This blog post was contributed by Annemiek Hoppenbrouwers (Fontys hogeschool). “Did you have a nice holiday?” I ask my colleague. She starts telling me about the activities she and her children did together and how much fun that was. “So
This blog post was contributed by Hilde Stroobants & Tinne Van Camp (UCLL) “Look,” says Leentje, “the moon has curved lines and I made them beautiful!” “Tell me about that?” “I did a gem and a stone.” “How did you
“Ooh, too little exercise? No, my preschoolers move more than enough and can hardly sit still!” This is how teacher Nathalie describes her 4-year-olds during my class visit. However… recent research in Flemish preschoolers reveals a completely different picture. Slightly less than 90% of the preschoolers do not reach the international guidelines for physical activity on weekdays.
Some topics are difficult to talk about with children … – illnesses, accidents, death, violence. Most adults are afraid of taking up these themes with young children. However, as they are an inevitable part of life, each of us, including children, must get used to these issues. To help children become familiar with such topics, it’s worth showing them that you can talk about these difficult subjects. The only question is – how to do it?
Every child wants to feel that they are seen and heard; that they belong. This applies to Dutch children and also, perhaps even more, to children from different cultural backgrounds or who speak a different language at home. How do you ensure that all children have the feeling that they belong in the group?
Teacher, why is that girl so dirty? When young children make such statements, we are inclined to pass over them (‘she does not know what she is saying’), to blame the parents (‘they must have picked it up at home’) or to quickly and generally condemn these statements (‘you cannot say that, that is not nice’). We assume that children will grow up to be unprejudiced adults if we do not talk about ‘it’. Contrary to what we believe, young children are not ‘colour-blind’.
“When I have something on my mind, I just walk to the teacher. Yes, I’ll ask for suggestions like ‘how do I need to do these things at home? Do you have suggestions?’ Yes, I can always count on her..” – Batoul, parent of Dahbi (4 years old).
Since the 1960s, our society has undergone a big evolution. In education a lot has changed as well, except for the classroom interior of many preschool classes. On one side of the classroom there is the corner with dolls. There, we combine playing opportunities concerning “caring”: kitchen, washing machine, dolls and additional caring material and fancy dresses (to be able to really play mummy – male fancy dresses are usually missing).