A quality early education provider understands the crucial importance of excursions in helping to foster a sense of curiosity, confidence and a love of learning in a child. That’s why we include a number of fun and exciting visits to the ‘outside world’ at our Treasured Tots childcare centres in Fremantle, Mandurah and Bibra Lake.
We understand that outings not only provide valuable opportunities for a child to gain confidence in an unfamiliar environment, encouraging strong and reciprocal trust between the children and our educators, they also create a breadth of experience for children and offer new avenues for learning, discovery and engagement.
We see excursions as a vital learning opportunity for a child to:
- experience challenge within a safety net of trusted, supportive and caring educators and family members
- make meaningful connections with the world outside of the early learning centre or their homes
- learn new social skills, eg how to behave in certain environments such as in a ‘quiet’ library space or around animals in captivity
Here are a few of our favourite places for children to visit on an excursion:
A zoo or wildlife park
Children are born curious and they approach the natural world with wonder and awe. A venue where they have the opportunity to get up close to animals and birds - or sometimes to actually interact with the wildlife - opens up a new world of discovery for them. This type of experience also provides an opportunity for children to learn about caring for animals and why the choices that humans make have an impact on the environment.
A visit to a cultural centre provides an opportunity for children to learn about diversity and to strengthen their sense of community and belonging. For example, Treasured Tots Fremantle has a strong relationship with the Fremantle Walyalup Aboriginal Cultural Centre (WACC) and takes children on regular excursions to the centre so that they can explore and learn about the traditions and customs of the traditional owners of the land.
Retirement or Aged Care Homes
Much has been said recently about the significant benefits of interactions between the elderly and very young children. There’s even a TV show, ‘Old People’s Home for 4-year Olds’ about a group of older adults living alone and a group of lively 4-year-olds in an intergenerational playschool for learning, connection and friendship.
An excursion to a local retirement or aged care home helps expose children to an aspect of the community which some may not yet have experienced. It creates a real connection between the generations and helps the young ones develop important social and communication skills, including learning about care, concern, empathy and compassion.
Gardens are the perfect outdoor classroom. An excursion to the local Botanical Gardens opens up a treasure-trove of experiences that taps into all of a child’s senses. Because of the larger scale of these types of gardens, seasonal changes and plant diversity are often much more evident than in residential spaces and children can experience the different colours, shapes, smells and touch of the plants, trees, leaves, bark etc.
An excursion to a local ‘big’ school can be invaluable in allaying a child’s fears or anxiety about their future beyond the boundaries of their early learning centre, helping them to feel comfortable and relaxed about their move to a more formal school setting. By exposing the children to this new environment, it creates opportunities for observation, engagement and understanding.
These are just a few ideas for excursions for young children, but there are so many others such as visits to local emergency services like the fire station, the library, a farmer’s market, a butcher’s shop, florist, plant nursery or train station.
There’s no doubt that excursions provide a new dimension to a child’s learning experience as well as helping them to gain confidence in what can seem like a big and sometimes scary world out there. They’re an important aspect of life at our three childcare centres in Fremantle, Bibra Lake and Mandurah and if the feedback is anything to go by, these experiences are loved by the children, their parents and caregivers as well as the wider community.
We’re all about quality early education as a critical foundation for life, and these external experiences are a vital part of that framework. To find out more about our childcare centres, we welcome you to get in touch with us at www.treasuredtots.com.au to make a date for a personal tour or have a look at our Facebook pages to see our early education in action.