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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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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Routine Revisited.


In my first post I gave a run down of my routine, I hope it will help when
planning your own.

But as with most things it just brings to light more questions to debate.

I’ve addressed a handful of them below and I hope they will help you when starting your family day care or needing to adjust your current routine….

?Would a less conventional work day work for you?

I know educators that work 5am -12noon, 5am-3pm, 6.30am-5pm, 9am-6.30pm.
From 2days to all 7days as well as rolling rosters. Monthly sleep overs to mini afternoon play sessions, FDC can be as flexible as your imagination and your clients needs.


?What time does your family start their day?

My Lach(Mr3) consistently wakes at 8.30am so I have worked for 2 hours before he gets up, this works well for our family but you may feel more comfortable with an opening time after your family is up and going.


?Are you willing to work with before or after school children?

This will effect your opening hours, school children also add a different dynamic to a FDC setting. You will also need additional age appropriate resources. A consideration is also transport to and from school, will you drive them or is a bus available?

Check out Simple Reflect – The Easiest Way to Document


?Will you be accepting Babies?

Often schemes place a maximum limit of two children under the age of two for new educators. But an option educators often miss debating is for all children to be the same age or over a certain age.


?Will you be offering food?

I take my hat off to those educators that are organised enough to offer a consistent, well balanced, portion and age appropriate menu. One that takes into account allergies, healthy food options, likes and dislikes. I personally need the children to bring their own food and place it in the fridge.


?What sort of network do you need?

Some educators are comfortable and thrive on creating a positive, high quality home based educational working environment. Others are more social and find being an educator very isolating and need to spend time with others at playgroups, mini playdates and excursions.


?What area of your home is suitable for FDC?

A suitable playroom, bathroom and sleep room are musts. But these can be your lounge room and bedroom. Preferably a sign in area and an area to cook and eat in as well. The layout of your home will have a huge influence on how you will be able to offer your service.


There are so many important questions to ponder and these are just a few, Id love to hear more of your questions……



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