Fun with Letters and Sounds

Fun with letters and sounds ! ????
As our children move into the Adventurers room at our Cannock setting, we develop their communication, language and literacy even further by introducing ‘letters and sounds’.
This is a 6 phase programme designed to teach children how the alphabet works.
Initially there is a focus on listening and developing this vital skill.
Our small groups go on ‘ listening walks ‘ to identify and notice the variety of sounds around them . They then move through the following phases-
2- making sounds and instrumental sounds
3-body percussion
4- rhythm and rhyme
5- Alliteration
6- voice sounds
All of these encourage an awareness of sound and eventually recognising them in words. Here are some of them in action! ?

Fun at the Supermarket!

Fun at the supermarket!
?? ???

We all know that, as parents and carers, food shopping can be a chore.
However, that is from an adult’s perspective. Take a minute to think about the wonderful learning and life experiences that it holds for a baby and young child –
It’s a rich sensory experience of sounds, smells, tastes, sights and touch! The exposure to the many different people around us is a fabulous way to experience diversity in our communities.
Socially, it is a great opportunity to interact as other customers respond to the smiles and waves that our Little ones display from the seat of the shopping trolley.
Spending time talking about shapes, size, colour and amounts of items is fabulous time to introduce maths concepts in a fun way.
As adults engage around them with day to day chat, this is modelling communication and language to the children.
Even though many of us may shop online now, it is well worth taking a trip to the supermarket as a stand alone activity just to reap the benefits it has to offer.
Click on this link below for some lovely ideas for games to play when at the supermarket . It may help bring the fun back into shopping for us adults too ! ?

https://www.brighthorizons.com/resources/Blog/grocery-store-activities-for-preschoolers

Wheeeee love slides!

Wheeeee love slides!

Here at Little Owl Cannock Daycare Nursery that “Wheee” sound is a very familiar one to us all!

Our children love spending time climbing on the variety of slides we offer.

The benefits of using a slide make it more than just a fun activity ….
? It helps them learn to balance as they have to keep their torso in balance as gravity pulls them down.
?there is a lot of coordination involved in climbing the ladder,changing position at the top, safely, sitting down and finally descending .
?climbing the steps is a super way to strengthen upper and lower body muscles as well as giving them a cardio work out!
?valuable social skills are being learned, taking turns -waiting for someone to move before sliding down, cooperating with each other will help them interact throughout childhood and into adulthood. Communication and language is developed also as they count the steps and ask for help if needed.

So let’s encourage this type of activity as much as possible!

 

Little Actors in the Making!

Little actors in the making! ?

Our preschoolers, at our Cannock Daycare Nursery, are thoroughly enjoying their weekly drama sessions courtesy of Chase Grammar School.

It is giving them the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in singing, sharing feelings, acting out real life situations, improving memory and communication skills, building their confidence socially and generally having lots of fun.
Well done to our Little Owls Adventurers!

Bringing stories to life

Bringing stories to life for our Little Owls! ??

Our Adventurers in the preschool at our Cannock Nursery absolutely love story time ?.

The traditional tales are brought to life with our wonderful story sacks.

They are able to use all their senses to fully immerse themselves in the storytelling process. Using a story sack enables everyone to access the story regardless of their communication and language skills.

We have many stories to share, here are a couple of examples…
For more information about the benefits of story sacks see the link attached.
https://literacytrust.org.uk/resources/how-make-and-use-story-sack/#:~:text=Using%20story%20sacks%20in%20your%20early%20years%20setting,memorable%203%20supporting%20children%20with%20their%20own%20storytelling

“Alexa, play Nursery Rhymes”

“Alexa, play nursery rhymes !”

It’s time to get singing! ?

We love nothing more than a good old sing song with our babies in The Discovery Room!

It connects us all and brings a smile to our faces especially if someone is feeling a little sad – it proves to be a helpful distraction and leaves everyone feeling better!

But why is singing so important? Here are a few reasons…
? It connects us socially as we share the actions to the songs and It exposes our Little ones to vocabulary that may not occur in day to day conversation.

?It strengthens their fine and gross motor skills as we clap our hands, point to things or stamp our feet

? It improves their memories as we remember the repetitive patterns and actions to
the songs.

We often include the shakers and other objects around the room to
enhance the experience!
For many more positive reasons to break into song with your little one, take a look at this link…

https://www.bbc.co.uk/tiny-happy-people/why-do-we-sing-nursery-rhymes/zdsyf82

“I can do it myself!”

‘ I can do it myself!’

Encouraging independence in our Little Owls.

As our babies at Cannock Nursery develop into toddlers, one of the most noticeable changes is that they are eager to do a lot more for themselves.
When our babies become confident walkers, they take the next step and move into the Explorers room. From there they move to Adventurers. These rooms are where the children’s independence really comes into play.

Learning to follow routines is one key way to provide opportunities for this, for example –
Hanging up their own coat, washing hands before meal times and sitting down together for story and singing time.

Snack time provides many opportunities for our Little Owls to show off their skills.
Our routine enables them to make a choice of snack, to use a child’s knife to spread the butter and cheese on by themselves and to pour their own drink .

The children develop such a sense of achievement as well as developing key fine motor skills along the way.
All of these responsibilities empower our children and are important steps towards preparing them for the big wide world ! ?

Saying affirmations with our young children

Affirmations are repeatedly saying positive declarations to yourself and your experience.

Affirmations can help young children feel confident and encourage a positive self-image. They are also a powerful way of reducing anxiety.

An affirmation like “I can do this” just might help your little one have some confidence when they are struggling to dress themselves, use kind hands or maybe they are having a hard time waiting their turn.

The more your little one says positive affirmations about themselves, the more they will start to believe them. It’s teaching our little ones that when a self-limiting belief arises “I can’t do it!!”, to switch it with a positive thought “I’ll keep trying!”.

This of course takes time with children so young, but that’s where you as the responsible adult needs to model this.

It’s important children learn this at such a young age so that it becomes natural in their later lives. Educating children on numbers, colours etc is important absolutely but at Little Owl’s we believe their positivity and self-love is just as important.

Children will struggle to understand what an affirmation is and how to use them effectively, but you can begin by talking to your little ones about the different thoughts and feelings they have. Although there is no wrong or right way to feel, some of our feelings make us feel better than others.

Some examples you can use with your young children are:

I am a good friend

I am kind

I am special

I am happy

I am strong

I am loved

How to support our children with separation anxiety

Covid 19 has meant missed / inconsistent nursery sessions, no stay and play sessions, hardly any experience of the outside world and adventures with family and friends.

So it’s understandable that when going to nursery or when being left with another responsible adult they are going to be full of anxiety, confusion and frustration.

When starting nursery or after having some time off due to holidays, sickness etc. young children struggle with their emotions because it’s out of their routine so even more so now their emotions are going to be heightened as a lot of our young children have only ever been in the care of their parents/carers and as of recently, immediate family. Most children have never been without their parents until now.

You may drop your child off feeling like the worst parent in the world as they kick and scream your name but you’re actually helping them learn to cope without you, and that’s an important step towards their growing independence. It’s also a sign of how well you have bonded with your child. Don’t be too hard on yourself – separation anxiety is common and it’s normal even more so in these times of covid.

Tips for separation anxiety:

  • Practice short sharp bursts when leaving your child. Due to covid children may require more frequent and shorter settling in sessions i.e., leaving them for 10 minutes one day. 15 the next. It may be tedious to begin with and feel like a long process but they need to understand and realise that every time you are coming back. It’s also good as its not allowing them enough time to get overly distressed if you do leave him when they are upset.
  • If your child is between the ages of 3-5 they will be familiar with certain places you visit together in your local area i.e. the shop down the road. When leaving your child you can talk to them before and when dropping them off about where you are going and that you will be back soon.
  • Talk about what you are going to do when you pick them up so they have something to look forward toe. “when Daddy picks you up we are going to pop to Nanny and Grandad’s house”.
  • Leave something comforting with your child. This could be something of theirs i.e. a blanket, a teddy or something of yours; perhaps a scarf, a cardigan, an item that smells like you.
  • Speak to your child about all of the fun things they will get up to at Nursery. If your child is obsessed with trains, Peppa pig or sand make sure you tell the setting / person caring for your child. They can ensure this is available for them.