As a childminder I feel it is not only my responsibility to take care of the children but to provide the children with plenty to talk about with the family. Providing the family with a close bond with the child's day.
Arts & Crafts
Arts and Craft are available daily for the children. At certain times of the year children will take complete projects as gifts for family and friends. You will also find a section in the children's welcome pack where the children can list important people's birthday's. We encourage the children to make a wee gift/card for the people on the list. This teaches the importatnce of family and encourages belonging and security.
As well as encouraging the children to help cook or prepared daily meals we bake once a week. The recipes are all suitable for children to do with supervised guidance. Children are encouraged to give it a go and get there hands dirty. Recipes change weekly to include fairy cakes, scones, biscuits, crispy cakes and brownies to name a few.
We like to celebrate the children's Birthdays together. The children make cards to give to the birthday Boy or Girl and we make some decorations for the house. Instead of dinner I provide a small birthday tea including a home made birthday cake. After tea we have music and dancing. Before home time.
Not to be beaten by the rain as a treat after lunch we sometimes make home made popcorn and courgette crisps and watch a movie. I find this a great way to reward children for a fantastic week especially if its been raining. Also it's a nice way to start the weekend with family.
Although not practical every day, where possible I encourage children to make or help prepare family meals. At lunch time children can be found making pizza pitas, creating sandwiches, preparing vegetables for home made soup. I encourage children so they can learn basic ideas behind cookery and encourage them to try new foods. I have in the past had children eat food they refused to eat at home.
On rainy days children are allowed short periods on the CBeebies Website. The website is award winning and educational, alongside which it teaches children the basic use or a computer keyboard and mouse. Children are often rewarded at the end of games with a certificate that we can print and keep.
In the spring and throughout summer the children will plant and tend to their own plants. We have encouraged children to grow vegetables in the past. Which I hope to re introduce this year. All children love to watch the flowers grow. I have also found growing vegetables encourages children to try new vegetables.
We can often be found Singing and Dancing on a miserable rainy day in Fermanagh. I have a selection of children's nursery rhyme karaoke dvd's which the children love to sing and dance to. This is a great medium to introduce reading. It allows children to learn the pattern in reading with spoken word.
In the childrens pack you will find a form for the children to fill in with the details of people they would like to write to. This activity allows them to follow the process of writing a letter, buying a stamp, posting the letter and hopefully recieving a letter in return.
Once a fortnight we visit the library van. We are lucky to have the Library van visit Belcoo every other Friday afternoon. Children can pick a book or two each to read, either at home or in the park. Books from the library van will remain in the setting until return to the library. The children are encourage to collect the books they picked prevuously to return to the van.
Noise is music! Wether it be pots and pans drums, or a tambourine, children are encourage to play away along to rhymes. It not only boosts the childrens confidence it is also supports motor and fine motor skills. The louder the better.
We are very lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world. We try to spend a bit of time each week down at the cottage meadow.The cottage meadow is perfect for scavenger hunts, nature walks, puddle splashes, teddy bear picnic's and reading time after the library van.
Play doh is readily available for the children a daily. I make my own play doh which it 100% safe for the children. A world of imagination. Children are encouraged to explore and talk about their creations. It's an interesting way of teaching children to explore and respect other children's views.
Every week as a group we take part in 'Story Circle' We pick a book to read and then review. We get great enjoyment out of book group, from picking the book at the library, right through to our paper review. It allows the children to discuss each others views and develop language, writing and drawing skills. Originally started by the BBC's award winning website. I have continued this for many years.
At Lunch and Dinner time if the children are not preparing or helping cook, they will be allowed to watch CBeebies. Whilst I don't like to encourage watching television it reduces the risk of accidents whilst I'm cooking.