Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Together while apart

By: VERONIQUE DIDI

Monday 25 May 2020

Hello, my name is Veronique Didi and I am the owner manager of Piccolini Play & Learn preschool for the last 15 years. We operate from a community hall in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow. 

I thought that it would be important to stay in touch with the children of Piccolini during this terrible crisis.

I initially tried to give ‘homework’ to the children through our play-school WhatsApp group. The suggestion was: ‘Please tell a story of something that you really loved, that you did or that you saw during your day’, do a painting or a drawing of it and keep it for your scrap books. I had a few positive responses about it from a number of parents, but I wanted to develop it further.

With the help of a parent, I organised a conference call using the ‘GoToMeeting’ app and invited all the parents/children to be part of it. Everybody was thrilled about it. To reconnect together, I initially asked them about the above ‘homework’ and about what they did on that day.

A few interesting stories emerged and from that evolved our emergent curriculum as we do in playschool every day. One child had been in the woods and found a sheep jaw that she showed to everyone at the conference call.

Before closing the school, our most recent emergent curriculum had been ‘the dinosaurs’ and I thought to link her sheep jaw to a new learning programme. We had talked about herbivores and carnivores Dinosaurs in school, but we never talked about their teeth.

I prepared a learning programme about it and shared it with the children on the GoToMeeting app. At the end of the session I asked them to make, to draw, to paint a monster of their choice with a lot of teeth. At the next session the children showed their monsters to each other and were very proud to share their arts and crafts.

From there I developed a learning programme about omnivores and their teeth… which lead into food and what the children’s favourite food were. Their next suggestion was to make a plate with their favourite food using sand, playdough, paint. To cut and glue food from a magazine on a plate was another idea.

We did some science experiment using boiling water and red cabbage, vinegar, sodium bicarbonate and bleach solutions. The purple colour obtained from the red cabbage changed to blue, pink and yellow depending on the solution used.

Earlier in the year a grandmother gave me a sunflower head. We removed the seeds from it and March/April was the time to plant them. I placed a letterbox outside the playschool.  The parents were welcome to go and collect their envelope if they wanted. In each envelope were a few seeds for the children and their siblings. I asked the children to plant their seeds and we are monitoring how the flowers are doing during the Covid19 crisis.

The parents gave me feedback and one of them told me that her child would love to do a ’show and tell’ session. I scanned a book about ‘show and tell’ that I have in play school and read it to the children. It’s about a very shy pupil and the child who wants to do the ’show and tell’ session is extremely shy, so it helped her.

Initially I was a bit worried about these conference calls as they only last a short while, but it is actually absolutely feasible and the children (and their parents indeed) are truly enjoying the process.

I hope that this story will inspire some of you or that you will develop other ideas to inspire me on how to keep in touch by keeping our distance. 

Bio:

I am French and my name is Veronique Didi. Early years education is my second career. I had a craft business prior to my play-school which explains why I do a lot of art and craft with the children. I have a degree in early childhood education and I am the inclusion coordinator in our play school. 

I am passionate about children and enjoy helping them to develop their social skills, confidence, personalities and  self esteem. I highly value the role of play in which creativity, emotions and imagination thrive. 

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

Reflective Practice(1) Favouritism(1) babies(7) Building Resilience(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) Change(1) linc(1) Iraq(1) Infection Control(1) code of professional responsibility(1) Behaviour(3) Trade union(1) Mealtimes(1) documentation(4) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Belonging(3) Workforce(1) Scéalta Book Review(1) Síolta QAP(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) grandchild(1) ECEC(2) Siolta blog(8) Mathematicians(1) MA(1) gender bias(1) Decisions(1) Positivity(1) Early Childhood Ireland(2) GoToMeeting app(1) Online(1) development(8) Jenga(1) Thank you(1) Maths Week(1) baby room(1) Sequins(1) Engineering(3) IGL(1) Treasure Chest(1) National Early Childhood Research Conference(1) Patterns(1) Event Guide(1) Mount Everest(1) Trigonometry(1) listen(1) First 5(1) Celebrations(4) experience(1) Interactions(2) Your place(1) Through the looking glass(1) Photographs(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) june29(1) Ariana Pucci(1) Our Little Seed(1) Opportunities(1) Drawing(2) Maths(5) Awards 2018(3) risky play(2) SPICE Framework(1) curiosity(3) Budget 2018(1) Summer(1) Maternity Leave(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) Advocacy(1) Community involvement(1) Covid19 crisis(1) blog(34) ICBN(1) NAEYC(1) Norway(2) memories(1) emotions(2) Inspections(1) Reggio(1) science week(2) dining experiences(1) Book Review(1) communication(4) show and tell(1) Love(2) Family(1) research(6) Window(1) Lego(2) Study Trip(1) Meet the Members(1) Builders(1) EECERA 2016(1) Christmas Creativity(2) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Body Language(1) Celebrate(1) Mayo(1) Death(2) Glitter(2) Autism(4) Nuturing interactions(1) Well-Being(9) Time Out(1) Child Care(1) Effect of Lockdown(1) Children(4) Learning journals(1) Mark Twain(1) Snacks(1) Early Years Educators(3) Empathy(1) Frustrations(1) Book Club(2) Appreciation(1) Pre-School Services(1) Margy Whalley(1) Upcycling(1) RIE philosphy(1) Awards(2) Adoption(1) Reggio Children Network(1) bloom app(1) National Awards 2019(1) Document Learning(1) Sleep(1) The Jelly King(1) Tuscan Approach(2) child-centred approach(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) trust(4) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Bereavement(2) children development(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) COVID-19(5) budget(1) Valentine's Day(3) Cognitive development(1) Communicating(1) conference(1) continual professional development(1) Easter(1) Laughter(1) Sweets(1) Creativity(4) Pen green(1) PIP(1) Exit interview(1) UD(1) Liz Kerrins(1) Fabric(1) outdoors(3) Treasure(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) Playschool(1) animals(2) Light table(1) imotion(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) outdoor play(6) Academics(1) E.coli(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) National Holiday(1) Art(6) The Lullaby Book(1) Budget 2020(1) Sociodramatic play(1) First 5 transitions for children award(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Budget 2019(2) Supernanny(1) Orla Kenny(1) Halloween(2) Settling in(4) relationships(17) Awards Night(1) Confidence(1) Prexit(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) risk(2) Brain(1) Storytelling(6) Inclusion(3) Teamwork(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Names(1) Exploring(1) Reopening Childcare(1) planning(1) Identity and Belonging(4) Inspirational(2) Magic(1) Home Corner(1) learners(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) stories(3) Training(2) COVID-19 crisis(1) EM Standing(1) Decision Making(1) Map(1) Seas Suas(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Anxiety(2) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Care-giving routines(1) Professionalisation(5) Magda Gerber(1) Design(1) friendships(1) childcare services(1) Trade Unions(1) Confident(1) Sustainable(1) Running(1) Social Skills(1) Administrative Burden(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Spiders(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Engineering Ireland(1) structure(1) Feeding(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Horizon 2020(1) Self-regulation(1) Environment(2) COVID-19 Reopening(1) ears(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) staying connected(1) Recycle(1) Imagination(3) Youtube Series(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) conversations(1) Twitter(1) Early Years(1) Facebook(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) listening(1) ECCE(7) books(4) Child mental health(1) Snakes(1) Thanks(1) educarer(1) Leargas(1) Winter(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Weather(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Role play(1) UNCRC(2) Vietnam(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Mental Health(3) Qualifications(1) Inter-generational learning(2) play therapy(1) scéalta(37) Annual Conference 2019(1) University(1) UN(1) Independence(1) Communications(1) DES Inspection(1) Giraffe(2) Elders(1) Children's Rights(3) Smiles(1) preschool settings(1) Síolta(117) feisty(1) learning(19) maternity health(1) Motor neuron disease(1) worries(1) GDPR(1) social media(1) routine(2) Policy(2) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Leprechauns(1) pablo(1) Thinking(1) Shoes(1) Certificate(1) Whole Group(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) Sustainability(3) Annual Conference 2017(2) meals(3) curriculum(5) toddlers(3) primary education(1) Flowers(1) Culture(2) Shapes(1) Blocks(1) Wilenski(1) MECPI(1) respect(5) Awards 2019(1) Creative(1) Learning Story(1) Albert Einstein(1) early years research(2) preschool(4) Wonder(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(2) Academic Skills(1) phone apps(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) Children's Research Network(1) Workplace well-being(1) Malaguzzi(1) Consent(1) journey(1) National Pyjama Day(1) annual conference(1) Potential(1) SAC(1) Infectious diseases(1) Funding(1) Magnavacchi(1) Support(1) early childhood educator(2) overhear(1) parents(6) Sculptures(1) Performing(1) San Miniato(4) Meal time(1) Queues(1) Mo Scéal(1) Engineers Week(2) science(3) Graduation(1) refugees(1) Self Help Skills(1) Exclusion(1) InspireMe.ie(1) Exercise(1) ReCreate(2) United Nations(1) Maynooth(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Ceremony(1) Fee Play(1) Snack Time(1) Afghanistan(1) Gratitude(1) research submissions(1) developing motor skills(1) man up(1) Iceland(1) Buddy Bench(1) behavioural science(1) Gardening(1) TOY Programme(1) School Age Childcare(1) Kids Own(1) Cork(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) gender stereotype(1) Childhood(1) Primary School(2) Wesco(1) Plants(1) Pedagogical leaders(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Obesity(1) RTE Investigates(1) Intention(1) keep in touch(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) HR(1) Pedagogy(1) Research and Professional Learning(1) ELC(1) Recycling(2) environments(1) ERASMUS+(3) dublin(2) awards 2020(1) apps for children(1) Covid pandemic(1) Plastic(1) National Childcare Scheme(1) STEM(3) Performance Management(1) AsIAm(2) child-centric(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) Buddies(1) early years learning(1) Inter-generational(2) Reggio Emilia(1) Wrapping paper(1) Staff Motivation(1) Learning Journal(2) Childcare(3) Maths Week Ireland(1) Maynooth University(2) Italy(1) Research Seminar(1) iOS(1) life long learning(1) Limerick(1) Biting(1) Irish(1) Digital(1) National Awards 2018(2) Engagement(1) family time(1) Self-Esteem(1) Health(2) European Project(1) Socioemotional development(1) collaboration(1) transitions(10) Grief(1) NCCA(3) Leaders in Practice(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Trick or treat(1) eating(1) Little Buddies(1) community(5) Mindfulness(2) Painting(1) Human Resources(1) Workplace Relations(3) Wendy Lee(3) Children's Voice(1) Scents(1) story time(2) College(1) Pobal(1) Degree(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Nutrition(1) Fantasy play(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) Scéalta Blog(99) Breathing(2) Interests(1) bonds(1) code of ethics(1) Universal Design Guidelines(1) Mixed age groups(2) Children and families(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) Interaction(1) Craft(1) Santa(2) INTO(1) play pods(1) Stress(2) Line-ups(1) ECEC Setting(2) Mantra(1) Family wall(1) New Appointments(1) keezy(1) christmas(9) Eritrea(1) emotional environment(2) Story(1) Technology(3) Dance(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) Titles(1) Syria(1) dining(1) DCYA(4) Visitors(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Arts(1) First 5 strategy(1) Routines(2) Growing up Outdoors(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) play(34) play stories(2) Traditions(2) art of the relationship(1) Participation(2) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) mushrooms(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) Employee(1) Challenges(1) Rich Documentation(1) Investment(2) reading(5) Time(1) AIM(2) outdoor space(3) Quality(4) Japan(1) Xbox(1) Kerry(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) Touch(1) Games(1) Hand Hygiene(2) healthy eating policies(1) Super Shed Stories(2) Montessori(3) Leadership(1) Loss(1) Vertical grouping(1) Reading Time(1) Research Conference 2019(1) education(2) under 3's(3) Aistear Siolta in Action(1) Kilkenny(1) Oireachtas(1) early life(1) interacting(2) Capable(1) Universal Design(2) Playdough(1) role playing(1) food(1) TRAP(1) Aistear(121) Educators(2) Rituals(1) Graduate(1) Penguins(1) Relaxation(1) Sessional service(1) Arithmetic(1) risk assessment(1) pets(1) Digital Devices(1) Visual Impairment(1) supportive environments(2) Music(3) social science(1) Mud kitchens(1) Party(1) The Play and Learning in the Early Years(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) movement behaviours(1) educating(1) Affordability(1) CIT(1) Learning Stories(9) Diversity(1) Identity(5) value(1) Care routines(1) Traffic Lights(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) play pod(1) Impact(1) Yoga(1) learning bias(1) purpose(1) youdoodle(1) lockdown(1) Inspired Practice Awards(1) Nonverbal(1) dogs(1) Learning Story Awards(2) Sport(1) reopening ireland(1) Masterclass(2) Arlene Forster(1) CPD(1) Laugh(1) Early Learning and Care(1) Maria Montessori(1) Competent(1) CCTV(1) aistear blog(3)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine