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

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

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

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

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

At Doodlebugs Play School and Day Care Centre, we know that this is a critical time of learning and development for your little one and we aim to support it through a holistic curriculum that teaches through fun, safe and age-appropriate activities. With plenty of peers to play with, extensively trained staff members to oversee all activities and a fun, childproof environment, we’re looking forward to bringing out the best in your child.

For more information on our daily routine or to visit our centre, please contact us today. We look forward to meeting you and having your child join our family!

Valentine’s Day crafting ideas for families
Valentine’s Day crafting ideas for families

Valentine’s Day is coming up and while this holiday is traditionally for couples, there’s really no reason why it can’t be fun for the whole family! Here are some easy, affordable and fun ways to get crafty with your kids, from our play school in Sandton.

  1. Cards: There’s no need to spend lots of money on fancy Valentine’s Day cards when you have kids! Not only is this a great activity that will help children get creative and keep them occupied for hours, it also results in some lovely memories and heartfelt wishes. With just some paper, pens, crayons, glitter, glue, felt and a few old magazines, your children will be able to create the most beautiful and personalised cards.
  2. Bunting hearts: Want to decorate your home for a family Valentine’s day event? Bunting is the perfect way to go – it’s easy to make, affordable and ideal for children of any age. First, cut heart shapes out of felt, coloured or plain card paper. Then let your children loose and join in on the decorating. Scraps of material, glitter, ribbon, stickers and pretty buttons are all great options. Once the hearts are done, line them up on a length of ribbon or coloured wool and glue in place. These will look beautiful over doorways and across walls.
  3. Cookies: If you and your kids have a bit of a sweet tooth, cookies are a delicious Valentine’s Day treat. Use a simple vanilla sugar cookie recipe and cut out the dough into heart shapes. Once the cookies have baked and cooled, they’re ready to be decorated. Sugar cookie icing is easy to make and can be dyed with natural food colouring to shades of red, pink and purple. Baking stores have loads of decorations too, like butterflies, little sugar hearts, edible glitter and coloured balls, so your kids can really get stuck in!

Fun, games and learning at our play school in Sandton, Johannesburg

At Doodlebugs Play School and Day Care Centre, we offer a safe, loving day care and play 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. To find out more about our daily routine or to visit our nursery school, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

Planning tips for your child’s first birthday party
Planning tips for your child’s first birthday party

Your baby’s first birthday is a big milestone that deserves to be celebrated! Here are some tips from our crèche near Parkmore on how to plan this special day.

  • Who to invite: This is completely up to you but most babies enjoy seeing the faces of the people they are most familiar with, so intimate gatherings with a few friends and family are a great chance to keep your little one comfortable and happy.
  • What time to have it: Choose a time of day when your baby is usually at his or her most active, awake and happy. This will make the party more enjoyable for your child as well as easier for you to manage. Plan around nap times if you can, and try make the party a bit shorter in duration unless you feel your little one can cope or nap somewhere quietly if it is a longer event.
  • Location: Home is always the perfect option for a first birthday as it is a familiar environment for your little one, it’s safe and child-friendly, and it has everything you need so you don’t have to take bags and bags of stuff with you! Alternatively, a child-friendly restaurant, park or a relative’s house are also great picks.
  • Catering: This is more for grownups and older children than your little one, but it’s good to have a variety of snacks on hand rather than taking on the responsibility and fuss of a full meal. A great idea is to make your child their own little cupcake for the event, where they can smash it up and make a mess all on their own! This makes for a really fun photo opportunity too.
  • Entertainment: While the adults can entertain themselves, try and set up a small, contained play area for little ones. This will keep them safe and out from underfoot while also ensuring access to age-appropriate toys in a safe environment.

A safe, fun childcare environment at our crèche 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.

Sun-safe tips for your child this summer
Sun-safe tips for your child this summer

Spring is here and summer is on its way, which means it’s time to explore outdoors! Here are some tips from our play school near Craighall for help keeping your child safe while playing outside.

  • Stay inside during the heat of the day: Summer in the Highveld is known for its midday heat and keeping indoors when the sun’s rays are strongest – from about 10:30 until 3pm – will help keep your kids safe from the heat.
  • Always apply sunscreen: A child-friendly sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is essential even on cloudier days as UV rays can still cause serious sunburns. Try to use a cream rather than a spray as sprays can be inhaled by accident and can irritate the lungs. It’s best to apply it about 15 minutes before going outdoors. Don’t forget to apply it to ears, hands and feet as well as under straps.
  • And reapply: Even water resistant sunblock will wash off in the pool, so be sure to reapply every two hours or when your child gets out of the pool. Sweat can also cause sunscreen to run, so reapply every 2 hours even if they haven’t been swimming.
  • Cover up: If your baby is under six months, keep them covered up and in the shade, as their skin hasn’t developed the melanin needed to protect them against the sun’s rays. Even in the shade, a hat or umbrella is a good idea. For older kids wanting to run around outside and swim, a hat along with a UV protective “second skin” will be a great help. They’re available in all sorts of great colours and styles, so letting your child pick their own will help ensure that they keep it on!
  • Check your medications: Sensitivity to UV rays can be made worse by certain medications, so be sure to check your child’s prescription for possible issues.

A safe, loving play school near Craighall, Johannesburg

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, loving day care and nursery school environment near Craighall 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. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

How to introduce your baby to solid foods
How to introduce your baby to solid foods

Introducing your baby to solid foods for the first time is an exciting milestone! While many specialists recommend breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months of your child’s life, it’s quite common for babies to show lots of interest in new foods from around 4 months old. Here are some tips for parents wanting to introduce solid foods at the right time from our crèche and play school in Sandton.

Is my baby ready for solid food?

Babies have to grow and develop certain abilities before they are able to eat solid foods. For about the first 6 months of their lives, they simply aren’t able to digest solid foods properly, which is why it’s recommended that breastfeeding stays their primary source of calories. Your baby will also need to be able to:

  • Keep their head in a steady, upright position
  • Lose the reflex that causes their tongue to push food out of their mouth and develop the ability to chew
  • Sit upright, with some support

Other signs that your baby is ready for this new milestone is that he or she is curious about what you’re eating, seems hungry more often and has at least doubled his or her birthweight.

Start slow and simple

Any solid, pureed food is a good start for your baby. Things like rice cereal, sweet potato, squash, applesauce and bananas are all great ideas – just remember to keep it plain, finely pureed and in small amounts.

After nursing your baby, sit them up and put a couple of teaspoons of solid food in a bowl. Using a soft, plastic spoon that won’t hurt the gums, take a small amount of the food and let your baby taste it. Keep in mind that they may not seem very interested in eating off the spoon, as they are only just starting to learn that this is how to eat. Let them smell and touch the food, even though they’ll likely make a mess!

It’s best to start off doing this just once a day when you have the time to really sit back and relax with your baby, but try pick a time of day when your baby is the most cheerful and engaged, as this will make it a lot easier and more fun for you both. Also, always remember to give your baby their regular feed of formula or breastmilk before trying solids. Breakfast and lunch are the preferred meals to try introducing solids because it allows you to monitor your child for any possible allergic reactions.

Safe, fun crèche facilities in Sandton

At Doodlebugs Play School, we have secure crèche facilities that are especially designed to help your child to reach critical developmental milestones and learn valuable skillsets. Open to children from 18 months to 4 years old, with loving, dedicated staff members who will oversee and care for your baby at all times, your little one will enjoy every moment at our centre!

For more information on our play school and day care centre, nursery school or professional child care services, or to visit us, please contact us today. We look forward to meeting you and having your child join our family!