For most of us, old and young, starting something new or different can be uncomfortable at first. It can still be exciting and enjoyable, but it could also be a little bit scary initially. Starting kinder or school is a great example of a time that something new can take some getting used to. With the right approach to orientation and welcoming families into your educational setting, the process of starting something new can get off on the right foot.
To make the orientation process as stress free as possible, Bonkers Beat has developed many strategies through decades of experience.
- Welcome the day together
Try to have a set time for the session to begin and encourage families to stick to it so you can all welcome the day together. Starting off the session on the same page means everyone can feel connected to the day they are about to share.
- Allow for varying levels of engagement
Not all children will want to join in and sing or dance or share with the group. It’s best to structure the activities with this in mind so everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the session without worrying about having to do things they may not be ready to do.
- Self-paced participation is fine
Following on from the previous tip, ensure children are able to participate in a way that they are most comfortable with. Expecting everyone to want to speak in front of the group or be in the spotlight can create stress for many children, especially in the first half of the year. Let children join in at their own pace.
- Create opportunities for connection and enjoyment
Sharing instruments around the circle, pairing up, singing each other’s names — there are so many ways to add opportunities for children to connect with one another in a stress-free way.
- Offer a variety of experiences to support many interests
Movement, using our voices, creating, drawing, dressing up, role play, outdoor time — every child learns in a different way and will engage in different things. Add variety to each day in a consistent way so everyone has the chance to have experiences that bring them joy, spark their curiosity and support their unique interests. Take note of who enjoys what and you will be able to connect with children on their level quickly and effectively.
- Make it fun
Play-based learning is the key to effective early childhood education. It needs to have an element of fun! Don’t be afraid to get a bit silly, think outside the box and create meaningful experiences that make children smile!
- Keep it consistent
At Bonkers Beat, all new children attend three morning sessions and each day consistently starts with circle time and music-making. Children arrive and within a week, they know what to expect because it is the same approach every time. Children participate in singing and dancing, engaging in musical experiences, or other children observe until they are ready to engage in their own way. Through this session we create a safe, comfortable and enjoyable experience that enables children to connect with educators and the other children in the room.
The music session is followed by playtime and morning tea. Sessions are short but provide many opportunities for new children to make valued connections, find experiences to support their individual interests, curiosity and, most importantly, have fun!
Starting off the year the right way
Now is the best time to discover how easy music training can support your centre and make orientation time for new children and new families stress-free.
Check out your options for the Bonkers Beat Music Training HERE.
If you are in Victoria, do not miss the opportunity to select Bonkers Beat Music Training Online from the School Readiness Funding Menu.
P.S. Don’t forget to have a taste and access our music training for FREE!
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