The children have returned with full and interesting treasure boxes (boxes we sent home at the end of the year for children and families to collect momentoes of their holiday experiences). We have had shells and rocks from beaches near and far, movie tickets, maps, tickets and brochures of adventures and activities for children and families. We have been able to discuss events and activities using the momentoes and it has been fun to see what everyone has been doing while on holiday. (Recalling past experiences is a valued learning goal from the curriculum - Te Whaariki too).
Some slightly whacky interests have surfaced too from these treasure boxes. We are investigating smells - everything from almond (not a favourite at all with anyone except Stephanie) to chocolate, banana, garlic, and even which teachers perfume is which. Some children have very well developed sense of smell!!
The "smells" interest led to that favourite and very funny book" The little mole who knew it was none of his business" and we wondered if Pigeon Mountain where we are visiting soon with our friends at Botany Downs Kindergarten( the other Auckland COI) has the same smells and hazards - cowpoo- as our mountain?? A question to find out.
We have had pirate tea parties and dance and ballet figure largely in the daily events as well. And thanks to a couple of local factories we have some interesting wood that has provoked children's creative thinking. The huge constructions from the carpentry area have challenged parents ideas about how to transport them home.
We have been in touch with both our local schools and have begun to plan events and research together to contribute to our COI work. We are looking forward to a busy year with COI as it will be our last on the contract. Every time we visit school to see how the new entrants are going we are reminded how positive it has been to have this relationship with school and how it has supported and strengthened the transition for children from kindergarten and their families.