|Ever wondered what your child’s day is really like at kindergarten?|
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BBC Channel Four’s The Secret Life of 4 Year Olds explores the thrills and spills associated with a group of four year olds from all different backgrounds pulled together in a preschool environment with the support of teachers when necessary.
It follows ten British children as they learn to make friends, share trikes and face tricky situations like formulating lies after recognising their misbehaviour (a surprisingly positive sign for brain development!).
Some might consider it all a bit of a mad science experiment being played out on children as their actions are filmed, observed and analysed by child psychologists. But it can be a fascinating watch for parents with children at kindergarten, with youngsters not yet at kindergarten age, or those transitioning into their first few years at school, to know the kind of issues that today’s tamariki face in the playground.
In many ways it replicates a kindergarten environment – the free, independent play, the range of activites available to engage in, a diverse group of children to build relationships with, and the central role of teachers and structure in supporting children’s play.
At kindergarten, our philosophy is that play is one key way young children learn skills and behaviour that they’ll use and build on as they grow, developing into further education. Kidsfirst children lead their own learning and are encouraged to solve problems among themselves where possible.
At each of our centres, there are opportunities for inquisitive minds to jump in, boots and all, to a wide range of new experiences. Feeding and petting animals, building sand forts, clanging a tambourine while singing in a group, or figuring out the pieces to a puzzle – every learning style is unique and embraced.
Our world today is a technologically advanced, constantly evolving place, and we’re finding that although life and work are more autonomous than ever before, the need for interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence has never been so important. There is a lot more competitiion, pressure and stress that affects all of us – parents, children, teachers – but that time spent learning more about their curiosities is where tamariki find enjoyment and confidence – mastering new skills and becoming ready to be the trailblazers of their own adventure, wherever that may take them.
*Also in the television series are The Secret Life of 5 Year Olds, The Secret Life of Babies, and The Secret Life of 6 Year Olds – providing an interesting comparison into the different ways children handle learning and challenges over these six short, but critical years of their development.
**You can find out more about the programme with these links.
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