Children and Mental Health Talk by Unknown

Children and Mental Health Talk by Unknown

Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9783030284268
Publisher: Springer International Publishing

Importance of Going Out into the Environment

We came back to a new ‘normal’. Instead of toilets, we had port-a-loos outside in the entrance foyer, all taps had the heads removed and we used no running water (due to the water still being unsafe to drink). Children had to come with drink bottles of boiled water and hand washing consisted of sanitizer, wipes and more sanitizer. This all seemed like a big ask, but every child and family turned up on our re-opening day. Everyone was desperate to get back to their normal routines and the children appeared keen to get back to their friends and play. Immediately we noticed a change in children’s play. We now had experts in road works, drain layers, GNS scientists, builders and port-a-loo cleaners, just to name a few. The immediate environment was offering a rich curriculum of experiences and knowledge. There was a new-found respect and awareness for people in ‘day-glow’ jackets, particularly the men and women who worked tirelessly outside our houses and always made time to explain what they were doing.

A new learning pathway had emerged over this time and this was an awareness of our ever-changing environment. Around us were continuous roadworks and work on water and sewerage pipes. This was such a rich experience right at our doorsteps and was far too valuable an opportunity to pass up. We made a conscious decision to take the children out to see what was happening in our neighbourhood. Nearly daily we would set off down the road to see the latest happening. We walked with the children and made the effort to point out specific parts of the environment that were damaged and talked to the children about it, asking questions that we hoped would prompt their thinking and understanding. The children were soon creating their own working theories on why something needed replacing or how. The physical environment also created new challenges and that was the flooding that occurred at the end of our street. Our street backs onto the river and with high tides and high water levels, flooding would regularly occur. This again became a site of investigation and the children would note where the flooding was, by taking photos of the mailbox where it was up to, and then come back to the centre to document it all.


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