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Category: Nutrition

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.

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!

Dental health and your infant
Dental health and your infant

Keeping your new baby healthy and happy means lots of weigh-ins, check-ups with nurses and paediatricians, and good nutrition. What many people forget, however, is that your dentist should be on the list too! Having healthy teeth as we grow up means starting with healthy teeth as a baby, so here’s what you need to know from our child care team near Parkmore.

Healthy teeth start before they appear

It’s an understandable idea that we only need to start taking our babies to the paediatric dentist when they start getting teeth – but the reality is that we should do it much sooner. Taking steps early as parents are an important way to help your baby maintain good oral hygiene and develop good habits.

Tips for your baby’s oral hygiene

  • Birth to 6 months: Start by gently cleaning your baby’s gums each day. Simply hold your baby in your arms and gently rub his or her gums with a clean, damp cloth that is wrapped around your finger. This helps your child get used to the sensation as well.
  • 6-12 months: When teeth start to appear, you can change from a cloth to a soft baby’s toothbrush. Using toothpaste suitable for infants, gently brush your child’s teeth after each feeding.
  • Visit the dentist: Find a recommended paediatric dentist in your area and make an appointment for a consultation when your child is between 6-12 months or if you have any dental health concerns. You can get advice, meet the team, get an idea of what happens during a child’s dental visit, important milestones to pay attention to and, most importantly, it gives your child a chance to start getting used to dental examinations.

A healthy, happy start from our child care team 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.

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.

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!

Healthy Halloween treats your kids will love
Healthy Halloween treats your kids will love

If you want your children to enjoy the fun of Halloween while avoiding the sugar rush, then these healthy but tasty treats researched by our nursery school near Hurlingham are the perfect choice!

  • Honey popcorn balls: Easy to make at home, these baked treats can be portioned out correctly to provide just enough natural sweetness to make them a real favourite. To give them a spooky twist, you can pretend they’re monster brains!
  • Popcorn bags: There are few snacks as delicious – and healthy as a bag of freshly popped popcorn. Rich in fibre and affordable to make, the neighbourhood kids will love them! Portion your popcorn out into individual brown paper bags decorated with a spooky ghost or monster for a Halloween touch.
  • Stickers: There’s nothing kids love more than collecting treasures, so giving out spooky, fun and pretty stickers is a great non-food treat to have on hand.
  • Baked pretzels: Some kids love savoury treats as much as sweet ones, so baked pretzels offer a healthy, salty treat alternative to sweets and chocolate.
  • Spooky pizza: Simply make or buy plain pizza bases and spread on your tomato base. Using strips of cheese, outline a spider’s web being careful to leave big enough gaps that the melted cheese doesn’t run too much. Bake and enjoy!
  • Dark chocolate: If you simply must have something sweet, choose dark chocolate rather than milk or white chocolate, as these are healthier and contain far less sugar.

Professional, loving day care for your child at our nursery school near Hurlingham

At Doodlebugs Play School and, 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 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.

5 great nutritional tips to support your child’s learning at play school
5 great nutritional tips to support your child’s learning at play school

Good nutrition plays an important role in your child’s healthy brain development in so many ways, from supporting their physical growth and keeping their brains and muscles healthy to giving them the right energy level to support concentration and learning. Here are 5 tips to help keep your play school child healthy, happy and learning:
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