting excitedly, pointing at various things in the environment and waving at community members and discussing what they would do when they arrived.
Once they got there the children set off investigating, scouting the boundaries, digging up the sand or looking at different creatures washed up from the tide and describing their various features and how they felt on their skin and in their hands. They created imaginary group games and rolled, jumped and leapt off the sand dunes onto the cushioning sand, giggling wildly as they went.
Amy notes, “True free play with a wealth of rich learning may not be obvious but was definitely embedded in all that they did. We can’t wait to see how their play and learning progresses, develops and evolves as the weeks go on as the children re-visit the site and move along the beach. We can already imagine how different their interactions will be in the weeks to come.”
“Our environment and world is bursting with life and it is up to us to protect it and help others see the importance in protecting it, and at Kids Club, our kinder children are really leading the way.”
Educational Leader, Amy Hyland
She goes on to say, “The respect and love the children have already shown for the environment, their town, the wildlife and each other has already blown me away. On the way back, one of the children picked up a plastic bottle and said, ‘We don’t want a bird to eat it’. So we put it in our wagon to put in the bin at Kids Club. This cemented in my mind the importance of spending time in nature and how valuable these sessions are for both the children, but also us as educators.”
It took a lot of planning, revising, reflecting and patience to get this program off the ground and without our hard working group of educators, this beach kinder experience would not have been possible. We can’t wait to hear about Kids Club Torquay’s upcoming excursions!
Learn more about Kids Club Torquay
To explore this early learning centre in Torquay for yourself and to book a tour, head here.