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Category: Brain development

Biting: What Does This Behaviour Mean? What to Do About It?
Biting: What Does This Behaviour Mean? What to Do About It?

Although parents are often horrified to hear it, biting is a common issue for toddlers. It’s upsetting to children and parents alike, but it’s also an important learning opportunity for your child. Understanding why it happens and responding to it properly is the best way to prevent this behaviour. So, here is helpful advice from our child care centre near Parkmore:

Why do toddlers bite?

Toddlers bite for two reasons:

  1. They are either trying to cope with a challenge, or
  2. Trying to fulfil a need.

Some common examples of this include:

  • Frustration
  • Need for oral stimulation
  • Need for personal space
  • Pushing boundaries to see what will happen
  • They are tired or over-stimulated
  • They are teething
  • They are struggling to express themselves

How to correct biting behaviours

Contrary to popular belief, harsh discipline or punishment is not going to correct biting. That being said, you should always tell your child that biting hurts and is wrong. The only way to effectively change this behaviour is to understand what is triggering it and correct the underlying issue. For teething children, this can be as simple as offering an appropriate teething toy or teething biscuit when you see your child starting to fuss.

For older toddlers, finding an appropriate outlet for their feelings is the more effective route. This way, they can have a healthy outlet for their energy, frustration or emotions that has a productive result. Some examples of this can include:

  • Teaching your child how to verbally express his or her emotions,
  • Teaching them to share toys and space, and
  • Making sure that they have enough sleep and nap times through the day.

Once you identify what makes your child want to express themselves through biting, you can focus on preventing bites from occurring in the first place by putting effective boundaries and strategies in place. This isn’t just about preventing upsets with other children, it’s about developing empathy and social skills in all children – a fundamental part of learning and succeeding in life. Dealing with biting can be difficult for parents, but it’s a natural issue that toddlers face. With the right support from parents and caregivers, it can be corrected and prevented in a gentle, effective and loving way.

Teach your little one to learn and succeed at our child care centre near Parkmore

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, loving day care centre and crèche near Parkmore for your baby and toddler 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.

How to Support Your Baby’s Language Skills Development
How to Support Your Baby’s Language Skills Development

Parents play one of the most critical roles in helping a child’s language development. With the right support, your little one can make significant advances in this area, such as:

  • A wider vocabulary,
  • Better grammar, and
  • More advanced communication skills.

Here are tips on how to best support this learning, from our day care near Hurlingham:

  • Talk:
  • Children primarily learn by listening to you talk. So, it’s important to make this part of your daily routine. Luckily, they aren’t fussy about what you want to talk about! You can talk to them about the food they’re eating, their bath time… even talk to them about whatever it is that you’re doing, as you’re doing it. You’ll be amazed at what they pick up!

  • Tell stories:
  • Making up fanciful stories is an entertaining way to help stimulate your child’s imagination and language skills. Pick something that focusses on your child’s interests and isn’t too scary. Let them ask lots of questions about what happens next and who the characters are. And have fun!

  • Music:
  • Singing along to songs is lots of fun – adding music and movement are a great way to add another dimension! You can find lots of songs online and in kids’ stores that are interesting and appropriate to your child’s age., Look for ones that teach all sorts of useful things like how to brush teeth, play new games or make new friends!

  • Correct, don’t criticise:
  • Getting grammar or words incorrect is a natural part of the learning process, but correcting it properly is important. Rather than telling your child that they are wrong, repeat what they said back to them with the correct word or grammar and ask them to repeat it to you correctly.

  • New experiences:
  • Exploring the world is key to language development, so add lots of variety into your child’s daily experiences. Parks, play dates, new activities and day trips all help your child discover new things to talk about, learn about and get interested in.

Help your child grow and learn at our day care near Hurlingham

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, educational day care centre and play school near Hurlingham for your baby and toddler 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.

Helping your play schooler develop good sleeping habits
Helping your play schooler develop good sleeping habits

Healthy sleeping patterns are important at any age, but they’re even more important for pre-schoolers. Not only does their lack of sleep affect parents, it also makes learning and skills development more difficult for your little one. Here are some tips from our play school near Parkmore for overcoming these challenges.

How much sleep does your pre-schooler need?

Between the ages of 2 and 4, your child should be getting between 10 and 14 hours of sleep a day. This can include a nap in the afternoon, but as your child gets older they may not feel the need for one. Generally, children in this age group will go to sleep between 7:30 and 9, and wake up between 6:30 and 8.

How to support good sleeping habits

Sleeping patterns can change due to growth spurts and stress, leading to restlessness, nightmares or frequently waking up. Here are some tips to help you and your child get some much-needed rest:

  • Consistent bed time: Choose a bed time and stick to it. This will help set your child’s internal clock and make it easier for your child to fall asleep quickly, as well as prevent overtiredness.
  • Make a bedtime routine: Repeating a nightly routine helps settle your child into the mind-set needed for restful sleep. Try to include 3 or 4 soothing activities at least an hour before bed time to calm your child down for the night. This can include a bath, changing into pyjamas, reading a story, cuddling, singing a lullaby or other quiet activities. Making it the same every night means that your child can anticipate what is happening, which helps make falling asleep easier.
  • Calm and quiet: An emphasis on calm, quiet and soothing activities can be helped with a few sensory items that reinforce the bedtime ritual. The smell of lavender, a special night light that softly lights the room or a specific snuggle blanket for story time all help support your bedtime ritual.

Learning through fun and friends at our playschool near Parkmore

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, loving day care centre and crèche near Parkmore 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.

Tips for building your child’s confidence
Tips for building your child’s confidence

A healthy sense of confidence and strong self-esteem is essential for living a life of mental health and becoming an active, positive member of society, so it’s no surprise that this is such an important part of childhood development. Here is some helpful advice from our nursery school near Craighall to help build these traits.

  • Love and affection: It might sound obvious, but expressing your love and affection for your child is a great foundation for their self-worth. Holding your baby, hugging your child, and telling them you love them all reinforce the relationship of unconditional love that they need to build a confident foundation.
  • Meaningful praise: Praise is very important for building confidence, but don’t praise something unless it is deserved. It’s just as important to give positive feedback on achievements as it is to gently and kindly teach your child that it’s okay not to be the best at everything. This encourages them to develop the drive to put practice and effort into developing their own skills and valuing hard work.
  • Encourage independence: It’s instinctive to want to rush in and save our children from every single thing, but this can make your child fearful and scared of failure. A good way to help develop independence and a sense of adventure is to set your child up in a safe environment where they can make decisions on their own. For example, making sandwiches together for lunch, trying new foods, or exploring a child-friendly park while you watch from a safe distance.
  • Be consistent: Rules and boundaries are an important part of raising a child and, when they know what is expected of them, they feel confident in what they are and are not allowed to do. These rules change from family to family, and should change as your child grows, but as long as they are applied consistently your child will feel secure.
  • Be a good role model: Parents are the most influential role models for children, and they will try and mimic what they see in you. Focusing on body positivity, believing in yourself, rewarding yourself for achievements and practicing on yourself what you are trying to teach your children will help them develop that confidence in themselves.

Teaching confidence and self-esteem in a fun, loving nursery school near Craighall

At Doodlebugs Play School near Craighall, 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!

Breastfeeding? Read this childcare advice!
Breastfeeding? Read this childcare advice!

For working moms, going back to the office after having a baby can be a very tough decision – and if you breastfeed your child, that can mean extra complications when you drop them off at day care. Here are some tips from our childcare centre near Hurlingham.

  • Talk to your care provider: Some child care centres are experienced at dealing with this issue and others are not, so it’s important to inform them that your child will require breastmilk while at day care. They need to know how to store it, how to prepare it for your baby and how much your baby will require through the day.
  • How much breastmilk is needed through the day: This differs from baby to baby, and will affect how much you need to pump and provide each day. On average, babies drink about 700-750 ml a day. For a typical day at day care, you may need around 300ml of breastmilk depending on your child, if they are going through a growth spurt, and their feeding schedule. Some moms can pop in and breastfeed at lunch, which is a great way of reducing your need to pump and bonding with your baby.
  • Top up in the mornings: One good idea is to try feed your baby at the day care when you arrive in the mornings, even if you have already just fed your child. Again, this reduced your need to pump, makes it easier for the day care, and means fewer bottles to clean, fill and store.
  • Label everything: Talk to your child care centre about how you should deliver your child’s bottles, the labelling they require and their policies on storing excess breastmilk on the premises, as some are unable to do so.
  • Practice makes perfect: This is a big adjustment for any mom as well as your baby, so start to ease into the process of pumping, storing breastmilk and bottle feeding your baby at least two weeks before day care starts. Some babies have difficulty adjusting to bottles and some moms struggle getting enough milk out with a pump, so this is a good time to get used to the process without putting yourself under more pressure.

A crèche and playschool near Hurlingham filled with fun and love!

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.

How to help your single child become a social superhero
How to help your single child become a social superhero

Building social skills is an essential part of early childhood education that teaches them how to seek and develop relationships with peers, teachers and other people around them. Every child develops at a different pace, but there are some things we can do to help guide children in this area. Here are some tips from our play school in Sandton.

Developmental milestones for social skills in children

In order to recognise if your child is struggling or not, it’s important to know how their social skills should be developing. Generally, 2-3 year old children can seek attention from those around them, and initiate it through verbal or physical interaction. For example, saying “Hello” or bringing a toy over to play with. They usually look at the person who is speaking, take turns talking and respond to interactions appropriately, like laughing at something silly.

3-4 year olds are a bit more advanced in this area, able to take turns in games, play-act with toys in an imaginative way as though they are alive, and use more words to explain what they want from another person.

Play dates are essential for social skills development

Having the time and space to play with another child is one of the best ways to supervise and encourage socialisation, especially if they don’t have siblings. This should be used as an opportunity to teach manners, to take turns and share with others. The key is to make it a calm but positive event, and to start with short play dates at a time of day when your child is alert and rested. Talk through the play date with your child, explaining what is going to happen and how fun it will be. You can set out an activity that both children will enjoy, and keep an eye on their interactions together.

Any minor setbacks like not wanting to share or grabbing something out of the other child’s hands should be treated as a learning opportunity where you can gently explain the right thing to do. This is a good way to teach empathy (for example, asking your child how he or she would feel if the play dough was snatched out of their hands), social overtures (for example, how to ask mom for something without interrupting), and taking turns (for example, waiting until their friend has finished with their biscuit before resuming play time).

Our play school in Sandton helps your child reach important milestones

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

The benefits of music and dancing for your child
The benefits of music and dancing for your child

Singing and music aren’t just fun forms of entertainment, they’re an important part of almost every culture. For babies, music can also be an important part of their learning and development, say specialists at our play school near Craighall.

What the studies say

There have been lots of studies on music and dancing, and how it impacts on childhood development. One study at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute showed that musical experiences can accelerate development of language and reading skills. Other studies have shown how learning a musical instrument can boost mathematical skills, and dancing has been shown to help little ones develop balance, posture, spatial awareness, body awareness and muscle tone.

Other benefits of dancing and singing together include positive bonding experiences, boosts to memory and pattern recognition skills, and helping to sooth and calm your little one.

How to dance and experience music with your baby

You don’t have to wait until your child wants to sign up for ballet lessons or learn the piano – your child can actually begin this development and reap the rewards even as a little baby. Lullabies are the perfect way to start! Here are some other great tips:

  • Hold your baby facing you and look directly into their eyes as you sway and sing.
  • Sing the words to your baby and encourage them to learn and sing the words back to you.
  • Pat your baby to the beat of a song or walk according to the beat.
  • You can spin, but keep it very slow as it allows the fluid in their ears (for balance) to equalise properly.
  • Keep it short and sweet, and suited to your baby’s mood (or the mood you’d like your baby to get into) in order to avoid overstimulation and an upset baby. There are plenty of music options specifically for babies but you can choose your favourite songs too!

A comprehensive play school programme to boost early childhood development

At Doodlebugs Play School near Craighall, we know that this is a critical time of learning and development for your little one. 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!

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!