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Category: Development at home

Fun Christmas projects for you and your child!
Fun Christmas projects for you and your child!

Crafting over Christmas is a great boredom-buster that keeps little hands busy, celebrates a wonderful time of year, and even helps develop those essential early development skills! Here are some easy crafts that will help your little one have fun and hit those milestones, from our team at our nursery school near Craighall.

  • Family Christmas cards: Handmade cards are the best cards, so why not make these a family crafting project. Gather glue, wrapping paper scraps, glitter, buttons, ribbon and colour markers together in festive colours and let your kids go wild decorating cut-out cards for family and friends.
  • Santa’s plate: If you like leaving milk and cookies out for Father Christmas, then why not do it on a special plate? Pop into your local store for a plain white plate and visit your craft store for ceramic paints and get as creative as you like. If you want, you can substitute it with a paper plate and non-toxic paints.
  • Make your own gift wrap: All you have to do for this simple project is get as many meters of plain brown or white paper (the type you see in big rolls in craft stores) as you need and then set up your decorating station. One great idea is to make potato stamps in festive shapes (like Christmas trees or stars) and either buy some non-toxic paint or make your own.
  • Christmas cookies: A lovely handmade gift, this is a tasty festive treat! Using any cookie recipe you like (ginger, vanilla and plain sugar cookies work well), make your dough and cut out various festive shapes, and bake until ready. Your little one can help decorate them with coloured icing and any pretty festive toppings you like!
  • A Christmas wreath: Take a paper plate and cut out the centre, leaving the outer circular edge intact. Then it’s time for your toddler to decorate! Non-toxic paints, ribbon, glitter, buttons and cut-outs of snowflakes holly leaves and presents are all great – and cheap – decorations that will bring your wreath to life. You can hang a single wreath over your door, or connect a few of different sizes together with ribbon for a bigger impact.

Fun, friends and learning with our 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. 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!

Packing tips for your summer holidays!
Packing tips for your summer holidays!

For many parents, the most intimidating part of having a little one is the amount of stuff you need to take with you everywhere you go! And at no time is this truer than when you are packing to go on holiday. As we all get ready to hop in the car and travel to see family and friends this festive season, these tips from our play school in Sandton will help ensure you have all the essentials.

  • Lists, lists, lists: When it comes to travel prep, lists are your friends, so start making them up a few weeks before the big day. Use one to keep track of how many outfits/nappies/etc. your little one goes through per day, to help you calculate your packing requirements.
  • What you need in the car: Make a checklist of all the things you’ll need close at hand, including food, an extra set of clothes, eating utensils, nappies, sippy cups, and lots of hand wipes. A good idea is to have an extra outfit or top for yourself as well, just in case there are any accidents.
  • Portable changing equipment: You never really know when a dirty nappy is going to strike, so a well-equipped diaper bag is essential. Along with nappies, you can include a disposable changing pad, plastic bags for nappy disposal, wipes and bum cream, as well as a favourite toy or blanket as a distraction.
  • Safety, comfort and entertainment: Make sure your car seat is properly installed and ready for your little one, and that it’s positioned on the right-hand passenger side in the back seat so that the passenger in the front can easily reach over to your little one. Don’t forget a blanket and favourite toy for comfort, as well as a sun screen to block out light from the car window. Audiobooks make wonderful entertainment for long drives, and little ones often fall asleep just to the sound of the voice reading the story, so it doesn’t necessarily need to be a kids book.
  • Think travel-size: Most parents prefer to buy their kid’s toiletries in bulk, but this makes them a challenge when it comes to packing. Rather, if it’s possible, buy an empty toiletry travel pack from your pharmacy and fill each bottle with a small amount of shampoo, moisturiser and other toiletries. This is ideal if you aren’t going away for long, or if you can stock up at your destination.
  • Call ahead: If you’re staying at a hotel, resort or even an AirBnB, they often have useful kid’s equipment on hand, including travel cots, feeding chairs and other essential but bulky items. Using their equipment will go a long way to saving on space and hassle while you travel, so call ahead and see what they can offer you.

Visit our play school in Sandton and give your little one the best start in life!

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, loving play school in Sandton for your baby from 18 months to 4 years old. Fully supervised by our qualified, affectionate staff, our professional child and day care centre 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.

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.

Tips for Making Meal Times Easy for Toddlers!
Tips for Making Meal Times Easy for Toddlers!

For many parents – and toddlers – meal times can be a challenging and overwhelming experience. Here are tips, from our play school near Craighall, to restore peace, reduce fussing and make meal times easy again.

  • Plan:

Take one day of the week and dedicate a few hours to planning and preparing the week’s meals. Toddlers don’t eat a huge amount, so it’s easy to make meals ahead of time and store them in the correct portion sizes in the freezer. Simply defrost and warm up the food and you’re good to go!

  • Limit choices:

Too many options are simply going to overwhelm your little one and make your life more difficult. It’s easier on you and your toddler if you limit their food choices and don’t let them learn to hold out for their favourite food. This not only makes meal times easier to plan for, it also helps your child to develop good eating habits.

  • Set boundaries:

It’s a well-known fact that children who know what to expect feel more relaxed and confident, which is essential to a peaceful meal! Some good rules to include are:

  • Meals to always take place in a high chair at set times of the day,
  • No distractions like TV or iPads nearby, and
  • That a parent always sits with them and focuses on their meal regardless of whether you are eating or not.
  • Fresh flavour:

Babies, just like adults, love flavour! New flavours and textures also provide sensory stimulation, helping your little one learn while providing essential nutrition. Different vegetables, fruits and proteins are all helpful to your child’s growth. Serving them in a child-friendly, cut-to-the-correct-size portion, gives your child a chance to explore new tastes. Just remember to limit additives like salt, sugar and sauces.

  • Snack sensibly:

Snacks can quickly ruin even the healthiest appetite, so be sure to keep them limited to certain times of the day well before meal times. The best snacks are small in quantity, healthy and free of additional sugar, salt and additives. Good snack choices include teething biscuits, apple slices, strawberries, carrot sticks and mashed banana.

Healthy habits and learning through fun at our play 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. 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!

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.

When is the right time to start looking for a crèche?
When is the right time to start looking for a crèche?

Choosing a crèche is a big decision and top crèches are in high demand, so it’s no surprise that many new parents feel stressed about finding the right professional child care centre for their little one. Here is some helpful advice from our crèche near Parkmore.

  • Start early: If you are going to be a working mom and need your child to go to crèche as soon as your maternity leave is finished, start looking as soon as possible. Three months before your baby is due is a good guideline – not only does it mean that you can look around without having to manage your baby at the same time, it also means that there’s one less thing to worry about!
  • Get on the waiting list: Many desirable crèche’s offer waiting lists for parents to ensure a spot is booked for their little one. Space is limited in order to ensure that each baby gets lots of attention and love from trained caregivers, so be sure to confirm that you are on the waiting list, the deposit is paid (if needed) and that your details are correct in their system.
  • Don’t feel rushed: Starting your search for a day care early is a good way to ensure that you get into one that suits you and your baby. You can take the time to look around, evaluate the different options and even do a dry run to see if it works with the location of you and your partner’s work and home to make sure things go smoothly in the mornings.
  • Do lots of research: Speak to family and friends about the day care centres they go to, visit crèche’s in your area to see how they operate, and go to open days so that you can meet other parents and find out what the facility offers. Be sure to talk to them about the daily routine your child will have at the crèche, their hours and when/if they close during the holidays.

Our crèche offers your baby a loving learning environment

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.

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.