Winter is here!!

 

Winter is here and I am well into programming our experiences for the next few months. Are You??

 

There are a few priorities that become forefront at this time of year and I mean for all of us – Educators, Children and Families

 


Priorities for winter - Middle

1) HEALTH

A few habits that are necessities when working with children – to teach and definitely do ourselves!!

 

Multivitamins – even if you don’t feel they are worthwhile in the warmer months
Washing Hands – Oh yes wash, wash and wash, new songs in winter… discourage children from putting their hands/fingers in their mouths, very difficult for toddlers but we can at least try.
Staying consistent with families on the level of ‘well’ you expect children to be coming into care and the same for yourself – if you need a sick day take one!!

 

2) WELLBEING

Do you struggle through winter??

 

Some Educators, children and families can really struggle through Winter – It is worth being aware of this and show how caring, thoughtful and understanding you can be. Are you ready to give that extra bit of support. Injecting a level of energy and vibrance into your business can be amazing and uplifting to everyone around you.

 

Check out Simple Reflect – The Easiest Way to Document

 

3) WARMTH

Is there nothing worse then walking into a space that is bitterly cold!! Or even the opposite – stuffy with that closed up can’t breath stale air feel. Winter can be so tricky. Families have their own interpretation of warm, the management of children and their layers of clothes can take a fair bit of thoughtful, respectful communication.

 

4) STAYING ACTIVE

A great routine can help in Winter, but do you do a little extra?? – We do 🙂 Extra dancing, yoga, role play, indoor trampoline and practicing our skills like hopping, rolling and jumping.

 

5) CABIN FEVER 101

Lol I have three boys and learnt quite a while ago that children need outside time – no matter what the weather – my Family Day care families understand my feelings about winter and most days we feed the chooks and check the mail especially when its super cold and snowy. That’s what gumboots, Jackets and beanies are for.

 

I’d Love to hear about your Winter thoughts…

 

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The truth about Cubbies…

 

When you say ‘Lets build a cubby’ in your ‘I’m an educator voice’ are you thinking about the amazing memories the children will create… no?

Maybe how long will this keep them busy…no?

Somewhere in the middle??

When you say ‘cubby house’ do you think of the wonderful time as children we had collecting branches, boxes or blankets to create and build with?

I love …love… love… cubby houses, they are one of my favourite go to experiences.

So why am I sharing that I love cubby houses?

Well I am actually sharing one of my ‘go to experiences’ with you!! I am a Family Day Care educator, working on my own with up to seven children and one of the children is mine – a very boisterous – 5 year old son…

Simple Reflect

Some days are absolutely awesome and some days are really very challenging.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing – but sometimes I need to take a deep breath and steer us all back into our happy place – having a list of ‘go to experiences’ that I love, am super passionate about and know that the children also love helps immensely!!

Simple ReflectSimple Reflect

When was the last time you really struggled to just get through the day?

Does it help to know, as educators, we all have hard days?

So what prep work, can you do, to prepare for these days?

How about a list of go to experiences that you really love…

Simple Reflect

So back to cubby play, why, because the children and I really do love them.

I love…

#the happy interaction of the children, the inclusion of each of the children as they are encouraged to play, build and experiment.

#supporting children within their play-based learning journey, encouraging curiosity, creativity and problem solving.

#engaging children to build relationships, social and language skills.

#offering opportunities for children to build their sense of agency.

#helping children build their resilience, encouraging perseverance, positivity and a sense of self- belief!!

Check out Simple Reflect – The Easiest Way to Document

Cubby Houses can become anything… really… the children are amazing with their creativity and there is no telling where they will go with them…

I am lucky enough to have a large yard and we have 3 permanently set up outside and 2 inside that are purely created and decorated by the children!! A cubby can create a wonderful small space for children to learn and grow in.

Simple Reflect

So is now just the right time to put on some music – empty the cupboard of the blankets and start creating??

Do you have a list of go to experiences? They need to be fun and uplifting experiences that excite you and the children.

The benefits of creative play are awesome, enjoy being part of it 🙂

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Role modelling – fun – or both??

 

What does role modelling mean to you?

Do you Paint or Create?
How do your Day Care children see you?

This week I have some serious reflecting to do – before I tell you why, Im going to ask you some questions to ask yourself – take a minute to think about these four questions before reading on…

#Is role modelling important to you?

#Do you role model the positive behaviour you would like to see?

#How often do you sit, listen and engage in meaningful conversation?

#How do you convey your interest in what the children are learning?

Now the setting…

Excited children – Easel and smocks, thick paint and textured paint brushes
(you know the ones with texture foam on the end), coloured paper and pegs.
Yep all set up ready for the children to enjoy…

My focus was experimenting with our new brushes, colour recognition, turn taking and communication (I wanted to engage the children’s thoughts about the patterns they were making).

Check out Simple Reflect – The Easiest Way to Document

A bit of paint everywhere, wonderful creations, so much exciting chatter about what they were creating, then comes the question (or maybe a statement – more matter of fact then a question as 5 year olds do)…
“Mum we have all had a turn – I think its your turn!!”
“Oh no Thanks – You create a bit more”
“But you would have fun!!”

Have you taken to watching like I have…

I watch – I actively engage the children in conversation – I encourage and organise – but do the children see me as having fun?

I challenge you this week in your care setting to take an extra step, show the children you can have fun!!

 

 

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Puzzles Family Day Care workshop

 

I am not going to ‘summarise’ my workshop this morning with Dale at Puzzles Family Day Care, this would not do any of us justice, the time and thought Dale puts into her workshops are amazing and you should really find the time to attend one.

I am however going to share with you the strong feelings I took away from our morning and hope that it will inspire you to revisit; how, what and why you are offering your children the learning experiences you are offering…

Puzzles Family Day Care Puzzles Family Day Care

Puzzles website can be found here

1) A DEEP PASSION FOR CHILDRENS LEARNING
– Setting up many, many, many provocations and seeing what the children create and the learning that flows, not offering our children in care the same plastic everything with only one purpose.

2) A WONDERFUL LOVE OF MUSIC
– Dale played her guitar for us to sing, yes sing and play and learn new songs to get the children moving, rhyming and developing new skills. A love of Music is definitely part of my philosophy for childrens learning and it was refreshing to hear her speak so openly about encouraging music within all facet of a childs day with us.

Check out Simple Reflect – The Easiest Way to Document

3) A FEELING OF INSPIRATION AND EXCITEMENT
– Do you come away from workshops with these feelings? An overwhelming feeling – wanting to be more innovative and create more varied and exciting play environments for your children? I certainly do… but I  think I already offer very natural large play spaces but could focus on more intimate, inclusive spaces and will be looking closely at these over the next few months.

Dales business Puzzles Family Day Care is a true reflection of her, does this make you think about your business and how it reflects you – to read more go here

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Winter is here!!

Time for Mum and Dad to head off.

 

Kathy