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Primary School Uniform

Big things are coming for the Inventors at ABC Day Nursery … the transition from nursery to primary school! We have been focusing on getting your Preschooler primary school ready. It’s so important to constantly talk about school during the build up to settle any worries and to turn them into excitement.. And wow, our preschoolers are EXCITED!

Dress by ourselves

For the first few months of primary school, the new uniform is exciting. (Until they realise wearing your own clothes is way cooler!) So we’ve been practising self dressing techniques.  Emily set up a self dressing tuff tray with zips, buttons, velcro and even the hardest of all.. Laces!
The Inventors took it in turns to practice and Erin and Delilah were super focused on the laces and with the help of the staff, they even managed to do a bunny lace! The determination of their faces was a picture. Tongue out and all! Self dressing helps children develop skills of balance, coordination, flexibility and strength. The more they do it themselves, the more the motor skills develop!

Primary School Dresses!

Some of the girls wanted to take it that step further and practice putting on school dresses! Delilah, Erin and Daisy took it in turns to undress and dress themselves. Different methods such as over the head, over the legs and around the body were practised, but they weren’t getting away from those tiny buttons. With true concentration and determination, they were all successful. Primary school is an exciting time and the girls took it in turns to tell me what they were excited about. “Making new friends”, “Being in Ladybirds” and “Forest school” were some of the reasons! How fun.
Need some tips at home? Here are some tips on how you can encourage your preschooler to master self dressing.

  • Let them try, every time! Even if they don’t succeed, practice makes perfect. Try to avoid correcting straight away.
  • Build a good morning routine when getting ready for school.
  • Have a “dress up” station.
  • Encourage them to pick their own clothes when they are not in uniform.
  • Let them practice buttons/zips on other items of clothing.
  • Give your child plenty of time to dress.
  • Start simple and build up!

Another important skill your child may need for primary school? Check out our blog on tips for tidying up!
Or check out Facebook and Instagram for more content.

Tidying Up Skills

As we say hello to the summer months, there is one thing on the mind of our Inventors, SCHOOL! Throughout June at ABC Day Nursery in Exmouth, we will be focusing on getting your Preschooler primary school ready starting with the art of mastering tidying up skills! The boring old chore no 4 year old wants to do after they’ve played with their favourite toys: put them all away. So we’ve found ways to make it fun to develop their independence, ready to do it a LOT at school (and hopefully at home, am I right parents?!)

The Tidy up Tray

Commands to “tidy up your toys!” will go right over the head of a little one, especially if they are not done playing, so we’ve found a way to develop tidying up skills whilst continuing the play. Emily set up a tuff tray with random toys from the room such as shells, puppets, blocks and more. She encouraged the Inventors one by one to get exploring, asking them questions to investigate different items within. “Can you find something with buttons?” She asked as they took turns to locate an item. Once they had found the item, they were challenged to find the correct place and put it back! The questions got harder as the tray emptied as Emily introduced maths asking them to match numeral to quantity such as “Can you find three yellow items?”
Not only did this game encourage independence to tidy and better memory skills for where things go, but also rewarded children to feel proud by doing it alone and doing it well! The Inventors were focused throughout the whole exercise, and trust me, there were a lot of toys in the tray!

Tips to try at Home

We will be continuing this exercise during tidy up time with the Inventors as the repetition of habit will help them understand the importance of tidying up. Here are some tips you can do at home during the build up to school.

  • Attach a ‘Tidy up Song’ to the daily ritual. Here are some choices you can try:
    – The Tidy Up Rhumba
    – The Tidy Up Song
    – The Clean Up Song
  • There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition! Make tidying into a race. Try tactics such as “Who can tidy the fastest?” between siblings or “I bet I can tidy quicker than you!” Games such as this, and the one we will be doing at ABC, make tidying fun.
  • Use encouragement through confusion to offer pride in children. For example, try saying “I forgot where this toy goes, do you know?” and let them lead you by example. This is great for self esteem and confidence.
  • Reverse psychology works a charm! “I bet you can’t put this away really fast” or “I’m sure you don’t know where this goes” encourages children to prove you wrong!
  • Team it up! Try working in areas in teams. For example, mum and sibling 1 take one half of the room and dad and sibling 2 take another.
  • And lastly, and probably the most important, is to be encouraging! Model good tidying tactics and help your little one succeed.

Regular routinely patterns to consider for yourself when establishing good tidying up skills are:

  • Stick to a routine. Tidy up at specific times.
  • Have a place for EVERYTHING.
  • Reward children. Use stickers to congratulate. 
  • Always work alongside them.
  • Stick to the one in, one out policy. Don’t let children get out everything as it will be more overwhelming for them to tidy everything.
  • Make it fun. Research ideas! Or speak to a staff member at the nursery to see what best works with your child.

Nap times can be a struggle for some children but we’ve put together some tips on how to make it easier. Check it out here.
Or check out Facebook and Instagram for more content.

Nap Times

Getting your baby to fall asleep for their nap can be the hardest or the easiest thing in the world. All children are different when it comes to nap times. Some need a comforter, others drift by themselves, some need rubs on the back and most need an hour of cuddles, a good old fidget and a merry laugh at you as you chase them around the room! The important thing to remember is to nurture their needs and stay calm as you do so. At ABC Day Nursery in Exmouth, we make sure we care for all the children’s needs for naps.

The Power of Role Play

Never underestimate how much children observe what goes on around them! The power of role playing day to day life can implement routine and develop children’s capabilities to become resourceful.  From as young as 1 year old, children can imitate the actions of us as grown ups.
The Adventurers have been roleplaying their own nap times with the baby dolls! This helps them to encourage familiarity regarding this important part of the day. Just as the staff do with the Adventurers children, they’ve been doing to the babies.
The Adventurers nap routines go a little like this:

  1. Feeding time! (Lunch for the Adventurers and bottles for the babies!)
  2. Nappy changing.
  3. Into bed and comforting. (The Ladybirds gave the babies cuddles and kisses)
  4. Help to fall asleep into their nap.

This structured daily routine has a great effect on the Adventurers and is so important for keeping a good nap schedule. The same time every day, the same patterns every day and the same routine every day.

Nap Time Tips at Home

There are so many ways to promote good nap times. Here are some of the ways our staff help the children at ABC Day Nursery.

  • Structured routines: like we mentioned before, the benefit of a routine provides consistency and comfort for a child.
  • Persistence is KEY: Keep trying, trying, trying. Your child will get used to it!
  • The same cot or sleep pod in the same place. The children know exactly which mat is their own. Familiarity combined with routine makes all the difference.
  • Always have a calm environment: dim lights, doors closed, lullabies. 
  • Comfort each child differently. Like we mentioned beforehand, some children need more attention than others.
  • Have a quiet time! Whisper to children and highlight the importance of quietness and calmness. Children will mirror your actions.

And one of the most important things to remember is to stay calm. And remember, children will be more comfortable with their parents and carers and they will test boundaries more with them. When you’re calm, they will be calm. Fancy another read? The Investigators have been tackling fears of the hairdressers! Read the blog here.
Or check out Facebook and Instagram for more content.

Tips for Trips to the Hairdressers

The day is here. That necessary hair appointment! It is totally common for young children to fear the hair salon. The different surroundings, the loud sounds and most of all, the dreaded pair of scissors. At ABC Day Nursery, we are here to put your child’s mind at ease with tips for trips to the hairdressers and activities to help your children become familiar with the experiences they might encounter. 

The power of Role Play

Never underestimate how much children observe what goes on around them! The power of role playing day to day life can settle nerves and develop children’s capabilities to become resourceful.
The Investigators have been role playing a day at the salon! They took it in turns to wash each other’s hair using shampoo and conditioner bottles, brush using combs and hairbrushes and even style with some bands and clips! Encouraging children to become familiar with these items and how they are used can help settle nerves when they see them at the real salon.
They also took turns sitting nicely in the chair. Sitting still is every toddler’s worst nightmare! So at hairdresser appointments be sure to pack some fidget toys or something for children to do to keep distracted.
Constant play of any real life situation such as babies for the arrival of a new sibling or hair dressers can massively develop a child’s confidence so when the real event arrives, they are ready!


Tips for trips to the hairdressers for parents

  • Talk to them about hair items when you wash, brush, style their hair. The more they know, the more confidence they will have.
  • Tell them the importance of hair appointments: why we need hair appointments. (and not just to look good!)
  • Prep your child. Make use of online videos! Here’s one you can watch together. Make sure children know that the hair salon isn’t a scary place.
  • Don’t call it a haircut! Try “hair appointment!” The word cut can add fear for a child.
  • Take fidget toys with you to distract children.
  • Practice safe scissor use! Help them understand that scissors will not hurt them.

Fear of scissors

The biggest fear about hair appointments are the scissors. The Investigators have been practising the safe use of scissors by safely cutting spaghetti to act as hair in a special hair appointment tuff tray. Emily H spoke to them about how to properly use the scissors and that they are safe so long as we use them correctly. At home, always make use of activities with scissors, explain how to properly use them and encourage your child to have a go whilst you supervise them.

With the help of our sister nursery Acorns Day Nursery, we’ve put together fantastic tips on encouraging children to try new foods. Check it out here!
Or why not check out Facebook and Instagram for other activities!

Tactics to try New Foods

“I don’t like it!” is a phrase too commonly used by a toddler and pushing away before they have even tried it is a favourite action to match! But how can we stop this immediate reaction? From a young age, we should help our children take risks and try new foods. A range of nutrients for a healthy body, an understanding of likes and dislikes and a “can do attitude” are some of the things your child will develop if they try new things. Courtesy of our sister nursery Acorns Day Nursery, we’ve put together an investigation for the children of ABC with some tactics to try new foods for 1-2 year olds. Check it out!

Crazy for Crackers!

Our investigation “Crazy for Crackers” was to introduce new flavours and textures on familiar territories by our baby room. We’ve added some tactics to try new foods that you can do at home!

  1. Start the Investigation with familiarity.
    A hungry child is a child less likely to try new things! Start your snack time with something they like or are familiar with to conquer their hunger before you challenge them.
    In our Investigation, Sam B gave the children a plain cracker to build their confidence, fill their bellies and encourage them to want to take part.
  2. Next comes butter.
    If you want to introduce new textures, first try with something simple. Butter is a soft, plain taste and can be comforting for children whilst introducing them to similar textures of new spreads.
    Sam B gave the children a variety of buttered crackers to introduce the texture. The children tried water biscuits, cream crackers, rosemary crackers and crackerbread.
  3. Slow and small!
    Once they have built their confidence, and satisfied their hunger!, introduce new things in small doses.
    Sam B broke up the familiar crackers and placed pate and cream cheese on top. 

Tips to Remember

  • Adding new foods with foods they are already familiar with encourages a willing and confident attitude.
  • Starting in small doses will not scare children into rejecting new foods.
  • Choices encourage preferences: rather than forcing one new thing straight away, give them different options and they will communicate what they like and dislike.
  • Encouragement shouldn’t be forceful: never force them to eat it but give them the option to try. For example, place the food in front of the child and let them make the decision.
  • Baby steps: continuously try the new foods but don’t throw them into the deep end!
  • Be a good role model: always eat the same food they do.

Another thing to remember is the importance of handwashing after trying new things! Check out the blog here! 

Alternatively, explore Facebook and Instagram for more activities!

The Importance of Hand Washing

We all want healthy, happy children right? So let’s teach them the golden rule in defending illness. Good hand washing is the best line of defence against the spread of many illnesses from colds to COVID-19 and flu to many other serious infections. Every child likes to touch, touch and well, touch! Don’t underestimate the importance of hand washing. It will prevent children getting infected from touching different things throughout the day and save you a calpol purchase or a trip to the doctors!
Handwashing can be boring, a chore, so we’ve put together some ways to make it fun. Read on to see how.

The Soap and Glitter Investigation

The children at ABC Day Nursery in Exmouth are encouraged to wash their hands on a regular basis. Before eating, after using the toilet and going outside: handwashing is a regular routine. This means it can get quite repetitive and boring for the children. To make it fun and try new things, the Inventors have been exploring the Soap and Glitter Investigation.
Emily set up the tray with torches, soap and water glitter surrounded by photos of different germs and the children washing their hands.
She encouraged the Inventors to dip their fingers in the glitter water and see what ‘germs’ they would pick up. Using the torch, the examined the glitter representing the germs and spoke about how germs were on different toys at nursery.
They tried again, this time with some soap on their middle fingers. They noticed the protection of the soap meant that it picked up a lot less glitter. Our Inventors learnt all about the power of soap and how hand washing is so important in defending against germs.

Hand Washing Tips at Home

After their fun, they were excited to show off their hand washing techniques and went straight to the bathroom to use water and soap, scrub for 20 seconds, rinse and dry their glitter palms!
Here are some things you can do at home to emphasise the importance of hand washing.

  • Make Hand Washing fun!
    – This is probably the most important tip. Find songs, take part in races, give out stickers, try the investigation, clean toys! Handwashing doesn’t have to be a chore.
  • Hand wash routinely. 
  • Reward children!
  • Clean your hands alongside them. Model good hand washing.
  • Constant questioning when children get back from the toilet, for example. 
  • Talk to children about germs and illnesses and why handwashing is important.

And most importantly, do it as much as possible. Handwashing really is the most powerful defence against illness.
Fancy some more advice? We’ve put together some tips to encourage tidying up. Check it out here.
Or check out Facebook and Instagram for more content.

Tidy up after THEMSELVES!

As our children get older, their ability to be independent and tidy up after themselves grows stronger and more able. Encouraging our children to do so provides them with responsibility and accountability.
We get it! Through busy days and tight schedules, it’s sometimes easier to grab the toy basket and chuck in all the toys yourself. However, that’s a short term solution! How children learn to tidy up for themselves now sets the standard for chores, independent responsibilities and life “mess” as they get older.

Tips to Help Tidy

There are many ways you can encourage your children to tidy up depending on their age. Adult modelling and constant encouragement can be appropriate for children 1-2. For children 3-4, we can be creative. Here are some ways from ABC Day Nursery in Exmouth that you can make tidying fun for children encouraging their healthy habits.

  • Attach a ‘Tidy up Song’ to the daily ritual. Here are some choices you can try:
    – The Tidy Up Rhumba
    – The Tidy Up Song
    – The Clean Up Song
  • There’s nothing wrong with a little healthy competition! Make tidying into a race. Try tactics such as “Who can tidy the fastest?” between siblings or “I bet I can tidy quicker than you!”
  • Use encouragement through confusion to offer pride in children. For example, try saying “I forgot where this toy goes, do you know?” and let them lead you by example. This is great for self esteem and confidence.
  • Reverse psychology works a charm! “I bet you can’t put this away really fast” or “I’m sure you don’t know where this goes” encourages children to prove you wrong!
  • Team it up! Try working in areas in teams. For example, mum and sibling 1 take one half of the room and dad and sibling 2 take another.
  • And lastly, and probably the most important, is to be encouraging! Model good tidying tactics and help your little one succeed.

Other points to consider

Regular routinely patterns to consider for yourself when establishing good tidying tactics are:

  • Stick to a routine. Tidy up at specific times.
  • Have a place for EVERYTHING.
  • Reward children. Use stickers to congratulate. 
  • Always work alongside them.
  • Stick to the one in, one out policy. Don’t let children get out everything as it will be more overwhelming for them to tidy everything.
  • Make it fun. Research ideas! Or speak to a staff member at the nursery to see what best works with your child.

There are so many tactics possible to help children tidy up after themselves! Keep trying different ways till you find the things that work best for you.
Our Adventurers have been getting independent in other ways such as cooking and baking! Check out the blog here.

Skills for Cooking and Baking

Letting children practise the basics of home life tasks helps them grow a sense of independence and sets them up for real life situations. It can also help them develop their motor skills and hand to eye coordination. In the Adventurers, we’ve been practising the skills for cooking and baking such as mixing and pouring mixtures. With the right adult modelling and supervision, baking and cooking can be a task for children as young as 1 year old! Let’s get our chef hats on!

Shredded wheat treat!

What makes shredded wheat a treat? Mix it with chocolate of course! The Adventurers have been putting their baking skills to use by crushing up cereal, pouring mixtures into bowls and mixing the lot! They even managed to resist the temptation to lick the chocolate bowl! The hardest part!
They took turns waiting patiently and working as a team to create the mixture. Spooning the mixture in carefully, the Adventurers were very focused whilst spooning it in the cupcake cases!
The last bit was the best bit. The leftover Easter mini egg toppings! Trying to match the colour of the mini eggs to the toy eggs, the children placed a chocolate topping on the cakes. Some of the treats received a few more mini eggs, lucky for whoever’s that was! So the children were encouraged to evenly spread them out and did so well.

Staying Safe whilst Cooking with Children

We’ve been doing some easy baking with the children at ABC Day Nursery. Why not take it u a notch and use the oven at home?! Check out these tips to stay safe in the kitchen.

  • Don’t let children cook without constant adult supervision
  • Start off easy. Keep it simple and achievable.
  • Explain whilst you cook. Tell children what you’re doing.
  • Wash dishes as you go to contain the mess.
  • Wear appropriate clothing and keep long hair back.
  • Wash hands!
  • Let children have their opinions on what you cook and how you cook it (to a certain degree!)

    Cooking is great but we all know what’s better! Eating! Check out our blog on the Investigators trying new foods!
    Also, check out Facebook and Instagram for other activities!

Hot Cross Bun Tasting

Here at ABC Day Nursery, our Investigators aren’t quite finished with the Easter season! We are always encouraging our children to be open to take risks and to try new foods. This week, our Investigators have been investigating the flavours of all the new hot cross buns you can try! It’s not just plain raisins anymore! Let’s do some hot cross bun tasting.

Trying new foods 

It’s very important to encourage your children to try new foods. We all know that our taste buds are constantly changing. Mushrooms are a grower and brussel sprouts are never! But children are more likely to develop a balanced and creative diet if they try new foods.
We all know that some children can be picky and “don’t like it” before they have even tried it, this is why we should always be creative with the foods we give them, model good eating and pair different foods with foods they are already familiar with.

Hot cross Buns! Chocolate or Orange?

It sounds like a silly question! Our Investigators have been exploring trying new flavours during their hot cross bun tasting.
We started off by using our sense of smell to investigate the new foods. Some of the children said the normal hot cross buns smelt like “pancakes” whilst others commented on the chocolate hot cross buns as a “big chocolate cake!”
Next was our favourite sense, our taste! The Investigators tried each hot cross bun and commented on the flavour.
The children were all super brave at trying new foods and from the chocolate on their faces, I’d say they really enjoyed them!We’ve had a wonderful Easter at ABC. Check out our Easter Tuff tray in the Adventurers room here!
Also, check out Facebook and Instagram for other activities!

Introducing Easter!

As we creep into mid April, we welcome the joys of Easter! For most of you parents, the house is full of Easter eggs, your eldest is on their Easter break and the holiday is well and truly underway. For a lot of our younger children, The Adventurers, this may be their first or second Easter! We want to introduce them to the themes of this holiday and get them excited by introducing Easter. Let’s hop straight to it!

Easter Tuff Trays

Exploring different textures and themed resources is a great way to get them excited for the Easter season. Beth set out a wonderful Easter Tuff Tray with resources such as fluffy bunnies and chicks, 3D Easter Eggs, a range of flowers and Spring grass and hay. An Easter exploration! As they explored some new and exciting materials, the staff spoke to them about the themes of Easter such as “The Easter bunny brings Easter eggs!” and “Collect your Easter Eggs in the baskets!”

Introducing Easter through Child Led Play

Child led play is a very important part of our practice. Child led play allows the children to take control of their play and exploration. The Adventurers were encouraged to explore themed resources and invent their own play.
Some of our Adventurers bounced the hopping bunnies, some of them picked up the eggs and placed them in their baskets to start their own egg hunt and some children even rummaged through the hay and grass to find the roses and daisies.
The children stayed curious throughout the activity and got to explore different parts of Easter wonderfully. The Adventurers have been practising their Easter Egg Hunt skills! They are excited for a wonderful Easter egg hunt with actual chocolate this time! Yum!

Our Inventors have been exploring Spring around the world. Check it out here.
We’ve got some more fantastic Easter activities from our rooms coming up this month on  Facebook and Instagram so stay tuned.