This afternoon we spent a period of time in with our kindergarten bantams Brownie and Silkie.
James looked through the fence and then asked "Can we visit the chooks?" With that suggestion the other children outside also wanted to join in and share the experience.
Before we entered the area we talked together about showing Manaakitanga/ care and respect for Brownie and Silkie, "don't chase them" "being quiet" were some of the ideas shared. This is great he rawe tēnā!
It wasn't long and we were able to go in and see the bantams, Brownie was having some food and Silkie was exploring some of the shrubs around the garden.
Our afternoon children showed manaakitanga towards our bantams, sitting quietly around the cage, talking quietly about what they could see. They were managing their impulsivity by not chasing after the bantams as they ran off. We then explored the hutch a little further looking to see if Brownie and Silkie had layed any eggs for us to collect. "Not today" Pippa commented as she looked into the nesting area.
Having bantams at kindergarten allows the children to make links between kindergarten and home, as many of them have bantams because of living in a rural area. It provides the children with an opportunity to develop respect and compassion towards animals as they help look after and feed the bantams during the week. Brownie and Silkie are also a great tool to help the children build a sense of belonging and settle into afternoon kindergarten. The children often use Brownie and Silkie as a strategy to settle into their kindergarten day after their parents have left.