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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.

How to dress your kids for winter weather
How to dress your kids for winter weather

For parents, dressing your child for the day feels more like an art than a science, especially during the winter months. Johannesburg weather is especially tricky, with its hot, sunny days and icy cold mornings! Here are some tips for dressing your child for preschool during these months, from our nursery school in Sandton.

  • Young children are more affected by the cold: With their smaller bodies, little children and toddlers find it more difficult to retain body heat, making them vulnerable to the effects of cold weather than adults. This often doesn’t seem like the case, as many kids insist on running around in a t-shirt and nothing else even on the coldest days! This is because they are also less likely to realise they are getting cold, increasing their vulnerability.
  • Layers, layers, layers: This is especially important up in the Highveld where the temperature rises during the day but plummets as the sun sets. This allows them to strip down to a light jumper while playing outdoors in the sunshine, but quickly bundle up when it’s needed. Layering also creates pockets of air between clothing that heats up and keeps your child warm.
  • Don’t overdress: It sounds like a contradiction, but too many layers are as bad as too few. This is because your child can end up overheating, triggering the body’s sweat response which can chill your child. Three layers are ideal – a long or short-sleeved top in a light cotton material, a warm jersey or tracksuit top, and a jacket for additional warmth when needed. On very cold or windy days, a snug beanie is also a great addition.
  • Label your layers: Because winter layers get taken off and put back on through the day, it’s very important that all your child’s clothing is labelled to avoid confusion and make sure that there are no mix ups or forgotten/lost items.
  • Well-fitted shoes: Bare foot may be the name of the game in summer, but in winter those toes need to be kept snug and warm. Make sure the shoes fit well enough that they don’t slip off while playing or walking, but that they aren’t so tight that they cause blisters or restrict circulation.

Our nursery school offers a fun, safe learning environment for your little one

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.

Preparing for your child’s first day in day care
Preparing for your child’s first day in day care

Congratulations, it’s your child’s first day in day care! This is a big step for many parents as well as their children, and that can make it quite a stressful event. If you want it to go smoothly and stress-free for you and your child, follow these tips from our day care near Parkmore.

  • Explain the schedule: If your child is preschool-age, they’re going to want to know exactly what will be going on during their time away from you. Talking about what happens at day care as often as they want will help reduce their anxiety and help them feel more confident in this new environment.
  • Visit the centre with your child: When you’ve chosen a day care, speak to them about planning a visit with your child before they formally start. This will help your child get familiar with the environment and warm up to this big change in their lives. Often day care centres have open days, which are another great way for you and your child to find out what’s in store and meet teachers and peers.
  • Make it special: Keeping a positive attitude will show your child that there’s nothing to be scared of and that day care is something fun. You can help make their first day even more special by having a new outfit for the day. This should help your child feel confident and excited to spend the day at day care.
  • Don’t rush: Mornings are a busy time of day, so give yourself and your child some extra time to get ready. This will help prevent the stress and anxiety that comes with rushing around, ensures that nothing is forgotten, and that your child arrives at day care feeling happy and calm.
  • Settle in but don’t linger: Arrive a few minutes early at the day care to help your child to settle in and take a little tour of the area. However, don’t linger too long as this will discourage your child from exploring and meeting new people independently. If you feel you are getting stressed or emotional, give your child a short, sweet and calm goodbye and try not to let them see it as it can bring up their fears. You can always phone the centre later in the morning to see how your little one is doing.
  • Treat yourself: Starting day care is a big step for parents as well as kids, so it’s important to reward yourself for it. Whether you can treat yourself to a morning at a spa or your favourite pastry, it’s good to take some time for yourself on this special day.

A warm, loving day care near Parkmore

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, loving day care, crèche and nursery school environment 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.

Learning to care for our communities as kids
Learning to care for our communities as kids

Building a strong community for our children to succeed in starts with us as parents, teachers and adults. Developing community awareness in kids from a young age is all about teaching kindness and compassion, and these are qualities that will help your child live a happy and more fulfilled life. Here are some tips from our playschool near Craighall.

  • Giving and receiving: We support our children’s wellbeing when we teach them that kindness is about giving as well as receiving – that helping someone can be its own reward. Acts of kindness help build new friendships, stronger relationships and more positive connections with peers, which boosts self-confidence and wellbeing.
  • Volunteer: Age-appropriate volunteer activities are fun as well as fulfilling, so it’s worth setting aside one day a week or even one a month where you can volunteer your time as a family. Try pick activities that your kids already love, so that they are enthusiastic about the event. Visiting an old age home to share crafting activities with the elderly, participating in a walk for charity or walking dogs from your local shelter are all fun and rewarding family activities.
  • Caring for animals: Getting a pet isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly, but they are a great way for teaching your child responsibility, empathy and kindness. Each family member can take on an age-appropriate job, like brushing your pet, feeding them, helping with a bath or taking them for a walk. If you’re unsure if a pet is right for you, visit your local shelter and volunteer some time as a family to see how your children respond.
  • Talk about kindness: When you see examples of kindness, talk to your child about what a great thing you think they are and encourage them to look for kindness around them. When someone gets a reward for a job well done, donates old toys to charity or you see someone helping someone else, focussing on their kindness and how good it feels to help someone will teach them to value these feelings.

Teaching kindness through fun at our playschool 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!

Teaching your child to love their body

The human body is a wonderful thing, filled with complex systems that help us push the boundaries of our physical and mental achievements, and yet so many people have unhealthy relationships with them. The key to building a more body-positive, active and happy society is to start with children from a very young age – here are some tips from our nursery school near Hurlingham.

  • Be a good role model: This is one of the most important but often the most difficult rule to follow, because we often fall into the habit of not loving our bodies ourselves as parents and adults. Treat your body with care and compassion, and avoid saying negative things about it – treat it the way you’d like them to treat theirs.
  • Feeling comfortable with their bodies is important: Try not to dismiss your child’s concerns about their bodies. Instead, help them find ways to feel good about their body as part of themselves. Remind them that bodies come in all shapes and sizes, and try and reinforce them by choosing toys that affirm their self-esteem rather than represent unhealthy stereotypes. Teach them that their creativity, unique talents and personality are important and treasured gifts as well.
  • Heathy comes first: Parents can be strong role models for body positivity by changing the conversation from physical size or appearance to health and strength. Learning to see exercise and physical activity as a chance to have fun with friends and achieve goals together is healthier than looking at it from the perspective of weight loss.
  • Appearance isn’t everything: When you’re talking to your child about their role models, favourite characters or people around you, pull their focus onto personality traits and achievements rather than physical looks. Talking about how kind someone is, what a good friend they are or how hard they worked to do something good makes a big impact on body positivity.

Great role models and teachers for your kids 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.

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!