I’ve discovered a link between gingerbread men and the long term positive impacts of quality ECE. Seriously. As I watched my 13 year old, 10 year old and 7 year old kids and their three friends of similar ages all poring over dough and cutters on the weekend, I was transported back to to those early years when one of them had a passion for the story of the fox and the gingerbread man.
Back then, this “meme” drove endless enactment of the story in the sandpit and round the centre. Lists of ingredients were made, trips to the supermarket undertaken and lost of weighing and measuring, cooking and eating went on. More than five years later, the six of them worked together across the age and gender differences, collaborating on personalised ginger people, fish, trees and assorted shapes, cooking and icing them.
To me this showed so many Te Whaariki principles in action: building a sense of belonging to their wider community of families and friends, making a contribution to a shared endeavour, talking through their creative ideas and sustaining their friendships and their bellies simultaneously.