Hi, I am Rebecca and I work in the Yellow room with the Preschool children. I work in the room with Elpi and Tara When I am not working I enjoy seeing friends and spending time with my little sister. Read the rest of this entry »
Hi I’m Emma and I run the Green Room with the help of Mikki and Georgina. The room cares for children aged between 18 months and 2 ½ year olds. When I’m not working I like to relax either by going shopping with the girls or listening to music.
Weaning is an exciting- if messy- time but there can be lots of questions for new parents too. How much food, what kind of food, when to feed… The whole thing can be very daunting, especially when there are lots of well meaning pieces of advice flying your way! We’ve put together 30 tried and tested tips to help you get your head around weaning, and hopefully start you on the right track. But remember, nobody knows your baby like you do, so believe in yourself as a parent, and go with your instincts. Have fun!
It may be getting a little chilly outside but that does not mean we can’t have fun. Wrap up warm, grab those wellies and try one of the lovely ideas we have found over on Pinterest. Read the rest of this entry »
Leaving your child at nursery for the first time can be incredibly daunting for many parents. You have built a special relationship over the length of your maternity leave that actually started long before they were even born. How another person or persons could ever be able to care for your child in the way that you would like can seem impossible. And yet, over 65% of mothers in the UK are currently in work, and a large proportion of those mothers will have entrusted the care of their children to a nursery. So, how do you make it as easy and as painless as possible? Here are a few tips. Read the rest of this entry »
Biology and reality – why girls and boys play differently
It’s common knowledge that girls and boys (usually) have completely different ways of playing and exploring, and since working with the pre-schoolers I have been fascinated as to why this is. I decided to do some research around this, and was amazed with what I found out. It has made me really think about the way we support children’s learning, and how we can differentiate the activities we offer to give them all the very best learning opportunities possible.
So, let’s start at the beginning: conception. The first three months of pregnancy are highly influential in determining the sex and gender of the unborn baby. During this time floods of testosterone rush through the womb, triggering changes in the embryo. The male embryos are triggered into developing the physical attributes of a male (their sexual organs, more blood cells, more muscle bulk, heavier bones and other features). Because of the focus on developing these physical features, this can lead to a detrimental effect on the growth of other vital organs, in particular the brain. The brain develops in a certain way – firstly the right hemisphere (which handles movement, space and emotions), then the left hemisphere (which handles language and attention to detail). Girls usually begin to use both sides of the brain together, thus making them better at language, reading expressions and become more interested in people and relationships.
Sex and Gender
Every child is different, but it cannot be denied that there are often significant differences and similarities between sex and gender. The sex of a child is a biological difference between males and females, defined by the chromosomes in our genes, determining our sexuality. Gender is a psychological term, describing our awareness and reaction to our biological sex. It can be affected and influenced by many factors (social, biological and psychological), resulting in characteristics which are either masculine or feminine.
Inside a nursery
In the world of childcare the majority of nursery practitioners are women, and find it easier to understand how girls react. I can say with some confidence that because of this, nursery practitioners can find boys confusing, and lack an understanding of the way boys react (I’m sure this is true for males of any age!). As a society we tend to make assumptions about boys and girls – that boys enjoy rough and tumble play, being outside and are generally loud; that girls will sit quietly and play ‘nicely’ or read a book. I know from experience that this is certainly not true for all children. I know plenty of girls who love climbing and roaring like a dinosaur, and there are lots of boys who enjoy snuggling up for a story or painting a picture quietly by themselves.
What we do know is that boys and girls learn very differently, and it is my role as a nursery practitioner to ensure that all children, regardless of gender, have access to the whole curriculum to enable them to experience a range of activities to help them reach their full potential. So how do we do this?
Avoid and challenge stereotyping – by displaying posters, posters and signs that challenge stereotypical roles will empower children to believe that they can be anything they want to be (eg. A male ballet dancer or a female footballer).
Differentiate activities so that all children can access them in a way that suits their learning style, for example by taking an activity outside, or doing it on a smaller or larger scale.
Use fun and innovative ways to entice children to an activity they wouldn’t usually choose to do. For example, I printed out logo for some popular children’s TV programmes onto some paper in the writing corner, aiming this particularly at the boys as this is an area they are lacking in.
Modelling how to ‘get stuck in,’ perhaps by joining in a football game with a group of girls, or showing them how to move across the climbing frame.
Giving the children plenty of access to the outside space. After a while this may cease to be a domain of domineering boys.
Allow children to learn at their own pace. This is extremely important, and if supported well, children are less likely to feel as though they are a ‘failure.’ For example, don’t push boys to read and write if they are not interested yet. It is thought that boys are not ready to practice these skills until they are much older (around 8 years old).
Every week you may see those purple curtains go up, you may even know why and have already booked in with the lovely Ruth from My Massage Space. And if not, well you are missing out! Well, even mums need a little TLC and with flexible childcare an option at Officreche then why not book little one downstairs while you relax upstairs! Read the rest of this entry »
Halloween is a fantastic opportunity to get crafty, there are so many inexpensive ways to create fun projects that children will love! No two will ever be exactly the same and we have no doubt that the children will love making one or all of these crafts.
So simple and yet so effective!! If you don’t have black paper/card, you can paint the little ones hands black and do paint handprints. 2 handprints, wrists meet in the middle make instant spiders. Cut them out, pop string/ wool on them to hang them up and some spooky googly eyes (or stickers and colour pupils in) and you have yourself a spooky fun spider.
Yoghurt pot monsters
Once your little ones finish their yoghurt, keep the pots and clean them out. Colour/ paint them (paint mixed with PVA helps it stick) Let the little ones pick their colour monster. Draw/ stick eyes and a scary mouth onto the pot and you have yourself a scary monster
We always keep a stash of toilet roll holders and for this craft they come in very handy. There are so many variations to this that you can choose what suits you best, or do them all! Pinch and glue the top of the tube together, with points at the side for ears, paint/ colour or roll and stick black card around the tube to make the body of the bat. Draw 2 wings onto black card and cut them out. Stick onto the middle of the tube.
Really easy and lots of fun for all!! Get a dark piece of card or paper, paint the little ones feet white and print them onto the paper. (You could draw round their feet on paper and cut out if you’d rather) Turn them upside down (once paint is dry) and draw a spooky face onto the heel and voila you have a ghosty footprint.
Paper plate ghosts
Along the ghosty theme, cut out or draw ghostly face onto the paper plate. Cut strips of tissue/ white crepe/tissue paper and hand from the bottom of the plate for his floaty body. Attach some long spooky arms onto the sides of the plate and you’ve got a spooky floaty ghost.
So, there we have 5 crafts for Halloween, we hope you have lots of fun making them. Have you got a favourite craft for Halloween?