We LOVE our "Physical Thursdays!" and one of the best ways to help our children develop all their finger muscles ready for developing their pencil grip is dough disco.
We have been loving following Shonette Bason on Spread the Happiness who is CRAZY about fine motor development in a fun and exciting way.
There's the recipe below which we follow so why not have a go at home. You could even make up your own ideas to songs you love too once you get going.
You will need:
· 2 cups of flour, plus extra for dusting your board
· 1 cup of salt
· 2 cups of warm water
· Food colouring
· 2 tbsp vegetable oil
· 2 mixing bowls
· Wooden chopping board
· Wooden spoon
How to make playdough
1. Mix together the flour and salt in one bowl,
2. and the water, oil and a few drops of food colouring in the other bowl
3. Pour in the oil, water and food colouring mix into the bowl with the flour.
4. Dust your wooden chopping board with flour. Place the dough mix on top and knead for a few minutes until smooth and pliable.
5. Leave to cool completely and then your homemade playdough is ready for little hands!
6. Store in the fridge in an airtight container to keep fresh
Here are 10 ways to say “I love you”? It's especially important at the moment to let each other kknow how important they are to you so here's our top ten ways to say it. I bet you can think of even more...
1) Tickle it.
Give “I love you tickles” starting at the feet up to their face saying “I love you, I love you, I love you.”
2) Whisper it.
Quiet words create a special moment.
3) Sign it.
Pointing to your eye for “I,” to your heart for “love” and to them for “you.”
4) Re-use it.
Choose an “I love you” phrase from a favorite book such as, “I love you right up to the moon and back” from Guess How Much I Love You just like in the book we're reading now.
5) Write it.
Write notes and leave them in places for them to find, if they can't read yet perhaps a heart picture would do the job too! Or send a card or letter letting them know.
6) Ask it.Say,
“Do you know how much I love you?” Whether they say yes or no you can then say, “I love you sooooooo so so so so sooooooooooo so so so so much” accompanied by an eenormous hug.
7) Sing (and dance) it
.Make up any tune using “I love you.” The kids may even enjoy dancing along with you as well.
8) Make a mental picture for it.
Just like Nut Brown Hare explian your love in words that create a picture; using examples of travel, such as “I love you all the way across town, across the country, across the world, up into space, up past the moon, past all the planets, right around the sun, and into space for as long as long can be. My love for you will never end.”
9) Secret-ize it.
Create a special movement, hand shake, or sound that means “I love you” in a way only your family understands. How about three squeezes as you say "I love you"
10) Savor it.
Say “I love you” and savor it, breathe in the moment, and be filled with love.Those quiet moments between mama and child are so sweet.
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!