Month: April 2017

Park Life

Our village playground is looking a bit worn and sorry for itself but I was pleased to hear that there are plans underway to improve it. I have spent many hours with my mindees up at the park but feel currently that it is not so good for the little ones so I hope that the new and improved children’s play area rectifies that. Colour plans of the new children’s play area have been produced and I hope it’s not too long before we can enjoy the new and improved facilities.

Luckily we have some great playgrounds in neighbouring villages and I regularly make use of 3 of them and 2 larger ones in neighbouring towns.

Whilst I always strive to provide a rich outside play area in my own garden at home I do feel there are some things that are better enjoyed at the park.


Today’s lunch 

Today’s lunch was another pasta and sauce recipe taken from Annabel Karmels ‘quick and easy toddler recipes’ book. It’s another sauce that can be put together in minutes yet is still very tasty. This time it was a case of mixing 200ml of passata with 2 tablespoons of creme fraiche, 1 tablespoon red pesto and 1 tablespoon of fresh basil. As always my 20 month old mindee polished her portion off and wanted more and I may have just eaten what was left in the pan!

Brown Bear

Love these paper plate bears the children made last week…

Areas of Learning covered: Communication & Language, Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Mathematics

Flags of the World

Here at Aston Childcare, stickers and puzzles are perennially popular so I am delighted with this lovely flag themed puzzle and sticker book I have recently got. Both the puzzle and sticker book are excellent ways to familiarise the children with the flags of the World and are useful for learning about countries. They can be used when discussing international celebrations or supporting a country’s team in sporting events. Whilst my mindees aren’t quite the target age group they are still good tools for discussing what shapes and colours we can see.

Areas of learning covered: Understanding the World, Communication and Language, Mathematics

Today’s lunch: Quick pasta sauce

Today’s lunch was another recipe from Annabel Karmel’s ‘quick and easy toddler recipes’ book.

It combines penne with creme fraiche and parmesan and I include brocolli and ham as Annabel suggests. It’s ready in minutes so is a great one to make when, like today, we are having a busy day and I want to get fresh, healthy food on the table in under ten minutes!


Easter Chicks

On Thursday I set out some bits for the children and suggested we made some Easter chicks. They simply had some yellow playdough, some yellow feathers, orange cardboard triangles and some googly eyes. They absolutely loved this and took great pleasure in creating their own chicks. Don’t they look great?

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

Invitation to Play

Yesterday after lunch I set out an ‘Invitation to Play’ tray. What is an Invitation to Play? An Invitation to Play is just as it sounds. Inviting your child/children to play with certain materials. The adults job is to provide the collection of materials and the child’s job is to investigate, explore and play with as they like. Invitations to Play should be open ended with no set outcome at the end.

I filled it with lots of yellow items I could find – straws, pom poms pipe cleaners, stencils, paper and our latest batch of yellow playdough.

They both dived straight in –

“I need some pom poms…and some playdough”.

One of them grabbed a pencil and drew around the yellow pot in the playdough…

One wrapped the playdough up in the paper to make a sandwich…

It was really lovely to stand back and watch and listen what they made of it all and their own interpretations on how the items could be used.

Lifecycles: Frogs

Spring is seen as a time of new life with both plants and animals being born. It has been lovely to see the newborn lambs in the neighbouring fields and watch the flowers bloom. One sign of new life I haven’t seen this year is frogspawn. I am very envious of fellow childminders that have a pond who are enjoying seeing their frogspawn hatch. It’s such a short period and a shame to miss it. My son loves spotting frogs in books and saying “ribbit-ribbit”!

I have fond memories of our lessons around the pond at my primary school, it was such a lovely, fun and interesting way to learn about lifecycles.

I have some lovely resources detailing the lifecycle of a frog that the children enjoy all year round but nothing beats experiencing and learning something firsthand.

Pre-school Science

I was really interested to read this article in the Guardian this week about pre-schoolers and Science.

Last month was actually British Science Week which had prompted me to reflect on the science opportunities I offer the children in my care so the article was very timely.

Recently we enjoyed flying a kite (force and gravity). We have also been enjoying blowing lots of bubbles (elasticity, surface tension, chemistry, light, and geometry), the children always love this, even the babies.  We have also previously enjoyed planting sunflower seeds (life cycles and processes) in the past. All these activities allowed the children, despite their years, to observe, experiment, investigate and discover.