Act actively against exclusion

When Mareike comes to kindergarten, she discovers a new girl. It’s called Tina and stands next to it
the educator Beate. Somehow the girl looks different. Mareike looks at it curiously. Then she notices that the glasses are particularly thick. Mareike welcomes her teacher and goes wordlessly past the new girl. She is playing with the other children. Tina watches sadly. For the next few days Tina only stands next to Beate. She doesn’t dare to play with anyone and is not addressed by any child. The girl in Mareike’s group is marginalized.

If we observe something like this in adults, we quickly feel pity and we want to help. We try to find play partners for the child. But what is behind “exclusion”? How do you deal with it in a pedagogically meaningful way? You can read this in this post. You will also find games and offers for better contact between the children.

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How to properly deal with exclusions:

"Man is a creature of habit," says a saying. Everything new and unknown is carefully, maybe even eyed suspiciously. People like to live in their familiar surroundings, have the structures and processes they are familiar with and feel safe when everything is familiar and familiar. This applies to children as well as adults.

That means: exclusion and tolerance often have something to do with unusual behavior, appearance or the like. to do. Take the time to speak openly to children aged 5 and over. Ask the kids:

  • "What do you feel when you meet someone new?"
  • "How would you feel if another child didn’t like you because you e.g. B. look different? "
  • "How does it feel for you when you are not allowed to play?"

How to act according to the 5 rules

As described in the example above, you can see that Mareike and the other children in the group have been excluding the new girl for a few weeks now.

The most important rules for your everyday life

The goal is to create a permanently tolerant, open and trusting environment for all children. For this you should use the following rules for your pedagogical action and
consistently heed:

1. Accept the opinion of every single child.
2. Take his feelings seriously and reflect them.
3. Do not try to moralize a child.
4. Meet children with real interest.
5. Talk honestly with children about their opinions and feelings.

The children learn this through their behavior

If you ask children (Mareike) out of pity to let a child (Tina) play along, this is a quick solution, but it does not bring any long-term benefit. On the contrary: The "tolerated" child (Tina) will then probably be left alone again and feel that she was only allowed to play out of pity. This experience weakens the child (Tina) because it undermines his self-esteem. The children must feel that everyone in the group is valuable and may not be the same, but can do something different.

This requires a large portion of commitment from you as an educator and honest involvement. But if children If you perceive them as tolerant, open and honest, they will
accept and feel how good this is doing. Then over time they will try to develop a tolerant attitude towards others. This is a long but very important learning process! Try through deals and games against the To proceed with exclusion.

Offers and games for everyday practice

With the following offers and games, you can encourage children from the age of 4 to get to know each other better. This is an important step to integrate outsiders.

That’s how I see you

5 children are allowed to take a life-size self-portrait of another child. To do this, one child lies down on a large piece of paper on the floor. Another child "bypasses" the body with the pen. Then the children create the silhouette with the things they particularly like about the painted child. This can be the clothes, the hairstyle etc. Also what
the child can be shown by a symbol, e.g. B. a soccer ball for children who like to play soccer. This enables you to focus on the positive side of a person in children. Have other children gradually take such portraits. If you hang them up, the children can also add new properties later on.

Perceive loving touches

The children move to the music in the room. When the music stops, the teacher calls a name. This child has to stop and close his eyes. Now some children (children decide for themselves whether they like it or not) put one or two hands on the body. The "blind" child must now perceive the foreign hands and, by touching them, show which they feel. This hand is then pulled away.

Variant: The child can also count out loud and / or estimate in advance how many hands will touch it.

Collage: Different things are also beautiful

Collect images of people, animals, houses etc. from the Internet, magazines and prospectuses that look "different" than we are used to. B. from a different culture, a work by an artist, pictures of people who dress strikingly "differently" etc. Hang these pictures up and talk to the children about them:

  • "What is different?"
  • "What do you like, what don’t you like and why?"
  • "What is ‘normal’ and what is ‘different’?"

Encourage the children to add their own examples to the collage. So the children go in search of the "differentness" and naturally deal with it.

Game: Who is hiding here?

A bed sheet with a small hole in it is stretched out in the room. A child is allowed to go behind the cloth and look through the hole. Another child has to guess who this eye belongs to. Of course, this works e.g. B. also with the nose, fingers and ears.

Important NOTE: Of course, there are forms of exclusion that you cannot accept. If children z. B. are annoyed and marginalized because of worn clothes, missing toys or their language by the other children, you must intervene and stand protectively in front of this child. In the long term, however, you only change something in such a group with the path shown here.

It is important to take active action against exclusion. It is just as important to act continuously in a preventive manner. You can do this by integrating the 5 listed rules into your everyday life and demanding them from the children.


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Christina Cherry
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