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Category: Brain development

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.

All the brilliant benefits of books!
All the brilliant benefits of books!

Modern breakthroughs have shown that properly supported early learning is critical to the development of young children into successful, well-rounded adults. Books play an important role in this development – even when your child can’t read yet! Here are just some of the benefits of reading and books for your baby’s early childhood development, from our day care near Craighall.

  • Bonding: Storytime is the ideal way to bond with your child. Snuggling up with a book and reading out loud is a nurturing activity that brings parents and their little ones even closer. It’s also useful as part of your bedtime ritual, as it is calming and relaxing.
  • Language and academic skills: Reading to your child and enjoying books together has been shown to positively influence your child’s vocabulary, ability to understand words and sentences, and their ability to understand new concepts.
  • Imagination: Books and stories help the imagination soar by introducing your child to the world around them as well as the power of creativity and fantasy. Using their imagination is one of the best ways for children to learn, as they put themselves in the places of different people and creatures to experience new challenges and situations.
  • Addressing new real-life challenges: Your little one’s life is full of big changes and books can help them understand new situations and get to grips with them without feeling scared or anxious. For example, your child may be starting a new play school and a book about the subject will be a fun and positive way to teach your child what to expect from this new adventure.
  • Concentration and focus: Although toddlers will squirm around and become easily distracted, as they get older regular story time sessions teach children to stay quiet and listen closely so that they can follow what’s happening. This is essential self-discipline taught in a fun and interesting way from any age that will help your child stay focussed while learning at school!

 Our day care 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!

How children learn social skills
How children learn social skills

Learning social skills is an important part of your child’s early development. These skills focus on communicating and interacting with others in a healthy and positive way, as well as learning responsibility, self-control, consideration for others and self-confidence. Here is some insight into how children develop these skills, from our playschool near Hurlingham.

As an infant, your child comes into the world completely dependent on the people around them for love and care. As they grow, they start of develop self-awareness, bond with family members and become anxious when separated from them. Even though they may interact with other infants to a degree, their real social development starts in a playschool environment through regularly interacting with different adults as well as children of a similar age and engaging in activities together.

Like every developmental milestone, some children develop their social skills more quickly than others. This is completely natural and, with the right environment of support and encouragement, each child will learn these important skills. Teachers play a vital role here by:

  • Creating opportunities for interaction – Through fun outings, group and one-on-one activities. Even for children who find socialising easy, it’s important to practice these skills in different situations and with lots of different children.
  • Helping children to communicate effectively – Often, children find it easier to express themselves physically if they are finding themselves frustrated or unhappy. Teachers play a strong role in recognising challenging situations and helping children to instead express in words how they feel, ask for what they need and do so in a calm and positive manner.
  • Learning all about manners: While parents have an important role to play in helping kids learn about manners, teachers can support this by expanding this to different interactions with adults, unfamiliar people and peers. Learning to say “Hello” and “Goodbye”, taking turns, sharing toys and develop cooperative skills are all valuable parts of the play school experience.

Fun, learning and laughter at our playschool near Hurlingham 

At Doodlebugs Play School and Day Care Centre, we offer a safe, educational day care and crèche 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.

5 tasty treats that can benefit your child’s brain development
5 tasty treats that can benefit your child’s brain development

Good nutrition is well known as a cornerstone of healthy development at every stage of life, but it’s even more important for young children. This is because they are growing and changing at an incredible rate – physically and mentally – and good nutrition helps to support this. Here are some great foods that are tasty as well as healthy for your child’s diet:
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How to provide the best support for your child’s brain development at home and at nursery school
How to provide the best support for your child’s brain development at home and at nursery school

For parents, ensuring your child’s brain is developing at a healthy rate is a top priority. After all, much of your child’s total brain development occurs in his or her first five years – and it’s the skills learned during this time at home and at nursery school that help set their foundation for future success. So what can you do to help ensure this healthy development? Here are five great tips:
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