Tag: childminder

On our bookshelf…Childhood Classics

I like to keep a well stocked bookshelf for the children full of fun, quality, colourful books for the children to enjoy. Amongst our favourites are these two books which I remember fondly from my childhood.

Childminder
Childhood Classics

Both books are by the wonderful Janet and Allan Ahlberg with the most beautiful illustrations. The first is Each Peach Pear Plum and the other is Peepo. Opening the pages of these transports me back to my own childhood and I love having the opportunity to read them to a whole new generation.

See which other books we enjoy reading –

Arts and Crafts Activities: Masks

For an easy, go-to activity, a mask is always a winner! The little ones can explore an early mark making opportunity whilst older children can get as creative as they wish. They always spark enjoyment in the children and are often the start of some fantastic role-playing games. We’ve enjoyed lots over the years, here are just some of them –

Sowing and Growing! Magic Beanstalks

The children had great fun growing their very own magic beanstalks last month.

First they chose their own beans, carefully weighing up which looked the best! They then soaked their chosen bean in water before placing it in a jar on some damp kitchen towel, no soil – magic! We placed them in a sunny windowsill in the kitchen and at every snack and mealtime we took a look to monitor their progress and water them.

We also read and enjoyed ‘Jasper’s Beanstalk’ and the children enjoyed comparing Jasper’s beanstalk to their own.

The children loved taking their bean plants home once they grew and transferring them to a place in their own gardens where they continued to grow. Ours has now been planted outside too and is currently growing happily alongside our sunflowers.

Areas of Learning covered: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication & Language, Understanding the World, Literacy and Mathematics.

See what else we have enjoyed sowing and growing:

Gardening with kids: Growing Sunflowers

Growing sunflowers is one of our favourite annual activities! We were a little late in sowing our sunflower seeds this year but, are hoping that, with this amazing weather we’ve been experiencing these past few weeks, that we have some lovely Sunflowers soon!

Check back to see how they get on…!

Brands we love…Little Tikes

Take one look around our garden and it’s clear to see which brand of outdoor play equipment we favour!

It’s not often you get childminders extolling the virtues of plastic(!) but, in the case of outdoor equipment, you really can’t beat Little Tikes in my opinion.

Little Tikes sell lots of toys which help children, grow, develop and have fun from babies through to 8 years old.

We regularly enjoy our Little Tikes slides, cosy coupe car, turtle sandpit, see-saws, ‘gas and go’ lawnmower, basketball hoop and picnic table. The children have been loving our recent additions of the Anchors Away pirate ship water table and golf set. Indoors we enjoy building with their waffle blocks and taking pictures on the fun push button camera.

All their items are made of fun, brightly coloured plastic which seems indestructible and doesn’t fade in the sun or with everyday use.

Which brands do you favour and why?

See which other brands we love and why:

Sensory play tray: Construction play tray

I was so encouraged by the success of our sensory porridge play tray a while ago that I set up another sensory play tray recently to follow the little ones interest in transport.

I currently care for 2 little ones who both love diggers and cars and can often be heard playing and making a brrrm sound* so I was hopeful that the construction play tray would be a hit.

I had filled the tray with some old ingredients left over from my sons weaning days. I added a number of diggers and sat back and let the children explore.

Whilst observing their play, I could see many areas of learning and characteristics of effective learning taking place.

  • *Early Years Outcomes; Speaking – Uses sounds in play eg. Brrrm for a car (8 -20 months)

Take a look at our other favourite sensory play trays:

Lockdown Activities: Baking

One look at the baking section in our local supermarket, tells me we are not the only ones to have enjoyed a lot of baking during lockdown! We’ve all heard stories in the last few months about the difficulty of getting hold of flour and eggs and baking ingredients. Luckily, on the times we found what we needed, we had fun with the ingredients making some of our favourite recipes.

We all know that cooking is a great learning experience for children which covers a multitude of learning areas, so whilst it may not have been so good for our waistlines, we can be satisfied in the knowledge that the children were learning!

Check out some of our other favourite lockdown activtites:

Baby Bjorn High Chair Review

We are all familiar with the phrase “Buy Nice or Buy Twice” and that was certainly the case when I purchased high chairs for the children.

Our Baby Bjorn highchair has been in use for the past 6 years and I see no reason why it won’t go on and on. A couple of high chairs I purchased from a leading high street retailer went in the tip after just a few months.

Although the initial price tag was a little eye watering(!) it has proved it’s worth in the long run.

Our Baby Bjorn high chair has seated many happy babies and toddlers over the years and is still going strong.

We not only use it for snack and meal times but its used for many of our activities too. I love that the tray is removable and can be put in the dishwasher and the whole chair is made of plastic so can be wiped down and cleaned with antibacterial spray after each use. Its easily folded for easy storage too. What’s not to love?!