Today we decided to visit our local Aquatic centre. We needed a few bits for the pet fish so thought It would be nice to combine it with a fun learning experience for the children.
As soon as we walked through the door they ran to see the fish. Little "L" told me this was a pink fish. I told her that I thought it looked like an orange fish but she said, No... it was pink. I took a closer look and she was pointing to the fish that had more white on it, and she was right. It did have slight pink tinge to it!
We saw so many different fish. So many different colours and sizes. Little "C" became more and more excited and animated with each tank we stopped at. He pointed to the fish that caught his interest and pointed out some of the colours. He used size language to describe them.
Little "L" sat in front of a big tank and watched them swim around for a bit.
"I don't like the blue fish, I only like the pink fish!"
We took a little look in the garden out the back of the shop. There is a little stream there that has ducks in it. We had a little Quack Quack conversation with them before going off to see the big Koi in the pond. Sadly I could not get a very good picture.
Little "L" found a tank with water lilies in and asked what they were. We talked about them being plants that float in the water. I showed her how the leaves were large and flat and so floated on the surface of the water.
Both children really liked to see the big Koi. More size language and discussions took place by the side of the pond.
In this little garden area they have fountains and a wooden bridge.
They both had a lovely run around the garden and stopped to either look at or touch the fountains. We stopped and listened to the sounds around us. Lots of splashing water, the ducks and the cars in the distance.
We found a very cute Goose statue. Lovely Goose got lots of kisses and cuddles!
We looked at the statues and the lovely little water garden features, before going back in to the shop and choosing some fresh weed for the fish and a nice Halloween Pumpkin decoration for our tank. We took the items to the counter, counted out our money carefully carried them all to the car.
CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE LEARNING:
Todays trip was a lovely example of how an everyday simple activity can be made in to a wonderful learning experience. The children loved seeing the fish and exploring the garden. Their excitement and interest kept them focused and engaged. They were motivated by their own interest in the fish and this encouraged natural conversations and what they could see. The colours and sizes of the fish. Their similarities and differences. They used current knowledge to talk about the ducks and fish. They talked about colours. Counted the fish and other items as we walked around. The described the sound of the splashing water in the fountains. We bought items and paid for them at the till before leaving the shop. These are all very important learning experiences for the children. These experiences are so much more meaningful when they are in a real setting. The children knew we were buying weed for the fish and then stopping at the supermarket for some greens for the rabbit. We talked about looking after the fish and animals and how we needed them to have food. They learnt about caring for other living things, making links with past experiences, stories and play.
Little "C" got to choose a new Halloween decoration for our tank. He was excited to make that choice and then carry it to the checkout to be paid for and then to the car. He was careful not to drop it and took his responsibility for looking after it very seriously. Feeling proud with this achievement and responsibility.
Today's play, meets the following EYFS Prime and specific areas