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Physical Development at ABC Day Nursery

We have focused on physical development at ABC Day Nursery.  We love being active and know how important it is for our little ones’ development.  It’s also huge fun! 
 

Physical development is very important to promote healthy growth in children. It helps build a healthier body composition, stronger bones and muscles. Achievements in physical challenges boosts self-esteem, as children learn to use their bodies independently.

We thought we’d share what each of our rooms have been doing to enhance their gross movements.

 

The Adventurers 

The Adventurers are our youngest children, aged 0-2.  They are at the very beginning of their journey as they start to explore their own bodies, attempting to roll, crawl, scoot and walk!  We make sure we help them grow in confidence to test their abilities as they develop their balance, climbing and running.   We love to set out soft play obstacle courses to create fun and challenging ways to test children’s physical abilities.

We see how each child gains independence when they conquer new physical challenges which helps their confidence levels. Younger children might look for adult support when they need to, but, given time and support, they relish the ability to tackle new challenges on their own.

 

The Investigators

The Investigators children are ages 2-3. They’re starting to learn to climb up and down stairs, kick a ball (but not usually in the right direction), and to jump off a step at this age.

Their confidence and concentration and ability to take on new challenges will grow rapidly in these years. They even become more willing to attempt things by themselves and challenge themselves to attempt new things they haven’t done before.

You will also notice they become more aware of their achievements and will start to show their joy when they achieve.

We set out an obstacle course that included tyres with planks for them to balance across.  It also featured a climbing frame and stumps to step on or jump between. The Investigators concentrated and got stuck into the challenge.  They also signalled how proud they were to do it independently with high fives all round!

 

The Inventors

Our Inventors are our pre-schoolers, our eldest children.  We encourage them to try new things, take risks and move their body freely.

In one activity, they used their upper body strength sweeping leaves of autumn across the floor and sweep as many leaves as they could across the line to the other side. This involved using arm muscle strength and moving their bodies from side to side.

We’re always encouraging the children to try new things and be proud of their achievements once they’ve completed them!

Read more about our physical development activities at ABC on our Facebook and Instagram pages.  Read about our approach to learning and development here.

Physical Development at ABC Day Nursery

The Ultimate Child Safety Tips for Firework Night

Bonfire Night is an exciting evening that many look forward to, regardless of how old you are!  We’ve created a guide to the ultimate child safety tips for Firework Night, ensuring everyone remains safe and has fun.

It is a night to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors while feasting on hot jacket potatoes and delicious toffee apples, and not forgetting the beautiful display of fireworks in celebration of the failed gunpowder plot by Guy Fawkes.  We love to get into the spirit of Bonfire Night at ABC Day Nursery.

Stay Warm and Dry

November isn’t renowned for its crisp and dry weather, so it’s likely to be a damp evening! Make sure all family members are prepared, wearing warm coats, hats, gloves, scarves and some wellies to keep your feet nice and dry.

It is likely that if children will stay up past their usual bedtime so they might become tired and cold.  Make sure to be prepared!

Create a Safety Zone

Whether you watch fireworks or enjoy a bonfire, children must remain a safe distance away. Fires can spit, and fireworks are notoriously unpredictable, so keep the youngest at the safest end of the garden.

You could introduce a point in the garden where the children aren’t allowed to cross.

When lighting fireworks, ensure that they have been angled away from spectators, especially rocket fireworks.

Always Supervise

Children should always be supervised on Firework Night. Whether by the fire, watching the firework display or handling sparklers, a responsible adult should always be on hand, overlooking the evening’s activities.

Firework Safety Tips

Children should never be allowed to help light fireworks or a bonfire, and should always remain as a spectator, at a safe distance away from the fireworks and bonfire.

Consider Noise Cancelling Headphones

For apprehensive children, it may be best to purchase noise-cancelling headphones so they can enjoy the visual display without feeling frightened by the noise.

H3: Purchase CE Marked Fireworks

Ensure that the only fireworks you use have been awarded a CE mark. They should only be used one at a time, and when they are waiting for use, they should be maintained in a closed box. 

Lighting Fireworks

If you choose to have your own firework display at home you must read the instructions before lighting each individual firework.  Ensure that you light a firework at arm’s length while using a taper. Ensure any naked flames, such as cigarettes, are kept away from fireworks.

Finish the Night Before 11pm

On Firework Night, the 5th November, any firework displays should be over by midnight. If you are planning to set off fireworks on another evening, any displays must end at 11pm as a legal requirement.

H3: The Golden Rule

One that you may be familiar with is to never return to a lit firework. Sometimes they can take a while to light, and you mustn’t re-approach it if you are unsure.

Bonfire Safety Tips

There should be one adult responsible for the safety of the bonfire. The location of the fire should be far from any potential fire hazards, such as trees or a wooden fence. Below are some additional safety essentials if planning your own bonfire:

  • Try to make sure no one is wearing loose clothing, and if children have long hair, ensure that it is tied back.
  • Keep a bucket of water close by, just in case.
  • Put out the fire with water at the end of the evening and don’t only rely on it burning out.
  • Never use paraffin, meths or petrol on a fire.

Safety Tips for Sparklers

Sparklers are much hotter than you may initially assume, especially for young children. An adult should never give those who are under the age of five a sparkler as the temperature from a sparkler is extremely hot for them.

Below, we provide some recommendations to ensure optimum safety of participants when using sparklers:

  • Always remain present if your children are using sparklers.
  • It is advised to light each sparkler one at a time.
  • Ensure your child is wearing gloves, ideally leather ones when holding the sparkler.
  • Sparklers should always be held at arm’s length when being lit.
  • Ensure the child knows not to wave it at other people.
  • Put the sparkler in a bucket of water and leave it there when it has stopped burning as it will still be hot.

It is also essential to ensure that children know to never put a sparkler in their pocket or to pick one off the floor.

We hope you find our ultimate child safety tips for Firework Night useful.  We love autumnal activities for our children to enjoy at our nursery in Exmouth.  Check out our Facebook and Instagram pages to see what fun our children enjoy.  Contact us to find out more about available places at our nursery.

Ultimate child safety tips for firework night

Communication and Language at ABC Day Nursery

We’ve focused on communication and language at ABC Day Nursery, this week.  The Investigators have been very excited as they went on a bear hunt for their activities!
 
We love to encourage imaginative language through sensory stories.  It is so important to support young children while they develop their vocabulary and use these new words within play.
 
ABC team member Emily wanted the children to learn and use new words from the story “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.” She set up a beautiful tuff tray with a range of natural resources for the children to investigate and enjoy. 
 
She read them the story as they played to stimulate their imaginations.  The children learned and utilised new words and phrases from the book such as “swishy swashy”, “splash splosh” and “bear.”
 
They also used the resources to explore new textures, which they absolutely loved!  They commented on the things they felt, describing them as “‘spikey”, “squishy” and “cold.”
 
Some of the older children started using larger phrases to comment on the story saying “Cave is scary. Bear is inside.”
 
Read more about how we help children develop communication and language skills at ABC Day Nursery here
 
See more pictures from our activities on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
Communication and Language at ABC Day Nursery

Developing Relationships at ABC Day Nursery

This week has been all about developing relationships at ABC Day Nursery.
 
The Adventurers have worked on developing their social skills.  They’ve made new relationships with their peers in a new game we like to call ‘The Bonding Ball’!
 
They formed a circle and took turns to tell each other their names, using the ball to signify whose turn it was. The children all displayed great manners and their confidence grew whilst communicating with one another.
 
It’s very important to promote solid social skills in our young children.  We encourage them to have good manners, communicate effectively, be considerate of the feelings of others and express their needs.  Find out more about how our approach to helping children develop relationships at ABC Day Nursery here.
 
Visit our Facebook and Instagram pages to stay up to date with all our latest activities.
Developing Relationships at ABC Day Nursery

7 Engaging Autumn Activities for Children

The summer sunshine will soon be a distant memory, so we thought to share 7 engaging autumn activities for children.  These activities can be both fun and educational for your children. An important stage in a child’s development sees them learning about the world around them. A key aspect of that is understanding and respecting our natural environment. Whilst the weather might not be quite so favourable, there is an array of fun and engaging things to do that can help your children connect with nature.  These will help to make the most of all that autumn has to offer. Below, we have listed some of our favourite activities to give parents of children at our nursery in Exmouth inspiration for the weekends ahead.

Puddle Jumping

In October alone, the UK experiences approximately 13 days of rain – that’s nearly half of the month! Don’t let the wet weather put a dampener on your weekend and, instead, embrace all the fun things that come along with it, including puddles! Wrap up warm with waterproofs and wellingtons before heading out to a walk near your home that’s likely to have a few puddles. Let children be children as they jump and splash in the puddles until they are well and truly worn out and retreat home with the promise of a hot chocolate and a warm bubble bath.

Apple-picking

Autumn is the perfect season for apple-picking, so brave the elements and head out with a few bags or baskets to gather as many as you can from a local orchard. Ask younger children to count them as they go in whilst those that are slightly older can assess the state of the apples, and only choose those which are suitable to eat. Once you have your collection, head home for some apple-based activities such as cooking an apple crumble, apple bobbing or make some toffee apples ahead of fireworks night.

Pumpkin Carving

Children love Halloween, and nothing builds excitement on a rainy weekend in October quite like carving their lanterns. Head to a local farm where children can pick their own pumpkin or bring some back the next time you go shopping so you are ready to go. Leave using the sharp utensils to an adult but ask the child to design and create their own lantern for you to display proudly on 31 October. Encourage them to be as creative as possible and check your local garden centres in case there are any decorating competitions that can be entered.

Collecting Conkers

Autumn is typically peak conker season, and building a collection is almost a rite of passage that has withstood the test of time and remains popular with children together. Encourage them to head out with a bag to collect as many as they can, the bigger the better. There are various chants and songs you can learn to sing while you search or check out the rules of the game Conkers online and have the children play each other.

Autumn Leaves

As the trees grow more and more bare, the floors are carpeted with an explosion of autumnal colours. Go to your local forest or wooded area and suggest that the children make a big pile of leaves, which they can then jump in and throw the leaves around. Once they’ve finished have them find as many different kinds of leaves as possible and help them to identify them. This visual reference for each of the types will help them to remember them in the future, and they’ll soon spend endless walks identifying trees and leaves. Finally, the leaves also make fantastic arts and crafts materials, so bring a bag of varying colours home and watch as your children create an autumn-inspired work of art.

Nature Watch

Those with a garden can create a woodpile habitat out of logs in a shady part of the garden and keep an eye on the array of insects this will attract as time goes on. If you’re lucky, a toad or a hedgehog will make this their home over winter, and while you shouldn’t disturb them, you can watch from a distance and learn all about the animals in your garden. In the run-up to Halloween, head outside at dusk to go bat watching, and keep your eyes peeled for the beautiful creatures. Many public outdoor spaces will become less busy as the weather deteriorates, so make the most of the secluded areas and head out on a nature safari, jotting down anything you spot along the way.

Walks and Scavenger Hunts

Autumn is a great time to appreciate the great outdoors, and there’s no better way of doing so than taking regular walks, whatever the weather, to new and exciting places. Prepare a scavenger hunt for your children to make it more exciting for them, as they collect varying items as quickly as possible. You can make this hunt as easy or as hard as required, depending on the length and location of the walk and the ages of the children involved. Take a picnic to make a full day of it and encourage activities like den-building on the way round to break it up.

We hope you enjoyed our suggestions for 7 engaging autumn activities for children and you can take some of these ideas for several weekends to come. Do you have any favourite autumn activities? Share them with us and other parents via our social media channels.

Visit our Facebook and Instagram channels to see what autumnal fun our children will enjoy over the coming months!  Contact us to book a show around of ABC Day Nursery.

7 Engaging Autumn Activities for Children

The Investigators at ABC Day Nursery

We’ve got some exciting news!  There’s a brand new Investigators Room at ABC Day Nursery.  You can read all about our other rooms here.
 
We’ve been super excited to open our new room, this week! To build up excitement, some of our Adventurers explored a tuff tray all about the new things they could expect in their transition to the Investigators!
 
They were very excited to discover photos of the staff who would be with them and different objects from the room.  It was wonderful to see them so curious to explore all this new environment.
 
“The best time for new beginnings is now”.  We can’t wait to share all the things they have been up to this month!  Visit our Facebook and Instagram pages to see more pictures of The Investigators at ABC Day Nursery.
The Investigators at ABC Day Nursery

Why Are Some Children ‘Picky Eaters’?

Food can be a source of stress at home and why are some children picky eaters is a hot topic.  It can be worrying when your child sometimes refuses to eat, and you’re unsure if they’re consuming enough food. It’s important for kids to develop a healthy relationship with food from a young age. But, it is perfectly normal for children to refuse to try or eat certain foods.

There are a number of reasons why children are picky eaters. There are factors such as age, personality, genetics, the media and peer influence. However, research suggests negative or non-responsive feeding practices are associated with higher levels of fussy eating in comparison to positive or responsive feeding.

If a child is being particularly picky and isn’t being fuelled with the right food, it can lead to nutrient deficiencies, which can impact both the child’s short and long-term health.

Here at our nursery in Exmouth, we’re keen to support our children and parents at every stage, including helping them develop a healthy relationship with food.

In this piece, we’ll look at the most common reasons children are fussy eaters and what we can do as parents to help children evolve a nutritious diet.

ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS

External factors tend to be the most common reasons that influence how children form eating habits; they can be cultural, affected by the media or peer influence.

Parental Influence

The most prevalent reason as to why children form the habits they do is due to the influence parents hold, how they establish the households feeding practices, and the types of foods that are eaten.

MODEL BEHAVIOUR

One of the most common reasons children develop fussy eating habits is that they often model those around them.

They’ll start to develop similar eating behaviours and attitudes towards food. Therefore, it is more likely that, if one parent is picky with the food they consume, the child will follow suit.

APPLYING PRESSURE

Applying pressure to your child and insisting they eat certain foods or a certain amount can actually have an adverse effect, where they can end up eating less due to the pressure applied.

It’s key to build respect and listen to your child; if they’re not hungry, then they shouldn’t be forced to eat. If pressure is applied, then the child can associate mealtimes with anxiety.

USING DESSERT AS A REWARD

‘You can have dessert after you’ve eaten everything on your plate’, does this phrase sound familiar? Threatening to withhold their dessert unless they eat the food in front of them teaches them to value a sweet treat over more nutritious food. Which ultimately can ignite a power struggle over food.

THE MEDIA

The media and advertisements can be incredibly persuasive to children. If a child sees a particular food or snack advertised, this can affect their way of seeing food. Therefore, it’s vital to know what media your children consume to understand whether this affects what they eat.

CHILD FACTORS

The external environment isn’t always responsible for the habits that children form. Factors such as age, tactile defensiveness, personality and cognitive elements can contribute to becoming a picky eater.

Sensory Food Aversions

Eating is a sensory task; a child can become sensitive to specific characteristics of food and refuse to eat due to the characteristic; whether that’s smell, texture, taste, temperature or appearance.

TIPS TO COMBAT FUSSY EATING

Although eating habits tend to be learnt at an early age, there are many ways in which we can help children to combat picky eating.

Be Positive Offering Food

It’s important to show children the positives of the food that you’re offering them. As mentioned, children learn and copy those around them.

If you’re introducing new foods, take time to eat the same food with your child, as they’re more likely to try something that they see you’re enjoying.

Set a Meal Schedule

Developing a meal schedule teaches a routine and provides peace of mind as you’ll know that your child is receiving enough nutritious food. If they refuse to eat their breakfast, as an example, they’ll have a mid-morning snack not too far away.

It is recommended that three meals a day and two snacks, one mid-morning and one mid-afternoon, is a good schedule.

Don’t Force Food

If your child rejects a certain food, don’t force them to eat it, as this can reignite the power struggle. Instead, take the food away without a fuss and reintroduce the food at another date to try again.

Don’t Use Food as a Reward

Using food as a reward or a punishment can undermine the healthy eating habits we’re trying to teach our children.

For example, giving your child sweets for completing a certain action or behaviour can encourage them to eat when they’re not hungry to reward themselves. This can lead to long term impacts, so offering an alternative reward, such as a trip to the park, is recommended.

Have Fun With Food

Food doesn’t have to be boring or plain, be creative with the food choices, such as offering a sauce with vegetables or cutting the fruit in a specific shape to make the food look more appealing.

Children learn about the flavours and textures they like and dislike by being exposed to various foods, observing peers, and being rewarded or punished for not eating certain things.

Food preferences develop early on and can affect food choices for life. However, we can help combat issues and help to shape your children to have a healthy relationship with food.

We hope this article has helped you understand why some children are picky eaters and that the tips we’ve explored will help both you and your child develop a healthy relationship with food.

To learn more about what we offer here at ABC Day Nursery, call 01395 222808 or contact us here. Visit our Facebook and Instagram pages to see more of our activities.

 

Why are some children picky eaters?

Movement Skills at ABC Day Nursery

It’s been all about mastering movement skills at ABC Day Nursery, this week. We challenged the Inventors to use their fine motor skills and strengthen their smaller muscles.  This is done through exercises like grasping, object manipulation or drawing.
 
Promoting fine motor movements is important to help children perform important life tasks.  These could be being able to feed themselves, grasp toys, buttoning and zip clothes, write and draw!
 
The Inventors used their funky fingers to develop their small muscle movements.  They created patterns, letters and shapes in the paint inside of the bags, concentrating very well as they did so! 
 
They took their painting to a whole new level using rollers to perform bigger hand movements.  To spread the paint across the paper, they moved the rollers back and forth. This requires grasp to the rollers and concentration when rolling the roller in the direction of their choice. 
 
Inspired by these movement skills at ABC Day Nursery? Why not try some fine motor movements at home this week?  Head over to our Facebook and Instagram pages to see more images.
Movement Skills at ABC Day Nursery

Why is Praising your Child Important?

The answer may seem obvious but why is praising your child important? Encouragement and praise are important factors when encouraging a child’s motivation, self-esteem and for achieving new goals. They should be given mindfully as it’s such an essential part of a child’s development.

Our nursery in Exmouth strongly values the significance of praise. We share and highlight their strengths because it supports how they approach tasks in the future and helps to contribute to their success.

HOW EFFECTIVE PRAISE HELPS DEVELOPMENT

Praise is an effective tool when encouraging a child to recognise their achievements. It motivate them to positively approach their tasks and will boost their curiosity and support their self-esteem.

We believe it nurtures their sense of self, demonstrating how to think and talk about themselves positively. It’s a lovely thing to be able to help them learn to recognise when to feel proud of themselves

There are various ways to promote self-esteem that will inspire children to have a confident and motivated attitude. We have collected a few factors to consider when doing this.

Describing What They Did Well

Descriptive praise is especially good in communicating what your child has done well. Additionally, it also feels more genuine in comparison to a general ‘well done’ because it acknowledges their efforts in more detail.

Using Age Appropriate Praise

Personality, and age, of your child should be taken into account when giving praise.  They might not appreciate being publicly singled out for their accomplishment. The appreciation and recognition of their achievement might get lost in the embarrassment.

General Words of Encouragement

We recommend giving children a few genuine words of encouragement every day. The small things will build up over time and have a positive effect in their future.

Praising What They Can Control

It’s great to encourage children and promote their self-esteem by praising them.  However, it’s also important to focus on what they can change rather than just natural gifts and skills. A few examples of this include:

· The level of effort they have put in.
· How much time they put into preparation.
· The strategies they’ve used.

INEFFECTIVE PRAISE

To help support their development, it’s fundamental to recognise that we can also negatively influence a child’s motivation by using praise. This can make them feel as though they need a reward for everything that they accomplish to feel proud of themselves.

Comparable Praise

Comparative praise can be effective but beware of it over use. It can result in their main ambition being competitively focused rather than mastering the skill itself. Their motivation will become reliant on outperforming others.

Insincere Praise

Children can be aware of artificial praise and it can leave them feeling like their work isn’t good enough, resulting in self-criticism. This includes when a child may feel that they are only praised for reinforcing good behaviour.

Extreme Praise

Over praising can also cause potential problems down the line. It can set high standards which your child might struggle to maintain.

This can affect how they approach future tasks; they might even avoid them out of fear of failing or not meeting expectations. They won’t want to lose the respect of those they look up to.

Why is praising your child important?  Well, hopefully this blog has helped answer this question. These are just a few ideas to help support a child’s development. All that’s necessary is to ensure that they know you’re genuinely proud of their efforts and gently encourage them.

Visit our Facebook and Instagram pages to see how we praise and celebrate our children at ABC Day Nursery.  

Why is praising your child important?

Preparing for Big School at ABC Day Nursery

We have been working on preparing our Inventors for ‘big school’ at ABC Day Nursery.  The new school year is very close and we can’t believe some of our children will soon begin their next journey!
 
Our children have worked on their cutlery skills, using a knife and fork.  This is a perfect challenge to try at home, all you need is cutlery and some playdough.  The main aim of this exercise is to strengthening both gross and fine motor skills.  In addition, the children also learn how to hold cutlery safely whilst cutting up the coloured playdough.
 
The children improved their independence and patience to cut their own food at meal times, all ready for primary school in September!  We love to help our children take steps towards achieving important milestones.  This prepares them for the challenges that lie ahead once they are of formal schooling age.
 
Take a look at our overall approach to learning and development here.  When it comes to preparing for big school at ABC Day Nursery, we start by embedding essential skills early.  However, we know that the best approach to learning is via fun and soft approach, where the children don’t even know they’re learning!
 
Visit our Facebook and Instagram pages to see more of the activities enjoyed by our Inventors.
Preparing for Big School at ABC Day Nursery