Over the past few weeks in TWA we have been focusing on controlling our breathing. There are a number of reasons why this is important for young children. We have offered a range of different experiences for the children to explore their breathing and challenge themselves. Some of the experiences were quite easy and some were a little more challenging which allows the children to develop their resilience and perseverance and to achieve the desired outcome.
- Taking deep breaths helps reduce anxiety and stress (good way to help and teach children a strategy for calming down)
- Develops oral motor skills (jaw and mouth muscles)
- Blowing bubbles - Speech and language development, spatial and directional awareness, hand-eye co-ordination and also body parts when you use different body parts to pop the bubbles!
- Blowing up balloons - Balloon play can be a great way to boost resilience. Which is the ability to recover from setbacks and keep going even when things go wrong. It can also build persistence as they learn to keep trying even when it is difficult. These skills are important for emotional development and learning new things. Using positive self-talk helps develop resilience in young children. As teachers we can encourage the children to keep trying "Keep blowing! blow hard! I can see it getting bigger. You are doing a great job!"
- Blowing dye through the straw - The children are working with each other and discussing the effects of blowing through the straw. They are watching each other for clues and motivation on how to hold the straw, how to blow through it and also keep trying.
As the weeks have gone on and the experiences have become more of a challenge we have observed the children all working together and taking their cues on how to react from other children who are more able or experienced in each of the experiences. There is a very strong sense of the tuakana-teina relationship present in TWA. In a learning environment that recognises the value of ako (teaching and learning), the tuakana–teina roles may be reversed at any time.