Potty trianing is a HUGE milestone in any child's life and here at Mucky Pups we always have someone reaching that milestone.
Here are some top tips to help you at home with it all from ERIC....
Top 10 potty training tips for successful toileting:
One of our GOLDEN rules is having "Kind Hands" and in Mucky Pups we teach the children that being kind to others is very important.
This year Eddie the Elf has been sent to keep us compnay while it is Advent. He is VERY kind and he is watching for us to be kind at nusery.
Here are some ideas you can try at home;
It's nursery rhyme week here at Mucky Pups.
We LOVE to sing songs and rhymes at Mucky Pups and during the day you will alsways find someone singing a rhyme or song somwehere in the setting. It can be inside outside, on your own or with a group. We don't mind where we just know we LOVE them and they teach us so much..
Every year we sign up to become involved with National Nursery Rhyme week to help raise awareness of why we teach rhymes to our children and to learn some the traditional rhymes we know and love so much from our own childhood If you're interested in finding out more then have a look at the website here.
Why teach Nursery Rhymes?
You may have seen our facebook post here that reminded us all that children who know EIGHT or MORE rhymes by the time they are four are usually the children who are the ones who do best at reading and spelling in their class by the age of 8! .Not only will you give them a head start with their literacy, language and communication development but you’ll be giving their fine and gross motor skills a workout too – all through activities that are fun for everyone, filling a very special place in your little one’s heart.
So if that isn't reason enough to sing at every opportunity you can I don't know what is but here are 10 more reasons why...
1. Nursery rhymes are easy to repeat so become part of your child’s first sentences.
When we sing or say nursery rhymes we tend to speak more slowly and clearly so children learn how the words are formed. This is great, because it makes it easier little ones to join in.
2. Nursery rhymes help children practice pitch, volume and the rhythm of language.
Music and rhymes help little ones learn a steady beat which helps with language and reading development. Joining in with clapping and actions, like baby signing, can help this development.
3. Nursery rhymes are a great way to develop early phonic skills.
Through hearing and repeating nursery rhymes children have the opportunity to hear, identify and manipulate letter sounds.
4. Nursery rhymes expand children’s imagination.
Nursery Rhymes often tell a story and create imagery. Children can imagine a world where vinegar and brown paper are a remedy for a head injury!
5. Nursery rhymes follow a clear sequence of events.
They often tell a story and contain a beginning, middle, and end.
“Exposure to music accelerates the brain development of young children in the areas responsible for language development, sound, reading skill and speech perception”
Brain and Creativity Institute
6. Nursery rhymes teach early maths skills.
Many contain numbers, counting, colours, and other maths vocabulary such as weight and size.
7. Nursery rhymes improve vocabulary.
Children hear and use new words that they wouldn’t come across in everyday language, for example, in Jack and Jill they ‘fetch’ a ‘pail’ of water.
8. Nursery rhymes provide examples of literacy devices.
They use alliteration such as ‘Goosey, Goosey Gander’, onomatopoeia in ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’, and rhyme.
9. Nursery rhymes teach emotions.
The characters in the rhymes experience a range of emotions, which can help little ones to understand and identify their own emotions and those of others.
10. Nursery rhymes are fun! And transportable!
Nursery rhymes are great way to spend time with your little one and they don’t require any equipment.
Little ones love the sound of your voice over any other (they’re not bothered if you’re not a great singer).
Often nursery rhymes are funny – some make little sense, others have unexpected endings. And if you forget the words or are feeling creative you can make up some of your own versions!
We also use signs and gestures to help children preduict what is coming next, to join in even if they can't speak yet or if English is their second language. Some of your children may be able to teach you the signs we use but if not have a look at "The Singing Hnads" youtube channel below to learn alongside your child.
Have a look at our news and evnets page and facebook for more about our learning in Mucky Pups during this week.
It's been Road Safety Week here at Mucky Pups and we have been learning all about keeping safe on the roads. Here's a video from the bbc to watch to remind everyone what to do.
To Stop, Look, Listen.
To hold hands while we are near the road.
To ALWAYS use our car seats
To find a zebra crossing
To know what the colours of the traffic lights mean.
Have a look at our News and Events page for more details of what we did. here
Early Communication and Language is a PRIME area and one that is the foundation for all learning.
Getting it right at an early age is VITAL for our children to be able to function in society and learn as they move on to school. It is the foundation for reading, writing and understanding ALL the other subjects that are taught and our children have to learn and so it is central to EVERYTHING we do here at Mucky Pups.
Here are 10 key facts about Speech and Language development put together by the NDNA to get us all thinking about our children's speech development
Our day is full of social times where we can talk to each other at snack, lunch, hello time, floorbook time and while we play with our friends. Someone is always ready to listen too!
During this time of learning from home very often the government along with the Literacy trust have introduced a whole set of activities for you at home to give you ideas on how to develop your child's speech whilst doing everyday activities. It's called Chat, Play, Read! There are some great ideas to help you here
It's healthy eating week
Healthy Eating is SO important for our little people here!
We're big advocates of healthy eating at Mucky Pups and offer a healthy snack for your children twice a day. A good snack given at appropriate times throughout the day alongside a healthy lunch can improve behaviour, concentration and learning while your child is with us.
We have breakfast every day at 9.30am; we have porridge and/or cereals with a choice of fruits and again at 3.00 with a carbohydrate and a either, cheese, humous, ham Have a look at our snack menu here
We also enjoy our lunch altogether with our friends. We make it a very social affair where we sit round the table, encourage everyone to try the different fruits and vegetables
A healthy lunch makes all the difference too.
We don't provide a lunch for you all here so we ask that you provide a lunch for your child each day . It can sometimes be hard to think of ideas for a healthy lunch so why not have a look at:
"The Change for Life " website which has lots of great ideas to try.
Healthy Lunch Boxes
Here are some tips from the Change for Life for you to base your lunches a round;
Keep them fuller for longerBase the lunchbox on foods like bread, rice, pasta and potatoes. Choose wholegrain where you can.
Mix your slicesIf your child doesn't like wholegrain, try making a sandwich from one slice of white bread and one slice of wholemeal/brown bread.
Freeze your breadKeep a small selection of bread in the freezer. Make lunchboxes more interesting by using different shapes, like bagels, pittas and wraps, and different types of bread, such as granary, wholemeal and multi-grain.
DIY lunchesWraps and pots of fillings can be more exciting for kids when they get to put them together. Dipping foods are also fun and make a change from a sandwich each day.
Less spreadCut down on the spread used and try to avoid using mayonnaise in sandwiches.
Cut back on fatPick lower fat sandwich fillings, such as lean meats (including chicken or turkey), fish (such as tuna or salmon), reduced-fat cream cheese, and reduced-fat hard cheese.
Ever greenAlways add salad to sandwiches – it all counts towards your child's 5 A DAY.
Always add vegCherry tomatoes, or sticks of carrot, cucumber, celery and peppers all count towards their 5 A DAY. Adding a small pot of reduced-fat hummus or other dips may help with getting kids to eat vegetables.
Cut down on crispsIf your child really likes their crisps try reducing the number of times you include them in their lunchbox and swap for homemade plain popcorn or plain rice cakes instead.
Add bite-size fruitTry chopped apple, peeled satsuma segments, strawberries, blueberries, halved grapes or melon slices to make it easier for them to eat. Add a squeeze of lemon juice to stop it from going brown.
Tinned fruit countsA small pot of tinned fruit in juice – not syrup – is perfect for their lunchbox and is easily stored in the cupboard.
Swap the fruit barsDried fruit such as raisins, sultanas and dried apricots are not only cheaper than processed fruit bars and snacks but can be healthier too. Remember to keep dried fruit to mealtimes as it can be bad for your child's teeth.
Watch the teeth!Dried fruit counts towards your 5 A Day, but can stick to teeth so should only be eaten at mealtimes to reduce the risk of tooth decay.
Swap the sweetsSwap cakes, chocolate, cereal bars and biscuits for malt loaf, fruited teacakes, fruit breads or fruit (fresh, dried or tinned – in juice not syrup).
Go low fat and lower sugarGo for low-fat and lower sugar yoghurt or fromage frais and add your own fruit.
Check your cheeseCheese can be high in fat and salt so choose stronger-tasting ones – and use less of it – or try reduced-fat varieties of cheese.
Get them involvedGet your kids involved in preparing and choosing what goes in their lunchbox. They are more likely to eat it if they helped make it.
Variety is the spice of lunchboxes!Be adventurous and get creative to mix up what
Ways to encourage healthy eating at home
You could take your child food shopping with you and make it into an interactive educational experience.
Ask your child to make a list of all the healthy snacks they would like to eat and then go around the shop and discuss which items on the list are healthy and which are treats, explaining alternatives and better option will help build good food habits.
If your child doesn’t enjoy eating fruits or vegetables, don’t give up. Child’s tastes do change with age, so never assume your child dislikes a particular fruit or vegetable on the first try. Lead by example and follow healthy eating habits as a family together, and your child may eventually follow your lead. Child’s tastes do change with age, so never assume your child dislikes a particular fruit or vegetable on the first try. This is also an important time for your child’s taste bud development, highlighting the need for healthy foods during this time of their life.
EAT WELL guide for the NHS has great tips to help you see if you are getting it right!
Technology is with all of us and in our lives for good.
We use it here all the time; to write this BLOG, update our website, to keep in touch with you through emails, Facebook, Twitter and even your child's learning journey is online. And in an ever changing world where technology rules the world there is always some kind technology for us to use as part of our learning and entertainment but screen time is not always the best thing for our children's little brains and should only be a small part of their daily life.
We don't believe in NO technology but that we should use it for the children in real life situations and when we need it rather than the bulk of their learning time. This will happen soon enough as they move to big school and secondary school.
There are many, many benefits to consoles, televisions and the technology we use to make our lives easier but our children are often only a passive participant in this activity and it sometimes requires no thinking at all on their part and thinking is sooo important to learning and success at school.
Technology here at Mucky Pups is not just screens, computers and ICT but all sorts of toys and objects that teach the children that there is a cause an effect.
We include things like; weighing scales, pull and push toys, magnifying glasses, lift the flap books, buttons that make a noise on books, CD players, pasta machines, torches, lamps and lights that they can turn on and off themselves and make shadows.
We use technology for our cooking and baking; slow cookers, electric mixers, blenders for smoothies and even the oven or microwave. We have a light table, a changing light, an Alexa, Kindles and a laptop for us to use sometimes.
Let's make it our mission to make technology just a part of our children's lives and not all consuming! Especially while we have the chance to do so....it gets so much more of a challenge when they get older!
Children are inherently curious and this is how they learn; watching, thinking, exploring, asking questions and finding out for themselves. We are all born curious.
The world is an endless source of wonder to your child – Where does the sun disappear at night? Why are some oceans blue, and some green? How do bridges bear so much weight? Where are the clouds going? Why is it raining? What happens to the sun at night are a few of the questions I have been asked by the Dalmatians this week when I've been outside with them!
Here at Mucky Pups we believe that the best way to encourage children to learn is to offer real, cosy and homely environments with real objects that inspire that sense of curiosity. This curiosity inspires the children to find out more, explore more, try out their thinking more and question more.
If children are engaged with their environment then the learning comes naturally and from the children. Just think about how much they have with a cardboard box rather than the toy or present inside. A cardboard box can be anything! A pirate ship, a house, a cave, a den, a car, a train even a castle. It can be whatever your imagination wants it to be and can take you wherever your imagination takes you and it is our job as parents, carers and key workers to inspire that curiosity and develop it.
Curiosity is important, it is how we learn and so even if the endless questions can be annoying, they are a great attribute for your child to have and something that should be encouraged...although I know the endless why is hard sometimes, especially when you're tired or in a rush. This curiosity could result in them being the next Steve Jobs or Alan Sugar! Now there's a thought!
Steve Jobs says
“The most important thing is a person. A person who incites your curiosity and feeds your curiosity; and machines cannot do that in the same way that people can.”
Curiosity can decline with age and more formal education so now is the time to truly develop that Awe and Wonder and curiosity in them.
To be curious though we all need to feel safe to ask the questions that others may feel is silly and developing those strong, caring and empathetic relationships here is key! You can always voice what you think the questions they want to ask. Each child will have different interest and therefore be curious about different things. It may be nature, weather, dinosaurs, trains, building, books, technology, food or animals.
Here are some ways for you to help develop that curiosity:
1. Encourage your child’s interests.
Find out your child’s interests, and explore them together. Answer their questions and if you don't know...find out together!
2. Answer questions with enthusiasm.
Respond to your child’s questions thoughtfully. If you don’t know the answer, seek out answers together from the Internet, books or experts. Help them feel comfortable with feelings of not knowing something, and also help them realize the excitement of resolving uncertainty.
3. Redirect interests.
If your child enjoys playing with water, instead of saying ‘Don’t’ when she throws a cup of water, give her some water and containers, and allow her to play in an area which can be messed up. Show her acceptable ways of learning.
4. Give children a safe routine.
“Young children thrive on a calm, orderly family life with regular mealtimes and bedtime routines. Since children cannot tell time, the routine is their clock. When children’s lives are stressful, they respond by playing and exploring less.
6. Choose play materials intelligently.
Think open ended real objects that can inspire that curiosity in your children.
Though video game consoles may be a rage, kids need play materials they can manipulate. Blocks, boxes, puzzles, water, and art materials – these can be an immense source of fun and learning for your child.
7. Allow children to collect things.
Encourage children to collect seashells, miniature cars, sports-related items or pebbles.
8. Provide them with tools for exploration.
Give them magnets, bucket, magnifying glass, measuring tape, sand, clay, water and measuring cups for their investigations.
A predictable routine allows children to feel safe, and to develop a sense of control in handling their lives. As this sense of control and understanding is strengthened, they can tackle larger changes: walking to school by themselves, paying for a purchase at the shop, going on sleepovers. .Of course, many changes can't be avoided. especially at the moment. But that's why we offer children a predictable routine as a foundation in their lives--so they can rise to the occasion to handle big changes when they need to.
Seven Benefits of Using Routines with Your Children
1. Routines help children cooperate
Routines help children cooperate by reducing stress and anxiety for everyone. We all know what comes next, we get fair warning for transitions, and everyone knows what to expect.
2. Routines help children learn to take charge of their own activities.
Over time, kids learn to brush their teeth, pack their bag etc., without constant reminders. Children love being in charge of themselves. This feeling increases their sense of mastery and competence. Children who feel more independent and in charge of themselves have less need to rebel and be oppositional.
3. Children learn the concept of "looking forward" to things they enjoy.
This is an important part of making a happy home and nursery with the demands of a schedule and learning patience and the concept of delayed gratitude. For example; First brush your teeth and then we'll have a cuddle and a bedtime story...
4. Regular routines especially bedtimes help get on a schedule
Regular routines help kids get on a schedule, especially a bedtime routine so that they fall asleep more easily at night. Sleep is VITAL to all our children's(and our) well being. Rituals like these slow you down and connect you with your child, and if you do them as just "part of the routine" they build security as well as connection and cooperation.
5. Schedules help parents maintain consistency in expectations.
With a routine everyone understands the expectations of the day and we are more likely to stick to healthy expectations for everyone in the family, because that's just the way we do things in our household. The result: a family with healthy habits, where everything runs more smoothly!
At Mucky Pups;
We offer a safe and flexible routine that helps the children feel safe and ready to take on new challenges and developmental tasks. Offering the little routines and traditions that make life here both easier and cozier will, not only, allow your children soak up the security of being wiht us but they'll internalize the ability to structure their own time with us and encourage creativity and independent learning for the rest of their lives..
Have a closer look at our daily routine on the "Our Day" page of our website here
Read this lovely article here from "The Curiosity Approach"