Knowing where to turn for support

Knowing where to turn to for support
It can be really difficult to know where to find support for your child if they have any difficulties, for example with their speech and language or with their communication skills. Here at Little Owl Childcare we are always here to listen to and to support our families the very best we can. It may be that we can point you in the right direction to websites and articles or that we can make referrals for you if necessary to try and get your child the right support that they need. It may be that you just need to have a sit down and a hot drink and to have a chat! We are always here for our families.
Here is a link to the BBC little people website which provides families with some support with special educational needs and disabilities.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year
We have enjoyed learning about Chinese New Year at our woodland nursery. The children listened carefully to the story ‘Lanterns and Firecrackers’ which gave us an insight to how this festival is prepared for and celebrated. We thought about how some of our own celebrations are similar to Chinese New Year such as New Year and Bonfire Night where we also let off fireworks. The children listened to the story of ‘The Great Race’ and had lots of fun having their own great race on the field near our woodland. The children listened well to the rules and ran when they heard ‘ready, steady, go!’ and stopped at the finish line near one of there teachers. We enjoyed Chinese New Year letters and sounds activities such as playing ‘I spy’ using pictures of animals from ‘The Great Race’ story. We had lots of fun creating our own dragon head; we painted a box red and used natural and craft leaves for the dragon’s facial features. At the end of the week we enjoyed responding to music performing a dragon dance in the woodland. Finally, we explored Chinese food! We had the option of tasting sweet and sour chicken, rice, noodles and prawn crackers!
Happy New Year from our woodland explorers.
Here is a video of a JoJo and Gran Gran episode where JoJo learns all about Chinese New Year. Enjoy!

Embracing Nature

Embracing Nature
Nature is full of wonder for children. Children get first hand experience’s to feel the roughness of a tree, to look for minibeasts under logs, to observe the changing colour of the leaves and watch leaves dancing in the wind. The outdoors helps to build children’s confidence, social skills, resilience and their gross motor skills.
The article below from ‘The Curiosity Approach’ beautifully explains the importance of ’embracing the authenticity of nature’.

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!
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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 ! ?

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.,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…

“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 ! ?