Wednesday, August 29, 2007

In the night Garden

We have come along way since Listen with Mother and Watch with Mother both aimed providing edutainment for the child at home in a time when social contact with other children under five relied on parent connections and preschool groups were not the norm. The titles set the scene these were short 15 minute programmes to be shared with ‘mother’.
Now children 0-5 years have range of pre school opportunities to socialise and learn as well as having many television programmes to watch through out the day when at home. But there is no guarantee that anyone sits and watches with the child.

Most of the programmes have associated web sites and these can provide a good opportunity for practitioners in an early years setting to work with groups of children around the site to build on home television watching.

‘In the Night Garden’ is a gentle little CBeebies programme for 1-4 year olds, set in a real garden with some main toy characters, having predictably unusual names that allow for making good use of mouth muscles, living and playing together. Casual research amongst young families suggests that it is often watched and popular.

Using the website in the setting then makes a home/school link acknowledging what children do at home is valuable to the practitioner. The web site has lots of opportunities for making choices, using only the mouse click.. or finger on a touch screen...What if I click here what will happen? Where shall we go next? Who is Makka Pakka thinking about? Opportunities here too for the practitioner to stimulate talk and discussion.

This particular site also has the advantage of using any web cam installed on the computer to include children in the events onscreen.. a great introduction to web cams ( if they are not already video conferencing with families far away using Skype) and again a talking point.

The image below shows one of the younger users realising that it is him on the train
(Ninky Nonk) with two of the Tombliboos. They are a trio who live in a bush and enjoy playing with their drums and piano.

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