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Organic Gardening 101 with Kids
We are by no means experts, but here is what we do know… kids love gardening!  With a few years practice we now have a method that works very well for us.  Get started with these easy steps! The first and often most difficult step, is to simply start gardening somewhere!  Begin with a small area and make a garden plan.  Draw a garden map with your child and incorporate their ideas right from the beginning.  By involving them from the start kids feel a sense of ownership and will have a greater feeling of responsibility and pride when it comes to harvesting. It’s also a great idea to join a community garden group or a Facebook community page, for…
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Benefits of Play Dough + Easiest Dough Recipe Ever!
Play dough! There isn’t an age group that doesn’t love the feeling of moulding, rolling and smoothing dough into one form or another, it is the most therapeutic activity ever! The benefits and opportunities with play dough are equally as brilliant! Here are just a few – Fine motor skills – the little muscles in fingers need a lot of practice and play dough is super for this. Play dough helps prepare fingers for the writing process. The coordination of manipulating dough builds fine motor muscles and supports a child to hold and write with a pencil. It’s so versatile – Add it to kitchen role-play, blocks or small world play… quite honestly it fits into any area of play,…
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5 Things you can do to Encourage Your Child to Read
A passion for life-long reading requires a literacy rich environment at home and nursery.  Here’s what you can do to help - Out and about – looking for letters is so much fun. The beauty of this is that letters are everywhere and the opportunities are endless. Your child (when they are ready) will be illuminated by finding the first letter of their name on a car number plate, a sign or on a cereal box in the supermarket. Letters discovered in the environment are far more exciting than sitting in front of the TV, iPad or in front of a worksheet. Try writing a shopping list together and take it to the supermarket. Your child will feel very responsible…
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Teach Your Child to be Emotionally Smart
The “you’ll be alright” attitude that may have been instilled upon us as a child is a perspective that is quickly changing. Being emotionally intelligent is fast becoming a higher priority for employers when looking for that member of the team that stands out above the rest. If you want to guide your child towards future success, and to be a confident leader, secure in mind, body and soul, then here are some of our suggestions. Acknowledge your child’s feelings – let’s be honest, it’s not easy to stay calm in the middle of a behaviour melt-down, but the trick is to take a deep breath and try to understand what your little one is experiencing. Emotions are all a…
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Routine versus Ritual
My guess is that we all love to learn a little bit more about something special and something new – early childhood rituals is indeed something special.   But what does this mean for Nursery I hear you ask? For some time at our four Beautiful Minds Nurseries we have been observing and reflecting on our daily Nursery routines, five of which are key in a young child’s day – sleeping, toileting, dressing, feeding and transitioning (from one activity or place to another).  These five daily Nursery routines are vital in a child’s life; they give a child comfort and continuity and thus a sense of calm.  Our Nurseries regularly reflect on these times, asking how can we turn the mundane routine into a…
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That Wonderful ‘Little’ Thing Called a Learning Story
It is that time of the term, when I count down the days till I receive the portfolio for my little girl… I cannot wait to collect it from her teacher and to bring it home to my daughter and husband, where we sit down together on the couch and read it from start to finish, including all of the stories from when she was just a little baby in the Nursery baby room! – our gorgeous little girl’s personal journey right through the years, to the most recent and newest learning stories. It really is a personal challenge for me when walking from the Nursery out to the car and not to take a sneak peek as I hold the portfolio in my hands…
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The Privileged Ritual Of Growing Food
Learning How To Grow Food Is Indeed A Right For All Children I am my happiest when I am with the children in our Nursery garden! I think it brings out the ‘little child’ in me; on my knees with my hands buried in the soil and digging! Our Indigo Valley Nursery organic veggie garden is a huge part of our daily routine. At the beginning of each academic year, I go to Satwa and buy seeds and seedlings for the children to plant in our Nursery gardens and from then on the children are responsible for nurturing the plants. Its a few months now since we planted our first seeds for this season and today morning while we were…
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Book Worms
From as far back as I remember I have always enjoyed reading. It all started at the age of four when I would come home from school with my ‘Peter and Jane’ reading book. Mum and I would sit on the couch and she would patiently listen to me as I joined letters to make words. These words soon joined together to become sentences and the rest is history. Now I’ve got a little girl of my own and a love of books is something which I have most definitely passed on. When I was teaching, I read stories to my classroom children every day without fail, even now you will often find me in one of the classrooms reading…
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9 Useful Tips When Toilet Training Your Toddler
Where, when and how to start? Many mums ask us how to begin potty training their toddler. These are the 9 ways we have found most successful – Most importantly, wait till they are ready – “What signs will I see that my toddler is ready to toilet train?” – Will start to show more interest in the toilet and in toileting and begin asking questions and may even want to join you in the bathroom (be prepared for company in the lavatory from now on – look at this time as a learning opportunity!). May wake up from day time naps with a dry nappy. May start ‘holding on’ for longer periods. May start removing their nappy by themselves.…
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