P is for…

…playdough!

With the rain beating down outside, it seemed like the perfect day to break out the playdough! It takes just minutes to prepare and is incredibly therapeutic, not only for children but for a busy mum and childminder too!

I’ll be adding some more colours to extend our play in the coming weeks.

Pink playdough

Potentially poisonous plants

You may have seen this story in the news today –

http://www.itv.com/news/granada/2015-07-09/children-severely-burned-by-hogweed-plants-in-greater-manchester-parks/

This particular plant was by a riverbank but of course our own back gardens can contain potentially harmful plants. Here at Aston Childcare I have fully assessed the garden and noted any potentially harmful plants using the Horticultural Trades Associations (HTA) list of potentially hazardous plants.

We are all likely to have at least one of these in our own garden and common sense should prevail as, ultimately, all non-food plants contain chemicals which could potentially cause mild poisoning (e.g. stomach upset or stomach pain) if eaten (though serious poisonings remain rare), so we need to ensure we avoid those plants which are the most toxic and educating the children not to eat anything (in the playground, garden at home, park or countryside) unless an adult has said it is perfectly safe to do so.

Say No to CO

You may have read the story in the news about Sharon and Neil Shepherd who devastatingly lost their two children Bobby and Christi Shepherd due to carbon monoxide poisoning on holiday back in 2006. After a 9 year battle, an inquest last month ruled that Christi and Bobby were unlawfully killed and that Thomas Cook had breached its care of duty.

The dangers of Carbon monoxide form part of my Risk Assessments here at Aston Childcare and I have an alarm installed in our living room. Make sure you have one too……..

.say no to co

New government legislation

With the ever present threat of terrorism around the world, the Government have issued a new “PREVENT” strategy, effective from today, which aims to protect children from terrorism and radicalisation. I have read and familiarised myself with the document and incorporated the strategy into my safeguarding procedures.

The PREVENT strategy requires all childminders and early years providers to identify any children who are considered to be at risk of being involved in terrorism or radicalised and refer them to the Local Authority.

Definitions – 

Terrorism – the Terrorism Act 2000 defines terrorism as: “The use or threat of action designed to influence the government or an international governmental organisation or to intimidate the public, or a section of the public; made for the purposes of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause; and it involves or causes: serious violence against a person; serious damage to a property; a threat to a person’s life; a serious risk to the health and safety of the public; or serious interference with or disruption to an electronic system.”

Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism.

Any questions, please ask!

Sand and Water play

With the nearest beach over 80 miles from us, we bought the beach to us today, well, kind of! Sand and Water Play is great for helping promote a child’s development and is perfect for days like today.

 use 2 use 3sand and water play

Our cooking creations

cakes

Cooking offers children a variety of learning experiences. It’s a practical way to teach children basic life skills, as well as academic skills involving reading, science and maths so what better excuse for making and consuming fairy cakes! We went for pink icing and chocolate sprinkles today!

Eggcellent!

The week has got off to a good start with our chickens laying their first egg! There have been a number of worrying reports in the news that children don’t know where their food comes from with some children thinking that tomatoes grow under ground and that potatoes grow on bushes or trees. Keeping chickens offers a wonderful opportunity to teach children where food comes from and to respect and appreciate the food they eat.

Our first egg!

Heatwave on its way….

According to reports we are due a heatwave next week! Children cannot control their body temperature as efficiently as adults during hot weather and so are more susceptible to heat related illnesses. I have a “heatwave plan” in place and will be taking measures to keep children cool and safe during the hot spell.