Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/designing-an-early-childhood-environment/5019792/This article originally appeared in The Space magazine in New Zealand.
He aha te mea nui o te Ao? He tamariki, he tamariki, he tamariki.
What is the most important thing in the world? It is the children.
Across the mouth of the Tauranga Harbour lies a piece of paradise, Te Moutere o Matakana â€" Matakana Island. It is blessed with an ocean beach with white sand and a mean surf break, tidal flats, wetlands, fertile pasture, and a native and exotic forest. It is home to many species of native birds, including the rare New Zealand Dotterel. It is also home to a maori language nest for the local children â€" Te Kohanga Reo o te Moutere o Matakana.
During our initial visits to the early childhood environment we were struck by the passion of the community for a playspace that would provide the children with a real sense of place, a relationship with the island as a whole, and a connection with the work being done by the community to restore the native ecosystems. We would incorporate symbols and landmarks that trigger conversations that extend childrenâ€™s understanding of the past, present, and future of their home.
Once the Wellington-based Childspace group of nine volunteers, ...