Pick up time at the end of the day is such an exciting time – typically little faces light up when their parent or caregiver arrives. But how can families encourage meaningful conversations with their child about their activities and experiences for the day?
Jola Sung, Education Advisor at Lifelong Learning Centres gave us an insight into the importance of prompting conversations with children – and some helpful tips for those little ones who are shy (or give one word answers!)
Why ask questions?
When children start attending an Early Childhood setting – like one of our Lifelong Learning Centres, they are exposed to new challenges, new experiences and new people.
It is important to know how the children felt about their day to get an insight into their sense of identity. These conversations can also gauge children’s self-regulation and independence in real life situations, for instance in peer interactions and in challenging situations. They provide great opportunities to encourage the children to retell, reflect and perhaps respond differently in situations which prompts higher level of thinking and problem solving.
“Staying in tuned to children’s experience in early childhood settings provide a holistic approach to support their understanding of their surroundings”, explained Jola.
How to help your child reflect on the day?
If you are asking broad questions like, “What did you do today?”, children can feel overwhelmed because they have simply done so much! Consider narrowing the questions like, “I saw in some photos you did painting today – using lots of bright colours. What were you painting?”
If you child is naturally shy, try to focus on topics that are immediately relevant to your child’s day – or interests, like asking about a special friend.
How to prepare for conversations?
Have a chat with your child’s educator when you arrive at pick-up time!
“We love talking to our families about their children’s day because we know how beneficial it is to have us working as a partnership, and continue the learning at home”, said Jola.
Our community of Lifelong Learning Centres also uses online platforms – such as Storypark and Facebook, as well as wall displays and educational programs in-centre to share with families our projects.
If you are wanting more tips on having meaningful, reflective conversations with your child - speak with your Centre Manager or Educator, who can provide additional support.
All of our Lifelong Learning Centres are taking enrolments for 2020 and beyond! Find your closest Lifelong Learning Centre - and book a tour online. Alternatively, call 1800 CHILD CARE.