Our group of children is composed by 16 toddlers, and we have started to do outings 3 weeks ago. My colleagues and I decided to explore, first of all, a big green field in front of the infant-toddler centre, because it is the nearest public space for us. It is important to say that this space is completely empty (for an adult eye). We are doing outings in very small groups: 3 toddlers and 1 adult, each time.
All the outings that we are doing now are focused on the exploration and the discovery of the space. Before going out, we have to prepare toddlers to the experience. It is not so easy to teach them to be patient, to attend their turn, to wear jackets, boots, hats…, to walk on the side of the road, to cross the road…
All these actions need time.
We gave the greatest freedom for the toddlers’ actions.
When we arrived in the big green field a lot of children started to shout, to run, to dive and to lie down in the grass.
Our job during the outings was, first of all, to welcome all the emotions of toddlers, that are very different: someone is excited and full of joy, someone else is scared by the big open space or by the contact with the wet grass, for example.
What we call “observation” is a work that we did after the outings: at the end of the day we watched the photos or the videos that we did in the morning and we wrote our reflections about them.
Often in these moments we have the opportunity to understand what toddlers have grasped of this new place and our duty is to give value to their actions.
It is very interesting to see that, in the same space, every toddler finds something different.
We want to move forward in this project, doing outings again and again.
It should be fantastic to live the same space in different seasons or different weather. We will see where toddlers will bring us…