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Category: Brain development

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!

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!