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

– 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.

– 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

– 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.



How to get into a good daily routine.

Does your daily routine work for you?

for your children?

for their families?

I am often asked how I create a routine that works. To answer this we must look at so many important variables. We have wonderful, positive, fun days and I think a flexible but predictable routine very much helps in so many ways!

Below I have given you a rundown of my routine, I hope it will help when planning your own.

I will add a list of questions to debate when starting your family day care or needing to adjust a current routine for whatever reason (they can be found here)


My children come in and snooze on the lounge, watch a bit of Tv, do some puzzles or free play…They come into care in their pj’s. At this hour of the morning we want children to have a snuggle and chat with mum or dad, not be fighting through a routine they are not awake nor ready for, before they come into care.



Breakfast – Cereal, Crumpets, Toast, Yogurts.



We brush our teeth, get dressed and do our hair. We then practice putting all our things in their pigeon holes away for the day.



School children catch the bus at the end of the driveway.



A new experience is placed out. Recently I have been offering small world play, this is a great time to offer play-dough, cutting, drawing, collage. I place out only one but have several ready and let the children choose.



Children arrive – the rest of the children arrive, there is already an experience underway (which most of the time they can’t miss out on) so it’s time to say bye to Mum or Dad. We do our happy wave and blow kisses shout “love you!” and off Mum or Dad go.



Pack up time – I offer a lot of free play baskets, important items like books, balls, musical instruments that are on offer all the time so these need to be put back.



Play-school for those that aren’t having a morning sleep.


9.30AM (ish)

Morning sleeps- bubbas go to bed but their routines need to be individual.


Check out Simple Reflect – The Easiest Way to Document


We have a communal toileting, washing hands, drying ready for morning tea. (We discuss hygiene every morning during this time)



Morning tea-we start with and talk about healthy food, not wasting food, recycling or washing our containers and what the chooks can have every day. We also sing songs and I encourage communication about our food.



We ALWAYS have outside time, we feed the chooks and collect the mail. If weather permits we then have a play, offer outside free and planned experiences.



Lunch – Wash hands and get our own lunches and drink bottles from the fridge, each child tells us what they are eating for lunch.



Group book time – as the children finish their lunch they move to the book basket, when all children are finished we read books, have music and song time.



Afternoon quiet time- all children have a quiet time with a book on a bed mat. Most of the younger children sleep but the older children rest, it is important to learn this skill even if its only for half an hour.



The older children are up and I have individual attention time for each of them, craft, painting, letter writing, colour games, we download a new board game/dominoes set each week. Focus on their interests and development.
The younger children will join in at their own level as they wake.



A rolling afternoon tea.



The school children arrive off the bus.



Often we will also have another specific play outside. Inside /outside time is offered most afternoons.


I am currently working 4days a week, this routine works soooo well for us and I hope it gives you an insight into our day.

I would love you to share your thoughts and how your day works for you…

Who’s got the best routine tip to share?




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Time for Mum and Dad to head off.



Time for Mum and Dad to head off.


We do our happy wave,

blow kisses

shout love you

and off mum or dad go!


Happy children in the morning is an absolute must. Children that are excited to come into care, that can’t wait to see what experiences are out for the day and are confident to wave bye to mum and blow kisses are well settled, ready to learn little people.



But how do we get to that point?


We all know the child that clings to Mum or Dad with a determined grip, it’s their “just not getting away this time” grip! My heart breaks for them (the parent and the child). This is the time for action, support and a joint plan to build trust, confidence and put fun back into the mornings.


Lets start with what we are
going to do…


Sneaking away

– this breaks trust and leaves the child feeling abandoned, children will often cry for longer once they realise a parent has gone.


Staying just until the child is settled

– this sets a precedence that can’t be continued and thus confuses the child in the long run.


Bribes/food rewards/toys/stickers/phones/cash

🙁 oh dear…I’ve heard them all!!




Now what will really work


If a parent needs to stay then encourage them to stay 🙂

Have several planned, well discussed, short visits with their child. They will be unsure at first but with the right encouragement, preparation and interactions they will start to be more comfortable and develop some interest in the experiences and surrounds offered.


Focus on a strategy with the parent

Discuss and offer favourite play experiences, colours, music and crafts.


For older children a picture

Of their family to hide in their pocket can add an extra feeling of security.


For younger children and babies

Encourage the parent to bring something that smells like mum or dad as well as comforters and familiar items.


A half day may need to be offered

So the child has a positive experience without being overwhelmed.

Check out Simple Reflect – The Easiest Way to Document

Above all…



– prepare yourself, the parent and the child.


Have a plan

– know who will be in care and share this with the parent.


Know what a parents movements will be

– draw their attention to something on offer for them to show their child.


I strongly encourage you to build a routine in advance with the parent to place lunch and drinkers in the fridge, sign children in, have a snuggle, kiss-kiss-kiss, happy wave, blow more kisses, shout “love you” and off they go.
Our happy wave uses both our hands and is as big a wave as they can manage without falling over, it’s a bit special and very funny and helps wonderfully with settling children in and building confidence.




Do you, as an educator or a parent have a ‘happy wave’ I d love to hear about it…



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