Tag Archives: children

Preparing for childcare

childcare

It’s in the preparation… preparing for Childcare

Is your child about to start childcare? Babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers, it doesn’t matter the age starting daycare or type of childcare, the first time can be hard on both kids and parents. Preparing for childcare can help you and your little one make a smooth transition.

Preparing for The First Day at Childcare

Are you concerned about how your child will go from being in the attention and care of close family and trusted friends to a room of strangers? Will they adjust from constant cuddles in a familiar environment to a foreign space with unknown carers? The world of parenthood is full of firsts, incredible moments, and unforgettable milestones, all of which are usually accompanied by a flurry of emotions. Each new achievement is both thrilling and daunting, and enrolling your child in daycare for the first time is no exception. At least it hasn’t been with us with a full range of experiences, centers, babysitters and family daycare we have found a few tips that work for us. So here are a few suggestions for making the transition to daycare smoother for both you and your little one.

childcare

Photo credit: @playthedayaway

Transition days and play sessions

This one is all about removing the fear of the unknown. A new environment can be unsettling so slowly introducing your child and building familiarity can be one of the most powerful strategies for preparing for childcare. new environment where your kid does not know the teachers or the surroundings can be daunting. So, take it out of the equation by visiting at least once before their first day, preferably a few days in advance, to keep it fresh in their minds. While you are there try to relax and enjoy it, play with your little one and interact with other children and carers. Your child will be very good at reading your non-verbal cues so make sure they see your enjoying the experience. Furthermore, this visit also gives your child a chance to become familiar with the educators and the environment. Make sure if you are in a larger center that your child’s main educator is there when you do these sessions.  This also gives the educators or caregivers the opportunity to learn about your child and your family to help support your child as they transition.

daycare goodbyes

Preparing for childcare through talking

Communication is key. Imagine if you were dropped off in a foreign place with no idea of what was to happen. The more you talk about things, the more at ease your child will be about daycare. Depending on your child’s age, you should describe all that will happen to them. Talk through routines, what to bring and what will happen during the day. You can play pretend to introduce the concept or show them photos etc. Our local daycare center is next to a park so we started going to play at the park while the children were outside playing. This meant both Freddy and now PJ are able to watch the children playing and they want to be a part of it. In fact PJ has just started asking when will he get to start.

Build a relationship with educators or caregivers.

Before the first day, start building a bond with the teachers/caregivers this can be done through communication with the center. As mentioned transition sessions and play visits give you the opportunity to chat and find out the best means of communication. Many centers welcome you to call during the day to get feedback on how your child is going. This can help to put your mind at ease. Maintain open parent/teacher contact, ask plenty of questions, and express any concerns you might have about your child beginning childcare for the first time. Many carers now also utilise Apps such as Storypark to share your child’s day with you.

Tips for saying goodbye (don’t sneak off)

As enticing as it is to flee, it is important to always say goodbye to your child before leaving and not simply vanish! This sets a pattern for the future. It lets them know you’re going rather than scaring them when they can’t find you. For some children sneaking off can be a break in trust. However, don’t drag out the good bye either. The more confident you are, the more confident your child will be.

Bring something familiar from home.

Finally, allow your child to take their comforter, blanket or teddy to snuggle when they are homesick. It will provide them with a great deal of comfort and help the new environment feel more familiar.

It takes time to build confidence. So be gentle with yourself and flexible with the process. It does get easier!

 

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Toddler Sorting Activities – 5 Quick and Easy Activities to try

toddler sorting activity lego

5 Quick toddler sorting activities to keep your little one busy

Toddler sorting activities give us so many opportunities. As children grow they start to explore and try to make sense of the world. Part of that is trying to organise and control the things around them. Sorting activities allow children to match and categorise objects to show what they know and understand. Identifying colours, shapes and even textures helps children recognise similarities and differences between objects. These early skills form the basis of organisation and reasoning essential to early Maths, Science and Musical understanding.

So enough about the why, lets dive in with 5 Easy toddler sorting activities that don’t require any special equipment… and only take 30 seconds to set up. We use these when PJ is napping so I’m trying to keep the noise down, or while I’m cooking dinner to keep Freddy busy and once I started looking for sorting activities I realised they are everywhere.

1.Sorting cutlery

Cutlery sorting for toddlers

Freddy’s efforts at sorting the party cutlery…

I have a confession. I have a party draw full of all the leftovers from different parties over the years… plates, napkins, disposable cutlery. It’s not environmentally friendly which is why I’m hanging on to them, so I never need to buy again. What it does mean is I have a big mixed bag of different knives, forks, spoons, in a variety of sizes and colours. So, this one was simple to set up… I emptied the bag on to the dining room table so Freddy could see them all and we talked about what we noticed. He could already identify knives, forks and spoons so we started off with sorting to this. Once we had this sorted, we started to divide the spoons into different types etc… All in all this one took about 30 seconds to set up and kept Freddy busy for a long time as he happily chatted about what he saw.

2. Toddler sorting activities: Lego sort

toddler sorting activity lego

Sorting Lego on coloured plates on his alphabet and blue play mat.

I knew all my Ikea plates would come in handy. All those colours have so much potential. Another 30 second set up with no prep or organisation needed. I handed Freddy his box of lego and surrounded him with the plates. We then looked at what colours the plates came in. I asked him to find one piece of lego to match each plate. Once I saw he could do this I left him to it.  When I came back, I noticed when it came to the people he has a little more challenged. Some he sorted by hair colour and others by shirt colour. It came down to what stood out most with each piece, so consistency is now something we are talking about. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of this earlier. It’s the perfect toddler sorting activity to get you started.

 

3. Sorting  mixed vegetables – Carrot, corn and peas.

This one came up when I was late to serve dinner. I could tell Freddy was getting restless and hungry so I gave him his Vegies in a bowl and handed him Orange, Yellow and Green cups – again, thank you Ikea… We talked about the lego sorting we had done a few days earlier and he cottoned on how to sort them very quickly and was very keen to eat his handywork at the end.

 

4. Toddler Sorting Activities: a deck of cards (either by colour or suit)

Toddler sorting activity deck of cards

Freddy was pumped after he sorted out the cards on his round road and grey play mat.

For this one all you need is a set of cards. It doesn’t even have to be a full deck so the old one with cards missing is perfect. I sat with Freddy and looked at the cards and talked about them first as this was the first time he had seen them. Then we talked about what they had in common. Initially we sorted them in to Red and Black. Then we looked closely and noticed there was two shapes for red : Heart and Diamond. Also Club and Spades in black. Freddy then sorted these out. I also removed the K,Q, J cards from the deck as well because the images all had both black and red. Though, next time I’ll probably leave them in to see what he does with them.

5. Food sort…. fruit loops.

I haven’t tried this one yet with the fruit loops but I’m planning to give it a go this weekend after we do the weekly grocery shop. Instead I was inspired by a post  I saw on Pinterest. Not only can you sort by colour but also thread them on to a pipe cleaner. Sorting and motor control skills in one. Winning!! A more simplified version of this could also be done with other foods like mixed dried lentils, coloured dry pasta if you have it, or even just mixed varieties of pasta. Any little leftover dried foods you have sitting in your pantry can be all put into a container to become a sorting activity.

So there you have it, here are 5 easy sorting activities that require no prep or organisation to help you keep your toddler entertained.

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Read more

Preparing for childcare

It’s in the preparation… preparing for Childcare Is your child about to start childcare? Babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers, it doesn’t matter the age starting daycare or type of childcare, the first time can be hard on both kids and parents. Preparing for childcare can help you and your little one make a smooth transition. Preparing […]

Read more