INTERCULTURAL EXPERIENCES AND HOW THEY CAN LEAD TO PARENT-EDUCATOR PARTNERSHIP CHALLENGES
Depending on the climate a child is used to the reaction the child might show to the weather in this environment might be different. Considering the case of Arno, being used to warm and dry weather conditions could make it quite uncomfortable when being brought outside to play under cool and wet conditions. Being forced to wear many layers before leaving home in the morning can cause stress and a reluctance to even go to kindergarten or may cause unhappiness when outside play is scheduled. On the other hand, a child might feel overheated and therefore uncomfortable if she is used to lower temperatures but has to wear winter gear because this is what the kindergarten deems necessary.
Another aspect is the light during daytime. Depending on where a child previously lived, autumn and winter might be confusing as many children arrive and are picked up when it is already dark outside.
During summer, rain may be a common occurrence in some countries and not necessarily a reason to go inside immediately. For children not used to those short and warm summer rain showers, it can be uncomfortable to stay outside. Getting wet outside of bathing/showers can be difficult for some children to endure.
Children may fight against wearing unfamiliar clothing. Here are some ways educators can help with this process:
Have displays made by the children and/or with pictures of the children about weather and clothing in the cloakrooms.
Don't forget to use real objects and pictures to help all the children understand. Plan activities in circle or group session such as “pair up the rain boots” where children mix all of their boots in the middle and then must find the matches. It can also help to pass the clothing items around and discuss how they are worn, show that they will keep them warm and dry and even to talk about how they can be fun (splashing in puddles)! Make sure to discuss the different names for different items of clothes, “I call these ‘rain boots’, Sarah calls them ‘wellies’ - Arno what do you call them at home?”
Provide all weather clothes in the dressing up area.
Provide games and books that talk about weather and clothing in the book corner/area in the classroom. Book ideas can include following children books: “Froggy Gets Dressed (Jonathan London, 1997)” and “The Snowy Day (Ezra Jack Keats, 1996)”.