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Category: Holidays

Where to find the best day care for your baby in 2018!
Where to find the best day care for your baby in 2018!

Choosing a day care is one of the first and most important decisions you can make for your child, and the right day care or crèche will play a critical role in helping your child reach those developmental milestones. Here are some tips for finding the perfect fit for you and your little one.

  • Helpful, experienced staff: The day care’s team will oversee your child’s wellbeing while you’re away, so it’s important that they have the training and experience to keep your child happy, healthy and developing well. This includes educational and early childhood development training as well as first aid and child care training.
  • A good atmosphere: The best childcare centres have an open-door policy with parents, making you feel welcome from the start. You should be able to view the centre on open days as well as by making a private booking, and be able to speak to everyone who would be involved in your child’s care. They should also have good lines of communication with parents, keeping you updated about what’s happening in your child’s development and at the centre itself.
  • A holistic curriculum: An incredible amount of learning happens in the first few years of a child’s life, and the right day care will have a curriculum in place that supports this development. It should include age-appropriate activities that focus on learning through fun, and staff should track your child’s development throughout to support different strengths and weaknesses.
  • A convenient location: Day care will become part of your daily routine, so it needs to work with your day-to-day activities. It should have a central location that is close to the route you take to and from work, offer holiday care, and be open for drop off and collection at convenient times.

Health, happiness and learning at our day care in Sandton!

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, loving day care 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 crèche and play school, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

Tips for limiting your child’s screen time this summer
Tips for limiting your child’s screen time this summer

The summer holidays are here, a time when many parents understandably struggle to limit their little one’s screen time! Here are some tips from our play school near Parkmore for maintaining a healthy balance over the festive season.

  • Make a flexible plan: Whether you’d like to limit your child to one hour of TV a day or one movie a day, it’s good to communicate your plan from the start by creating a designated time slot for TV. By establishing a routine, it becomes much easier to enforce, and makes sense to your little one.
  • Play dates: Playing with friends is the biggest distraction you can offer your child, and since so many parents are trying to limit screen time, it makes sense to team up and make a plan for play dates. Try out different activities each time, like a trip to the park or zoo, to keep it fresh for yourself as well as your kids.
  • Be a good role model: As with everything else, our little ones look to us as an example of what they should be doing – and it’s difficult to help them see why the TV isn’t good for them if we have it on for ourselves all day! Try to keep up with other activities through the hours your child is up and about, and you can always catch up on your TV after their bedtime.
  • Quality counts: If you’re going to have screen time, you can make it more productive for your child by choosing great quality programmes. From kid’s movies and series embodied with positive messages, to shows that are educational or are participatory, TV can play a positive role in your child’s development.
  • Activate parental controls: One thing most parents are astonished by is how quickly children pick up how to use electronic devices, which means it’s very important to make sure parental controls are activated from a very young age! This will limit what your child can have access to in terms of apps and TV channels, as well as implementing password protection that ensures only you can access the devices.

Our play school near Parkmore: A fun, healthy environment where your child will thrive

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.

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!

Fun events for families this festive season
Fun events for families this festive season

Johannesburg Area:

  • Christmas Village at Montecasino: Discover a traditional European Christmas Village in the heart of Sandton! With a huge range of gift and food stalls, entertainment and festive décor, this is a great treat for the family. It’s on from 29 November to 3 December.
  • Aladdin: This magical Disney musical comes to life at the Irene Village Theatre in Centurion, featuring top local talent. It’s on from 2-16 December.
  • Beach Festival: The seaside is coming to Joburg! This much-loved annual event is great for kids of all ages – and adults – and is hosted at the Silverstar Casino on the West Rand.

Cape Town Area:

  • Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts: Pack a picnic and enjoy a live outdoor concert on the lawns of South Africa’s National Botanical Gardens. It’s the perfect opportunity for kids and adults to relax, enjoy the beautiful weather and local music. They’re on from 20 November – 2 April, with Christmas carols on 15-18 December.
  • The Frog Prince: Artscape Theatre in Cape Town is hosting a wonderful production that your kids will love, an entrancing fairy tale about a prince who is turned into a frog! This is on from 9-23 December.
  • Christmas concert: There are many Christmas concerts held in the Cape, but one of our favourites is held at Groot Constantia. Ideal for the whole family, the Annual Festive Concert of the Cape Town Symphony Choir is all about enjoying Christmas carols and picnic baskets as you relax in some of the Cape’s most beautiful surroundings.

Durban Area:

  • Sinbad the Sailor: Nothing is more fun for little ones than a traditional panto, and this year’s offering from KickstArt is a fun romp around the Seven Seas. It’s on from 1 December – 7 January.
  • Al Ansaar Souk and Trade Fair: With everything from live performances and kiddies rides to cooking demonstrations and shopping stalls, this fair has something for everyone. It’s on from 22 December – 1 January.
  • Umgeni Steam Railway: A beautiful journey through the valley on an amazing steam train is something to remember! It happens on the first and last Sunday of each month, and there’s a special Christmas Carol journey from 15 – 24 December with Santa!

Loving, professional child care near Hurlingham for your little one

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, educational day care centre and play school near Hurlingham for your baby and toddler 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 nursery school, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

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.

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!

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!

Five fun family-friendly getaways for the Christmas holidays!
Five fun family-friendly getaways for the Christmas holidays!

The festive season is almost here and it’s time to plan your getaway! Travelling with kids needn’t be a challenge and when you visit a family-friendly resort, parents get a chance to sit back and relax while children are having fun. Here are some of the top family resorts in South Africa from our nursery school in Sandton:

  1. Umngazi River Bungalows and Spa: This Port St Johns resort is the top-rated family getaway according to TripAdvisor and it’s not difficult to see why. With a great beach, river and pool all in one spot, there’s plenty to keep you and the kids cool and relaxed. The beautiful scenery, spa and luxury accommodation is the ideal treat to enjoy while kids are kept entertained with a fun holiday programme.
  2. Dolphin Holiday Resort: Located in Ballito, this camping resort is family-run and relaxed. With a games room, plenty of outdoor activities and close enough to Ballito to enjoy all the festivities, this is a great break for kids and adults alike.
  3. Drakensberg Gardens Golf and Spa Resort: Emerge yourself in the peace and quiet of nature at this beautiful resort! Hiking, canoeing, fishing, mountain biking and swimming are all on offer and there’s even babysitting facilities for parents with younger children.
  4. Riverside Sun Resort: If you don’t want to travel long distances with your children, the Vaal river is the perfect holiday spot for this time of year. This resort has lots of kid’s entertainment activities as well as a pool and great restaurants – and it’s just 40 minutes away from Johannesburg.
  5. Warmbaths: Also just a short drive from Johannesburg, this Bela Bela Forever Resort is a longstanding favourite for families around South Africa. With pools, tube rides and waterslides, your kids will be entertained for hours – while you relax and enjoy top spa treatments and the beautiful bushveld setting. With a hotel, self-catering accommodation and camping, you’ll be sure to have a great time without going out of budget.

Give your child the best start in life with our nursery school in Sandton, Johannesburg

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. To find out more about our daily routine or to visit our nursery school, please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.