Find­ing new ex­pe­ri­ences

The Leader (Tasman) - - OUT & ABOUT - BRENDA HOLDAWAY

When young chil­dren are en­coun­ter­ing new ex­pe­ri­ences for the first time here are a few things you can do to sup­port them to make the most of the sit­u­a­tion:

Fol­low don’t lead. What­ever in­ter­ests them is what you should spend time ex­plor­ing.

Won­der aloud. When you won­der aloud, chil­dren take up the idea and run with it.

This is a great way to draw them in and cre­ate their own con­clu­sions about things. A cou­ple of good starters are; ‘‘I won­der what this smells like?’’ ‘‘I won­der what colours are there?’’

Rec­og­nize the pos­i­tive be­hav­iour you want – not the neg­a­tive you don’t want.

With new things chil­dren won’t nec­es­sar­ily know how to be­have. Fo­cussing on pos­i­tive be­hav­iour is a great way to give them the guid­ance they need. ‘‘I like the way you are watch­ing with your eyes,’’ in­stead of say­ing ‘‘Don’t touch’’.

Use your imag­i­na­tion.

Try to imag­ine what it’s like to have never seen this be­fore, and try to find new ways to ex­plore it so that you’re see­ing things for the first time too.

Brenda Holdaway is Whanau Fa­cil­i­ta­tor at Nel­son Tas­man Kin­der­gartens

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