ENHANCING QUALITY IN ECEC THROUGH PARTICIPATION

Our little blanket for all

 General goals of the activity

  • Create partnerships with parents and carers.
  • Stronger family involvement in nursery school activities.
  • Promote activities and invite families to participate.
  • Promote opportunities for families to get to know and support each other.
  • Children are part of the community and have a key role in it.
  • The Blanket will bring parents and children together and connect them to the nursery school.

 Description of the activity

At a meeting with parents, in September, we made a presentation of the project “Our little blanket for all”.

It was a great idea that we learned about from Elmer. It’s an opportunity to create a connection with the parents and the children of the group right at the beginning of the year. Parents can talk to each other and with the teacher of the group. This form of working together, creates opportunities for parents and children to share moments in a different way than we are used to.

Parents were asked for ideas on how to create a blanket and came up with a lot of suggestions. In the middle of the blanket we put Elmer, the elephant. Around it, parents drew some pictures, stitched on soft toy’s, attached something that belonged to their baby (finger puppets, paper goods, etc.). Whatever they chose.
This activity is enhanced by the fact that this blanket will not only remain in our group at school, but will be brought home by the children. Parents will have a diary where to write what their children do with the blanket at home in their environment.
On Mondays, the teacher reads what’s in the ‘blanket diary’ to the children; or it gets explained by the child who had the blanket at home.
Each weekend the blanket stays with a different family and during the week the children play with it and “cuddle” it in the nursery school.

  1. Select goals - why you want to do the activity. Plan which tasks have to be carried out by whom. (Presentation of the activities, when, making invitations, information for parents, preparing materials, setting up…). Write a plan.
  2. At the beginning of the school year – prepare the presentation of the activity for the parents. This meeting can be carried out in conjunction with any other general meeting. Give the invitation to the parents and family one week before the workshop.
  3. Remind parents of the workshop the day before it takes place. Check the materials needed.
  4. Prepare the space (music, snacks, tea, coffee), and materials. Workshop from 16.30 to 18.00 (1 to 1,5h).
  5. Take photos, get feedback from parents: did they like it? What would they like in the future/ for next meeting? They can write it down anonymously and place it in the suggestions box.
  6. Evaluation of the parents’ opinions and suggestions. How do we feel after the workshop?

 Remarks

(issues to be aware of when implementing the activity)
  • It is worth thinking about potential problems. For example some parents may have difficulties participating in this activity if it takes place during working hours and some parents work in the afternoon. Others are separated and cannot agree on how to divide the afternoon activities between them, etc.
  • Promote the exchange of moments with families, to establish a relationship/connection between all members.

 Role of the teacher

  • Encourage communication between parents.
  • Stimulate conversations about educational topics, in an informal way.
  • Invite parents to participate in activities.
  • Encourage warm and safe environment for the workshop.
  • Cooperation with parents during the activity.
  • Integrate parents’ ideas.

The educator:

  • is a motivator;
  • is a colleague;
  • permanently communicates with all families;
  • promotes relationship opportunities between families.

Role of the family

Parents are actively involved, they participate and are interested in ensuring that their child feels good in the group. They have the opportunity to ask questions about their child.

They can bring materials to the workshop.
In the nursery school we organized a variety of social, creative workshops for parents and their children to help them socialize, entertain and relax. It is important that the parents create something together with their children and participate in activities.

 Added value for the child and the family

The aim of this cooperation is to join the nursery school and the family in order to establish pleasant relationships and trust. It’s also an opportunity for the parents to get to know each other.

The parents are willing to cooperate and to propose their ideas.  We also want parents to experience the nursery school as an environment in which they have the opportunity to engage in activities and the children’s everyday life. We are all looking forward to working together, enjoying the activities and acquiring new skills and knowledge.

The children have the opportunity to get to know the importance of cooperation with their parents. The interaction with the family is important and the goal is to enrich children’s experiences and perception of their own creativity as their preparation for life.  Take note that children have the right to be as they are and by establishing solid ties with their family, they will grow into fulfilled human beings.

Materials to be used

  • Invitations.
  • Properly prepared space.
  • Soft cotton.
  • Markers for textiles.
  • Colored patches of fabric.
  • Threads and needles.
  • Soft baby toys (finger puppets, etc.).

Guiding questions to reflect on the general improvement of the service

  • Did the practice meet the needs from which it originated?
  • In what way did the activity improve the participation of the parents?
  • To what extent did the activity improve our professional development as a team?
  • How did the activity affect the development of the relationship of trust with the parents?

Partners