A day in the life of a… ‘Home Grown Kids’ Kid



Written by Amanda Bradley: Home Grown Kids Visiting Teacher

When Joseph arrives at Laura’s house he feels like he has just arrived at his ‘other home’. On the way each morning Joe is full of questions and wonderings about what colour the play dough will be… it’s Monday and that means warm play dough day!

Joe’s mum Meredith loves it when she’s not running late for work and has the time to stop and chat with Laura, hearing about the plans for the day and filling Laura in on the happenings at home. Laura has all the time in the world for Meredith on the days she’s not racing out the door. Meredith welcomes the chance to have a quick chat with Abi, Natalie and Corey too (the other children in Laura’s care). She loves being familiar with Joe’s friends, especially when she hears about them every evening!

So yes, Joe is happy here and feels welcome. He knows the routine, he hangs his bag on the hook under the photo of him; the photo was taken two years ago when he first started in care with Laura and Laura has talked about changing it with Joe, but he likes to see himself as a ‘little kid’.

It’s brown…the play dough. Joe is thrilled to see that Laura has placed the dinosaurs on the play dough table too. Joe played with these everyday last week and was really looking forward to playing with them again today. The brown play dough will look like mud. Laura and Joe had talked about making brown ‘mud’ play dough. Joe is so happy she remembered.

Mid-morning Laura notices Corey has the kete of dancing scarves and has started to pull them out. He finds his favourite, the green and teal stripy one and waves his arm in a large circle.
“Let me know if you want some music on won’t you Corey?”
Natalie is a keen dancer so when she hears this question she says
“I’d like to dance Laura, the bumpy one!”
Laura knows the song Natalie is talking about, they discovered it at playgroup a couple of weeks back on a new CD one of the Visiting Teachers had in their Toy Library. Laura had asked if she could borrow it for a few weeks as she could see it was going to be very popular with the children. Together they find the right CD and Corey pushes play on the stereo, “It’s a triangle eh Laura!” Together the three of them jump and ‘bump’ about with Abi watching intently as she mouths the kete, and Joe watches on from the play dough table, singing along with the words.

Laura looks at the time,
“Let me know when you guys are ready for some kai won’t you” she says.
“My tummy is starting to feel a bit hungry”, says Joe.
“Me too” Corey says.
“Well it must be lunch time then! Who’s turn is it for front of line today…?”
“It’s Abi today” says Joe. Laura holds Abi and helps her to wash her hands as the other children wait patiently for their turn. The older children get their own lunch boxes off the bench while Laura straps Abi into her high chair. Laura supports the children to get started, ensuring ‘growing food’ is eaten first, then settles herself at the table with everyone else to eat her own lunch alongside the children. They chat about last week’s trip to the farm with the other educators and children laughing at the memory of the pigs fighting and squealing over the pellet food and the goat that kept jumping the fence and scared Vicky, one of the other educators. They chat about the plans for the afternoon; did anybody want to do some gluing today? Or perhaps check on the carrots growing in the vege garden?

After lunch Abi is tired and crawls over to her bag and pulls at her cuddly which is hanging out of the corner.
“Are you ready to have a moe Abi?” asks Laura. Abi holds up her hands to Laura and she picks her up and gives her a quick squeeze.
“OK, let’s say night night to your friends then. Who wants to say goodnight to Abi, she is going for a moe?” Natalie and Corey both make their way speedily over to Abi; Corey holds her hand and says good night. Natalie gives Abi a kiss on her cheek and a cuddle. Just as Laura turns to head into the sleep room Joe calls out to wait. Although he was busy with a tricky puzzle he doesn’t want to miss out on being part of this routine! A quick cuddle and a big smile for Abi, then back to his work.

Laura zips Abi into her sleep bag and with a loving smile wishes her sleep dreams. As Laura stands at the counter setting her timer she can see that Corey and Natalie have both already settled themselves on the couch with a pile of books beside each of them. A space left in the middle which Laura assumes is for her. Since Natalie and Corey have both outgrown their afternoon sleep a new tradition of ‘quiet time’ emerged quite naturally and now the children enjoy book after book, pausing every now and then for Laura to check on Abi before resuming with the next book, until both Natalie and Corey, and sometimes Joe, have had their fill.

At the end of their individual days each child in Laura’s care has experienced a loving, nurturing environment where their personal needs were met and their growing interests extended. The children know what is expected of them and know that each and every one of them will have their own special times with Laura, as well as time spent with their friends and time doing things on their own.

Find out more about HOME GROWN KIDS.