June is almost here and with it comes the longest days of the year and the beginning of the Summer season. It’s time to make the most of the longer, brighter days and drier, warmer weather and get outdoors as much as possible! In June we celebrate Father’s Day and typically a graduation but unfortunately things are different in 2020 so graduation ceremonies will either be postponed until later in the year or some services are arranging variations of a ceremony to be held while staying apart. The Summer Curriculum Planning Pack for June has some great activities and includes the main topics that we may think about in June; Summer, Father’s Day and Graduation.
As we are all still at home right now, these activities can be used for remote learning to continually engage with parents as suggestions for them to do with the children. We are also aware of services who are doing one to one video calls with preschool children and these activities may be useful for these lessons also. The pack also includes observation sheets that you can use for observing children and a June calendar sheet to help with your planning. There are some great themes that you can use for the month of June to incorporate into your calendar which we have suggested below.
June Monthly Curriculum Planning Pack Theme Ideas
Summer – A Summer theme is a great way to teach children about a new Season. Children will learn that Summer is the hottest of the four seasons and at Summer Solstice the days are longest and the nights shortest. This is the time when children take a break from school to enjoy the nice warm weather and to typically go on holidays and family outings with family and friends. There are many different themes that can be done for Summer such as The Beach, Camping, Outdoor Picnics, Sports Day, Swimming, Ice Cream and Lemonade to name but a few.
Father’s Day – Of course Father’s Day will be a top theme for June. There are many ways you can teach the children about Father’s Day. You can discuss why we celebrate it and different ways we can show our love to the male role models in children’s lives. The children can make art such as pictures and cards to give to their Daddy, Grandfather or Godfather on Father’s Day.
Graduation – Although this year’s graduation ceremony won’t be like previous years it is a good idea to explain to the children what a graduation is and why we celebrate it. The children can learn a graduation poem or song and make some graduation crafts. This is a big milestone as the children will move to Primary School at the start of the next term in September. So it is important to mark it in some small way if possible.
Water – Children love to splash in puddles, have water fights and play with water in many different ways. A water theme is a great way to introduce children to what water is, where it comes from and how we use it in our daily lives. As we are into warmer weather now there is more opportunity for children to play with water. This can be as simple as having a basin in the garden to bathe small toys, make bubbles, or have a dip in a small paddling pool. When we can move further from home this could be to go fishing, swimming or rock pooling. It is also a good opportunity to talk about water safety for children.
Eric Carle – The great children’s author Eric Carle celebrates his birthday on the 25th of June. Children may be familiar with books such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?, or The Grouchy Ladybug. This is a great theme to teach children about writing books, telling stories and talking about the many books that they all love and read on a regular basis.
June: The 6th Month of the year, 30 Days
Flowers: Chrysanthemums, Cornflower, Magnolia, Roses, Poppies, Water Lilies
Weather: Sunny, Warm, Mild, Bright Blue Skies
If you are already a member of the Early Years Resource Factory, this new June pack comes free as part of your membership. If you are not already a member you can sign up here. 50% Discount now available for new EYRF members. You can also sign up for a trial which will give you access to EYRF for 7 days so that you have a better idea of what the service entails. Click herefor your 7 day trial.
Storytelling is one of the oldest forms of teaching young children and creates a sense of wonder and magic about the world. Stories can be told about just about anything and can teach us about ourselves, others and the world around us. Storytelling is a unique way for children to learn about other cultures and to develop an understanding and positive attitude towards people from different cultures and lands.
There are many benefits of storytelling for young children:
Storytelling inspires purposeful talking about the story and other things that may be triggered from the story.
Storytelling promotes reading and introduces new vocabulary to children
Storytelling improves the children’s listening skills
Storytelling brings a sense of community to any setting
Storytelling engages children and helps them to concentrate on one task.
Storytelling helps to improve children’s memories by asking them about the story at a later stage.
Storytelling encourages the imagination and creativity of young children.
Storytelling teaches children about people and places from other cultures and lands.
Today’s story from award-winning storyteller Liz Weir is about a fairy whose job it is to let the rainbow out of the rainbow box. But this fairy has a very nosy fairy neighbour who is going to get her into trouble. Listen in to hear what happens in this great weekly addition to The Early Years Shop and make sure you share it with the families of your children!
Getting ready to re-open your service may seem like a daunting task. The setting will look very different from when you were last there in March and many things will need to be put in place before the doors can re-open. WHO and the HSE are taking much action to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 Coronavirus across Ireland and the world and every sector of society must play their part. Returning to an early years’ setting will be particularly challenging as we balance the need to create the safest space possible with children’s needs and rights.
There are simple and low cost ways that WHO have outlined that you can start with in order to prevent the spread of the virus in your workplace. These steps can be done easily and cost effectively:
Ensure the workplace is clean and hygienic by disinfecting and wiping down all surfaces regularly.
Promote regular and thorough hand washing to employees, children and visitors. This can be done by putting hand sanitisers in prominent places, displaying posters promoting hand hygiene and making sure there is adequate access for staff, children and visitors to wash their hands with soap and water.
Promote good respiratory hygiene by displaying posters in prominent places and having paper tissues available, along with closed bins to dispose of them in a correct and hygienic way.
Brief employees and families that if Covid-19 begins to spread in your community that anyone with a mild cough or low grade fever needs to stay at home. Continually promote this message to staff and families of the service and ensure that you have posters in prominent places with this message for employees and families to see.
At The Early Years Shop, we now have a brand new section for Covid-19 Signs and Posters so that you will have the tools required to put some of the above measures in place. Most of the signs and posters are done using bright colours and pictures so that they are child-friendly and may even add some fun for the children when they do return. The new product range includes hand washing signs and guides for both adults and children, hand sanitiser adult only sign and Covid-19 symptoms guideline poster. These posters come in various sizes and are laminated so that they can easily be wiped clean on a regular basis.
There are also a number of non-slip floor stickers available to promote social distancing. These stickers are bright and colourful and add some fun into the concept of measuring physical distance. You can choose from floor stickers with two feet, two young children or a 2 metre ‘Sammy Snake’! If you would prefer to paint on floor markings we also have a ‘Feet’ floor stencil that is used with spray paint to make feet symbols on your floor or in outdoor areas. This is something that could be used beyond Covid-19 to mark out exercise or play areas for the children. The spray paint can be applied to any surface and again can be made fun by using bright colours that the children will engage with!
We do hope to add to this new range of Covid-19 products as we receive more information from the HSE and Tusla on the guidelines for returning to Early Years Services so please keep an eye on our website and social media pages for more updates!
It’s Tuesday again and time for a new story from our favourite story teller, Liz Weir. Liz is an award-winning story teller from Northern Ireland who is delighted to share her story telling with children that are missing their early years setting and would like a story!
The Magic Umbrella story tells of an old lady who lives in the middle of a forest. On her way home one day it starts to rain and thinking she would get wet with no coat on she picked up an old umbrella that she found at a tree, to keep her dry. Little did she know that this wasn’t just any regular umbrella – this one was full of magic! Share this lovely story with the parents of your service. A great story to evoke imagination while practising counting! 1, 2, 3, wheeeee!!!!