How to teach kids the importance of family and community over Covid-19

This week our theme in the Hopster School is Family and Community. As young children continue to grow and develop, they start to get a real sense of what it means to belong to a family and wider community.

Despite these uncertain times, family and community are more important than ever. As we continue to adapt to the new normal of staying home, social distancing and remote learning and working; we are all missing the easy everyday human interactions with members of our family and community.

Luckily for us, we live in a digital age, thanks to the internet we are able to maintain and grow our most precious relationships even while we are physically distanced. Using phones and tablets to video call Grandparents, other relatives and friends is a great way to help us feel less isolated and allow young children to continue to interact with important people in their lives.

Children in the early years tend to view their family and school communities as the centre of their world. It has been wonderful to see schools building online classrooms and teachers having real interactions with their pupils via video as well as developing creative ways to help them learn at home.

Covid-19 has shone a light on the importance of all communities, and the value of our essential workers. Our children will remember the days when they clapped for carers & key workers, made rainbow posters, and had zoom calls with their classes. All of these things will help inform their understanding of what it means to be part of a family and a community as they grow in confidence and learn how to interact positively with others around them.

What are they learning?

Our content encourages children to think about what makes a family and to feel good about the uniqueness of their own family. We celebrate individuality as well as learning about similarities and differences; developing a growing awareness that all families are special.

They will also think about our community and which people help us e.g. Doctors, Firemen, etc We will explore important concepts like friendship; when kids start to develop relationships with other children outside of their family network, it is an exciting time but also one that can be overwhelming. They begin to learn friendship skills like sharing, taking turns, cooperating and listening to others.

Which Hopster Shows fit?

We have lots of shows that explore the idea of family and also community. Here are a few of our favourites…

Punky

Punky is a fun show about a little girl who has Down syndrome. It follows her everyday life as she plays with her friends and interacts with her family. The show aims to teach children to celebrate each other’s differnces.

Timmy Time

Timmy Time is a stop-motion animated children’s series about a little lamb with a lot to learn as he heads off to nursery school. Each episode teaches kids how to share, take turns and interact positively with friends.

Our Family

Our Family is a BAFTA-award winning preschool documentary. It follows the lives of 16 kids and their families. Filmed from the child’s perspective, each episode presents a real-life tale of what it means to be part of family life.

Which Hopster Game do we recommen?

Our SHARE game helps children learn how to interact positively and appropriately with others. It is a great starting point for introducing the skills of sharing and turn-taking to little ones as well as encouraging children to think about their own emotional expressions. In this game, Fluffster’s friends want to join Fluffster bouncing on the trampoline drum. The player must choose who should bounce next to keep them all happy but must pay attention to who’s looking the most left out and try to share the fun equally.

Share game in Hopster

Key learning skills:

  • Understand how they and others show feelings
  • Show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings
  • Play cooperatively, taking turns with others

Mapping all our content against our Discovery Learning Map means we can ensure we are hitting the key areas within early childhood development and that kids will only ever engage with content that is positively nurturing to their development.

Lelia Ingram, Head of Learning at Hopster

ABOUT LELIA INGRAM

Hello, my name is Lelia — I’m Hopster’s Head of Learning. I have over 15 years’ experience in teaching, across the Early Years, Key Stage 1 and 2 and as an Assistant Head Teacher. I specialise in literacy with a focus on developing teaching and learning within the Early Years and Key Stage 1. For me, working alongside Hopster is a perfect opportunity to be involved in developing specialist technology that delivers education in a fun and entertaining way.

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