This month we had the chance to focus more on caring for our environment. Throughout the classroom there are many activities and materials that the child can collaborate with one another and also work by themselves to take care of our environment; indoor and outdoor. Through this independent work the child can build their self-esteem as well as their self-construction. The prepared environment is what allows our toddlers to take part in these activities. The materials in the environment are set up meticulously throughout the class and are arranged beautifully in the morning before the children arrived and checked throughout the day to reassure the cleanliness and beauty of the classroom set-up. The children are always invited, not forced, to use these materials.
Some Care of the Environment materials are:
-Watering the plants -Unloading dishwasher
-Sweeping/ mopping -Wiping a Table
-Dusting -Flower Arranging
We want the child’s impact on the prepared environment to be visible to him and to his environment. We refrain from following the child to fix his mistakes. If the child has cleaned up the water from the table but did not clean it completely, we make our best effort to leave it alone and have that child or another child recognize the water and allow them to clean it up.
The child does these activities for himself at first. He recognizes the water on the floor, the paint on the table, the dishes are dirty, etc. His maximum effort will give him the ability to concentrate and grow. It brings the child lots of joy to finish these tasks and the adult certainly can recognize his efforts and contribution to the environment.
Parents and the Home Environment:
Parents are more than welcome to ask about how they can help their child have a prepared environment at home as well. A variety of child-sized materials can be provided at home such as shovels near the garden, towels/mop at his level to allow them choose what interests them the most. Shelves for their toys are great for keeping their materials in their own place and having them put them away once they have finished using that material. It can be done! Through repetition and consistent guidance, the child will enable himself to help maintain their environment beautiful.