Supporting Creativity, Supporting Choice :)

Yesterday I offered the children Christmas tree craft
Pre-cut trees, Green paint, Stars and sequins
I tried to be a little more mainstream
NOT often how I program
You know
Offer the children preplanned pieces for them
to create Christmas trees to take home…
Or was it?

The children chatted about the trees,
about presents they want under the tree,
what they were planning to give others –
a great opportunity to support conversation,
social skills, recall and expressing their feelings
Half way through beautiful Miss E shared
she would RATHER paint her feet then the tree…
Let’s leave the trees
‘What colour would you like to paint your feet?’ I asked
So we did
Huge pieces of paper
Red and Green Paint
The children painting their own feet
Using their feet as stamps
Stomping and hopping
Can you imagine the splatter, the mess, but gee we had fun
Check out Simple Reflect – The latest documenting tool for Educators
Child led
Child focused
Child creativity
We now have 4 big pieces of paper to send home as wrapping paper
And we may even finish our trees today if the children WANT to
How are YOU supporting creativity?
How are YOU listening to your children and supporting their choices?
Would YOU have supported their change in focus?
I had chosen NOT to program any craft this year around foot prints
The children just hadn’t shown any interest
in painting themselves like last year…
But here is the interest,
showing up
presented and supported yesterday as it came up
I would love to hear how YOU have changed your program
on the run to support children’s interests?
Are you offering foot prints as part of your Christmas programming?
If so – Is it for the right reasons?
P.S I would love to see your Christmas experiences 🙂
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Sneak look into Fridays Post!!



I got a little lost in the pictures for this weeks blog so instead of sharing them on Fridays Post, I have decided to share with you a sneak peak today…

Feathered Friends

beautiful lambs

We as educators have so many special gifts we can share with our
Day Care children. An understanding of some of the other creatures in our world is,
I feel, a very important one. The emotions that children often struggle with can be
built up to a level that is truly remarkable – kindness, respect, patience and thinking
about what others like or dislike.


Check out Simple Reflect – The Easiest Way to Document


This seems to be an area that I find many educators shy away from. Either because they are not comfortable around animals, not sure of the regulations and risk assessment needs or worried about that initial conversation with families.



Sharing animals and enriching children’s understanding
of their world is an area I truly love.

It gives me great joy and I really look forward to sharing
these positive experiences with the children each year.

Programming wise it is also refreshing and so much fun guiding the
children’s learning and implementing follow up play experiences.


The crocodile man

You can find the rest of this post here…


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Post number 2 on number 2s!


Parents often underestimate the advantages of including an educator in the potty training journey of their child.


Equally educators often undervalue the wealth of experience and clarity that they can offer too.


Every year an educator helps all of their munchkins progress in some way towards independent toileting. Together with consistency, open communication and a bit of fun your child can grow and enjoy their progression.


Three of my must do’s…


1. Wait until your child is showing signs of being ready


What are some of the signs?

Telling you they have a dirty nappy or need changing

Not wanting their nappy back on at change time

Showing interest in sitting on the potty/toilet.


2. Have a potty around


How will you know if your child is starting to show interest if there isn’t anything to show interest in? Children are often daunted by the toilet so the potty needs to be a familiar item to them not something scary and new.

Did you see my Pic above

– thats my Lach in the middle of a camp site

– all his own doing and he was very happy with himself 🙂


3. Start with consistency


At first, ASK your child if they would like to sit (just once). Try to keep this the same time every day i.e. before a bath, after lunch, after their nap time. Note that each of these times is when you would normally be changing their nappy anyway. Don’t try and reinvent the wheel just go with what is the natural flow of the day for your child.


Check out Simple Reflect – The Easiest Way to Document


Now my Three Bonus Tips…


1. Positive peer pressure

This can be your friend especially with young children who need to have fun. One of the ways to do that is by buddying them up with another toddler that is also ready.


2. Hi fives

Cheering and fun songs are more important than sticker charts. We have been on a journey so why do parents suddenly feel that journey needs things?


3. Before a child develops fear offer an ice block

What? Have you heard parents say “My child is potty trained for wee’s but don’t ask them to poo, that’s a different story.” I’m anti bribes and I’m anti food rewards absolutely but poo is scary to a toddler and needs lots of discussion. It takes time so an easy and fun way to introduce this is ‘Let’s have an ice block on the Potty!!’


What about tiny bubbas I hear you ask? Well yes, singing songs and encouraging positive interaction at changing time are the building blocks. Even just speaking clearly when checking a child’s nappy can help.


I’d love to hear about your tips or journey to potty training.


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How controversial are pets in your Family Day Care scheme?

I believe in family day care we have an opportunity and an obligation to offer experiences to children that broaden their thinking, excite their emotions and develop an understanding on other creatures within their world.

When contemplating or programming, your scheme policies needs to be read & re-read and active communication and documentation is a must with parents and coordination units. It really is very doable to offer exposure to animals in a safe and positive way for your Family Day Care Children.

I thought I would document three of our favourite pet experiences but as you saw on Wednesday I quickly realised I have many more to choose from then I first thought. So I will give you a list of animals that have been a super positive experience with the children over the past few years and I will be offering these animal experiences in my FDC service again.

Check out Simple Reflect – The Easiest Way to Document


Frogs- Silk worms- Butterflies (Chrysalis kits)

Wonderful for life cycle awareness, easy to find, keep alive and to set free or give away when the children’s interest has moved onto something else.

Hermit Crabs- Fish-snails- worms

Super for adding when focusing on sea themes, or when wanting an experience to follow up from a holiday, or focusing on the environment.

Dogs/puppies – Pony

These are a much bigger commitment and if you are not already experienced or interested in these size and types of animals then maybe a polite visit to a friends or group excursion is in order.


Lamb- Guinea Pigs- Chickens

Now, when it comes to these three I am a complete softy, and we have had all three of these living inside in the cold weather. (They need an area away from the Day Care children).We care for a poddy Lamb for a friend and hatch chickens in the spring.


Galas- Goats- Donkey

Our elderly neighbours are very friendly and kind, they are welcoming to the children, we walk to feed their animals regularly.

If all else fails and you decide that offering a live ongoing project is too much why not include a visit to the local Reptile show or our Bird society often hold displays with their show birds.


We as educators have so many special gifts we can share with our Day Care children. An understanding of some of the other creatures in our world is, I feel, a very important one. I hope to instil in my Day Care Children a strong understanding of kindness towards animals, nature and a desire to explore our world.

I’d love to hear about your experiences and other animals you have shared in your service….

Does pets in childcare reflect part of your philosophy…



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Sneak look into Fridays Post!!