Latest news

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.

Around the World

The Inventors have a new theme of the month – Around the World. As we are well and truly in Spring, we’ve been looking at Spring Around the World!
During our new theme of the month we’ve travelled to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Big Ben in London and even the Colosseum in Italy. We’ve been teaching our Inventors that every place is different and the people there are different too. We’re all different but all equal. We’ve been comparing similarities and differences between people and places and learning all about the beauty of our planet.

Spring Around the World

We’ve been explaining to the children that not every country has Spring at the same time of the year! Our Spring is April and May but Spring in Australia is September and October! Our Inventors have learnt that different parts of the world have different seasons. We wanted to look at similarities and differences between Spring around the world so Emily set up a beautiful water tuff tray and let the Inventors get exploring…

Flowers flowers flowers!

The tuff tray had floating flowers as Emily explained that blooming flowers were a similar theme for Spring in most countries. She told them this is because Spring has the right balance of sunlight and rain, so flowers bloom. They noticed different flowers in the tuff tray, cherry blossoms and tulips. Emily explained that in South Korea, they have a Cherry Blossom Festival in Spring where cherry blossoms grow and in Canada and Australia they have a Tulip festival where tulips grow! Different flowers bloom to make our world beautiful.
They also explored the differences some countries have during Spring. They noticed there were firework shaped pipe cleaners in the water. This was because in Versaille in France, they celebrate Spring with fireworks.

Spring in the UK

We also spoke about what Spring means for us here in the UK. The Inventors knew that “Spring meant flowers” and also that “Easter” was coming up in the Springtime. We also spoke about how Spring meant the weather was getting warmer! Well done Inventors. Where shall we fly next?

As the Easter season approaches, we’ve got some fantastic activities for you! Keep an eye out on  Facebook and Instagram for more.

Our Investigators have been investigating the power of light and how it creates shadows. Check it out here!

The Power of Shadows

Is there anything more fascinating to a two year old than the power of their shadow? The fun of the identical movement as they skip towards the sun? The Investigators children have been exploring the wonderful effects of the spring sunshine and identifying, comparing and enjoying different shadows. Exploring shadows can help children understand more about the world around them and different effects of weather, the sun and light.

Animal Shadows

The Investigators love creating and comparing their shadows outside. “I’ve got a little shadow!” they say. So they know that the sun creates shadows when they play outside, but how? Holly and Jordanna wanted to teach the children that it wasn’t just the sun creating shadows and that radiated light is the reason shadows are produced. They set up a beautiful tuff tray with torches, sensory lights, fairy lights and animals. Turning off the main lights, they encouraged the children to experiment with the torches and shine them above the animals to create shadows.
The children were amazed with the results of their exploration saying “It’s the lion shadow” and “I see a cat shadow.” The staff explained to the children that like the light from the sun creates our shadows, the light we are shining creates the animal shadows!

Exploration of Light

The children were fascinated with the results and used their exploration to take the light investigation further. They shone the light on different things around the room to see if they would produce a shadow too. Some of the older children even headed to the window to compare the shadows the sun was creating inside, with the shadows they were creating inside!By staying curious and setting out child-led activities, we can teach our children so much about the world around them.
As we welcome the Easter season, we’ve put together some great easter ideas with young children. Check it out here!
Also, check out Facebook and Instagram for other activities!

Easter Ideas with Young Children

Hello April! It’s officially chocolate eggs and bunny season and even the spring sunshine has made an appearance. With the weather looking up, here at ABC Day Nursery, we’ve put together some fun and exciting easter ideas with young children. 

Outdoor Fun

Being outside and letting children explore the world around them offers many benefits. Outside games can challenge children and test their physical limits, give them the opportunity to express themselves and build their self-confidence. Why not take Easter outside and pair the two together!

You could try:

  • An old classic, Easter egg hunt.
  • A nature Spring walk.
  • An egg and spoon race.
  • Geocaching, download the app here.
  • Camping in the garden.
  • Pin the tail on the bunny.
  • Easter egg roll.
  • Go to a farm and explore lambs and sheep.
  • Do some spring planting.

Inside Excitement 

Weather not looking great? Fancy something inside? Why not try these great easter ideas with young children to do indoors.

  • Decorate Easter eggs.
  • Make toilet paper roll bunnies.
  • Eat yummy easter eggs.
  • Get children to set up an easter egg hunt inside!
  • Make hot cross buns.
  • Create some easter craft.

There are so many wonderful ways to enjoy the Easter season. Why not share some of your wonderful ideas on Facebook and Instagram.

Planting has been a favourite Spring activity here at ABC. Check out the results from our sunflower investigation here!

Sun for Sunflowers!

Remember our sunflower seeds we planted a few weeks ago? They’ve come a long way! This week, the Inventors have been looking at the results of their plant investigation and learning that there has to be sun for sunflowers!
Nurturing plants and inspecting their growth and nourishment can be a great way in helping children understand the conditions plants need to grow. During our investigation, we conducted an experiment where we put some plants inside and some outside. Having a direct comparison to draw differences between can directly show children the ways in which different environments affect plant growth.

Taller or healthier?

The Inventors explored the inside and outside plants and spoke about which ones were taller. “The inside ones are taller,” they said. Emily wanted the children to understand that although the inside ones were taller, they were growing downwards due to insufficient sunlight! The outside sunflowers were “smaller” but they did look “better.”

Together Emily and the Inventors read a story about what plants need to grow healthy, tall and strong. They concluded that plants need “sunlight” and they can’t grow “if it’s dark inside!” “Sun for sunflowers!” a child said after the story!
Our evaluation and learning outcome is that plants need sunlight to grow, so the Inventors took all the plants back out to the spring sunshine and re planted them! I wonder what will happen in a few more weeks…

Did you read our planting activity? Check it out here to see how the sunflowers started. Also, check out Facebook and Instagram for other activities!

Exploring Different Textures

Exploring different textures is a wonder for a child’s senses. Exploring new and exciting things can be mysterious and a great way to learn. We all know that children like to get stuck in! So why not get stuck into our crocodile swamp here at ABC Day Nursery!
Learning through touch and texture is also very important due to the fact that it strengthens a child’s motor skills. For instance, gripping, holding, squeezing, stacking, poking, pouring or scooping will help children strengthen the muscles in their body, and also helps them to develop stronger hand-eye coordination. Letting children explore things they may have not experienced before, can help them take risks and build confidence.

The Crocodile Swamp

The Investigators were exploring a beautiful crocodile swamp set up by Holly. She used bark, corn flour, brown coloured water, sticks, branches, fake leaves and crocodiles. All different natural materials to excite the children’s senses as they explored different textures. The children used the crocodiles to move the corn flour and then their hands, scooping it up and letting it drip down. They found the texture mesmerising as it turns into both a solid and a liquid state. The investigators felt the bark with their fingers and splashed in the water. One child even explored the tray with their feet to get a full sensory experience!

Snappy Crocodiles

As they played, they listened to crocodile music and used the instruments to make crocodile sounds. The children were all admired by the different snappy sounds crocodile makes. One child told Holly that “castanets were snappy like crocodiles!”

We’ve got some great activities coming up as spring approaches. Check out Facebook and Instagram now! Or get outside yourself this spring, have a read here to find out some great reasons why.