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"
Welcome to all our new families and staff who have started with us this week.
We welcome our two new memebrs of staff; Jodie and Lorna. They will be a great asset to our team and both have teaching qualifiactions and will be working with us full time!!
I'm sure you will love working with them and already they have made a great start to their time with us.
Our new children aree gradually settling in this month and it can be a worrying and anxious time for everyone but especaially parents, Here at Mucky Pups we believe that as each child is unique and specail then so should there transition process so we tailor our settlling in process to each family according to their needs and circumstances. It is natural for your child to want to be with you but with love and care and friendly faces we can nuture a confidence in seperating and make the whole process a spositive as possible.
So here are some top tips to make the transition from home to nursery as smooth as possible;
Meet & GreetInitial visits are vital; We offer an inital meeting for you with your child's named keyworker and it is a really im,potrtnat time to start the relatiuonship with this person in a clam and relaxed manner. it is a special one to one time for you to discuss your child and your family and your needs, requiremnets and address any worries or concerns you may have.
Come and play with your child alongside the other children and your keyworker so you experience a happy and postive time with us togwtjer. It allows you to see how child interacts with their keyworker and you acn ask any questions you have then too. This helps you all become familiar with the new environment and the people in it before your child officially starts.
Routine is important
Your child's keyworker or their buddy will be there to greet you each time you arrive. Try and establish a routine of home so your child can aticipate their arrival at nursery. Make sure you say goodbye and leave with a smile on your face no matter how worried you feel. You can always ring us and we will send you a photo as soon as we can to let you know how they are doing.
Be preparedEnsure your morning routine is the same every morning in terms of getting out the door and the journey to nursery. Try to have everything organised the night before, so you have a little down time together before leaving the house. Whether it’s hanging out over breakfast or doing a little colouring in.Be sure to give a five-minute warning before it’s time to leave. Leave your shoes by the door, so putting your shoes on together becomes a thing you do rather than a mad rush around the house trying to find your child’s other trainer!
Try with all your might not to become overwhelmed and flustered if your child becomes distressed. If you feel good about the nursery and your handover, then you need to lead by example and show confidence even though it can be hard.Remember any change is difficult and needs time and nurturing. Be on the lookout for those happy moments and offer your little champion praise! “I really liked the way you opened the door for me, that was very kind”.
Think about nutrition!
Opting for a nutritious breakfast will set your little one up for the day and help feelings of contentment and satisfaction. This, in turn, helps your child to have a better day. If you need to prepare packed lunches, consider finger foods and picnic-style goodies such as mini quiches, slices, patties, balls, mini breads and fruit loaf. Make this a time for exploration of food and this too will help with those wobbles as it is fun and exciting!
Talk about it
Talk about nursery and what you like about it. Look at your pictures on Famly, facebook and the website together to encourage your child to remmebr the postive experiences even on days that nursery isn’t on.
Hang creative masterpieces proudly at home, you could also create an art book they go into as a lot of artwork does come home! You could have a masterpiece of the week on display and talk about it proudly.
Get something special
Take your little one to buy a special backpack and drink bottle.Talk about why you’re choosing it and that it will have their name on, so it is special to them. Choose a special teddy or comforter you’re both happy with to take along to nursery for comfort or give them It could be something of yours that smells of you. You be surprised how comforting that is for them.
Raise concerns .
Don’t be afraid to raise any concerns to your child’s keyworker and never feel as though you’re being a burden. Trust us, we need to get to know and work with you in order to happily and positively teach your children.
Of course, there are going to be good mornings and not-so-good mornings, trust your instincts and let your little one lead the way. With constant support and reassurance from you, your child WILL settle and will soon be leading you in through those doors to nursery proudly.