Early childhood activities need to have the rich cultural influence of a vast variety of people, ideals, and information from outside of their small world. Early childhood programmes and schools are part of larger communities. They reflect those communities – their diversity of people, values, arts, and resources.
Preschools can use the community as a learning resource, through organising visits and activities in which students pretend to be grown-ups and participate in a variety of exciting historic events and activities.
A kindergarten in Damietta, called Smile Kids, provided a great opportunity for children – aged between 3 and 6 years old — to learn about Egyptian culture and history. Rather than telling stories about historical periods, the kindergarten organised interactive learning games to teach children about Egypt’s history.
The kindergarten created a simple simulation of the Egyptian community during the Pharaonic civilization, and the kids wore Pharaonic costumes. During the activity, the kids learned about agriculture in Ancient Egypt and the four seasons of farming.
Another simulation of Kuttab — a type of elementary school — from the early Islamic era in Egypt was made, in which the kids wore costumes of “Sheikh” or teacher. The Kuttab used to teach reading, writing, grammar, and Quran.
The kindergarten organises other activities every Thursday for children to explore the resources in the communities where they live. They help the kids learn new life skills, like how to take the bus.
They also organized a pajama party to help children know the sleep hygiene tips, such as washing teeth.
Daily News Egypt met the Manager of the kindergarten, Abeer Sakr. She said the nursery aims to teach children in a funny way and draw a smile on their face.
She also said that the main reason for establishing the nursery is that her young daughter was always crying when she returned from her nursery, so she decided to establish a nursery that would make the children love learning.
The nursery has also created a new idea to celebrate Valentine’s Day, which is to make children donate what they love to the less fortunate children. The nursery also presented gifts to the children of El Shoraa village in Damietta.
Such activities taught students about the resources available, about respecting and caring for others, and the relationship between school, community, and culture.