How to Make a Sensory Bin for Toddlers: The Definitive Guide

Sensory bins are all the rage at the moment – and for good reason! With so many different tools and textures, they’re a great way to stimulate your toddler and boost their development. The good news doesn’t stop there either – they’re also incredibly easy to make! In just 5 simple steps, we’ll show you how to make a sensory bin so that your toddler can start discovering independent play!

Here is our definitive guide for how to make a sensory bin:

1. Find a container

The first step to making your own sensory bin is finding the best container for the job. This could be any box you have to hand, but we’d recommend a plastic storage container to transform into your sensory bin. This is because they’re super easy to clean, they can hold any base (liquid or solid) and they can store all of your sensory bin essentials when you’re done! Just be sure your container has high sides to help prevent some of the mess and you’ve got yourself a multi-functional sensory bin.

baby in a bucket of water to represent how to make a sensory bin

2. Choose your base

The options are literally endless when it comes to choosing the base for your sensory bin. Whether you raid your cupboards for some dried pasta and rice or you opt for more natural materials like soil and sand – the aim is to keep it interesting. Look for bases that have fun colours and textures to excite your toddler and really engage all of their senses. Then once you’re done, store them in a zip-lock bag ready for next time!

Here is a list of bases we’d recommend:

  • Rice
  • Dried Pasta
  • Seeds
  • Water
  • Sand
  • Soil
  • Shredded paper

 3. Grab your tools

Don’t worry, this step doesn’t require any DIY – in fact, most of the ‘tools’ you do need, you’ll already own! Household objects like spoons, jars and funnels can be great additions to your toddler’s sensory bin. By adding these tools, you’re allowing your child to experiment with how to use these new objects, and in turn, helping them develop their fine motor skills.

pasta falling out of a jar

4. Add your smaller objects

To add some excitement to your sensory bin, try including some smaller items like buttons or foam letters into the mix. This way your toddler can uncover even more exciting shapes and textures while exploring the base of their sensory bin.

Another alternative is natural materials like leaves and seashells. By including natural materials you’re allowing your child to partake in heuristic play – a form of play that focuses on interacting with everyday objects rather than toys. This way you’re allowing your child to explore nature, whilst also encouraging their sense of imagination.

Read: What Is Heuristic Play and Why Is It Good for Our Children?

5. Create a theme

Why not take your sensory play to the next level and start creating some themes! This could be anything from a beach theme with sand and seashells to a dinosaur theme with soil and pebbles! Whichever theme you choose, exploring different themes can be a great way to add some variety to your sensory play.

a child in a sand box to represent how to make a sensory bin

So there you have it – our definitive guide for how to make a sensory bin. With just a few household items and a little creativity, you’re able to provide your toddler with endless hours of fun. Whether you decide to get stuck in or you prefer to watch from the sidelines, you can be confident that you’re boosting your child’s development – and for little to no cost!


At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.

 

Looking for more ideas and inspiration? See more from us here:

5 Tips For Parents Dealing With Separation Anxiety

Due to countless restrictions and several lockdowns, we’ve spent more time at home over the past 18 months than ever before! Now, with September on the horizon, more and more parents are anxious about sending their children off to school. To help address this, we’ve created 5 tips to support parents dealing with separation anxiety as we all transition into post-lockdown life.

Here are 5 tips for parents dealing with separation anxiety:

Discuss your fears

When it comes to soothing our children, we all know the importance of listening to their concerns and validating their feelings. But when it comes to us adults, many of us try and deal with our fears and anxieties alone. Instead of suffering alone find someone to confide in – a friend, a partner or even another parent. By simply having someone to talk to, you’re able to work through your fears (no matter how small or irrational) and let go of any worries that are perhaps more harmful than helpful.

a little girl in school wearing a covid mask to represent parents dealing with separation anxiety

Familiarise yourself with their teacher

Introducing your child to their teacher before they begin school or nursery, is a great way to ease some of their nerves. However, this introduction can also be incredibly beneficial for us adults – especially for those parents dealing with separation anxiety. By meeting your child’s teacher, you’re able to share your concerns with them and work together to find the best solutions for your child. Whatever your worries may be, having this support and reassurance can really help ease your anxiety.

Stay present

Maybe you’re worried that your child won’t enjoy nursery? Or perhaps you’re concerned they might hurt themselves when you’re not there?  Whatever it is that’s making you anxious, it’s important to remember there’s nothing you can do to change the past or alter the future. Instead, try and focus on the present and take things one step at a time. This will help you feel more in control and can help stop you from worrying about something that may never happen.

positive face ticked

Make plans for when they’re away

Most parents dealing with separation anxiety feel lost without their children – almost like a piece of them is missing.  To avoid this feeling, try your best to keep yourself busy and start making plans for when your children are away. This can be anything from visiting your friends and family to fitting in those chores you haven’t gotten around to. However you decide to fill your time, take the opportunity to do things you enjoy – you’ll be surprised at how quickly the time goes.

Remember the feeling is temporary

Suffering from separation anxiety is difficult, so it’s important to remember that these feelings are temporary. Although it seems overwhelming to begin with, over time you will adjust and get used to this new normal. In the meantime, be patient with yourself and try to find comfort in the knowledge that your child is learning new skills and having fun with their friends. While it will take some time to get used to being apart, remember every day they go off to school, they’re benefiting from your bravery.

a little boy holding his mother's face to represent parents dealing with separation anxiety

If there is just one thing you should take away from this article, it is that you are not alone – there are plenty of parents dealing with separation anxiety. Revisit these 5 tips as often as you need to and remember, adjusting takes time, so be kind to yourself.


At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.

 

Looking for more ideas and inspiration? See more from us here:

Is Your Child Anxious to Start School? Here are 4 Essential Tips for Comforting Them

For some children, the idea of making new friends and learning new skills has them rushing out the door when September rolls around. But for other children, the fear of the unknown can squash their excitement. In fact, with so much change on the horizon, many children are left feeling anxious and overwhelmed. So how can you support your child starting school?

With these 4 tips, you can help your children work through their anxieties and get them prepared for this exciting new chapter.

Spotting signs of stress or anxiety

Sometimes it can be difficult to know when your child is displaying signs of stress or anxiety. During the run-up to your child starting school, pay close attention to these telltale signs:

  • Trouble sleeping – this can be either difficulty falling to sleep or poor sleep quality.
  • Changes in their behaviour – are they irritable or withdrawn?
  • Changes to their eating – are they eating more or less than usual?
  • Are they expressing signs of worry – do they get upset or nervous when school is mentioned?

A shy little girl burying her face in her mum's dress

If your child is struggling with any of these issues, it’s important to address them in a way that reminds your child they’re supported and loved. Here are 4 tips for comforting them:

1. Validate their feelings

It’s important that your child knows it’s okay to feel anxious about starting school – in fact, it’s normal! Take the time to sit down with your child and listen to any of their worries and concerns. Once you understand where your child’s anxiety is coming from, you can empathise with them and start working together to find solutions. The most important thing is to validate your child’s feelings and let them know they are supported – after all, a problem shared is a problem halved.

2. Get them comfortable with new things

One of the scary parts of starting school is getting used to all the new things. But how can we prepare our children for so much change? Start by introducing them to some of the things they will see at school. Try serving their lunch in their lunchbox or allowing them to get comfortable in their new uniform. This way, when it comes to your child starting school, they’ll be faced with fewer unfamiliar surprises which can help them feel more relaxed and less overwhelmed.

toddler reading a book

3. Don’t overdo it

How many times have you heard ‘school years are the best years of your life’? This is a classic example of overdoing it when it comes to reassuring your child about starting school. The truth is, there will be things your child dislikes about school – and that’s okay. The important thing is, to be honest with them about what to expect, rather than sugar-coating the experience.

4. Reward their bravery

While there are steps we can take to help ease their transition, it’s likely your child will still feel anxious about starting school. However, what we can do is reward their bravery as they face this new challenge. Praise your child for facing their fears and celebrate their bravery! This will help them develop healthy coping skills and boost their confidence.

A boy dressed as a superhero
When it comes to your child starting school, it’s natural for them to feel nervous. But with the help of these 4 tips, you can offer them the comfort and support they’ll need to face their fears and take on this exciting new adventure.


At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.

 

Looking for more ideas and inspiration? See more from us here:

Post-lockdown Life: How to Help Your Children Transition

Much like us, our children have had to adapt a lot over the past year – and with so much change and confusion, it’s understandable that some of them are struggling to adjust. But with so much still unknown, how can we help them transition all over again?

With just a few pointers, we can help you support your child through this next chapter – here are our suggestions on how to help your children adapt to post-lockdown life.

Reassure them

From family members to nursery teachers – it’s important to reassure your children that everyone is working their hardest to keep them safe. Whether it’s by explaining the importance of hand-washing or listening to their concerns, by showing your children they are supported, you’re able to ease any anxieties they experience when navigating post-lockdown life.

Parents hands making a heart around baby feet

Answer their questions

So much has changed in the past 2 years that it’s all become a bit confusing – especially for our children. Try answering any questions they may have as simply as you can: this way, your children can understand why things are changing again and feel a little more in control of the situation. By relieving some of their confusion, you’re reassuring them that these changes are there to keep them safe – so that they can enjoy post-lockdown life.

Look forward

It’s been a long year for all of us, so it’s important that we enjoy the highs after suffering the lows! As restrictions begin to ease, try taking advantage of post-lockdown life by creating new, positive memories with your children. Whether a trip to the farm or a picnic with friends – allowing your children to enjoy the benefits of fewer restrictions (whilst still staying safe) can help ease their anxiety and get them excited about the future!

Understand that change is scary

Change can be scary – especially when it’s out of our control.  So when it comes to our children, how do we help them feel safe in a time of constant change? By showing them that you understand how they’re feeling, you’re reminding them that they’re not in this alone.

Also, by explaining that these new rules are there to keep them safe, your child can understand that, although the world may look very different now, it’s all to protect them and their loved ones!

two boys at home looking out the window

Move at their pace

After spending every day together, the thought of being apart (even for a short amount of time) can seem scary. So it’s important that your children know you’re there to support them and that it’s okay to miss one another when they are away at nursery. With lots of quality time and plenty of affection, you can help relieve any separation anxiety they’re experiencing as they ease back into the everyday routine of post-lockdown life.

Take a break from it all

Working through all these emotions can be tiring, especially for your children. Help them find some escape by encouraging them to do the things they enjoy when they’re feeling down or anxious. Whether this means painting, going for a walk or even reading their favourite book – we all need a break sometimes. This way you’re able to provide some relief, whilst also teaching them to seek out the positives in any situation.

feet in bed to represent post-lockdown life

Try as we might, there are some things even we can’t fix – and that’s okay! By making sure your children feel safe and supported, you can help them readjust to post-lockdown life so that they can get back to being children.

 


At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.

 

Looking for more ideas and inspiration? See more from us here:

What are the Benefits of Sending Your Child to Nursery?

With some of us having never left their side before, the thought of sending our children off to nursery can seem daunting. So when making decisions about child care, it’s important that we know – what are the benefits of nursery? 

With lots to learn and friends to be made, we’ve picked out 7 benefits of sending your child to nursery so that you can feel confident in your decision. 

1. Improved Communication  

One of the benefits of nursery is that children are able to express their thoughts and feelings to new people. This teaches them to better communicate how they’re feeling, whilst also learning to understand the thoughts and feelings of others.

Nursery is also a great way to help develop your child’s speech as they pick up new vocabulary from staff members and other children. Another plus is interactive play! Interactive play is a great way for your child to develop their social skills.

2. Learning new skills 

From learning to count to washing their hands, there are lots of opportunities to learn new skills at nursery. Whether through interactive play or developing new habits, there are so many exciting activities on offer for your child to absorb new information with ease and enjoyment!  

wooden letters in a classroom

 3. Building confidence 

The thought of leaving your child for the first time can be scary – for you and for them. But did you know that time spent away from home can help your child develop self-confidence? At nursery, your child is able to navigate new experiences and start completing small tasks all on their own, and this helps nurture their independence.  

4. Making friends 

We know making friends can help develop our child’s social skills, but it’s so much more than that. One of the benefits of nursery is that your child is able to create bonds with their peers and form relationships beyond their immediate family. Relationships that we all grow to love and need! 

5. Regular exercise  

Juggling work and family life can be difficult, especially when it comes to regular exercise. But with busy schedules, how can we prioritise keeping our child active?

Ensuring your child gets enough exercise is one of the major benefits of nursery! With so many activities to enjoy (both inside and outdoors), your child can begin building stamina, fine-tuning their motor skills and, most importantly, having fun!  

A little boy throwing a pile of leaves in the air outside

 6. Better immunity  

As parents, we try to prevent our children from feeling unwell whenever we can. But did you know, exposure to common illnesses can actually be a benefit of nursery?

Though it may sound silly, things like playing with other children and experiencing the common cold can really strengthen your child’s immune system. This means by developing your child’s immunity now, you’re supporting their health long after they leave nursery! 

 7. Preparing them for school 

Going to school may seem like a far off adventure for your child, but being able to prepare them for this is one of the biggest benefits of nursery education. From understanding instructions, socialising with other children and adjusting to new environments – these are all skills that your child will need for school and they can all be taught at nursery!

The transition into school is difficult enough, but nursery can make it that little bit easier.  

 Two girls drawing

As we’ve seen, there are lots of benefits to sending your child to nursery. They have so much to learn and enjoy, so you can relax knowing they’re safe and sound, playing with their friends. And if at the same time you take the opportunity to catch up on emails, tidy up, or just relax, you can rest assured that their time spent at nursery, is time well spent (for the both of you).  

 


At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.

 

Looking for more ideas and inspiration? See more from us here:

6 Key Reasons to spend More Time Outdoors with Your Baby

With ever-changing rules and regulations, being able to get outdoors has been a great comfort to many of us over the past year. We now know how much it can improve our mental and physical health, but do these benefits extend to our children? In choosing to take your baby outside, you’re opening them up to a whole new world of exciting experiences and health benefits. Here are our 6 key reasons to spend more time outdoors with your baby.

New surroundings promote cognitive development

Cognitive development is essentially the process of how children think and ultimately learn. By allowing them to explore new sights and sounds, you’re also encouraging brain stimulation. Simple activities, like smelling different flowers, can help with the formation of brain synapses. This means, when you take your baby outside, their brains can soak up lots of new information and begin piecing it together.

baby in a bucket of water

Exploring the outdoors improves motor skills

Did you know that most basic motor skills are developed by the age of five? Whether crawling or walking, being outdoors can help our children master these skills. For babies, new environments challenge their gross motor skills – much like hiking is different from an afternoon stroll – so choosing to take your baby outside for playtime can help improve their overall strength and muscle development.

Supports communication and language development

Discovering the outdoors can be a perfect opportunity for your baby to become more vocal and to help their language development. When exploring new places we often ooh and aah at things that excite us, and the same goes for our babies. By interacting with new things, be it a leaf or a tree trunk, you’re able to narrate their experience and teach your baby new language skills through play.

Read: What Is Heuristic Play and Why Is It Good for Our Children?

Encourages better health and immunity

Now more than ever we want to protect our families from illness, but did you know that more time spent outdoors, particularly from a young age, positively correlates with having a stronger immune system? This is because exposure to a wide variety of microbes stimulates and strengthens your immune system. It is even associated with preventing allergies and auto-immune disorders! To put it simply, in choosing to take your baby outside, you’re essentially choosing to invest in their health, long-term.

baby mother kiss to represent why to take your baby outside

Sunlight provides your baby with essential vitamin D

As adults, we are often encouraged to invest in supplements to ensure we get all of our vitamins, but what about our babies? When it comes to vitamin D, this can be easily remedied! By taking your baby outside, they can produce their own vitamin D when safely absorbing the sunlight. The benefits include better calcium absorption, improved bone growth, and prevention from bone deformities such as rickets.

More time spent outside leads to better sleep

The words all parents wish to hear: ‘better sleep.’ And the only cost? Spending some time outdoors! It’s actually proven that sun exposure leads to the production of melatonin, a hormone that helps induce sleep. Not only that but more time spent in the natural light helps regulate circadian rhythms (a.k.a the sleep-wake cycle).

So why not try an afternoon stroll for the whole family? It’s not just the babies who will benefit!

Read: 9 Tell-tale Signs of a Tired Baby

a father and baby sleeping

Whether it be from the comfort of your own garden or a trip to the local park, the outside world can help boost your baby’s health and development! And with these 6 benefits too, you can be safe in the knowledge that exploring the outdoors can be a great way to create precious childhood memories.

 


At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.

 

Looking for more ideas and inspiration? See more from us here:

Want a better work, life and home balance? 6 tips for parents

It can be hard to find a balance between work, life and home. Especially for parents who are still working from home! It can be hard, but not impossible.

There are many different ways of trying to find the right work-life balance and the results will vary from person to person. However, there are some tried-and-true tips that may help in the search. Here are our top 6 tips for parents.

1. Set realistic goals.

Finding the right work life balance isn’t easy, so the last thing you want to do is set yourself up for failure. If you set yourself unattainable goals, you won’t achieve them and that will just make you feel worse. Be kind to yourself. Acknowledge that your work life and your home life are 2 full-time jobs, and set yourself realistic goals that you will actually be able to achieve.

2. Have a dedicated office space.

Separating your work life from your home life will help you to be far more productive when you are working. And if you’re more productive ‘at work,’ the more quality time you can spend with your family when you’re done.

Tip: Find yourself a space at home where there are fewer distractions and make this your home office.

A little girl reading a book

3. Find an exercise routine that works for you.

When you’re pushed for time, it’s too easy to put off your own self-care, but this does far more damage than good. To work productively and to be at your best for your children, you need to be as happy and healthy as possible. Exercise is the key to having more energy and feeling uplifted, so prioritise this. Find a type of exercise and a time that works best for you.

4. Balance work with home by focusing on what matters most to you at the time.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re phone is buzzing for work and your children are screaming your name simultaneously. To find balance, focus on two things: what is urgent and what is important? If you simply have to get something urgent for work done, explain to your children that you need an hour or two so they need to sit quietly and watch a film. If you’ve done what you need to and what is most important to you is family time, then clock off early and focus solely on them.

5. Take breaks from work and parenting (and don’t feel guilty about it)

You’re only human and to keep going, you need to make time for yourself. It’s okay if you need to take a break from both work and parenting, in fact, it’s encouraged!

You don’t want to burn yourself out trying to do everything, so take breaks throughout the week for some ‘you’ time. Get your children involved and ask them for help with chores. That way, you can have a quiet bath when they are tidying up their rooms or whatever it is you like to do to relax.

Read: Age Appropriate Chores for Children to Help Them Learn Valuable Life Skills

6. Work on building flexibility into your schedule

For the perfect work life balance, your schedule needs to be flexible. Life throws curve balls and things come up unexpectedly, so be open to change and adapt quickly. This is the best thing that you can do if you want to find that sweet spot.

mother and daughter doing yoga

Find the right work life balance for you

As we said at the beginning of this article, it’s going to be hard to find the right balance. All you can do is keep trying different methods, set realistic expectations from yourself, and try not to feel guilty if something doesn’t go the way you planned. Trust us, you will find the right work life balance for you if you just stick with it.

 


At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.

 

Looking for more ideas and inspiration? See more from us here:

Fun Spring Activities to Do as a Family this Spring

Spring is here and with the way the weather has been lately, we are sure that you are almost as itching to get outside as your children are!

To shake off the winter blues, here is a range of fun spring activities that you can do as a family this Spring, no matter what the weather is.

Reconnect with nature

Get outdoors and get hands-on with nature! There’s nothing like taking a simple stroll outside, whether you’re taking a walk around your street or driving to a location where the natural scenery is worth the trip, so make sure to take the time to take your kids outside. Walking is not only good for all of you, but it also allows your children to gain an understanding of the world around them. Let them feel the earth in between their fingers as they plant a garden, the sand in between their toes at the seaside, and let them collect leaves or twigs for arts and crafts or go bird watching, bug hunting or animal spotting in the wild!

Read: What is Heuristic Play and Why is it Good for Our Children?

Go for a picnic

Ahhh, fresh air! It may not be as warm as Summer yet, but it is the perfect time to get layered up and venture outside for some outdoor eating. Whether you’re heading to the beach, to a grassy park or even just in your back garden, throwing a picnic together is a great way to mix things up from the usual routine of eating at the table. Just grab a blanket and go and if it rains, bring that picnic indoors for a fun family meal on your living room floor!

A Spring picnic hamper

Fly kites

Springtime brings some blustery days which is ideal for taking those kites for a spin! This is a great activity to do as a family as you can do it anywhere and depending on your level of interest, you can have fun flying a basic kite to learning how to fly a stunt kite and teaching your children. What do you do on days where it is too wet to fly a kite? Why not make a pinwheel instead!

Make a birdhouse or bird feeder

Spring is all about new life, so why not take this opportunity to teach your children about animals and nature by doing something fun? One activity kids love is making a birdhouse or bird feeder. Not only is the art project itself an entertaining activity to do as a family, but it also provides hours of fun later too! Once you’ve assembled your bird house or feeder, place it in the garden where you can see it from indoors and get ready to attract a variety of birds. Buy a bird book and binoculars and start ticking off species!

A bird house in a tree

Get creative with plants

Everything starts to grow in Spring so take this moment to teach your little one’s valuable life lessons. By simply planting seeds with your kids, you can teach them about responsibility and care as they nurture the plants to grow whilst also teaching them about plants and different species. Once they’ve bloomed, you can even use them to make plant art or come up with experiments, such as putting white flowers in different coloured dyes, to teach your children about science. Don’t even limit yourself to plants either, you can plant lots of things such as vegetables or trees and use them to teach your children about the world.

Go camping or build a fort

This is a perfect activity whatever the weather! If you’re feeling adventurous and the weather is great, pack up the car boot and head to the outdoors for some family camping. Not only is this great quality time with your children, but it also allows you to teach them valuable survival skills such as making fires, assembling shelter, and fishing. Is the weather bad or you just don’t want to get outside? Then build a fort inside! Grab some sheets and blankets and create your own fairy princess castle.

A family camping in the mountains

Whatever the weather, grab your kids and do something together outside! Use this list of spring activities for some inspiration and go and make some memories this Spring.

 

At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.

 

Looking for more ideas and inspiration? See more from us here:

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Advice for parents: helping your children adjust to life after lockdown

First, our children had to adapt to a drastic change in lifestyle – they had to stay indoors, they had to stay away from people when outside, they weren’t allowed to go to school – and now after weeks and months of getting used to this, we are now asking them to adapt again. The thing is, this time, we don’t know what we are asking them to adapt to. So how can we make this easier for them? How can we help them adjust? If you want to know how to help your children adjust to life after lockdown, here are our top tips.

Tip #1 – give them space to share their fears

It’s important that your children feel that they can come to you with any worry they have, no matter how small or big or ‘silly’ it may be, so help them to feel that way. Maybe you could schedule in ‘worry time’ every day as a family? You can just share your worries or you can write them down and throw them away.

Tip #2 – be aware of what they see & hear

Be very aware that your children may hear you talking with other adults or while you’re on the phone and what you say may have an effect on them. It’s also important to know how your children are getting their news, especially older children who are online. Show them the right sites to check where they know that the information is factual and limit their exposure to it every day. The news can be scary, especially now.

Tip #3 – help them focus on control & safety

The Coronavirus is making a lot of changes, changes that make us feel very out of control and anxious as a result. To help your children adjust to life after lockdown, think about ways you can help them feel in control and safe. Things like washing their hands well, exercising and eating healthily to keep them strong, and wearing a mask when they need to.

Tip #4 – talk about all the safety measures

Positivity and reassurance are key to helping your children feel better so talk about all the safety measures and the things that are being done to keep everyone safe. You can talk about what the schools are doing to keep them safe, how doctors and nurses are prepared to treat people who get sick, and how scientists are working to develop a vaccine.

Tip #5 – let them feel what they feel 

Don’t dismiss your children’s feelings. Talk about them and let them know that they are normal and that a lot of other people are feeling the same way. What this does is that it teaches them that stressful times pass and life goes on; it teaches them to be resilient.

Tip #6 – take small steps initially 

Some children may be comfortable with going outdoors and getting back to school but others may be a lot more anxious. However your children are feeling, take it slow. Ease them into the next stage of the pandemic step by step. This will help them adjust at their own pace rather than doing everything all at once.

Help your children adjust to life after lockdown

Helping our children adjust back to ‘normal’ life is going to take time. It may take more time with some than others but if you listen to your children’s fears, then you’ll know just how slowly you’ll have to take the steps to move forward.

There are many things that you can do to reassure and guide your children during this time, but we personally feel that the most important step is to let your children know that what they are feeling is normal and that it’s okay.

 


At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.

 

Need more help or advice? Find more from us here:

Self-care for parents: tips for taking care of yourself during COVID-19

When you’re a parent, self-care is often put on the back burner. While this may feel necessary since you are the ‘caregiver,’ it is actually more crucial that you take some time out for yourself. Despite what you may think, taking care of yourself is not a luxury, it’s essential. Especially now. It’s the only way that you can keep yourself well (to navigate these challenging times) and to ensure that you can be there physically, emotionally, and mentally for your young children. Here are the best strategies for self-care for parents.

Before we give you some strategies for taking care of yourself, we just want to reiterate just how important this is.

Just like the flight attendant tells you in their safety briefing, you must put your own oxygen mask on before helping others. If you don’t? You won’t be able to help anyone.

It’s exactly the same for parenting. Only when you put your oxygen mask on first (taking care of yourself) can you properly take care of your children.

This is true in everyday life, but especially now. COVID-19 has us stressed about health, money, homeschooling, our children’s future, and so much more, and our children need us. They need us to be the calm and stable and predictable presence that grounds them.

The best way to help your child be at their best is to first take care of yourself. To help with self-care for parents, here’s what you need to be doing for your physical and mental wellbeing.

a little boy holding his mother's face

Self-care for the body

  • Get 7-8 hours of good quality sleep each night. It also helps if it’s at roughly the same time too.
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. It doesn’t have to be a vigorous workout or gym session. Going for a walk, doing some yoga or stretching, or even hoovering and cleaning all serve to release those endorphins.
  • Eat foods and drinks that give you energy. Prioritise healthier options over sugary drinks and fatty foods that make you feel sluggish and stressed. Sit down together and eat as a family too.
  • Take some time to relax and recharge. Find a way to reserve some time each day for yourself. Even if it’s just for a few minutes.
  • Pause at least once a day to breathe. Focus on your breathing – inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, and exhale for 4 seconds, and repeat. A simple exercise like this slows down your heart rate and lowers your blood pressure, making you feel lighter.
  • Wind down before bed. Ditch the TV before bed and read instead. Winding down is essential to a good night’s sleep.
  • Get creative with virtual tools. Can you do something virtually with friends? Maybe a dance session or a workout together?

mother and daughter doing yoga

Self-care for the mind

  • Acknowledge your feelings and allow yourself to feel them. Be honest and don’t feel guilty.
  • Avoid comparing your feelings to others, especially if it’s minimising your own grief.
  • Remind yourself that you’re doing your best in a difficult situation (it helps to lower your expectations initially).
  • Follow a routine to give yourself a sense of comfort and security.
  • Take regular breaks from stressful activities and do something that you love to do.
  • Set clear boundaries with work and school hours and with time spent on social media or watching the news.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself and give yourself permission to bend where you need to.
  • Focus on what you can control such as washing your hands, staying socially distanced from others, and checking in on family members and friends.
  • Take some time to switch off. A walk outside, meditation, yoga, reading or a long bath can really help to give you some you-time.
  • Be present and practice gratitude. Enjoying nature, concentrating on the taste of your food or sitting silently with a coffee or tea in the morning can really help you to reflect on what is most important.
  • Make time for laughter and joy! Laughter improves mood, relieves stress and relaxes the body, so create opportunities to laugh together. Is there a funny film you can watch together?
  • Ask for help when you need it and look for opportunities to help or assist others. Surrounding yourself (even virtually) with positive and supportive people can make a world of difference to your mental wellbeing.

A child painting

Start making time for you

There is no textbook for what we are all going through. There is no right or wrong way to deal with what is happening, and you’re not going to get it right every time. As we all try to figure this out, the best thing that you can do is prioritise your self-care.

Self-care is not selfish or over-indulgent, it’s essential! At the moment, where anxiety and stress are running high, it has never been so important to take time for yourself, so try it. Prioritise yourself, be kind to yourself, and reconnect with the things you love…you’ll soon find that you’ll be a lot stronger to then be there for your children.

 


At Schoolhouse Daycare, we enjoy learning, encouraging confidence and we love life! If you think your child would enjoy life at Schoolhouse, then please do not hesitate to arrange a visit.

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