Beat the January Blues the ECCE way!
How to beat the January Blues (with your ECCE session)
We feel it, so you can rest assured our little people feel it too. They have had lots of wonderful time with their parents, out of routine. Now, after all that fun, they are back and it is tough - on us all!
Here are some suggestions that might help, both us and them, cope with the post-Christmas feeling...
Know the signs – If the children are pent up and you can see signs of frustration - take them outside as much as you can. Remember there is no such thing as bad weather only bad clothing. You will all reap the rewards of the outdoors, children love to run the feet off themselves as much as they can! Explore nature, let the environment seep into their bones and see if they remember to be sad.
Listen to the children in your care – Through the emergent curriculum follow their interests and try to adapt it to small groups so that you can maximise the fun. Allow the children choice and empower them by showing them their opinion is valued and have fun in the process.
Keep the connection to the outdoors and with home allow them share their Christmas experiences and let them share what they love about outdoors and why they love to live in Ireland or the area they live in. Get them to build a map to show you about their area and have fun with it. Allow them find objects in the room or garden that is the same shape as something in their area???
Children are totally out of routine at this time of year and often until they get back to this routine they will be a little bit off, so make it easy for them - lots of cuddles, lots of support and lots of space to relax. Do not overload them, more can happen when they have settled back.
Create new traditions – Christmas was full of traditions but nothing stopping January being full of them also. Why not start your traditions of New Years Resolutions!!!
Try to give the children choice about their day – why not allow them to choose how long to be outside every day? Or have a Science week, experiments that the children choose?
Get Healthy – Use the buntus equipment in a fun and engaging way get the children moving - start with old traditional games, like Simon says, Head shoulders Knees and Toes, Duck duck Goose, musical chairs.
By this time of year self-regulation is really beginning to take hold and games will help to develop this in a fun way.
Get involved with the local Community
Get the children thinking of others and come up with a fun way to get them to give back in your community. Is there any possibility of linking with the Men’s Shed to build something new for the outdoors, or could a parent offer any time to come in and build something new???? Allowing and involving your community will be a fun way of including standard 16: Community Involvement in your setting.
But Don’t forget - self-care!
It’s a tough and important job you are doing.. The evenings are still dark, and there are a few weeks till Spring, look after yourself, join that yoga class or get out and walk, whatever is you thing, and do yourself a favour – why not take a break from Social media? While it has huge advantages … seeing pictures of friends in Australia or those lucky enough to backpack the Himalayas is not what we need to see at this time of the year so turn it off and give yourself a break.