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Category: Activities

How to potty train your toddler
How to potty train your toddler

Potty training is a big step for toddlers as well as parents, but with the right advice, this milestone can be achieved with minimal fuss – and mess. Here’s some great advice for any parent interested in starting the process, from our day care near Craighall.

  • Step One: Readiness. In order for potty training to be a success, your child has to be ready to take this step. While children start to recognise by age one that their bowels or bladder are full, they will only be ready to start potty training at around 18 months at the earliest. In fact, some children only start at 3!
  • Step Two: Know the signs. Signs that your child is ready for this next step include being able to follow simple instructions, being able to walk and sit, and being able to take off and put on pants. It’s also important to stat this training when your toddler is comfortable and in a stable environment – a new school, new caregiver or new home is a big adjustment, so wait a few weeks for things to settle down.
  • Step Three: Equipment. You’ll need a child-sized potty or child-adapted toilet seat. This gets toddlers used to the concept of the big toilet. Many children are worried about falling into the big toilet or the noise it makes when flushing, so this equipment forms a comfortable middle ground. Having your child pick out their own potty is a great way of getting them enthusiastic about the process.
  • Step Four: Routine and imitation. Children learn by copying you, so start a routine where you demonstrate how to tell if you need the bathroom, what’s going on with the toilet and how to pull down pants, wipe with toilet paper and wash hands afterwards.
  • Step Five: Repeat and encourage. Fun books aimed at kids about potty training, encouraging your child to let you know whenever they need help with the potty and asking them if they need the loo to help them recognise the signs, will all help keep training on track. Remember, consistency is key, and although there will be a few messes and mishaps, it will all be worth it in the end!

Your child will thrive at our loving day care 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 crèche and professional child care 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 day care centre, please contact us today. We look forward to meeting you and having your child join our family!

Planning the perfect birthday party for your preschooler
Planning the perfect birthday party for your preschooler

Birthday parties are a great opportunity for bringing family and friends together to celebrate your little one! Planning one, however, can be stressful for parents – but it doesn’t have to be. Read these helpful tips from our play school near Hurlingham.

  • Choose a theme: A theme might sound like a lot of work, but it can be very helpful, as it limits the activities for the party. It’s best to look through the shops first and then give your little one a choice between themes that you think they’d like. Not only does this make them excited and involved in the event, it also means that you know there are goodies and decor available for that theme.
  • Write up a guest list: While some parents want to invite the whole class of kids, their parents, as well as other friends and family, others prefer a smaller and more intimate event. It’s also important to think about what suits your child – introverted children often enjoy the company of a few close friends, while extroverts thrive in big groups.
  • Venue: If your home isn’t suitable for a birthday party, or you’d like to have more space for activities, take a look at venues in your area. Parks, child-friendly restaurants, fire stations, child-friendly museums and countryside venues offer great spaces for children to play and explore – and you often don’t have to clean up after!
  • Food: This depends on who is coming to the party and how long you want the event to last. Shorter birthday parties can get away with cake, ice cream and a few savoury snacks, while longer parties are going to need more catering. Choose foods that are easy to eat as snacks on the go rather than sit down meals, or make it part of the event, like a design-your-own pizza party, where adults and kids can get creative.
  • Ask for help: Party planning can be a lot of work, even for the most organised parents, so don’t try and do everything yourself. Ask friends and family for help and let them pick jobs that suit them. Granny might want to bake the cake, a friend might have the perfect garden to host the event, and other guests might want to help bring food, set up or clear up after. Everyone is usually happy to chip in a little, especially if you’re there to volunteer to help at their events!

Expert early education in a loving environment at our playschool near Hurlingham

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, educational day care centre and play school 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.

Learning to care for our communities as kids
Learning to care for our communities as kids

Building a strong community for our children to succeed in starts with us as parents, teachers and adults. Developing community awareness in kids from a young age is all about teaching kindness and compassion, and these are qualities that will help your child live a happy and more fulfilled life. Here are some tips from our playschool near Craighall.

  • Giving and receiving: We support our children’s wellbeing when we teach them that kindness is about giving as well as receiving – that helping someone can be its own reward. Acts of kindness help build new friendships, stronger relationships and more positive connections with peers, which boosts self-confidence and wellbeing.
  • Volunteer: Age-appropriate volunteer activities are fun as well as fulfilling, so it’s worth setting aside one day a week or even one a month where you can volunteer your time as a family. Try pick activities that your kids already love, so that they are enthusiastic about the event. Visiting an old age home to share crafting activities with the elderly, participating in a walk for charity or walking dogs from your local shelter are all fun and rewarding family activities.
  • Caring for animals: Getting a pet isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly, but they are a great way for teaching your child responsibility, empathy and kindness. Each family member can take on an age-appropriate job, like brushing your pet, feeding them, helping with a bath or taking them for a walk. If you’re unsure if a pet is right for you, visit your local shelter and volunteer some time as a family to see how your children respond.
  • Talk about kindness: When you see examples of kindness, talk to your child about what a great thing you think they are and encourage them to look for kindness around them. When someone gets a reward for a job well done, donates old toys to charity or you see someone helping someone else, focussing on their kindness and how good it feels to help someone will teach them to value these feelings.

Teaching kindness through fun at our playschool 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!

Teaching your child to love their body

The human body is a wonderful thing, filled with complex systems that help us push the boundaries of our physical and mental achievements, and yet so many people have unhealthy relationships with them. The key to building a more body-positive, active and happy society is to start with children from a very young age – here are some tips from our nursery school near Hurlingham.

  • Be a good role model: This is one of the most important but often the most difficult rule to follow, because we often fall into the habit of not loving our bodies ourselves as parents and adults. Treat your body with care and compassion, and avoid saying negative things about it – treat it the way you’d like them to treat theirs.
  • Feeling comfortable with their bodies is important: Try not to dismiss your child’s concerns about their bodies. Instead, help them find ways to feel good about their body as part of themselves. Remind them that bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and try and reinforce them by choosing toys that affirm their self-esteem rather than represent unhealthy stereotypes. Teach them that their creativity, unique talents and personality are important and treasured gifts as well.
  • Heathy comes first: Parents can be strong role models for body positivity by changing the conversation from physical size or appearance to health and strength. Learning to see exercise and physical activity as a chance to have fun with friends and achieve goals together is healthier than looking at it from the perspective of weight loss.
  • Appearance isn’t everything: When you’re talking to your child about their role models, favourite characters or people around you, pull their focus onto personality traits and achievements rather than physical looks. Talking about how kind someone is, what a good friend they are or how hard they worked to do something good makes a big impact on body positivity.

Great role models and teachers for your kids 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.

Playing dress up is a fun brain booster for all kids!
Playing dress up is a fun brain booster for all kids!

Kids are always amazing their parents with the complex games and stories they invent and play out on their own and with friends. Dress up games are every child’s favourite, even with the simplest props and outfits, but what many people don’t realise is just how important these games are. Here are some developmental benefits of playing dress up, from our play school in Sandton.

  • Brain development: These games actively develop your child’s memory and imagination, as they try to imitate the things they’ve seen around them or stories that they’ve heard. This can be anything from a trip to the doctor or grocery store, to the plot of their favourite movie.
  • Problem-solving creativity: Imaginary play involves complex decision-making and rule-making. From deciding on who will play which role in their game to developing plot lines and solving issues in a scenario, these games help children think outside the box and plan ahead.
  • Vocabulary expansion: If you’ve ever heard your children at play, you’ll know how much talking goes on! From developing and explaining rules to deciding what each character can say in each event and explaining the story itself, children actively engage and expand their vocabularies and language skills through these games.
  • Emotional growth: Children are experiencing so many new things each day, and some of those things can be scary or difficult to understand. Role playing a visit to the doctor with parents or peers makes this event less scary, makes them feel more confident and in control, and helps see how these events fit into their lives.
  • Empathy development: Empathy is a valuable thing for children to learn – it helps them learn how to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and see events through other people’s eyes. By pretending to be a fireman, doctor or teacher, children learn about the different roles that other people play in our lives.

Learning through fun and friends at our play school in Sandton

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, loving day care 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.

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.

Easy ways to help your child learn to count
Easy ways to help your child learn to count

For toddlers, the world is their classroom and curiosity is the key to learning. You can encourage your child’s early numeracy skills by helping to teach them to count through fun activities that stimulate the brain and entertain. Here are some tips from our child care centre near Parkmore.

  • Make it part of the conversation: For example, if your child is helping you bake or decorate cookies, show them how to count out one for each person in the family. You can also ask them to show you how to make sure everyone has the same amount of snacks or help count out the cutlery while you set the table.
  • Use your hands: Visual cues are the best way to start off learning about numbers, and counting out fingers is a great tool for helping your child learn these essential skills. It helps them track each number in their mind as well as assisting with very basic addition and subtraction.
  • Incorporate it into other activities: Numbers by themselves may not be very enticing to your child, but you can incorporate basic numeracy and math into games they love to play. If your child loves cars and trucks, number them with fun stickers and create matching “car garages” out of old shoe boxes. Old telephones with number pads are also fun to play with, and your child can help call for pizza or phone granny using number that she remembers and can write down in a phone book.
  • Make it relate to them: Numbers are more easily understood by children when they relate to them. Age and even height are great topics, so ask your child how old he was last year and how old he will be this year to get them thinking about numbers.

A safe, fun child care centre near Parkmore

At Doodlebugs Play School and Day Care Centre, we offer a safe, loving day care 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 nursery school, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

Fun books to read with your child
Fun books to read with your child

Reading is a wonderful activity for encouraging language development and bonding with your child. If you enjoy ending your child’s day with a bedtime story and inspiring in them a love of reading, here are some great recommendations from our play school near Craighall.

  1. Giraffes Can’t Dance – by Giles Andreae: This book teaches children all about accepting differences in each other and in themselves, and trying to fit in. It shows them through a delightful story that they will always find a place to belong in the world.
  2. National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Why – by Amy Shields: From around 2 years old, every child’s favourite word is “why?” and they’re just bursting with curiosity about the world around them. This book answer simple questions in easy to understand terms that young children will understand. Filled with great pictures, this book is pure, fun-filled learning.
  3. The Monster at the end of this Book – by Jon Stone: Fun to read with a fantastic punchline at the end, this book is a great experience for kids as well as adults who grew up with the Muppets!
  4. I Lost My Tooth in Africa – by Penda Diakite and Baba Wague Diakite: This is a lovely story about a little girl who loses her tooth in Mali while on holiday and the surprising thing the tooth fairy brings her! This is great for young children of 3 and above.
  5. ChickaChicka Boom Boom – by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault: With great rhymes and funny jokes, this book is all about learning the alphabet. Perfect for toddlers who want to sing along, this book makes early childhood development fun.

These are just some of the wonderful books out there for toddlers and young children, so be sure to check out your local book stores and second hand book stores for more great bedtime story choices.

Our play school near Craighall brings out the best in your little one

At Doodlebugs Play School and Day Care Centre, 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!