Nurturing Children's love for animals.
We all know that children are drawn to animals of all kinds. There is definitely something special about children's interest in animals. Here at Kids Count Pukekohe our tamariki have an instinct to want to care and nurture creatures that they discover and find in the playground as well as our wonderful Farm animals.
We believe that our tamariki can truly thrive when offered periods of time playing and exploring in the natural learning setting that our Centre provides. This includes opportunities for each of our tamariki to connect with living animals which we have on our "small Farm".
As soon as the tamariki arrive at the centre they are drawn to being able to visually see, observe, greet, communicate and touch the animals. They have loving connection and recognise the intrinsic value of animals—that simply because they are living creatures, they are important as well as being extremely proud of having them at "Kindy".
We recognise that our farm animals and the connections the tamariki build with them spark a lifelong love of animals in young children, this also extends to encounters with bugs, insects and other wild creatures found as they explore and play in their learning environment and can be just as extra extra-special.
By supporting children's love for animals, we are helping nurture those all-important feelings of connection and empathy as well.
As the tamariki become confident with their growing awareness and interest in the farm animals we understand this can lead to deeper feelings of empathy, more positive relationships, and social-emotional development.
The tamariki experience a hands-on approach with the farm animals when they venture into the farm with a teacher, they enjoy collecting the chickens' eggs, feeding the goats, brushing and playing with them and are somewhat intrigued by the special characteristics and mischievous personalities the animals have. This provides opportunities for the tamariki to learn about differences and similarities, needs (such as for food, shelter, water and space), and compassion and empathy can grow and deepen.
We are very excited to be able to offer quality time for our tamariki to be involved in and experience a farm/animal curriculum here at Kids Count Pukekohe, providing great opportunities to use nature as a setting to learn more about animals, foster curiosity, and nurture children's innate feelings of love and concern for all creatures. These skills and feelings are more important today than ever!