Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

So, this is Christmas!

By: MAIRE CORBETT

Tuesday 17 December 2019

Over the past few weeks we have been linking on social media to previous seasonal Scéalta posts. We’ve looked back at posts about encouraging creativity, avoiding colouring-in and gluing templates, being mindful and respectful of the traditions of everyone in our settings and looking to nature for inspiration for the art fest that this season brings. But the post that captured the most comment and attention on Facebook was one from December 2017, called Performing… for Who?

For those of you who haven’t yet read it, it tells the story of a setting where the manager thought their Christmas concert was very child-friendly and unpressurised. However, after the performance she overheard a mum asking her little boy why he didn’t sing in the concert, and subsequently at graduation noticed that same little boy singing in a very stressed way. She realised that despite her best efforts and reminding parents it was about fun and celebration, the concert was much more about adult expectations and a ‘product’ based celebration. In response to this, and following staff discussion and reflection, this setting changed their way of celebrating Christmas. Instead, they held a family event, where the children showed their parents and families around the creche, Santa came, and everyone sang songs and carols together. This was a much more child-friendly event and no one was expected to perform: just have fun with their families! Another setting I heard about had an ‘exhibition’ of children creations with staff having written down the children’s descriptions of what they made. Viewing the art was followed by refreshments and chat.

The comments on the post itself at the time, and on Facebook recently, would indicate that this struck a chord with readers. One person said that singing should be enjoyable for all. I agree completely. If a child (or anyone, for that matter) is anxious about how they are performing, the enjoyment goes, what should be fun is a chore. Another Facebook commenter describes how they have a Christmas family gathering where everyone, including families of staff members, come to the creche in the evening. There’s face-painting, mince pies, singing and Santa! She says: No stress, happy families and staff. It’s our best night of the year! I love the idea of having the staff members' families come along… so nice for children to see where their mammy or daddy works!

So, perhaps a few things to think about for the next ‘performance’ based event? When the madness is over for this year, take a few minutes to reflect on the purpose of the event, be it a concert or graduation….

Who is it for?

Do ALL the children enjoy it?

What other way could we do these events, without making it stressful for some children and staff?

But for this week…. enjoy the magic and madness! Have fun, revel in the children’s enjoyment of this special time.

And when you close your doors for the well-earned break, relax and have down-time with those you have around you for the festive season. It has been a stressful few months, so take the opportunity to recharge and take care of yourself!

The team behind Scéalta, and indeed all of us at Early Childhood Ireland would like to thank all our contributors and readers throughout 2019. We wish you a very happy Christmas and here’s to a great 2020!

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

Relaxation(1) Identity and Belonging(4) under 3's(3) trust(4) continual professional development(1) ECCE(7) Awards 2019(1) Jenga(1) Universal Design(2) Awards(2) Early Years(1) Administrative Burden(1) Research Conference 2019(1) MECPI(1) Home Corner(1) San Miniato(4) Decisions(1) Challenges(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) Budget 2020(1) relationships(17) Reggio Children Network(1) Snacks(1) Academics(1) Environment(2) early childhood educator(2) Qualifications(1) Feeding(1) Budget 2018(1) Recycling(2) Universal Design Guidelines(1) AIM(2) staying connected(1) Oireachtas(1) social media(1) Pedagogy(1) UD(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Socioemotional development(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) play pods(1) Teamwork(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Favouritism(1) Glitter(2) HR(1) Time Out(1) Belonging(3) social science(1) Communicating(1) Competent(1) imotion(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Lego(2) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) ICBN(1) Traffic Lights(1) Builders(1) Scéalta Book Review(1) movement behaviours(1) Engineers Week(2) Irish guidelines(1) food(1) Research Seminar(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Meet the Members(1) Pen green(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) ReCreate(2) Workforce(1) Santa(2) Mark Twain(1) Trade Unions(1) EM Standing(1) worries(1) Arlene Forster(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Human Resources(1) Party(1) National Pyjama Day(1) play pod(1) Sleep(1) early years research(2) Facebook(1) Wesco(1) mental health problems(1) Flowers(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Penguins(1) Workplace well-being(1) Malaguzzi(1) Self-Esteem(1) Magic(1) CIT(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) play(34) Inspections(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Anxiety(2) Titles(1) learning bias(1) risky play(2) Plastic(1) Twitter(1) INTO(1) Research and Professional Learning(1) Learning Journal(2) reading(5) experience(1) babies(7) Traditions(2) refugees(1) feisty(1) Children and families(1) educating(1) budget(1) AsIAm(2) Kerry(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) preschool(4) Masterclass(2) Playdough(1) christmas(9) UNCRC(2) E.coli(1) Wendy Lee(3) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) Digital Devices(1) ECEC Setting(2) Staff Motivation(1) Sustainable(1) Childhood(1) Prexit(1) TOY Programme(1) Patterns(1) play therapy(1) meals(3) CPD(1) Map(1) National Awards 2018(2) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Graduate(1) Hand Hygiene(2) june29(1) Grief(1) Book Club(2) Super Shed Stories(2) Opportunities(1) research submissions(1) routine(2) Maria Montessori(1) scéalta(40) Shoes(1) Learning Story Awards(2) Inspired Practice Awards(1) Identity(5) Maynooth(1) Academic Skills(1) Photographs(1) Effect of Lockdown(1) Engineering Ireland(1) Budget 2019(2) Employee(1) Quality(4) Exclusion(1) Sequins(1) Light table(1) College(1) child-centred approach(1) Covid pandemic(1) Liz Kerrins(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) Painting(1) Christmas Creativity(2) Story(1) Whole Group(1) TRAP(1) code of ethics(1) risk assessment(1) family time(1) IGL(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Aistear(122) Leargas(1) Fantasy play(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Empathy(1) Nutrition(1) Early Childhood Ireland(4) Síolta(120) Ceremony(1) childcare services(1) Change(1) science(3) Shapes(1) Infectious diseases(1) Funding(1) Interests(1) Vietnam(1) Xbox(1) Death(2) Dance(1) Anthony Semann(1) Gardening(1) Trauma-Sensitive(1) Reading Time(1) lockdown(1) Plants(1) Albert Einstein(1) Maynooth University(2) Imagination(3) Health(2) pablo(1) Diversity(1) show and tell(1) First 5 transitions for children award(1) Games(1) Wilenski(1) Behaviour(3) UN(1) Online(1) Brain(1) Inspirational(2) Afghanistan(1) Well-Being(10) Eritrea(1) Smiles(1) keezy(1) Exercise(1) Touch(1) Summer(1) Siolta blog(8) Aistear Siolta in Action(1) child-centric(1) man up(1) Awards Night(1) Support(1) Norway(2) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Interaction(1) GoToMeeting app(1) InspireMe.ie(1) Child Care(1) DES Inspection(1) Scents(1) Sustainability(3) Buddies(1) University(1) Drawing(2) The Play and Learning in the Early Years(1) Children's Rights(3) Mount Everest(1) Stress(2) Iraq(1) Exploring(1) dogs(1) Treasure(1) Gratitude(1) Visual Impairment(1) curiosity(3) Professionalisation(5) Workplace Relations(3) Sessional service(1) Giraffe(2) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) awards 2020(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Seas Suas(1) story time(2) gender bias(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) New Appointments(1) Little Buddies(1) Arithmetic(1) Valentine's Day(3) iOS(1) Equality(1) Window(1) Affordability(1) Síolta QAP(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Event Guide(1) United Nations(1) dining(1) Horizon 2020(1) interacting(2) Trigonometry(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Frustrations(1) Sport(1) ELC(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Engineering(3) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Montessori(3) annual conference(1) Building Resilience(1) early years learning(1) Running(1) mushrooms(1) The Jelly King(1) Care-giving routines(1) education(2) Thank you(1) Scéalta Blog(99) Halloween(2) Magnavacchi(1) Orla Kenny(1) Rituals(1) Inclusion(3) Training(2) outdoor space(3) linc(1) Exit interview(1) Through the looking glass(1) Playschool(1) RIE philosphy(1) Upcycling(1) Easter(1) Laugh(1) Intention(1) Child mental health(1) Impact(1) Social Skills(1) Community involvement(1) SPICE Framework(1) keep in touch(1) Reopening Childcare(1) ECEC(3) Interactions(2) Leprechauns(1) COVID-19(7) Growing up in Ireland(3) Snakes(1) reopening ireland(1) communication(4) risk(2) Queues(1) Irish(1) Care routines(1) healthy eating policies(1) Confidence(1) parents(6) code of professional responsibility(1) First 5 strategy(1) Mud kitchens(1) Maths(5) Pre-School Services(1) ears(1) Decision Making(1) Creative(1) Positivity(1) books(4) early life(1) friendships(1) Body Language(1) GDPR(1) Japan(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) Performance Management(1) outdoors(3) phone apps(1) Treasure Chest(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) Capable(1) National Early Childhood Research Conference(1) Document Learning(1) Bereavement(2) Confident(1) Appreciation(1) Settling in(4) Margy Whalley(1) dublin(2) COVID-19 Reopening(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Graduation(1) conference(1) Celebrations(4) MA(1) NCCA(3) development(8) Inter-generational(2) Weather(1) Children's Voice(1) RTE Investigates(1) Awards 2018(3) learning(19) learners(1) Culture(2) overhear(1) National Childcare Scheme(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) gender stereotype(1) outdoor play(6) preschool settings(1) Mantra(1) Wrapping paper(1) Meal time(1) SAC(1) supportive environments(2) Study Trip(1) Degree(1) Learning journals(1) children development(1) coronavirus(1) maternity health(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Communications(1) Line-ups(1) Covid19 crisis(1) dining experiences(1) School Age Childcare(1) Mealtimes(1) Mo Scéal(1) Syria(1) toddlers(3) memories(1) COVID-19 crisis(1) Pedagogical leaders(1) Kilkenny(1) Design(1) Adverse Childhood Experiences(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) Reggio Emilia(1) EECERA 2016(1) European Project(1) Italy(1) Biting(1) primary education(1) animals(2) Cognitive development(1) Maths Week(1) Pobal(1) Role play(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) Nonverbal(1) Adoption(1) Learning Stories(9) Maternity Leave(1) Reflective Practice(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) Leadership(1) First 5(1) Mindfulness(2) Thanks(1) Consent(1) Time(1) Family wall(1) community(5) Cork(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(2) art of the relationship(1) collaboration(1) Buddy Bench(1) research(6) NAEYC(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) purpose(1) eating(1) planning(1) STEM(3) Supernanny(1) curriculum(5) Mixed age groups(2) Arts(1) Trick or treat(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Independence(1) reopening(1) Mayo(1) Children's Research Network(1) Youtube Series(1) journey(1) Trade union(1) bonds(1) Early Years Educators(3) DCYA(6) Fabric(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) Winter(1) value(1) listening(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) pets(1) Inter-generational learning(2) Educators(2) Laughter(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) Music(3) Love(2) Your place(1) Certificate(1) Participation(2) stories(3) responsive relationships(1) Nuturing interactions(1) CCTV(1) listen(1) ERASMUS+(3) environments(1) Art(6) National Awards 2019(1) Loss(1) life long learning(1) bloom app(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Rich Documentation(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Self-regulation(1) Storytelling(6) World Health Organisation(1) Elders(1) Spiders(1) Snack Time(1) Self Help Skills(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) science week(2) Ariana Pucci(1) Book Review(1) Obesity(1) Craft(1) emotional environment(2) Technology(3) Sweets(1) Motor neuron disease(1) Mathematicians(1) The Lullaby Book(1) transitions(10) Engagement(1) Tuscan Approach(2) Autism(4) Family(1) structure(1) PIP(1) Iceland(1) Limerick(1) conversations(1) Celebrate(1) Potential(1) Infection Control(1) Children(4) Kids Own(1) Visitors(1) Leaders in Practice(1) Investment(2) blog(36) Yoga(1) baby room(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) Magda Gerber(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Policy(2) emotions(2) Reggio(1) Routines(2) developing motor skills(1) play stories(2) Learning Story(1) documentation(4) Mental Health(4) Creativity(4) Performing(1) Recycle(1) aistear blog(3) respect(5) racism(1) Fee Play(1) Early Learning and Care(1) role playing(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Breathing(2) Childcare(3) Inspired Practice Award(5) Blocks(1) Sculptures(1) educarer(1) Wonder(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) apps for children(1) Vertical grouping(1) youdoodle(1) Our Little Seed(1) National Holiday(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) grandchild(1) Thinking(1) Names(1) Digital(1) Advocacy(1) behavioural science(1) Primary School(2)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine