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Month: March 2017

Fun sensory stimulation activities for your toddler

Toddlers love to explore the world through touch, taste, smell, sight and sound, so it’s no surprise that sensory activities are the perfect way to help stimulate early childhood learning! Here are some great activities from our child care centre near Parkmore that will encourage your child to learn essential skills and meet their developmental milestones.

  • Finger painting: Squidgy to touch and colourful to look at, finger painting lets your child explore the world of colour and texture while getting creative. Keep in mind that this is a messy activity, so best done outdoors in old clothes. There are lots of edible finger paints available at toy stores and even recipes online for parents that love a bit of DIY.
  • Sand pit: If you’re not lucky enough to live at the beach, don’t worry – you can bring the beach home! Simply buy a plastic shell play pod or an inflatable baby pool from a local store and fill with clean river sand from your local nursery. Add a kids set of buckets and spades along with plastic toys, and your child will have a ball.
  • Play pool: Fill an inflatable play pool with about 10-15cm of water and add some fun, brightly coloured plastic toys – your child will have hours of fun! Always put the pool under a tree or patio to protect your child from the sun, and supervise them the entire time for safety.
  • Play dough: Less messy than finger painting, toddler-friendly, edible play dough can be made at home and is also available in most toy stores. Cookie cutters are a great addition to this, and are often available in fun themes including shapes, animals and more that help your child learn essential motor and cognitive skills.
  • Building blocks: These give kids endless opportunities to practice their motor skills, creativity and develop an understanding of weights and forms. Colourful blocks that stick together offer children the opportunity to create things at scale as well as develop coordination skills. Be sure to buy bigger blocks that are not a choking hazard and supervise your child as he or she plays, and you’ll be amazed at what they learn to make!

Creativity, learning and friends at our child care centre near Parkmore

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, loving day care, crèche and nursery school environment in Sandton for your baby or children from 18 months to 4 years old. Fully supervised by our qualified, loving staff, our professional child care ensures that your little one will have fun, learn and explore the world while giving you complete peace of mind – you can see for yourself right here! To find out more about our daily routine or to visit our play school, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

Au pair or play school – What’s better for your child’s development?
Au pair or play school – What’s better for your child’s development?

Au pairs are becoming more and more popular in South Africa as a childcare alternative for working parents, but how do they compare to attending play school when it comes to giving your child the best early education? Here are some insights from our play school near Craighall.

Childcare qualifications

When it comes to caring for your child, you want someone who knows what they’re doing in terms of their experience and training. Your child’s health and safety must be a priority at all times, and they should receive the right amount of educational stimulation for their needs and age.

While some au pairs may have the necessary qualifications and experience, the industry is unregulated and it’s up to parents to run full background checks on au pairs to ensure that they are able to provide these services. Play schools are easier for parents to look into, verify their staff qualifications and investigate their reputation, which makes it simpler to get that essential piece of mind.

Safety first

In addition to qualified first aid staff, childproofing and on-site security, play schools also offer parents the advantage of having a full team of staff caring for their little one rather than an individual on their own. More eyes on your child means better safety, and a higher level of care, education and attention.

Social development

Developing good social skills is a critical part of early childhood learning, and children need to be around other kids in their age group (other than siblings) in order to facilitate this learning. Play school offers this in the form of age-specific education and play with other children through the day, where your child will learn how to make friends, how to share, how to show respect to their peers and much more that they cannot learn when interacting with a single caregiver.

Fun, friends and learning at a top play school near Craighall

At Doodlebugs Play School, we know that this is a critical time of learning and development for your little one and we aim to support it through a holistic curriculum that teaches through fun, safe and age-appropriate activities. With plenty of peers to play with, extensively trained staff members to oversee all activities and a fun, childproof environment, we’re looking forward to bringing out the best in your child.

For more information on our daily routine or to visit our centre, please contact us today. We look forward to meeting you and having your child join our family!

How to help your child learn to read
How to help your child learn to read

While your child will only learn how to read properly in primary school, parents of younger children can help develop the necessary foundational skills from a much younger age. Not only is reading a highly beneficial skill for children to learn, it’s also a great way to bond with your little one, let your imaginations take flight and have fun! Here are some tips from our nursery school near Hurlingham.

Make story time a part of their daily routine

Bed time or nap time stories are an age-old tradition that not only stimulates your child’s love of reading and their curiosity about the world, but also creates a calm and focussed moment between parent and child. Choose an age-appropriate book with a story that you will both enjoy and settle down in a quiet spot. You’ll be surprised how much your child enjoys and responds to the sound of your voice as you read to them.

Pick the right book

Toddlers will love books that are interactive and generally need something robust that can stand up to lots of page turning and manhandling. There are even waterproof bath time books that are great for helping distract and entertain kids through this sometimes challenging process. Older children will like more complex stories with lots of pictures where they can ask questions or show off their knowledge of the tale.

Be interactive

When you’re reading to your child, have them sit close to you or on your lap so that they can see what you’re doing. Follow each word with your finger as you read along and take the time to stop to explain and encourage questions. For example, point to the picture of the elephant and then to the word “elephant” and then talk about what’s happening in the picture.

Go affordable

Books can be quite expensive, but secondhanded stores offer great, inexpensive deals on some wonderful children’s books that will keep your child entertained for hours and developing those reading skills. Another alternative is to join up to your local library. They are inexpensive, offer a huge range of books for every age and often host reading hours and other entertainment for kids.

Learning through fun at our nursery school near Hurlingham!

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, educational day care and nursery school environment near Hurlingham for your baby or children from 18 months to 4 years old. Fully supervised by our qualified, loving staff, our professional child care and holistic educational curriculum ensures that your little one will have fun, learn and explore the world in a safe and caring environment. To find out more about our daily routine or to visit our playschool, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

How do you know which crèche is right for your baby?
How do you know which crèche is right for your baby?

Choosing a crèche for your little one means doing a fair amount of research and legwork as a parent – after all, you want a place that is going to give you piece of mind as well as put your baby’s health and development first. Here are some tips from our crèche in Sandton to help you make this important choice.

The crèche has to be a practical choice for you

A good location close to your home or workplace, or your partner’s workplace, is essential. Easy travel means less impact on your daily commute as well as on your baby’s routine. While you may like crèche’s that are further away, this could quickly become an issue if dropping off your little one means significantly more time in traffic. If you’re unsure, try do a rehearsal run on a typical workday and see how it affects you.

Also, be sure to find out if their hours suit you and if they run a crèche programme during the holidays, so you know what to expect through the year ahead.

What happens in a typical day?

It’s important for parents to be comfortable with how your little one’s day will be structured at the crèche. Is the environment safe as well as stimulating? What happened during play, feeding and nap times? What kind of age-specific learning stimulus do they provide? Are there enough qualified caregivers per child? What are their policies about communicating with parents?

Here, an on-site visit is always recommended, as it allows you to ask staff members about how the crèche is run, how your baby will be cared for and what is required of parents. Don’t feel pressured to make your mind up on the spot. Rather, go and visit a few different centres in your area and see how they each measure up. Keep in mind, however, that space is often limited in the best child care centres, so don’t delay too long if you find one that meets all your needs.

Fun, games and learning at our play school in Sandton, Johannesburg

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, loving crèche and play school environment in Sandton for your baby from 18 months to 4 years old. Fully supervised by our qualified, loving staff, our professional child care ensures that your little one will have fun, learn and explore the world while giving you complete peace of mind. To find out more about our daily routine or to visit our nursery school, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.