For this reflective paper, I have chosen to talk about an outdoor activity that promotes holistic development in different aspects, and the central factor that affects this exercise is the environment. The environment holds a significant position in the general learning or growth of a child within the setting of the Early Childhood Care and Education (Bleach, 2014).
In my view, the environment encompasses areas, outside and indoors, instruments, curriculum, and all that which surrounds and impacts the child (Fisher, Fisher, and Fisher, 2000). It is, therefore, the duty of practitioners to offer a warm, safe, friendly, and potentially encouraging setting for the child’s development. Also, this is done while taking into consideration the age-applicable activities, equipment, games, and reading articles (Striniste and Moore, 1989). The wrong presentation of these materials may disrupt normal development and motivate such feelings as dislike, distrust, and frustration. Besides that, I have learned that daily routines are crucial and that they impact on children and those close to them positively.
Indeed, routine activities allow children to associate meaningful activities with daily learning opportunities (Cosco, 2007). For that reason, every setting and life should consider equality and diversity. I have realized that this can be promoted by carrying out activities that startle children and their perceptions. Children require ample space that they can use to play around, explore things, and carry out their activities even when they are not supervised (Gubbels, Van Kann, and Jansen, 2012). Consequently, this knowledge forced me to take my son and his friend both aged 15 (whose mother had allowed him to accompany us as a way of celebrating his birthday since his mother had been busy at work for the better part of the week) for a day out to London. I was very sure that making memories was far much significant for young minds than buying them presents. I had a few things in mind; first, there was an urge for exposure and participation in out-side class activities. Secondly, relaxation after having spent several days indoors, thirdly promoting communication, and finally improving the self-identity and belonging.
Furthermore, we visited the Big Ben and the London Eye. The fun did not end there; we had an opportunity to visit the Tower of London and the London Eye which stand as important cultural and historical sites in Europe (Dowd, 2008; Reijnders, 2016). Similarly, I always wanted to spend time with my son, and now I had the opportunity. The fun started with buying ice creams for the three of us since the day was extremely hot. The fun did not end there; we headed for the Tower of London and the London Eye, which stand as important cultural and historical sites in Europe (Dowd, 2008; Reijnders, 2016).
I managed surfing the internet to get the history of these attractions, after which I explained the findings to my son and his friend. For instance, it was interesting to find that the Tower had been there for decades as an incredible insight into Britain’s history. The Tower shows London’s common brutal past while the London Eye has developed into a symbol of the bright and future of the city. After touring the two sites, we moved to Big Ben at the Palace of Westminster, which is the Great Bell of the clock (McKay, 2010). We realized that the Tower was built in 1859 with its clock being the most prominent and world’s most precise four-faced clock in the 20th century (Brown and Curnow, 1984). I could sense the awe feeling within the little boys following their random and repetitive questions.
I would not say that it was interesting to have had this experience on such a hot day of the month, but it was fun to hop from one shade to another as though we were dodging raid drops just attempting to hide our heads from the scorching sun. Even with this kind of hot climate, I could see smiles of contentment on the faces of the two boys and this crowned the peace I was experiencing. While we never had time to visit many places as I had opted, the whole experience was not in vain; the children realized that a greater world outside their daily lives existed. They also had enough time to interact with different environments that instilled in them fresh insights of the things they only heard of, and as such, their understanding would keep growing faster if such opportunities are progressively presented to them. However, after spending all day enjoying ourselves, the time to go back came although we had to wait for a second train after the first train was cancelled. The second train seemed to have been bought in the 1980s because it never had air conditioning. The day ended well, even though inside the train, we felt like dying out of the heat.
Bleach, J., 2014. Developing professionalism through reflective practice and ongoing professional development. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 22(2), pp.185-197.
Brown, R.A., and Curnow, P.E., 1984. Tower of London, Greater London. HM Stationery Office.
Cosco, N., 2007. Environmental interventions for the healthy development of young children in the outdoors. Open Space People Space, pp.125-135.
Dowd, S., 2008. The London Eye mystery. Random House.
Fisher, K., Fisher, K., and Fisher, K., 2000. Leading self-directed work teams: A guide to developing new team leadership skills. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Gubbels, J.S., Van Kann, D.H. and Jansen, M.W., 2012. Play equipment, physical activity opportunities, and children’s activity levels at childcare. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2012.
McKay, C., 2010. Big Ben: the great clock and the bells at the Palace of Westminster. Oxford University Press.
Reijnders, S., 2016. Places of the Imagination: Media, tourism, culture. Routledge.
Striniste, N.A., and Moore, R.C., 1989. Early childhood outdoors: A literature review related to the design of childcare environments. Children’s Environments Quarterly, pp.25-31.