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Christmas craft activities for you and your child
Christmas craft activities for you and your child

’Tis the season to be jolly! Christmas is a great time of the year for families with youngsters, but it can also be a time of year that’s filled with unproductive activities such as watching too much television or being bored at home. To keep your children engaged and productive over the holiday season, kick-start some of these fun craft projects at home:

  • Button tree ornament

If you have a Christmas tree in your living room, then letting your child create their own Christmas ornaments to put on the tree is a great idea. All you will need is a green felt, foam sheet, a glue gun, ribbon and various sized/coloured buttons to make this ornament. After cutting a tree shape out of the green felt, use a glue gun to attach the felt to the foam back. Let your child choose different buttons to place on the tree. Look at pictures of this button tree ornament for more information and details.

  • Family handprint Christmas tree

Get green construction paper and trace the hands of all of your family members on the construction paper. Cut along the lines so that you are left with multiple hand shaped pieces of paper. Stack the construction paper on top of each other, with the smaller hands at the top and the bigger hands at the bottom, before adding a star to the top of the tree.

  • Santa beard

Cut out a shape of a beard on a piece of construction paper (or get a Santa beard template here) and tape a Popsicle stick to the back of the beard. Let your child glue cotton balls on top of the beard. Visit this page for more pictures and details of the Santa beard.

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.

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.

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 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!