0 – 2 years Educators’ Workshop
The Africa A+ team created a workshop specifically for the educators of babies and toddlers after noticing that preschools tend to focus on the needs of older children. The early years are a critical and vulnerable period of human development and the teaching and care of babies and toddlers requires skill and dedication. The goals of the 9th September workshop were to:
- Provide an arts experience that gets educators in touch with and enjoying their own creativity
- Widen the educators’ understanding of the needs and capabilities of the 0 -2 year old children
- Co-create activities for stimulating 0-2 year old children
- Connect the needs and activities of 0 – 2 year olds to the themes and aims of the 0 – 4 years National Curriculum Framework (NCF)
The response was overwhelming: 23 educators met at Fish Hoek Pre-primary on a Saturday morning to find out what babies and toddlers need, can do, and how to stimulate them. The workshop began with a video clip (https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/379-connecting-with-babies) with a powerful message – a baby needs loving human interactions and when this need is not met it can have a devastating impact. The educators then divided into small groups. Each group brainstormed the needs and capabilities of a certain age group, and then shared their findings with the whole group. A second video clip ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mA8nOD2n0_0) showed how everyday objects can entertain and stimulate a six month old baby. The next activity sent the educators scouring the school for everyday objects for a treasure basket for a baby. The educators unpacked their ‘treasures’ and then engaged in a lively discussion on the merits and safety of the objects in each treasure basket. The enthusiasm and commitment of the 0-2 years educators was inspiring.