At Mucky Pups we are so lucky to have a great outdoor space for the children and adults to learn in.
We have a nature area to watch the birds, hunt for bugs and collect flowers , a place to build and room to run and jump and skip and ride a scooter!
Everyday outdoors is open for us to make the most of this space which is especially important at the moment when it is much safer for us to be outside when we are together than inside.
Have a look at our outdoor page to see what we get up to; HERE
We can learn about EVERYTHING through being outside but it especially important for everyone's well-being which is top of our list at the moment.
Here are some good reasons why:
Fresh Air helps us to relax, reflect, and engage with nature. We love to watch a worm wriggle back into the soil, a ladybird fly away, a bird feed from our hanger or listen to them sing or the rain patter.
Physical activity lowers anxiety and has significant improvements for children in their mental and emotional well-being. We love to play with the scooters, jump, hop, skip and run. We can make ourselves strong through building bridges, obstacle courses, pirate ships and dens!
Sunlight is the best natural source for our bodies to produce Vitamin D, which releases serotonin (which helps regulate emotion and mood and is linked to happiness) in the brain. Children need healthy levels of Vitamin D and serotonin for their mental health and development. Allowing children daily outdoor playtime in natural light, ensures they soak up some nourishment for their brains!
Playing outdoors is thought to help relieve stress and anxiety for children by reducing levels of the hormone cortisol in the brain. Even just five minutes of exercise in a natural outdoor environment can rapidly improve self-esteem and mental health and well being in young people.
So if you don't have a garden or outdoor space make the most of the beautiful spaces we have right here in Lancaster,
Take a walk or cycle to Williamson''s park, walk along the canal and look out for the wildlife you can spot, visit Fairfield Nature Reserve or even go a little further afield and visit the beach at Morecambe or take a trip to Glasson Dock along the cycle track. Take the time to smell the flowers, listen to the birds and hunt for mini beasts. You'll be surprised at what you can find!
Everyone in the family will feel the benefits!!
What outdoor adventures will your children enjoy today?
Now is a huge time for change and this can be very unsettling and worrying and everyone approaches it in different ways.
At Muck Pups this week we have made the change from being closed to reopening again. For the time being it is for those key-worker's children who need childcare and have sometimes found it difficult while we have been closed. For many this has been a lifeline and although we know some of you are not ready yet we want to reassure you that you and your children are still very much part of our Mucky Pups family and understand that a return for you yet is just to soon.
We have had to change the way we work and our daily routine to make sure that everything is as safe as possible, while still keeping it familiar and calm for those children returning. Those returning have embraced it and we have loved seeing them each day. The staff at nursery have been putting photo's and post on Facebook to let you and your children see your friends. Please have a look at our information about how we have done this here
We have welcomed some new brothers to our family as we can now take one year old children. We have started with siblings to help ease the transition back to nursery and keep siblings together.It has also enabled mums and dad's to return to work knowing their children are in one place to help ease their transition back to work while only coping with one setting and ease the concerns of infection from multiple settings. We are continuing this in September for those children who are already registered and then from January expanding the nursery to include more children.
We have also begin the process of preparing for our Chihuahuas and Dalmatians to start school and although it is uncertain when this will be and how this will look we do know that at some point in the future these children will be starting school and taking the next big step in their learning journey. We have been liaising closely with schools; chatting to your child's new teachers and will continue to work with them sending key-worker reports and Capture wheels for them to see. I know many of you have also begun this process at home too.
We will continue to put home learning ideas on Facebook and Twitter and be here for all of you no matter where you are!1
During times like these one of the most important things we can do is to stay healthy both mentally and physically. Establishing some kind of routine when, for most of us that sense of normality has disappeared, is ESSENTIAL to our mental well-being.
Mealtimes can be a great way to help with this routine and establishing times when you can sit down together can be vital to maintain some ritual and routine your daily lives. It is also a great way to involve the children in helping out with daily chores, feel included and establish healthy eating habits as well as being a FANTASTIC home learning tool.
At Mucky Pups our snack and lunchtimes are a valuable learning time. We prepare the food together, set the table and clean up after ourselves. Our snack is always healthy and nutritious and we set our menu's using; Food Trust's, Eat Better Start Better programme. The children also get to taste food from around the world and request snacks they love to share with their friends. We have made; soups, pizzas, cakes, biscuits and smoothies as part of learning.
Here are some ideas to try;
You can explore foods from around the world and find out about where the country is and what other foods they eat. We particularly loved eating croissants when we were learning about France.
Baking includes loads of Science and Maths. Think about all the weighing and measuring, the cutting shapes for biscuits and watching how the mixture changes as you add different ingredients; dry to wet, solid to liquid and colour changes and so on.
Making smoothies and pizzas can include trying new fruits and vegetables, different combinations as well as the physical development of cutting, chopping, dicing and grating.
You make pizza faces or you could name your new family smoothie!
Now the rules are relaxing a little too why not pack a picnic and go to the park. You could get some great new ideas for when everything is a little more normal and you're packing up lunches again.
We also include recipes in our "Home Learning " letters each month and many of the recipes and ideas we have are from the NHS; "Change for Life" website. Click the picture to take you to the page.
Everyone's a winner; you get help with something you would have been doing anyway and your child is learning at the same time.
Why not give it a go? And if you do send us some pictures via email, Facebook or Capture to show us what you've been doing.
We make all of these part of our life at Mucky Pups by looking for situations in play and our daily routines to help children learn and understand. Just like while you are at home. Numbers surround us everywhere in the environment. Try a number hunt inside and out, Look at door numbers, bus numbers, postbox numbers, price labels, advertising posters or road signs, packets and tins, mobile phones, letters.
We can count, stairs, steps, jumps, blocks, cups, plates while we are laying the table, emptying the dishwasher, tidying away the toys, or putting books back on the shelf. You can count food on your plate, cars going by your house, birds in the sky, petals on flowers, dandelions on the lawn balls you catch the list is endless.
Songs and rhymes
These can also really help with Maths understanding, Some of our favourites are Ten fat sausages, I.184.108.40.206 Once I caught a fish alive, !0 little ducks, Hickory Dickory dock,
There are also on the Youtube channel;
Super simple Songs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7D4K9oi7oBM&vl=en
Board games are fantastic on a rainy day to pass the time and help with Maths. Snakes and ladders, frustration and card games such as snap.Outdoors playing hopscotch and counting goals and throws , catches and jumps and hops are great.
There are lots more games and activities to try here; https://nrich.maths.org/13372
Shape, Space and Measures -are also part of the curriculum and they include teaching the children to understand size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and compare quantities and objects.
Shapes hunt, potato prints, car races to measure how far they go, measuring bodies and different parts of the body. Who is the tallest, shortest, has the longest legs, shortest arms, biggest head? filling and emptying containers and jugs, cooking and baking, ordering and sizing shapes, blocks, toys, plates too. Make shapes with masking tape, lolly sticks, straws and even sticks and stones form the garden or park.
Shape songs; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTeqUejf3D0
Just follow these links below to try these ideas;
Keep a look out on Facebook and Twitter for more ideas!
Don't forget that it is the understanding that is important and NOT if your child can write and draw the number, shapes and measures.
Today Friday 1st May is Book Trust Pyjamarama day.
Some of us have been getting into the spirit and reading in our pyjamas.
The Book Trust has loads of great reading and story ideas so head over and have a look. They are a great charity who are passionate about reading and literacy for all children. They have stories to listen to, book suggestions and new book reviews. It also has some great ideas for older children, home learning and a youtube channel too so it's worth a look for all of you with older school aged children as well.
Remember a bedtime story each night is one of the best things you can do for your child. It establishes routine, creates some one on one time and develops Communication, Language and Literacy in so many ways.
Why not send us your pictures of you and your Mucky pups reading at home. We'd love to see them!
And if you haven't already then follow the links in the post below to watch Joe read some of our favourite stories to you all.
Book Trust on you tube; https://www.youtube.com/user/booktrust
Home time ideas; https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/have-some-fun/
Ouch in my Pouch;
We all love PJ masks at Mucky Pups and this year Pyjamarama with The Book Trust will be very different but what better excuse to snuggle up and stay in your pyjamas all day and read or listen to books. There are tons of great activities for you and your little (or not so litlle) ones to enjoy.
The staff are joining into so look out for their photos and book reviews later in the week but while you're waiting have a look at the website by clicking on the image above.;
We're all at home staying safe and spending time with our families.
This can create many different challenges but also huge rewards. Many of you have been sending us pictures either through Facebook, Capture or email.
Here are a few to share with you to see what some of our "Mucky Pups Family" have been doing while we're away.
Here at Mucky Pups stories are very important in our day to day life. The staff LOVE telling stories!
We have an author and story of the month, a daily story time at the end of each session and books everywhere in nursery. We love to snuggle up and share stories inside and outside and the children love it to!
There is so much learning that happens while you read together;
Developing language, widening vocabulary,, hearing and predicting rhymes, seeing and hearing letter sounds and words, noticing punctuation, Who is the author and who illustrated the book and learning how to handle books and how to turn the page,. It also helps us learn and make sense of the world around us, different countries and cultures and how to deal with those big feelings both good and bad we all have especially at times like these..
A story read together is NEVER a waste of time! Sometimes it is difficult to always share a story together and during lock down there are some amazing stories being read on the internet by famous and not so famous people.
Our very own Story Guru Joe who has been recording stories for you all to watch and listen to while you are at home. Here are the first four of many I'm sure;
Ouch in my Pouch;
Why not have a look at some of them?
Lancashire Libraries have some free audible books;
And Amazon have put many free books on their Audible platform
Cbeebies have a wealth of stories but also a story time App which you can find on The hungry Little Minds website; https://hungrylittleminds.campaign.gov.uk/
The Book Trust; https://www.booktrust.org.uk/
Read Comics online too; https://readcomicsonline.ru/
Axel Scheffler from The Gruffalo has put together a book to help children to make sense of the virus too. Here's the link;
At this time stories and reading can offer a real escape from the world both for adults and children. It is important you take time for yourselves too and seeing you enjoying reading of every kind is also a HUGE learning experience for your child so don't feel guilty just get them to cuddle up with their own book next to you.
And lastly, it's "Pyjamarama" Day on 1st May and last year we had a wonderful time in our pj's all day reading. Why not join in at home this year and send us your pictures! Just sign up here to see activities and ideas '
And remember in the words of Dr Seuss.....
On Thursday (tomorrow) all our preschool children will find out which school they to start in September and we really hope that all of you are successful!
This is an unusual time with many changes happening to us all but and a lot of uncertainty about what is happening but the move to big school is an important time in your child's life and though it can bring heartache to many of you it is up to us to prepare them for this change and make it a positive an exciting adventure for them all no matter how emotional we may feel.
There are lots of things you can do to help prepare yourself and your child for the move to "Big School" in September and hopefully we will be able to support you with this while you are away and when we return before the Summer (fingers crossed) .
Here are our tips to help!
There are more tips and handy hints on our Facebook page and Twitter and Pacey have many more ideas.
See the link: