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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!

How to help your child learn to read
How to help your child learn to read

While your child will only learn how to read properly in primary school, parents of younger children can help develop the necessary foundational skills from a much younger age. Not only is reading a highly beneficial skill for children to learn, it’s also a great way to bond with your little one, let your imaginations take flight and have fun! Here are some tips from our nursery school near Hurlingham.

Make story time a part of their daily routine

Bed time or nap time stories are an age-old tradition that not only stimulates your child’s love of reading and their curiosity about the world, but also creates a calm and focussed moment between parent and child. Choose an age-appropriate book with a story that you will both enjoy and settle down in a quiet spot. You’ll be surprised how much your child enjoys and responds to the sound of your voice as you read to them.

Pick the right book

Toddlers will love books that are interactive and generally need something robust that can stand up to lots of page turning and manhandling. There are even waterproof bath time books that are great for helping distract and entertain kids through this sometimes challenging process. Older children will like more complex stories with lots of pictures where they can ask questions or show off their knowledge of the tale.

Be interactive

When you’re reading to your child, have them sit close to you or on your lap so that they can see what you’re doing. Follow each word with your finger as you read along and take the time to stop to explain and encourage questions. For example, point to the picture of the elephant and then to the word “elephant” and then talk about what’s happening in the picture.

Go affordable

Books can be quite expensive, but secondhanded stores offer great, inexpensive deals on some wonderful children’s books that will keep your child entertained for hours and developing those reading skills. Another alternative is to join up to your local library. They are inexpensive, offer a huge range of books for every age and often host reading hours and other entertainment for kids.

Learning through fun 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.

How do you know which crèche is right for your baby?
How do you know which crèche is right for your baby?

Choosing a crèche for your little one means doing a fair amount of research and legwork as a parent – after all, you want a place that is going to give you piece of mind as well as put your baby’s health and development first. Here are some tips from our crèche in Sandton to help you make this important choice.

The crèche has to be a practical choice for you

A good location close to your home or workplace, or your partner’s workplace, is essential. Easy travel means less impact on your daily commute as well as on your baby’s routine. While you may like crèche’s that are further away, this could quickly become an issue if dropping off your little one means significantly more time in traffic. If you’re unsure, try do a rehearsal run on a typical workday and see how it affects you.

Also, be sure to find out if their hours suit you and if they run a crèche programme during the holidays, so you know what to expect through the year ahead.

What happens in a typical day?

It’s important for parents to be comfortable with how your little one’s day will be structured at the crèche. Is the environment safe as well as stimulating? What happened during play, feeding and nap times? What kind of age-specific learning stimulus do they provide? Are there enough qualified caregivers per child? What are their policies about communicating with parents?

Here, an on-site visit is always recommended, as it allows you to ask staff members about how the crèche is run, how your baby will be cared for and what is required of parents. Don’t feel pressured to make your mind up on the spot. Rather, go and visit a few different centres in your area and see how they each measure up. Keep in mind, however, that space is often limited in the best child care centres, so don’t delay too long if you find one that meets all your needs.

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

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, loving crèche 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.

Easy ways to help your child learn to count
Easy ways to help your child learn to count

For toddlers, the world is their classroom and curiosity is the key to learning. You can encourage your child’s early numeracy skills by helping to teach them to count through fun activities that stimulate the brain and entertain. Here are some tips from our child care centre near Parkmore.

  • Make it part of the conversation: For example, if your child is helping you bake or decorate cookies, show them how to count out one for each person in the family. You can also ask them to show you how to make sure everyone has the same amount of snacks or help count out the cutlery while you set the table.
  • Use your hands: Visual cues are the best way to start off learning about numbers, and counting out fingers is a great tool for helping your child learn these essential skills. It helps them track each number in their mind as well as assisting with very basic addition and subtraction.
  • Incorporate it into other activities: Numbers by themselves may not be very enticing to your child, but you can incorporate basic numeracy and math into games they love to play. If your child loves cars and trucks, number them with fun stickers and create matching “car garages” out of old shoe boxes. Old telephones with number pads are also fun to play with, and your child can help call for pizza or phone granny using number that she remembers and can write down in a phone book.
  • Make it relate to them: Numbers are more easily understood by children when they relate to them. Age and even height are great topics, so ask your child how old he was last year and how old he will be this year to get them thinking about numbers.

A safe, fun child care centre 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.

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!

How to prevent tantrums
How to prevent tantrums

Tantrums are exhausting, frustrating and often embarrassing for parents to deal with, as well as being upsetting for your child. Fortunately, there are certain techniques recommended by child behaviourists and specialists that can help reduce and even stop tantrums altogether. Here are some tips from our day care near Hurlingham.

  • Stop it before it starts: Despite how they may seem, tantrums have more to do with emotional frustration than an issue that requires discipline, like the yelling and aggression that comes with it. Children have to learn how to manage and express their emotions properly, and tantrums can easily be brought on by tiredness, hunger, boredom or overstimulation. When you know what your child’s trigger is, you can stop the behaviour and head it off while it’s still in its early stages, before it becomes a full-blown tantrum.
  • Choices not commands: It’s easy for parents and caregivers to fall into a pattern of commanding children to do certain tasks, especially when you’ve had a long day. Giving your child a choice of options, however, that suit you as a parent can be a great tool for preventing tantrums because it helps your child feel more in control of their own behaviour and prevents frustration. Stick to two options to avoid overwhelming your child with decisions, for example, “What would you like to do, brush your teeth or have a bath?”. After they choose which option they will do first, say, “Super! We will do (Option 1) first and then (Option 2)”.
  • Ease into different activities: If your child is playing and racing about and you suddenly tell them that it’s time for a bath and bed, the chances are that they’re going to have trouble adjusting immediately to this new task ahead of them – and that can turn into a tantrum. Rather, ease them into it by mentioning that in a bit, it will be bath and bed time, then try and engage them with more calming play. Several gentle warnings may be needed, and a reward can be used too – for example, letting them choose which book they would like a bedtime story from.

A loving learning environment at our day care near Hurlingham

At Doodlebugs Play School and Day Care Centre, we offer a safe, educational day care and crèche 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.

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.