February 2019 Inspired Practice Winners

Paw Poo Patrol The ABC Club, Dunboyne The old saying “never work with children and animals” certainly bears no weight in this most engaging and inspiring of stories. While the concept of young children as citizens in their own right is promoted throughout the early years sector, practical examples of young children’s citizenship in action […]

February 2019 Inspired Practice Winners

Paw Poo Patrol

The ABC Club, Dunboyne

February 2019 Inspired Practice Winners

The old saying “never work with children and animals” certainly bears no weight in this most engaging and inspiring of stories. While the concept of young children as citizens in their own right is promoted throughout the early years sector, practical examples of young children’s citizenship in action are harder to access. This story however is a wonderful example of this. The newly formed Paw Poo Patrol in the town of Dunboyne become influencers, gaining admirers and followers within their community and beyond. Their actions showcase the amazing capabilities of our youngest citizens to notice, reflect, problem solve and take action as they address a very topical and increasing problem of dog poo on the local pavements. The strength of this story lies in the capacity of the young children and the insightfulness of the adults, both parents and educators who listened to them and followed their lead (no pun intended). One would never imagine that a story about dog poo could be so engaging, heartwarming, and above all inspiring.

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Fruit Art

Kidz@Play Playschool and Afterschool

February 2019 Inspired Practice Winners

Amy the chef in Kidz @ Play believes that “we eat with our eyes” before it ever gets to our mouths. With this in mind she put her creative artistic mind to work to come up with engaging ways to present fruit to her young clients. Her fantastic efforts result in creative, fun. and most of all enticing fruit filled platters. The children now eagerly await fruit time to feast on the creation of the day. So popular are her platters that an Instagram account was requested by the parents so they could replicate and experiment at home.  The children also have got into creative mode as they experiment with their own designs ably supported by Amy. We feel this is just “starters” for Amy and her Kids  @ Play. 

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Full Circle

Helping Hands Preschool, Dublin

At the heart of this simple story of a doctors visit to a preschool hides a story of relationships, relationships between young and old, between families and friends, between work colleagues, trainers, and mentors. Old relationships that have stood the test of time provide new opportunities for both educators and doctors to share their learning, knowledge and friendship to help this young generation of preschoolers learn about each other and how their bodies work. With a few children in the setting having a real life connection to the cochlear implant programme it was particularly meaningful morning where they were the experts and could relate their knowledge and experiences to their peers.

The team in Helping Hands have embraced continuous professional development training and have seen the impact this is having on their day to day work with the children in their care. The Aim supports combined with strong parental relationships and good team work enable this setting build inclusive practice that is benefitting one and all in Helping Hands Preschool.

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Zoom zoom zoom, we’re going to the moon!

Little Gumboots Preschool

This inspiring practice in Little Gumboots is literally “out of this world”. The recent phenonomean of red moons, and eclipses had sparked some of the children’s  interest in all things space. Building on the children’s interest the educators find playful ways to help the children experience some concepts of space. Closely following the children’s reflections and utilising some of their families funds of knowledge the experiences take off. The children play in the planets, create artistic representations of the solar system, meet the mam who wrote her own book on space. With the help of one of the dad’s they build their own rocket ship complete with alien invaders. and impress the planterium man with their knowledge of the stars. It can be seen throughout the story how the educators  incorporate the adult led elements of a curriculum in a manner that is conducive to their ethos of supporting child led emerging interests through play and relationships.

 

The Real Tractor

Little Moo Moo’s Playschool

Many early years settings across the length and breadth of the country will attest to the extraordinary fascination of many young children with the humble “Tractor””. In little Moo Moos Playschool the children were no different. A highlight of many a day was watching Farmer Rory in his big red tractor doing all the things that tractors do. The educators began noticing all of this work being replicated in childrens play. The play tractors were constantly in use as the children played “”farmers””. A perfectly ploughed sand pit (courtesy of two boys using wheelbarrows as their tractor and plough) was another play episode. For some children this fascination never leaves them it accompanies them through their lives. This was the case with Farmer Rory his brother and his son. Tractor enthusiasts one and all.

Recognising and appreciating the interest of the children the family come up with a plan to build a life size tractor for all of the children to play with and in. Over a five week period day and night the generations of Dwyers built a tractor to beat all tractors. The story shows how the entire setting benefited from this inspiring adventure.

Click here to read their story

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