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Teaching Self Care at ABC Day Nursery

We know how important teaching self care skills are ABC Day Nursery.  Encouraging children to be independent to do things by themselves is so important.  We believe it makes them more confident and resilient, ready for the challenges of ‘big school’…and life!
 
Coats in Summer?! Our Inventors have enjoyed the unpredictable weather and using their special self care dice to dress themselves.
They gave the dice a roll which decided the item of clothing they would attempt to put on by themselves.
 
They felt a huge sense of achievement when they successfully zipped up zips and tied shoe laces. It boosted their self belief and self esteem and shows that little things really do go a long way.
 
Read about how our approach to teaching self care at ABC Day Nursery and more about learning and development here.  Stay up-to-date with all our latest activities on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
Teaching Self Care at ABC Day Nursery

Making Maths Fun at ABC Day Nursery

We love making Maths fun at ABC Day Nursery and we did so this week by going all pre-historic!  It is important to engage children in their learning through imaginative and creative ways.  It makes learning enjoyable and not overt.  We aim to ensure that, when they leave us, our little ones have all the skills they need for primary school.
 
The Inventors put their explorer hats on and counted the number of dinosaur footprints in some playdough.   Maths through play is the best way to excite our Inventors.  It encourages them to use numbers in a sequence and they enjoy matching number amounts to the correct numerals!
 
It is not only Maths we make fun at ABC Day Nursery as we strive to engage our children in all key learning areas.  Read more about our approach to your child’s learning and development here.  Stay up to date with all our latest activities and visit our Facebook and Instagram pages.
Making Maths Fun at ABC Day Nursery

Puzzle Fun at ABC Day Nursery

We love having puzzle fun at ABC Day Nursery and we know that our children love tackling them at home, too! The Adventurers use puzzles to develop their problem solving skills and hand-eye coordination as they put the pieces in place.  There are many benefits to having some fun with puzzles and it’s never too early to start!
 
Some of the pieces were small and some were big and the Adventurers love to describe them!  They’ve practised using special words to describe ‘size’ and discovered which piece fits where.   Early Maths is so important, even in our youngest of children as it helps children problem solve.  It also teaches them to measure and develop their own spatial and number awareness.  They learn how to use and understand shapes. 
 
Next time you are out with your little one have a size and shape hunt. Who can find the biggest stick in the park?!  There are puzzles and shapes everywhere so why don’t you see how many you can spot and solve while out and about.  What shape is a roundabout?  Can your car fit in that space?  How big is that tree and what shape are the leaves?  Even your supermarket trolley contains items of different shapes and sizes. 
 
See all the other puzzle fun at ABC Day Nursery on our Facebook and Instagram pages.  If you would like to join the ABC Day Nursery family then simply contact us here.
Puzzle Fun at ABC Day Nursery

6 Summer Holiday Activities for Children

It’s finally the summer! That means you’re probably looking forward to weeks’ worth of quality time spent with the kids.

At our nursery in Exmouth, we know what a challenge it can be to keep children happy and engaged for weeks on end. That’s why we’ve made this list of 6 summer holiday activities that you can do with the kids this summer holiday.

SUMMER HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES AT HOME

If you love quality time with your little ones, then these at-home activities are the perfect choice for you this summer.

1. Summer Picnics

Nothing says summer quite like a picnic.

Grab a blanket and some sandwiches and head over to your local park to bask in the sun, or stay indoors and build yourself a den in the living room.

So long as you’ve got plenty of nibbles, this activity is sure to be a hit this summer that you can do over and over again.

2. Paddling Pool Parties

Paddling pools are widely available both online and in shops and are super easy to set up. Just inflate and fill it with water for hours of splashing summer fun.

You can always make it interesting with inflatables or toys that’ll keep the kids entertained for hours!

If you don’t have a garden, then don’t worry! Local leisure centres often host kid’s swims that are full of fun inflatables and water toys that are perfect for swimmers of all abilities.  However, don’t forget to check what restrictions your local pool still has in place.

CHILD-FRIENDLY HOLIDAYS

If you’re looking for a simple break that the kids will love, these activities are perfect.

3. Camping Trips

Whether it’s for a week break or a weekend, it’s time to make the most of the stunning countryside right outside your door.

Camping holidays are easy, affordable and available across the country. Whether you want to reconnect with nature or stay somewhere with some creature comforts, there’s something for everyone.

And if staying in a tent being beholden to the elements doesn’t appeal to you, there’s always cabins and pod holidays to consider!

4. Beach Holidays

In Devon, we’re extremely lucky in the fact that we’re rarely more than an hour away from a beach.

These locations are great for people who want a couple of days – or even weeks – away from their normal routine to just bask in the sun and sand.

Most beach towns will also have children’s activities, surf lessons and arcades that’ll keep kids occupied for hours!

FAMILY DAYS OUT

You don’t need days away to make a summer special. You can create amazing summer memories that’ll last a lifetime with great days out across the country.

Here are just a couple of the great attractions available in Devon.

5. Crealy Theme Park & Resort, Exeter

With rides, animals and 75,000 square feet of undercover play areas, this award-winning park is the perfect day out for the whole family no matter the weather.

Keep an eye on their calendar, as Crealy is also known to have action-packed events throughout the years, including special guests and appearances from kids TV characters.

6. Paignton Zoo Environmental Park

Paignton Zoo is the perfect attraction for the family this summer come rain or shine.

They have over 2,500 different animals spread out across 80 beautiful acres for you to roam and explore.

As well as educational animal talks, Paignton Zoo is also a registered charity and part of a network of zoos that care for and breed rare species.

We hope you enjoy trying out some of our 6 summer holiday activities.  Make some fantastic memories this summer!  We look forward to hearing all about your adventures from your child.

Want to join the ABC Day Nursery family in September?  Get in touch!  You can find all of the details of how to get in touch here.  Keep up to date with all of our latest activities by visiting our Facebook and Instagram pages.

6 Summer Holiday Activities for Children

Emotional Skills at ABC Day Nursery

Our children have been focusing on their emotional skills, this week, at ABC Day Nursery.  We think we have some actors in the making here in the Inventors…
 
We have made excellent use of our emotion mats, jumping onto each one and acting out the faces of each emotion represented.  Then, they talked about what things made them feel each emotion. 
 
Here at ABC Day Nursery, we think it’s really important to encourage the children to be confident in expressing how they feel.  We also teach them it’s important to understand the feelings of others. Building confidence and emotional awareness is vital in development to build confidence and relationships. 
 
So how do they feel? Being hot, running around and bedtime makes them feel tired.   When they are hungry or missing a loved one they feel sad.  Their mummies, daddies, siblings and grandparents make them happy, but not as happy as cake!  
 
Want to find out how you can support your child’s mental health and enable them to express their emotions?  Read our blog post on the importance of children’s mental health, which provides good tips on our to help your child develop their emotional skills.  View more images from our activities on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
 
Emotional Skills at ABC Day Nursery

5 Ways to Support Your Child’s Mental Health

We thought we would share 5 ways to support your child’s mental health.  It’s important to consider children’s mental health.  Parents and carers have an essential role in helping them develop and adapt to life’s challenges as they grow up. Mental health problems affect around one in ten children and young people.  This is often a response to what is taking place in their lives.

With mental health becoming more and more talked about in today’s society, we are looking at ways adults can help support children’s mental health in various ways.

SPEND TIME TOGETHER

Parents can become distracted with the requirements of everyday life. There are bills to pay, dinner to be made, work life and demands from children.  As such, it is essential to make time with your child one-to-one.  You can help put worries and distractions aside and listen to them. Just asking about their day; what happened at school and what they played with their friends can help you tune into their worries.

Carrying out a quiet activity together makes it easier to talk to your child without it becoming an interrogation and encourages your child to open up naturally.  Modern life is hectic and it can be difficult to find time to sit down together regularly.  However, it is important you do so, as it will benefit both you and your child in the long run.

STABLE RELATIONSHIPS

Children are very observant and will question everything that goes on around them. Adults are considered role models, and it is important our behaviour demonstrates how to deal with emotions, particularly anger and frustration. Providing a stable and consistent environment, particularly for younger children, helps your child feel secure and confident about the world around them. One way to build a good environment is through the relationships with the child and the relationships they see.

It is beneficial for young children to have people around them who support each other and don’t hide their own issues. An unstable relationship can be a risk factor to a child’s mental health. As mentioned above, children are observant and can pick up on issues even if they do not understand the cause. Being open with your children helps them understand what is going on and helps them deal with issues much easier.

PLAY

Children learn about themselves and the people around them through play. Particularly with younger children, playing can provide them with a way to express themselves if they can’t put it into words. Creative activities offer a bonding opportunity between family and friends, as children can tell a story through what they are doing. Role-playing games, either with dress up or toys can also offer insight into how a child is feeling.  We love role-play at ABC Day Nursery and make sure that our children have plenty of opportunities to express themselves.

PHYSICAL HEALTH

Physical health is often linked with mental health, and a physically healthy child is more likely to feel better about themselves mentally. It is important to keep your children active through activity.  This is even more important as they get older.  In addition to that, eating a balanced diet and staying away from indulging in sugary and fatty foods is part of a healthy lifestyle. If you notice your child is not eating well, not enjoying sports and not getting outside to do exercise, it could be a sign there are underlying mental health issues.

FINDING THEIR PASSION

One way to support your child’s mental health is through finding their passion and a hobby they love.  A passion or hobby can provide a much-needed outlet, no matter how young a child is.  It also gives them something they can control. 

At our nursery in Exmouth we take our children’s mental health seriously and aim to teach them ways of expressing and explaining their emotions.  We hope to ensure children leave us for primary school ready to tackle life’s challenges ahead.  Find out about how we approach children’s learning and development here.

Stay up to date up with all our activities by visiting our Facebook and Instagram pages.

5 Ways to Support Your Child's Mental Health

A Bug’s Life at ABC Day Nursery!

It’s a bug’s life at ABC Day Nursery!  There have been some exciting developments in the Inventors’ garden as a bug hotel has been created.  Our children have been very excited to see what creepy crawlies take up residence.  They have left vegetable scraps as food for the new arrivals.  We hope to see lots of different species about which to learn.

The new ABC bug hotel provided the perfect opportunity for the children to learn through play.  We encourage them to be naturally inquisitive, supported by our curiosity approach to their learning.  Read more about our approach to our children’s learning and development here.

See more pictures of our bug hotel at ABC Day Nursery on our Facebook and Instagram pages.  Now who wants to watch the film A Bug’s Life?!

Bug's Life at ABC Day Nursery

Sensory Story Telling at ABC Day Nursery

Our children love how we introduce sensory story telling at ABC Day Nursery.  This week, we’ve been helping develop the children’s role play skills using the ever-popular story ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’.  Our book shelves are packed with lots of exciting and lovely stories for our children to enjoy.  Our story corners certainly get lots of use!
 
Role play is an important part of child development.  It builds confidence, creativity communication, physical development and problem solving. It is a fun activity that also allows children to act out real life roles or fictional performances.  We take our children’s learning and development seriously…but make sure our children always learn while having fun!  Sensory story telling is just one of the many things we do at ABC Day Nursery to encourage our children to develop their role play skills.
 
Keep up to date with all of our latest activities and visit our Facebook and Instagram pages.  Why not also read our blog about Encouraging Imagination at ABC Day Nursery?
 
Sensory Story Telling ABC Day Nursery

ABC Day Nursery’s Guide to Preparing for Reception

Here is ABC Day Nursery’s guide to preparing for Reception.  September is fast approaching and some of our children will be leaving us to start ‘big’ school.  Some of our little ones are not so little anymore!

Often, the transition to Reception can feel like a significant change. With more time at school and less time at home, many fear how their child will adapt to the new routine.

Here at ABC Day Nursery, we support many of our children throughout their pre-school education. Here is our guide to preparing for Reception.

We share our best advice to help Reception parents introduce the longer and more structured new school routine into your child’s life.

WHY TRANSITIONING TO RECEPTION CAN FEEL SIGNIFICANT

The transition to Reception can feel like a significant step. This is because it sets the precedence of the school routine which pupils will follow for the rest of their time in formal learning.

It means that more time of your child’s day is spent in the educational environment than previously experienced. With longer days away from home, it might feel like a big change.

Creating a positive experience from the get-go is essential to ensuring your child feels confident and encouraged to see school as a place of safety.

THE IMPORTANCE OF ROUTINE

A routine is a form of safety and security for young children. It is always vital to implement a routine for children, regardless of age. However, it is especially important for younger children. As children start school, a clear routine can help them transition from Nursery to primary school.

Feeling Secure

Unable to tell the time, a young child establishes their life through the events that happen, consequently becoming reliant on these occurrences.

Without a set routine, many young children can feel insecure. Sometimes, this feeling can advance into their teen years and affect their sense of self and how they adapt to their surroundings.

Provides a Safe Environment

Routine promotes confidence as children can predict what should happen next, as opposed to feeling fearful of the unknown.

In safe and predictable environments, children are more likely to learn integral life lessons, including trust. It encourages them to feel relaxed, and they will be more willing to explore the world around them without feeling anxious.

Practical

There are also many practical benefits of having a set routine including learning about time management, implementing important daily habits (like brushing teeth) and familiarising children with chores.

Challenging Times of Day

Routines can also help ease stressful times of day, like getting ready for school and going to sleep.

A set routine leaves little room for any dispute as your child knows what to expect.

Prepare in Advance

We recommend slowly introducing elements of school routine to your child’s current routine.  It’s a great way to familiarise them with what will be expected when they start Reception. By the time Reception starts, it will feel like a more normalised part of their routine and reduce any emphasis on it being an overwhelming step.

ABC Day Nursery Guide to Joining Reception

Schedule Their Day Similar to School

Why not combine school and home routines?  It is a great way to prepare your child for a new routine, without the overwhelming rush of doing it on the day.

You may want to start introducing small, little changes a few months or weeks before they start the new school year.

It could include practising things such as:

● Wake up at the correct time.
● Go to bed at the expected time.
● Eat meals and snacks at the same time as the school lunchtime and breaktimes.
● Get dressed.
● Eat breakfast on time
● Practise the school run.

CREATE PICTURE CHARTS

As highlighted, many children preparing for Reception do not know how to tell the time or have a clear concept of time management. To help them establish a sense of routine and order, use a picture chart. Include any new changes to their morning and bedtime schedule in the chart too.

A picture of each task, in the order they need to complete it, will help them to visualise and familiarise themselves with what is expected in the rush of the school morning, for example.

SECURITY COMFORTS

Many children have their own comforts which help them to feel safe and secure, such as a blanket.

As they head into Reception, they will no longer be able to rely on these items of comfort and spend less time with them.

It might feel challenging, but instead of going cold turkey when they start school, it might be worth slowly reducing their interaction time with the item, depending on how attached they are.

PHASE-OUT NAPS

It is not uncommon for children aged three or four to still have naps. However, to help their mind and body get used to the energy required at school, try to phase them out in preparation for Reception.

A good bedtime routine is essential to support this, so make sure you implement wind downtime each evening as they adjust.

SHARE STORIES AND DISCUSS FEELINGS

It is essential to maintain an open conversation about how your child feels about school before, during and throughout their school life.

If they seem anxious, familiarise them with pictures or visits to the school, as well as sharing your own positive stories and memories of your own school experience. You could show photos of yourself at school as a great way to help children visualise and familiarise themselves with the concept of starting school.

TRY NOT TO OVER EMPHASISE CHANGES

As important as it is to discuss school, try not to over-hype it. Any changes into a new school routine need to feel natural and normal, so any conversations need to reflect this. Try to avoid words such as ‘big steps’ as this can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed.

TALK THROUGH ANY CHILDCARE ARRANGEMENTS

Always make sure to explain any changes to pick up and drop off arrangements in advance. It will help them to know what to expect and avoid any last-minute panics. Add any changes like this to your picture chart to help your child understand and remember the arrangements.

We are so proud of our pre-schoolers in the Inventors room, many of whom have been at ABC Day Nursery since they were babies.  We aim to ensure all of our children leave us fully prepared for joining Reception.  We hope parents find the ABC Day Nursery guide to preparing for Reception useful.  Get in touch with us to find out more.

Make sure you visit our Facebook and Instagram pages to see all the activities our Inventors enjoy.

Pride Week at ABC Day Nursery

We’ve been celebrating Pride Week here at ABC Day Nursery.  The children have been reading stories that reflect and support diversity celebrating the themes of Pride.
 
As Early Years teachers, we aim to educate the children in our care to be proud of themselves and their families. It’s essential that we create welcoming environments for all the families at ABC and teach our children to be more grounded, understanding and tolerant. 
 
The Adventurers read a special book called ‘Love Makes a Family’ which celebrates all families. The staff highlighted the key themes of how each family is special.  They explained that, while we may look different, we should all be proud of who we are and respectful toward others. 
 
The Inventors read ‘Part of the Party’ which is a heart-warming story celebrating Pride, embracing diversity and inclusivity. The equality story centres around Karri Koala, who wants to go to the Mummy and Daughter Disco in town but lives with her two dads. 
 
The staff then talked to the children about how some of their friends have one mummy and one daddy but some friends have two mummies or two daddies. They spoke about how all their families are special and that we should support and love each other no matter what. 
 
The children then loved drawing pictures of their special families sharing their relations and experiences with each other.
 
Visit our Facebook and Instagram pages to see more of what we got up to during Pride Week at ABC Day Nursery.
Pride Week at ABC Day Nursery