ENHANCING QUALITY IN ECEC THROUGH PARTICIPATION

Meeting at the end of the school year

 General goals of the activity

The active involvement of parents in the life of the kindergarten and the promotion of cooperation between these and the kindergarten.

  • Facilitate a relaxed, informal gathering at the end of the school year.
  • Promotion of activities in nature.
  • Enable learning and integration among the parent’s group.

 Description of the activity

Our kindergarten usually has a meeting with the parents at the end of the year. This year we invited parents to prepare and organize a “final meeting”. First, we have asked whether they wished to join.

All accepted, so we’ve divided the tasks.
Parents took over the organizational part and we took care of the substantive part-time activities for children. Parents have connected and organized themselves. They took care of the invitations, space, transport, food and beverages. The meeting was carried out at a well known nearby hill called Boc 20km away from our kindergarten. On Boc, we all gathered to read the story/legend of a dragon who lived in the Boc mountain for centuries. After that we went on a hunt for hidden treasures and found footprints and a Boc dragon.

In the end, the children found a real Mayan treasure in the woods. The trail lasted about 1 hour. During this time, some parents prepared a picnic for all participants. We enjoyed with the families in a relaxed atmosphere. Children could draw their own impressions on previously prepared cards and play in the natural surroundings at Boc. The meeting took place in a warm and relaxed atmosphere full
of adventures.

 Remarks

(issues to be aware of when implementing the activity)
  • Find an exciting location in the natural surroundings, where the meeting can take place.
  • Ask parents if they agree with meetings in such format.
  • Invite parents to participate according to their abilities.
  • Learn what strengths parents have.

 Role of the teacher

  • Prepare activities for children at the meeting location, depending on the characteristics of the environment (safety, variety of possibilities offered by the surroundings).
  • Educators arrive about an hour before the official start of the meeting and and place symbols on forest
    paths, indicating a variety of tasks which children have to find and then solve with their parents. Forest path safety also needs to be checked.
  • Prepare tasks such as: puzzles, identifying trees, motor activities, picking forest materials, singing songs, asking questions about how to behave in a forest or similar environment.
  • Remind parents to contact each other and make arrangements regarding transport, as some might not have their own.
  • Bring supplies that might be needed (e.g. balls, blankets, paper, pens...).

Role of the family

  • Give permission
  • Assist within their capabilities.
  • Parents get to know each other, establish contact and organize themselves to give assistance.
  • All family can attend the event.

 Added value for the child and the family

  • Spending free time together in nature.
  • Understanding hiking as a form of active leisure.
  • Getting to know the local area and attractions.
  • Getting to know each others’ families, socializing among themselves and with other families in a relaxed way.
  • Gaining a sense of importance and equality-because everyone has the opportunity to participate according to their abilities.

Materials to be used

  • Thumbnails and other task materials for the ‘treasure’ hike.
  • Food and drink.
  • “Hidden Treasure” (surprises for the children).
  • The Legend of the Dragon Boc story, to be read before going on the hike.
  • First aid kit.
  • Paper (in our case for postcards, where children draw their impressions of the trip).
  • Felt-tip pens.
  • Balls.

 

Guiding questions to reflect on the general improvement of the service

  • Have all the families attended? If not, why?
  • Make sure that everyone is informed about the event.
  • Participants’ feedback - impressions, statements...

Partners