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How children learn social skills
How children learn social skills

Learning social skills is an important part of your child’s early development. These skills focus on communicating and interacting with others in a healthy and positive way, as well as learning responsibility, self-control, consideration for others and self-confidence. Here is some insight into how children develop these skills, from our playschool near Hurlingham.

As an infant, your child comes into the world completely dependent on the people around them for love and care. As they grow, they start of develop self-awareness, bond with family members and become anxious when separated from them. Even though they may interact with other infants to a degree, their real social development starts in a playschool environment through regularly interacting with different adults as well as children of a similar age and engaging in activities together.

Like every developmental milestone, some children develop their social skills more quickly than others. This is completely natural and, with the right environment of support and encouragement, each child will learn these important skills. Teachers play a vital role here by:

  • Creating opportunities for interaction – Through fun outings, group and one-on-one activities. Even for children who find socialising easy, it’s important to practice these skills in different situations and with lots of different children.
  • Helping children to communicate effectively – Often, children find it easier to express themselves physically if they are finding themselves frustrated or unhappy. Teachers play a strong role in recognising challenging situations and helping children to instead express in words how they feel, ask for what they need and do so in a calm and positive manner.
  • Learning all about manners: While parents have an important role to play in helping kids learn about manners, teachers can support this by expanding this to different interactions with adults, unfamiliar people and peers. Learning to say “Hello” and “Goodbye”, taking turns, sharing toys and develop cooperative skills are all valuable parts of the play school experience.

Fun, learning and laughter at our playschool 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.

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.

Tips for dressing your child for day care
Tips for dressing your child for day care

Day care is a great environment for your child to learn and grow, so it’s important that they are clothed comfortably and appropriately for their time there. Here are some practical tips from our day care near Parkmore.

  • Temperature: Children should not be over or underdressed for day care, especially when they are very young, as they can overheat or get cold very easily. Natural fibres are often cooler than synthetic ones, and layering clothes in winter will help keep your child comfortable as the day heats up and cools.
  • Spare change of clothes: Children can often go through more than one set of clothes a day, especially if they are in day care over mealtimes. One or two spare sets of clothing should be packed for each day that is weather-appropriate.
  • Sun protection: If your child is going to be spending any time outdoors, it’s important that parents have applied child-safe sunscreen. Be sure to put the sunscreen in your child’s bag for any necessary re-applications.
  • Movement: Many day care activities involve fun activities and playtime in which your child develops their movement-related milestones, so it’s important that they can move easily and comfortably in their outfit. Older toddlers will be running, climbing and jumping, so clothing and footwear needs to be tough enough to withstand a busy day. When in doubt, keep outfits as simple and straightforward as possible.
  • Special clothing: As children grow up, they often want to wear or bring in special clothing to day care – whether it’s a pink tutu, a cowboy hat or a new dress. While it’s wonderful to see your child express themselves through their clothing, it’s important to also protect these items from getting damaged during the course of the day. An apron is a great addition to protect a favourite dress, for example!

Love, cuddles and learning at our day care near Parkmore’s 

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer your child a safe, fun environment that helps to boost brain development, social skills and much more. Our dedicated staff members provide constant, loving support and guidance to each child from 18 months old to 4 years old, helping him or her to develop their strengths and interests.

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

The best Halloween costumes for kids!
The best Halloween costumes for kids!

Halloween is a chance for parents and kids to get creative and have some fun – and this means coming up with a fantastic costume idea! Here are some inspiring ideas for you from our playschool near Craighall.

  • Little old lady/man: Is your baby just learning to walk but still needing some support? Dressing your child up as a little old man or lady is the perfect outfit! You can adapt a stroller to give them something to hold onto and push (their Zimmer frame) while a simple grey wig, spectacles and some mini-age appropriate clothes will finish this cute and clever look.
  • Build your own superheroes: Does your child want to be a superhero when he or she grows up? While costume shops will have plenty of options, why not help them invent their own? This is a great way to encourage their imagination, so invent their super powers, uniform and more together for a fun and memorable look.
  • Zombie children: If you and your kids love to get messy and indulge in the spooky spirit of Halloween, zombies are the best way to go! Find some of your child’s old clothing and distress it out a bit to make it look the part. You can also make some edible fake blood at home using golden syrup and red food colouring. A great finishing touch is a manikin hand that your child can bring along with them for extra effect! This is great for older kids, as long as they’re comfortable with such a spooky look.
  • When I grow up: There’s nothing cuter than a little child all dressed up for their career! Your choices are endless, from doctors and scientists to adventurers and sports stars, so you can really get creative with this one.

Visit our fun, secure and learning-orientated play school near Craighall 

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, educational play school and day care environment near Craighall for your baby or children from 18 months to 4 years old. Fully supervised by our qualified, loving staff, our professional child care centre 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.

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.

Some essential playground safety tips for parents and kids
Some essential playground safety tips for parents and kids

Playgrounds are great spaces for children where they can burn off energy, invent games, play with friends and get some fresh air – but they do pose certain hazards too. Here is some advice from our play school in Sandton on keeping safe and sound in the playground.

  • Supervise, supervise, supervise: A parent or trusted adult should always be on hand to watch kids as they play. This will ensure that children use playground equipment properly, don’t get too rough, watch out for smaller children and keep kids away from potentially dangerous situations.
  • Playground surfaces: Concrete and tar playground surfaces should always be avoided as they are a significant injury risk. Preferred surfaces include rubber mats, wood chips, sand, grass and artificial lawn. The playground should be free of standing water, tripping hazards and dangerous materials like glass and wire.
  • Age-appropriate: Playground equipment should be grouped in separate areas for toddlers, pre-schoolers and school-aged children. Younger children playing on equipment meant for older children are at risk of injury, as the proportions and materials are designed with taller, stronger children in mind. Similarly, older children shouldn’t play on equipment meant for infants or toddlers, as they can get stuck easily or damage the equipment due to their bigger size.
  • Good behaviour: Children of all ages should be taught how to behave properly in a playground. Rules like watching out for younger children, not pushing or shoving on jungle gym equipment and leaving bikes, school bags and other potential tripping hazards away from equipment are some basic rules to learn.
  • Dress right: Remove any necklaces, drawstrings, scarves and other items that can easily get hooked on equipment. Choose clothes that allow your child to move freely and are allowed to get a bit dirty. Also, remember sunscreen even on cloudy days and a warm top if it looks like it might get cold.

Learning through fun at our safe, fully supervised play school in Sandton

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, educational play school, nursery school and day care 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 centre ensures that your little one will have fun, learn and explore the world while giving you complete peace of mind. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

How to make gingerbread people
How to make gingerbread people

Gingerbread people are fun and easy to make, and even more delicious to eat! Here’s a great recipe from Jamie Oliver and our child care centre near Parkmore that will ensure hours of fun for your child as well as plenty of lunchbox treats.

Ingredients:

300g of plain flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

125 g unsalted butter

100 g soft light brown sugar

3 tablespoons golden syrup
Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  • Melt butter, sugar and syrup over low heat, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved.
  • Add the dry ingredients, stirring to make a stiff dough.
  • Cut the dough into two equal halves and place each half on the work surface on top of baking paper, rolling out until it’s about 5mm thick.
  • Cut out your different shapes in the dough with about 2cm between each cut out. Lift the excess dough out, leaving the shapes on the paper. You can repeat this step with more baking paper to make more people.
  • Lift the paper with the figures directly onto your baking trays and bake for 12 mins or until golden brown.
  • Once cooled, they can be decorated by you and your kids. Using icing, stick on Smarties, Jelly Tots and other goodies to make them a creative and fun treat!

Looking for a child care facility near Parkmore? Visit our loving play school today!

At Doodlebugs Play School, 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 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.

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

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

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

A safe, loving play school near Craighall, Johannesburg

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, loving day care and nursery school environment near Craighall for your baby or children from 18 months to 4 years old. Fully supervised by our qualified, loving staff, our professional child care ensures that your little one will have fun, learn and explore the world while giving you complete peace of mind. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

3 fun craft activities for you and your child
3 fun craft activities for you and your child

Whether it’s the weekend, school holidays or just a quiet afternoon, craft activities can be a great boredom-busting and bonding session for you and your kids! Here are some ideas from our nursery school near Hurlingham.

  1. Baking: Making gingerbread people, decorating cookies and cupcakes or making coconut ice is a crafting activity that’s fun and delicious as well as teaching your child a few useful life skills in the kitchen. It’s best to set up a table filled with icing and decorations to keep your kids busy while you manage the hot oven, but try get them involved in as many stages as you can – from fetching ingredients and helping to stir the bowl to licking off the spoon, of course!
  2. A work of art: This combines two of every toddler’s favourite things – bright colours and making a mess! Get a big roll of butcher’s paper and put it on the ground. Mix up edible paints using plain yogurt and food colouring, and let them run wild. Encourage them to try different colours and shapes to bring in some creativity. You can also put the paint in a squeeze bottle for easier use.
  3. Potato stamps: If you’re feeling creative, potato stamps are a cheap and fun way to help your kids express their creative side. They’re easy to make and you can make all sorts of fun shapes like hearts, stars, fish, leaves and smiley faces. Separate paints into different colours in separate trays (a good use for polystyrene trays) and lay out sheets of paper – then let the stamping begin!

Playtime meets learning at our safe, fully supervised nursery school near Hurlingham 

At Doodlebugs Play School, we offer a safe, educational play school, nursery school and day care 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 centre ensures that your little one will have fun, learn and explore the world while giving you complete peace of mind. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.

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

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

Is my baby ready for solid food?

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

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

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

Start slow and simple

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

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

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

Safe, fun crèche facilities in Sandton

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

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