Things I’ve learnt from Playschool

Yesterday afternoon I sat watching Playschool with my 18month old. I usually miss it due to being at work, but a Friday afternoon early mark let me spend some extra time with my unhappy (sick) little man. We snuggled together and watched Playschool and the whole time I was amazed at how it engaged him (and me!) This is a kid that has very little interest in television, usually only giving commercials a passing glance or stopping to dance to some music. But somehow, Playschool got him in! And it used to get me in too….well I guess it still does! This made me reflect on all the things I (and other Early Childhood professionals) have and no doubt will, learn from playschool.

·         Made up songs are great – sure there are the old classics, the “fall-backs” but making up songs about things that the children are interested in is great! It doesn’t matter how well you can sing, just make it rhyme and make it fun and the kids will love it·         Don’t be afraid to act silly – not only will the kids find it funny, but they are more likely to let go of any inhibitions that they may have and really get in and enjoy dance and drama·         A box is amazing – yesterday I saw boxes get turned into moving trucks, furniture and shoes. The potential of a simple box is so often forgotten! I’ve noticed over the years that kids will often be creative with boxes, but as a teacher I am not. Why haven’t I made story props from boxes before? In addition to the boxes, yesterday they made a waterwheel out of a laundry basket lid and some yoghurt containers – genius! ·         Stories are so much better with props – yesterday’s story was about a little girl moving house. It was acted out through dolls and bears and using cardboard box houses and moving trucks. So often we just pull out a book and read it. Sure we might use voices to engage the kids, but they really do love us acting things out – and even better if they can help! Two of the amazing educators at my centre regularly put on a puppet show for the kids and use it as a way to discuss issues – the kids love it!I’m sure there are many more things I have learnt from Playschool, but these stood out from yesterday’s viewing. I would love to hear what you have learnt from this iconic Australian children’s program…Oh – and it also inspired me to set a weekly challenge for my team. They are to get the children engaged in an “active” song (one with dance moves etc) that they haven’t done before and then share with the team. Cant wait to see what they come up with (I might even have a go myself!)

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