It is wonderful to witness the increased confidence and authority that the older children possess as they enter the younger ones’ yard or Studio; often even the most reserved of children will tend to come out of their shell and try to make the little ones laugh or join in conversation or games. The younger children adore having older siblings and peers visit them and look forward to the interactions, keen to show off their skills and resources.
In age-mixed play and interactions, the more sophisticated behaviour of the older children is beneficial for younger children to witness and the emotional support offered by the older peers is typically greater than younger ones would receive from same age peers.
The older children love showing off their leaderships skills and imparting knowledge to the younger ones and the younger ones often inspire imagination and creativity in the older children. From an evolutionary perspective, the normal social play of children involves kids of various ages as the benefits are many.
EYLF Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world
EYLF Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of well being
EYLF Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners
EYLF Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators