Why community connections are so important for children's development
Today, our kindergarten class at Choklits Surrey Hills visited one of our many local parks (pictures below). This excursion was rich in learning opportunities including road safety, the process of getting ready (vests, name tags, water bottles, etc.) and of course seeing the sights around us. This is just one of many trips we have planned as we continue to build our connections with our local community.
As children grow, it’s essential they get exposure to various experiences to help them develop holistically. One way to do this is to get out and about in your community regularly where many adventures await! At Choklits, for example, we facilitate many local excursions which involves taking children to different locations within our community to learn about and experience new things. Local excursions are not only exciting for children but also have numerous benefits for their development. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of local excursions for 3-5 year olds and how they relate to the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF).
The EYLF is a framework that guides early childhood education in Australia. It outlines five learning outcomes that children should achieve by the end of their early years. These outcomes include children having a strong sense of identity, being connected with and contributing to their world, having a strong sense of well-being, being confident and involved learners, and being effective communicators.
Local excursions are an effective way to support these learning outcomes. Here are some benefits of local excursions for 3-5-year-olds:
- Developing a sense of identity: Local excursions allow children to explore their community and learn about the people, places, and events that make it unique. This experience helps them develop a sense of identity and belonging to their community. For instance, taking a trip to a local museum or art gallery exposes children to the history and culture of their community, which helps them understand their place in it. This knowledge helps children develop a sense of identity and belonging to their community.
- Connecting with and contributing to their world: Local excursions provide children with opportunities to connect with their community and contribute to it. For instance, taking a trip to a local park or beach allows children to enjoy the natural environment while also learning about the importance of preserving it. This experience helps children understand the importance of protecting their environment and contributing to their community’s well-being.
- Developing a strong sense of well-being: Local excursions provide children with a break from their routine, which helps reduce stress and anxiety. These excursions provide opportunities for children to engage in physical activity, which is essential for their physical and mental health. For instance, taking a trip to a local playground or nature reserve allows children to run, climb, and explore, which helps improve their physical health and overall well-being.
- Developing confidence and involvement in learning: Local excursions provide children with opportunities to learn in new and exciting ways. This experience helps them develop confidence in their ability to learn and become involved learners. For instance, taking a trip to a local zoo or aquarium exposes children to different animals and marine life, which helps them develop an interest in science and nature. This interest helps them become confident and involved learners.
- Effective communication: Local excursions provide children with opportunities to communicate with different people, which helps develop their communication skills. For instance, taking a trip to a local market or shop allows children to communicate with the shopkeepers and learn about different products. This experience helps them develop their communication skills and learn how to express themselves effectively.
In conclusion, local excursions have numerous benefits for 3-5-year-olds. These excursions help children develop a strong sense of identity, connect with and contribute to their world, develop a strong sense of well-being, become confident and involved learners, and effective communicators. These benefits are in line with the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) outcomes, making local excursions an effective way to support early childhood education in Australia. It’s essential to involve parents, teachers, and community members in planning and executing these excursions to ensure that children get the most out of them.
Written by Choklits Educator & author Dee Wasserfall.