The Sunshine Coast kindy program linking learning to the land
A unique sustainable kindy program has helped children at C&K Mooloolaba develop a deeper understanding for the land on which they learn and play.
“Here is the land, Here is the sky, Here are my friends, And here am I. We would like to thank the Gubbi Gubbi people for the land where we learn and play. Hands up, hands down, we are on Gubbi Gubbi land.”
An outdoor kindy program
Over the last six months the children of C&K Mooloolaba have been engaging in embedded practices that link to the land on which they play.
“Through observing the local birds, we realised that the climate had affected the birds, with the lack of rain and food in their environment,” said Jacqui Porteous, Centre Director at C&K Mooloolaba Childcare Centre.
“One morning we found two very small baby birds, so we rang the local wildlife volunteers for help. The two little birds were taken by the carers, and we wondered, ‘Where did the birds come from?’. We went walk-about and we searched down on the dirt and up in the trees, until finally we discovered a nest with a hole in it.”
The educators and children realised there was a problem within our bird community.
After carefully researching the types of birds that surround them, followed by collecting food that suits the different species, the children made a makeshift bird feeding area and waited to see if this would help them.
“On the first day we had three birds visit and by the end of the week we saw 15 birds turn up for food,” Jacqui said.
“Each day the children watched the birds, and this led our learning to, ‘What type of housing do they have?’, ‘Do we need to help with housing due to development?’”
“It was lovely to watch the children create their own nests for the little birds and eggs. Using items from the garden such as rocks, dirt and straw.”
Creating bird houses
The class then investigated creating houses for the birds. A man from the Yandina Budgie club donated 10 budgie boxes for the class to use. And the children decided that the houses need to be painted so the birds will come to stay.
“COVID-19 hit, and we saw many children go into isolation mode. Through technology, a local Gubbi Gubbi elder joined us, digitally, for an art session.”
The children designed and created an outdoor classroom, inside. With the houses ready to go, the children listened to the elder’s art class. And the houses were coloured with many colours.
“We asked the children, ‘Why are the houses all different colours?’. With a direct connection to COVID-19, rainbow colours represented hope and togetherness. With these thoughts at the forefront of our minds, the bird’s boxes were lovingly painted using indigenous techniques and hope colours.”
“The bird boxes were officially placed in the gardens at C&K Mooloolaba this week and we could not be prouder of the teamwork and love that these boxes show us every day.”
“We now have a complete and deeper understanding of our environment and how we can help it become more sustainable.”
For more information about C&K Mooloolaba, visit www.candk.asn.au/mooloolaba or call (07) 5444 5433.
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