8 Healthy Foods for a Growing Child

With winter setting in and flu season upon us, it’s time to start thinking about supporting our immune systems. We all know that a healthy, balanced diet can help boost our families immunity, but what about our youngest? To shine some light during these dark days, we’ve outlined our favourite healthy foods for children this winter.

Berries

Berries like strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are rich in vitamins and minerals.

Packed full of antioxidants and vitamin C, they help protect your child’s immune system and maintain their healthy cells. Despite being out of season, you can still buy frozen summer berries or switch them out for their seasonal alternative – cranberries!

Pair your berries with a warm bowl of porridge or some refreshing yoghurt for a sweet recipe. Alternatively – tis’ the season for turkey and cranberry sauce.

berries

Eggs

Eggs are a terrific form of protein and one of the richest sources of choline. What is choline, you ask? It helps to support brain function and development.

Thankfully, eggs fit into almost any meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner). Whether you serve them with toast, cook them in an omelette, or make some custard for a treat – eggs are an easy but effective form of protein.

Milk

Whenever you think of healthy foods for children, this one is always top of the list. Milk is rich in calcium which helps support bone development and protects your child’s teeth. Whole milk is considered more beneficial for young children, but semi-skimmed also works.

Serve it warm in these cold winter months for a warming evening drink.

milk

Wholegrain foods

Wholegrain foods are some of the best healthy foods for children to eat, simply because they are so easy to incorporate into your diet. They include things like brown bread, rice and pasta, and are a fantastic source of fibre, which helps support your child’s digestive system.

Try swapping out your white bread for packed lunches and bulking out your winter soups with some wholegrain rice.

Fruits and vegetables

This may seem obvious, but they are essential for a reason. Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals (including vitamin C and potassium). They are also a good source of fibre and help to support your child’s gut health. Fresh or frozen, in any shape, size or colour, do your best to incorporate as many fruits and vegetables into your child’s diet as you can. But the question (like with all healthy foods for children) is how do you get them to eat their fruit and vegetables?

Our tip is to play to your strengths – if there is a particular fruit or vegetable they can’t get enough of, focus on that. Otherwise, try and work them into your meals as best you can. Add some extra vegetables into your turkey stew, hide them in a bolognese sauce or switch out your usual mash for sweet potato mash instead.

a boy reaching for strawberries to represent healthy foods for children

Meat and fish

Packed full of protein, meat and fish are staple ingredients in most diets – red meat provides a great source of iron, whilst oily fish are full of Omega 3s. Not only do they help keep your kids stay fuller for longer, but they also support healthy muscle growth.

There are so many ways to include meat and fish in your diet, so we recommend incorporating them into your families favourites meals.

Beans

Maybe you’re searching for healthy foods for children that are both high in protein and vegetarian friendly? If so, look no further – beans are a fantastic alternative to meat. They also contain lots of vitamins and minerals and are an additional source of fibre.

Why not swap out your mincemeat for a three-bean chilli this winter? Or if that’s too adventurous for your children, crack out your traditional baked beans – they are a classic for a reason.

a chilli

Cheese

As another fantastic source of calcium, cheese also provides your children with additional protein and vitamin D to further support their bone growth. However, younger children should avoid mould-ripened cheeses. Instead, stick to things like a mild cheddar or cream cheese.

Serve it in cubes or strings or as a topping for toast, pasta or pizza!

 

So there you have it! Our 8 favourite healthy foods for children! Remember, it’s all about balance, so don’t worry about cramming every ingredient into each meal. Just make adjustments (where possible), and you can rest assured, knowing your family will be satisfied and supported this winter.

 


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:

 

The Big Benefits of Outside Play for Nursery Children

Over the past year, we’ve learnt a lot about the benefits of fresh air and exercise. But do these benefits extend to our children? The short answer? Yes – and in more ways than one! So grab your coats because it’s time to explore the many (many) benefits of outside play!

1. Improved physical health

We all want our children to be as fit and healthy as possible (especially given the current circumstances). But did you know outside play not only helps to keep our children safe but also promotes better health and immunity? That’s right! There are a whole host of health benefits to be gained from playing outdoors, some of which include:

  • Greater fitness and stamina
  • Improved motor skills (i.e. walking, running, climbing, jumping)
  • Better calcium absorption and stronger bones
  • Regulated sleeping patterns
  • Muscles development and strength
  • Improved coordination
  • Stronger immunity

By simply getting your children out into nature, they’re able to explore and play whilst also reaping all the rewards of being outdoors. So long as they’re dressed appropriately for the weather, there’s fun to be had all year round!

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

2. Better communication skills

Yes, believe it or not, playing outdoors can really help develop your child’s social skills! Why? Because unlike in a classroom, outside play doesn’t follow any set rules or structures – it’s the children who are in control. This means they get to decide what games to play, which far-off worlds to travel to or which secret hideouts to build. As a result, they have to learn to listen to one another, communicate their ideas and work together to achieve their goals.

But the benefits don’t stop there! Being outdoors can also help to improve your child’s language skills. By placing them in a new, stimulating environment, you’re encouraging them to learn new words and phrases. How? By simply narrating their sensory experience (the texture of the leaves, the sound of birdsong), your child can absorb new words relative to their environment.

 

3. Supports emotional well-being

You may be wondering if it’s even possible for outside play to impact your child’s emotional well-being. But the truth is, there are several emotional benefits to playing outdoors. Some of which include:

  • Improved confidence. Whether it’s mastering climbing frames or learning to skip, the new skills your child develops from the independent play will help to boost their self-esteem.
  • Understanding empathy. Children become more aware of each other’s feelings when playing in a group. As they grow to understand these emotions, they can learn to empathise with one another and, in turn, start resolving conflicts.
  • Greater independence. There are very few things nursery children can do independently, so giving them the freedom to play outdoors affords them some well-needed autonomy and control.

outside play4. Promotes creativity

No need for toys or TV – outside play allows your child’s imagination to take the wheel. Not only is this a welcome break from screentime, but it also improves your child’s creativity. With an active imagination, your child can enjoy playing independently, increasing their overall happiness and reducing boredom.

Outdoor play is also a great way for children to process their emotions and express their feelings (usually through imaginary characters and scenarios). And if that weren’t enough, children with active imaginations are usually better problem solvers! Because of their vivid imaginations, creative children can visualise several different solutions to any single problem – a skill they will appreciate later in life.

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

It’s clear to see that outside play is hugely beneficial to our children’s health and development. Both mentally and physically, nature has a lot to offer our children – and unlike their greens, they’ll welcome these health benefits with open arms. So while they’re outside playing and having fun, you can rest assured knowing their bodies and minds are benefitting too.

 


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:

How Much Do Children Really Need From Santa? The Benefits of Having Less

We all want to treat our children at Christmas. But each year, it’s becoming more and more difficult to know where to draw the line. Between the pressure of keeping up with the Jones’ and teaching our children the value of money, we find ourselves reeling at the question – how much do children need from Santa? To help you debunk this Christmas conundrum, we will explore the benefits of giving fewer gifts to ensure that this festive season is full of gratitude (not greed).

What are the benefits of having fewer toys?

We’ve all heard the saying less is more. But for some reason, we’re told this rule doesn’t apply at Christmas. Thankfully, we’re about to change that. There is a long list of benefits to buying your child less at Christmas – allow us to explain. Fewer toys:

– Increase your child’s attention span

– Promote creativity and imagination

– Teach children the value of money

– Encourage children to spend more time reading/writing

– Make children more appreciative of the gifts they receive

– Encourage children to spend more time playing with others

By buying fewer gifts this year, not only will you be supporting your child’s development, but you will also be teaching them fundamental life lessons about the value of presents and the importance of gratitude.

children by a christmas tree

So, if less is more, how many gifts are too many gifts?

There is no exact number to suit every family – each child has different wants and needs, much like each family has a different budget. However, studies undergone by child psychologists suggest that the perfect balance lies somewhere between 3-5 toys.

In a study that gave children either 4 or 16 toys to play with, the children who played with four toys had greater concentration and played for much longer. Why? Because too many toys can quickly become overwhelming for our children. They end up spending more time flitting between toys than actually playing – which (when you think about it) sounds a lot like what we adults do when deciding what to watch on tv. In short, more choice isn’t always better.

So, if less is more – what gifts should take the top spot on your shopping list? We suggest using the ‘rule of 4’ to ensure you cover all of your bases. Try to get a gift they:

  1. Want
  2. Need
  3. To Wear
  4. To read

This way, your child will still receive a variety of presents (both fun and practical) without the added excess! So, if you’re still wondering ‘how much do children need from Santa?’ – we think that four gifts is the best answer.

christmas presents to represent how much do children need from Santa

How to keep the festive cheer with fewer toys this year

Downsizing at Christmas can be an adjustment, especially if your children have gotten used to receiving a lot of presents. Luckily, we have some tips to ensure that you and your children still enjoy the festivities despite having fewer presents this year.

  1. Start by explaining that Christmas will be slightly different this year. Your children need to understand that gifts aren’t a measure of love. Although some families might have more gifts than your own, it doesn’t mean they are loved any less.
  2. Once you’ve managed their expectations about how many gifts they will receive, you can then get excited about all the different ways you will be able to celebrate Christmas this year. Because you’re spending less money on gifts, you can now put that money towards making memories. There are so many activities you can get involved in – from ice skating and baking to visiting Christmas markets! Whatever it is, making memories and starting Christmas traditions will be far more memorable than any old toy!
  3. Make some donations to charity. Whether it’s money, toys or clothes – Christmas is the season of giving, so get your children involved. You can also take this opportunity to explain to your children that some families can’t afford luxuries like gifts at Christmas. This way, if you ask them ‘how much do children need from Santa?’ – they can answer by having a greater perspective and appreciation for those less fortunate than themselves.

a child playing at christmas

If, at any point, you find yourself wondering ‘exactly how much do children need from Santa?’ – we invite you to revisit this article. Christmas isn’t about how much you can spend – it’s about spending time with your children, showing your appreciation for one another and teaching them to be grateful for what they already have.

 


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:

Why You Should Use Kindness Elves This Christmas (Instead of the Elf on The Shelf)

With Christmas fast approaching, it won’t be long before a certain elf comes to stay for their annual visit. Each day in December, they bring magic and mischief to our homes – causing chaos all in the name of Christmas spirit. Yet, have you ever wondered what it would be like if they were nicer? This year we invite you to find out! We’ve switched out our Elf on the Shelf and are ready to share all of our secrets about why you should use kindness elves this Christmas.

What are the benefits of using kindness elves?

There are many reasons why you should use kindness elves this Christmas. They encourage good behaviour, promote helping others and set a positive example for your children. But the real magic lies in the lessons they teach us.

You see, despite our best intentions, telling our children that Santa won’t come if they’re naughty puts all of the focus on their negative behaviour. Instead, kindness elves teach us to focus on the positives.

By encouraging acts of kindness and rewarding selfless behaviour, kindness elves teach our children how good it feels to be generous! They also understand that we slip up every once in a while – they’re not here to judge our mistakes or report us to Santa. This removes any pressure or shame our children may feel during the run-up to Christmas.

At the heart of it, kindness elves teach our children that gifts aren’t something to be earned or bargained for – they are a token of someone’s love and appreciation.

an elf

How should you use your elves to encourage kindness?

Since your elves won’t be getting up to their usual mischief this year, it’s a good idea to re-introduce them to your children. Kindness elves often like to introduce themselves with a letter. This way, they can explain why they’ve come to stay and what your children can expect during their visit.

Kindness elves like to spread Christmas cheer with kind gestures. During their stay, they will leave notes and ideas for fun and thoughtful activities for your children. On some days, they will even leave special treats to reward good behaviour! You will still find them hiding around the house (bathing in the kitchen sink or climbing into your mixing bowl), but this year it will be to encourage acts of kindness – like doing the washing up or baking for a neighbour.

25 days of kindness

If your elves need some inspiration, we’ve come up with 25 ideas to help you spread some kindness this Christmas.

  1. Smile at a stranger
  2. Make someone else’s bed (as well as your own)
  3. Give someone a hug
  4. List 3 things you’re grateful for
  5. Bake for a neighbour
  6. Write someone a Christmas card
  7. Donate old toys/clothes to charity
  8. Do the washing up
  9. Visit a relative
  10. Help carry the shopping
  11. Pay someone a compliment
  12. Draw your friend a picture
  13. Tell a family member you love them
  14. Help cook the dinner
  15. Write down your favourite things about your parents/siblings
  16. Hold the door open for someone
  17. Call a Grandparent
  18. Pick up some litter
  19. Leave a kind note for a friend or family member
  20. Tidy your room
  21. Give someone a high five
  22. Help wrap up some Christmas presents
  23. Invite someone new to play with you
  24. Donate some food to your local food bank
  25. Write a thank you letter to Santa

children by a christmas tree

If you’re still wondering why you should use kindness elves this Christmas, we ask you this – what better way is there to spend the festive season than making a habit out of helping others? We hope we’ve inspired you to reinvent your Elf on the Shelf and to spread some extra kindness this Christmas season.

 


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:

How to Keep Your Children as Healthy as Possible at Nursery

Before starting nursery, it’s unlikely your child will have been exposed to many different germs. So, when placed in a new environment with lots of other children, it’s almost inevitable they will catch something. (Perhaps not the answer you expected when researching how to keep your children healthy). However, exposure to new germs is essential when developing a strong and healthy immune system! Think of it this way – no infection, no immunity.

So, the question is how to keep your children healthy (or as healthy as possible) when it’s likely they’ll be exposed to some sort of bug/virus/infection? To help you support your child (and their immune system), we’ve outlined what you should expect from ‘daycare diseases’, why early exposure can benefit your child in the long run and what steps you can take to help keep your children healthy.

What to expect

Within their first few months of nursery, most children will catch (at least) a couple of infections. While unpleasant, this shouldn’t be cause for panic. As the saying goes – ‘it’s better the devil you know.’

The most common illnesses you should look out for are:

  • Colds, ear infections and other upper respiratory infections
  • Mild fevers
  • Sickness and diarrhoea (gastroenteritis)
  • Hand, foot and mouth disease

the benefits of nursery

But why does this happen?

The reason so many children fall sick at nursery is because they have an immature immune system. This just means they haven’t been exposed to many different germs yet. Despite nursery staff’s best efforts, children will inevitably share toys, get dirty and continue putting their hands in their mouths. So when faced with new, contagious illnesses, their immune systems are bound to have a shock.

Shouldn’t I just keep my child at home?

Whilst this may seem like the logical solution, in reality, it’s only delaying the inevitable. We can’t protect our children from germs forever, so it’s only a matter of when. By tackling this phase now, your children can begin developing their immune systems in preparation for school. In comparison, children who don’t attend nursery are usually far more sickly in their early school years.

toddler reading a book

How to keep your children healthy

Unfortunately, we can’t prevent every virus, bug and infection – it just isn’t realistic. However, there are some healthy habits you can adopt to help support your child’s immune system.

1. Encourage handwashing

We’ve heard a lot about handwashing over the past year – and rightly so. Encouraging your child to wash their hands regularly will significantly reduce their risk of contamination. Promote handwashing before meals, after being outside or in a public place and, of course, after using the toilet.

 2. Maintain a healthy, balanced diet

Good nutrition is a simple but effective way to support your child’s immune system. Having a varied diet full of vitamins and minerals, paired with the essential macro-nutrients (proteins, carbs and fats), will ensure your child’s immune system is working at its best.

A little girl looking into a bowl with fruit in it

3. Discourage thumb-sucking

Breaking a habit is hard – it’s even harder for our children. But when it comes to thumb-sucking, it’s necessary. Sucking thumbs and sharing toys provides a golden ticket opportunity for bugs and viruses.

4. Change after nursery

Changing your child’s clothes after nursery, particularly during cold and flu season, is a simple way to prevent spreading the virus in your home.

5. Stay up to date with their vaccinations

Vaccinations won’t prevent common viruses, but they will protect your children from more severe illnesses like pneumonia and meningitis. With flu season coming up, now’s the time to book in for your yearly boosters.

Although they won’t stop your child from getting sick altogether, these steps can help reduce their risk of contamination.

Two teddy bears acting as a doctor and patient

Despite our best efforts, our children will fall ill at some point or other – and that’s okay! Getting sick is an essential part of developing a strong and healthy immune system. Just be patient, implement these tips wherever you can and know that, like all storms, this too shall pass.

 


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:

 

Potty Training Regression: How To Work Through It

After working so hard to potty train your child, it’s natural to feel disheartened when they start having regular accidents again. However, this doesn’t mean you should resort back to nappies. Potty training regression is usually the symptom of a problem – find the problem, and you’ll find the solution.

What causes potty training regression?

There are a few different reasons why your child may be regressing. Thankfully, they are all easily remedied. To help you identify what is causing your child’s accidents, we’ve outlined the most common causes of potty training regression.

Distractions

We’re all guilty of getting distracted once in a while – the same goes for our children. Whether they’re busy playing with their friends or unwinding with some tv time, it’s not uncommon for them to simply ignore the urge to go.

Stress

Potty training regression can be a tell-tale sign that your child is feeling stressed – and a sudden change in routine is often the culprit. For example, many children start having accidents when they first start school. It’s important to realise that more often than not, these accidents are a cry for attention.

Health problems

It’s always a good idea to rule out any potential medical concerns when your child is experiencing a regression. Issues like constipation and UTI’s can cause your child pain or discomfort, which can have them avoiding the potty altogether.

crying baby

How can you help your child get back on track?

Once you’ve found the problem, you can begin looking for a solution. Luckily we have plenty of suggestions to help you speed up the process.

Find the cause

There are a few reasons why you could be facing a potty training regression – so the quicker you identify the problem, the sooner you can find a solution. Try taking note of when your child is having accidents. Is there a common theme? Has their routine changed recently? Could they be stressed, or are they just distracted? Use these questions to help with your process of elimination.

Don’t punish them

Accidents are exactly that – accidents. Showing your disappointment will only make your child feel worse, so do your best to remain non-judgemental. Although it can be frustrating, punishing your child will only increase their anxiety around using the potty.

Use positive reinforcement

Regressions are natural and very common – so don’t panic! Instead, try using positive reinforcement to encourage your child to get back on track. You could create a reward system with stickers and treats or congratulate your child with hugs and applause. However you reward your child, remember, staying positive is crucial.

A baby sitting on the potty

Create a routine

Having a regular bathroom routine can help your child work through their regression. This way, you can avoid accidents by simply reminding your child about using the potty. Encourage them to use the potty:

  • First thing in the morning
  • Last thing at night
  • Before every mealtime
  • Before leaving the house

It’s also helpful to ask teachers and other caregivers to take your child to the bathroom every few hours. With enough regular reminders, your child should be back on track in no time.

Consult your doctor

If you have any concerns about your child’s regression, it’s important to have them checked over by a doctor. Whether your child is suffering from constipation, a UTI, or another underlying health issue, they will be able to identify and treat the problem accordingly. If not, you have some peace of mind their regression isn’t a medical concern.

nappies to represent the best potty training books

We understand the frustration you can feel when faced with another regression. But remember – with a positive attitude, some patience (and the help of these tips), your child will be dry again in no time!

 


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:

The 6 Best Potty Training Books (For Parents and Toddlers)

Potty training can be a stressful experience. So to help you rise to the challenge, we’ve put together the 6 best potty training books for both parents and toddlers. With a mixture of storybooks and how-to guides, you and your toddler will have the tools and confidence to take on potty training together.

Oh Crap! Potty Training

The book, written by Jamie Glowacki, is a light-hearted step-by-step guide to potty training. With six steps from ‘when to start’ through to ‘ditching the diapers’, this book combines Jamie’s expert knowledge with her wicked sense of humour. It’s also chock full of real-life scenarios and covers almost every problem you could possibly face before pairing it with a solution. This book gives you all the tools you need to succeed with the bonus of some genuine comedy, making it one of the best potty training books for parents.

On My Potty

A great picture book for your youngest children, ‘On My Potty’ is one of the best potty training books for toddlers who aren’t reading yet. This colourful cartoon follows a toddler as they figure out if and how they should use their potty. With a little dialogue and a lot of fun illustrations, this book shows that learning to use the potty can take time but it’s worth the wait. With the final pages full of smiling faces, colourful stars and cheering families, it really celebrates the success of learning to use the potty.

Potty Training in 3 Days

A baby sitting on the potty to represent the best potty training books

This book is essentially a crash course in potty training! With five steps and lots of helpful instructions, author Brandi Brucks guides you through the entire process. She also includes real-life case studies and helps you understand the potty training experience from your child’s point of view.

However, like with any crash course, it is intense. This approach asks you to read the book in advance before setting aside three days to stay home and focus solely on potty training. With winter on the way and lots of us still staying safe at home, this fast and furious approach could be the one for you!

Everyone Poos

This book explores (in the simplest terms) why everyone poos. As we meet lots of different animals and explore their different toilet habits, this book is great for children who are nervous or embarrassed about using the potty. Plus, the drawings are funny, engaging and somewhat accurate. Although aimed at children, there are plenty of adults that will find this one amusing too.

Stress-Free Potty Training

Written by two neuropsychologists, this book focuses on finding the best potty training approach for your child. For example, the book begins with a short quiz to help you identify your child’s personality type. Once you know which of the five categories your child fits into, you can then read the chapter that’s best suited to their needs. This personalised approach doesn’t sell you quick fixes or guaranteed tricks – instead, it teaches you how to best understand how your child learns. By ditching the one-size-fits-all approach and replacing it with expert scientific advice, this book has become one of the best potty training books on offer.

Pip and Posy: The Little Puddle

This is a lovely book for slightly older readers. This story explains that even after you’re potty trained, accidents can still happen – and that’s okay! This wholesome story reminds children that there’s no need to be embarrassed or upset if they have an accident and that it’s all part of the process.

a little boy holding his mother's face to represent the best potty training books

We hope these recommendations can help you find the books best suited to you and your toddler. Whether you stumble upon some amazing advice or just an enjoyable story, the goal is to make the potty training journey as stress-free as possible. Remember, be patient with yourself and your child – you will get there!


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:

12 Fun Learning Activities Your Kids Can Do at Home

Creating learning activities at home is a great way to support your child’s education – and it’s fun! All it takes is a few household items and a bit of inspiration. To help you with the latter, here are 12 fun learning activities your kids can do at home:

Practise writing

Practising writing can be much more exciting if you ditch the pens and paper. Try writing in chalk on the pavement or with your finger in some shaving foam. It’s both entertaining and educational.

Craft stick calculations

Line up your sticks to teach your toddlers about tallying or write out some sums to help them with their mental maths. From finding the missing digit in the number line to pairing the answer to the equation – the options are endless, so get creative with your craft stick calculations.

The science of sinking

Basic science experiments are always a hit with children! Try dropping different objects into a bucket of water to see whether they sink or float. You’ll have plenty of fun and gain a brief insight into the science of density.

a toy boat to represent learning at home

Make some music

You don’t have to be a musician to teach your child about music – you just need a few household items and some creativity. Make your own instruments with anything from empty bottles, beans and rice to paper plates and bells. They’ll learn all about counting, rhythm and timing.

Storytime

Learning activities at home gives you the freedom to adapt regular activities, like reading, into something more fun and engaging. If your child can’t read yet, why not invite them to narrate a picture book? Or how about acting out one of their favourite stories?

Counting crafts

Why not mix up your maths lesson with some arts and crafts. Start by cutting out some flowers and counting the petals. From there, you can challenge your children to add a certain number of petals to a stem or even cut the flower into fractions. If flowers aren’t your thing, try anything from caterpillars to dried pasta.

pasta falling out of a jar

Magic milk

Add drops of food colouring into a bowl of milk before pouring soap into the centre of the dish. The soap will cause the food colouring to dart around the bowl, leaving you with an exciting display of colours and an introduction to the science of molecules and surface tension.

Explore world cultures

Learning activities at home allows you to explore beyond the curriculum. Exploring other cultures through food, film and crafts is an amazing way to expand your child’s cultural awareness.

Colour coordination

Be it a bag of pom-poms, some colourful clothes pegs or a collection of their toys – inviting your child to start sorting objects into matching colours is a great way to teach them about colour. Using smaller objects like buttons or pasta shells will also help hone their fine motor skills.

lots of colourful stars

Match the meaning

Expand your child’s vocabulary by inviting them to pair up new words with their definitions. Write out a selection of words and definitions onto cue cards and let them have it! For your younger children, you can always colour coordinate or include helpful clues.

Gardening galore

The benefit of learning activities at home is that you’re not limited to the classroom. Get outside and start planting some flowers and vegetables – your children will learn all about nature, science and even nutrition.

Sorting shapes

This can be as simple as pairing 2D shapes or as exciting as scavaging for 3D objects. Identifying familiar shapes in your family home can be a fun and easy way of introducing your child to basic geometry.

a little girl playing with two building blocks to represent learning at home

So there we have it – 12 learning activities your kids can do at home. Why not give them a try? You’ll have hours of fun and you may even discover your child has a way with words or a knack for numbers!

 


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:

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: