Children are eager, open-minded, interested and their developing brain is hungry for new experiences! Children need as many and varied experiences as possible in order to develop and grow to their best potential.
For example, if Matt is interested in sports and he gets learning experiences only in sports and motor skills, his exceptional talent in music might stay unnoticed. Or if Lucy's kindergarten activities are mostly arts and crafts, she may not be able to practice her language and interaction skills to the extent she would need to, in order to become a self-confident speaker. It is sad if children do not get a chance to learn and practice their skills equally.
Therefore it is vitally important to take notice of children's strengths and also their developmental needs. Children should not just play along with what they choose, but they deserve also new, rich and inspirational learning experiences from different areas of learning.
How is it possible to teach children in a diverse and rich manner, covering all subjects and giving enough possibilities for learning? The answer is planning activities in early childhood education according to all learning areas.
In other words, children need free play (when they get to choose their play themselves), but they also need guided pedagogical activities (when the teacher plans and takes all the learning areas into consideration).
How to include all learning areas in lesson plans?
Different learning areas guide educators to plan and implement diverse pedagogical activities together with the children. Each learning area has a set of certain learning objectives, that should be covered by planning activities accordingly. Children have the right to learn about different areas and gain varied learning experiences.
Learning Areas in Finnish ECEC
- Rich World of Languages
- Various Forms of Expression
- Our Community and I
- I Explore and Act in my Environment
- I Grow, Move and Develop
Here you can take a look at Helsinki's Curriculum for early childhood education and see how they implement these learning areas in daycare. Please note, these areas are necessarily not separated or detached from each other. Actually, they can be combined together and applied according to the interests and abilities of the children.
Which learning areas does your early education center offer for children according to the curriculum? Are children getting diverse learning experiences daily, weekly, or monthly? Do all teachers cover all learning areas equally or do they mainly focus on their favorite subjects? Are children encouraged to try new things in a positive way?
If you wish to learn more, click here and get a free weekly Lesson Plan from Kindiedays. Each plan focuses on a different learning area, so you get them all covered in just over a month!
Kindiedays Lesson Plans are designed to guide and support educators to provide varied lessons. Each lesson plan is carefully designed to match the objectives and learning areas outlined in the Finnish National Curriculum for Early Childhood and Care. However, the lesson plans can be used with any curriculum, as long as playful learning is close to your heart.