Aussie Skype Chat for Nursery Children
31st January 2013
Giving them the opportunity to chat to children in another country who are not much older than them was something we couldn’t pass up as it was a really unique way to expand their learning.
Chatting with children on the other side of the world isn’t a usual activity for youngsters when they head to nursery.
But children at The Old Station Nursery at Lincoln Marina have been given the chance to find out what life’s like down under thanks to the online service Skype and nursery Manager Sam Waite.
Sam’s sister Jo Tout lives in the country’s capital, Canberra, with her two children Calum, five, and Emma, eight. They agreed to get online to talk to the nursery children on Monday 28th January.
The idea behind the chat was to give the children the chance to learn more about Australia, find out how the family celebrated the nation’s biggest holiday last Saturday, Australia Day, and talk to the children about their experiences. To set the scene via the video link-up, Jo wore a traditional cork-string hat while the UK children cuddled a toy koala bear.
Sam said: “We always try to come up with new and engaging topics for the children to learn about, and over the past few weeks we’ve been teaching them about Australia, including what kind of animals they have, where it is on a map and even giving them a chance to play a didgeridoo.
“Giving them the opportunity to chat to children in another country who are not much older than them was something we couldn’t pass up as it was a really unique way to expand their learning. They were all very excited about talking live via Skype. Some of the children come from RAF families and have mums and dads serving abroad, so Skype is a technology they are used to, while for others it was a whole new experience.”
Questions from the UK children included what kind of weather the Tout family was experiencing, if they ever have rainbows in Australia and what activities they enjoy. The Tout family wanted to know if there had been much snow and what games their UK counterparts played for fun.
The Tout family moved to Australia four years ago and started living in the capital this month. Speaking from her Canberra home, Emma, who celebrates her ninth birthday tomorrow, said: “Talking to the children in the UK has been really exciting and it’s been fun to call them on Skype.”
Notes to editors:
- Sarah Steel set up The Old Station Nursery in Faringdon, Oxfordshire, in 2002 when she left the army and was unable to find suitable childcare for her two children. The Lincoln Marina setting is one of three in Lincoln, while there are also settings in Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Nottinghamshire and Buckinghamshire.
- Australia celebrates Australia Day on January 26th each year. It is the anniversary of the arrival of the first fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain and the raising of the Union Jack at Sydney Cove by its commander Captain Arthur Phillip in 1788.
- Skype is a communication service which lets you communicate with people on your phone or computer or a TV with Skype on it. Find out more here http://beta.skype.com/en/