Month: June 2016

School runs -whatever the weather!

As 3pm looms I always check in with the weather forecast so that I can prepare for the daily school run. On days like today when heavy rain is forecast I have to ensure we are all appropriately dressed in our waterproofs.

weather pic


Luckily the older ones we collect from school either love jumping in puddles if they have their wellies on or enjoy jumping in the hedges to avoid the spray from passing cars, whilst the rain seems to have a very calming effect on the younger ones in the buggy as they inevitably fall asleep under the rain cover in the buggy, like they did today. I think it’s just me that objects to getting so wet!

Of course the average British summer can mean we do school runs in glorious sunshine one day and drizzle, heavy rain, thunder or gusty winds the next so we just have to be prepared!



Quick Focus Activity: People who help us

This is often a popular theme used with young children in larger settings but I decided to use it a while back as one of my “quick focus” activities. It involved my mindee (aged 4) identifying all the people that help us in the community from our range of happyland figures. He absolutely loved this and excitedly found police, nurses, doctors, firefighters, teachers and postmen. We then discussed other job roles that make up the local community which was a good opportunity to make connections between people and places.

I have a great puzzle called “What do I do?” for the younger ones. Each job role is made up of 3 pieces. We also have a very popular postman puppet (our postman is a very popular sighting here at Aston childcare when he knocks on the door!) and another puppet that shows various occupations on each finger as well as a poster featuring 15 people who work in different occupations. 

Development matters touches on this topic in Understanding the World – People and communities

Areas of Learning covered: Understanding the World Understanding different occupations Communication and Language Talking about who helps us everyday Personal, Social and Emotional Development talking about being helpful, how others feel and how we can help them, empathy etc  Literacy reading books about people that help us, looking at/mark-making numbers and letters on emergency vehicles Expressive Arts and Design  role play, small world play on the theme Physical Development  Putting on doctor/firefighter dressing up clothes, running about with hoses or first aid kits doing ‘rescuing’ Mathematics counting, sorting, numbering vehicles/uniforms etc

World Music Day

Today is world music day.

Here at Aston Childcare we love our music. We have lots of different instruments from around the world including –

Peruvian pan pipes, Spanish castanets, Latin American inspired scrapers as well as xylophones, a drum, a triangle, maracas, clacker, tambourine cymbals, two tone instrument, bell shaker, an electric guitar and a keyboard. We have a piano mat and a microphone the children love to sing in to. Music covers a range of the EYFS areas of learning and is enjoyed by all from babies to school aged children.

Areas of Learning Covered: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication & Language, Physical Development and Expressive Arts and Design.

Childminding Activities: Gardening with kids

Mary, Mary, quite contrary

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells and cockleshells

And pretty maids all in a row.

We love our gardening here and are currently watching our beanstalks grow with interest. My 2 after schoolers enjoyed measuring the height of them after school today and they were an impressive 75 centimetres and 1 metre 8 centimetres respectively!

The mint we planted back in October last year is doing fantastically well. Next to the mint sits the rosemary which seems very hardy and smells divine.

The lavender on the table that we love to add to our sensory playdough sessions is coming to the end of its flowering season but has in past months been brilliantly coloured.

And finally, we have a plant marker all ready for our sunflowers that we planted back in March but as yet they haven’t made an appearance, we are hoping they will any week now! Stay tuned…!

Child Safety Week 2016


This week (6-12 June) is Child Safety Week. The theme for this year’s Child Safety Week is ‘Turn off technology’ to remind adults of the dangers of being distracted by technology when children are playing.

The older children have had fun colouring in some sheets all about safety which have served as a good prompt to chat about safety around children and particularly the dangers of using technology. It has also served as a useful reminder to myself for those moments when I am distracted by my phone.