The playground is a place for laughter, energy and happiness. But what is it about the outdoors that provides children with such social stimulation? For one, outdoor play allows children to let off steam, reducing their anxiety levels, but there’s more to it than that just stress-busting. Through the use of outdoor playground equipment, children learn how to interact and cooperate with one another in a way that keeps a smile on everyone’s face.
A 2105 study by the UK’s leading playground supplier, Playforce, demonstrated that investment in school playgrounds increases children’s physical activity and improves behaviour. This initial study is now being followed up by further research amongst customers into the evidential impact that investment in play areas has for school-age children.
Mark Wood, TCL Group Managing Director for Play, said: “As part of our commitment to giving every child the opportunity to live a healthy, active life, we're asking customers that have had a Playforce installation in the last 36 months to complete a short survey. The survey will look at the impact installing a playground has had on physical activity levels, behaviour and positive attitudes to learning”.
As an Early Years Practitioner, it’s all about preparation, learning and achieving day to day. At Childcare Expo, you can do all of this in one day. By attending the show dedicated to the early years industry, childcare professionals can save both time and money along with filling up their bags and minds with heaps of useful and inspiring knowledge and tools that they can take straight back to their setting.
In 2014 Tavistock House Day Nursery Ltd were given the go-ahead to turn a former boxing club in Hetton, Sunderland into a new pre-school nursery.
At Hetton House Day Nursery they believe that the early years in a child's life are very important. Ensuring that the children and staff would have a safe and comfortable environment that would be fit for purpose would be at the forefront of their planning, which would of course include the best quality flooring possible. The installation would be done by Tyne and Weir-based Aiken Flooring Contracts Ltd, with the final choice of products falling to international flooring and interiors specialist Gerflor, who would supply 513m² of their hugely popular Taralay Impression Control and Tarasafe Ultra products.
Thursday 29th September marks World Heart Day, an important day committed to raising awareness about the heart and cardiovascular diseases. It is also a great opportunity to help people understand the important role played by their hearts.
The heart is one of the most vital organs in the body and is fundamental to our health. It’s important to care for our hearts to ensure we live a healthy and fulfilling life.
It's reported that approximately 60,000 sudden cardiac arrests (SCA) take place outside of the hospital each year in the UK. When someone suffers from SCA, every minute is critical to their chances of survival. Therefore, it is important that people understand what to do in case of an emergency.
The firm launched the enterprise back in 2003 to provide comprehensive cover and bespoke packages to the childcare sector.
Since then dot2dot has grown into one of the UK’s leading insurers for the sector covering 70,000 children in more than 1,700 nurseries throughout the UK and protecting in excess of£1.7bn in assets.
One of the biggest challenges many parents face is having a picky eater in the family. Many children become fussy with food around the age of 18-24 months, often forming the start of a long term battle for many parents.
The Government recommends that all children eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but research suggests that only 1 in 5 children achieve this - with many pre-schoolers often having days where they eat no fruit or vegetables at all. In contrast, the average child consumes more than three times the maximum amount of processed sugar recommended.
Sand is an incredibly versatile substance. It can be manipulated into almost any form, making it ideal for use in outdoor play. If your nursery has a sandtable, then it’s important that each activity is planned with a learning objective. With so much potential for fun and sensory stimulation, introducing games that get your child thinking and creating will significantly improve their development.
Since trips to the beach are both unpredictable and uncontrollable, sand play can be the next best thing. Finding time to include some of these activities in your children’s playtime will help them get to grips with a tactile material, without the unexpected incidents of the great outdoors.
The Olympics are just around the corner and Rio is set to unveil one of the biggest playgrounds in the world. With so much activity and athleticism on display, now could be the opportune time to inspire your own Olympic-themed outdoor games.
Even without the resources on offer in Brazil, nurseries can still use the occasion to encourage physical and motor skill development in early-years learners. Children will hop, skip and jump at the chance to recreate their favourite Olympic moments.
At nursery and in the playground, children have the opportunity to create, build and explore. Pretend play is one of the main pillars of learning and can help children deal with difficult concepts such as empathy and decision making. Without our imaginations, we wouldn’t be able to express individuality or make plans for the future.
Not all children learn in the same way. For some it can be far more difficult to keep pace both physically and academically with their classmates. But SEN learners deserve the same standard of education as everyone else. While it may take a fresh approach to engage them with learning and play, it can prove hugely beneficial in the long run.
In many ways, we are living in an enlightened age. Diversity and equality are taken seriously and enshrined in law, and women are able to aspire to careers and opportunities that they just wouldn’t have had a hundred years ago. But even in our progressive times, male childcare professionals are a rare sight, accounting for just 2% of the workforce. And this is a shame, because there are solid, valuable benefits to be gained by recruiting more male workers into the early years sector. Here are four ways in which introducing more men into childcare roles would bring positive results for children, parents and childcare professionals alike.
Male role models
Lisa Bennet, managing director of the four Cherrytrees Nurseries sites in Scotland, explains the nursery-to-parent communications challenges they faced and how Apps Central’s Day Nursery App improved engagement.
About the Nurseries
Cherrytrees Nurseries was formed in 2000, with its first nursery in Melrose in the Scottish Borders. Three more followed, in Dunbar, Edinburgh and Hawick. These four geographically diverse sites currently provide childcare to over 700 children.
Cherrytrees Nurseries have been awarded either ‘Good’ or ‘Very Good’ in their latest Care Inspectorate reports.
Music is always present in one form or another throughout our lives. Even as babies, we’re influenced by the music our parents choose to play at home. Music also promotes self-expression and can be an incredible tool for learning. For toddlers and preschoolers, it can be the perfect accompaniment to active play and has many uses both inside and outside the classroom.
Not only is water an abundant natural resource, it is also a great resource for learning too. Although it may seem like all that splashing around is for nothing, there are a lot of valuable lessons that young children can learn from quality water play. Introducing water tables to your nursery can help children develop much needed motor and cognitive skills in a fun and changing environment.
Developing Problem Solving Skills Through Experimentation
Sometimes children need a little extra stimulation to get them thinking and responding. Whilst classrooms can be great spaces for quiet, concentrated learning, they don’t offer the same opportunities as the outdoors. Taking lessons outside not only allows children to let off steam, but also encourages them to be more engaged in their learning.
Communication and Literacy are subjects that many young children find difficult to grasp at first because the idea of words and sentences is completely foreign to them. Rather than sitting them down in front of a book and hoping for the best, children can benefit from games and activities which allow them to actively engage with the material.
Training Manager Fay Gibbin at Busy Bees Training, part of the Busy Bees nursery group, currently oversees over 700 childcare, management and catering apprenticeships as well as 20 short courses delivered at each of the 12 venues throughout the country. Here, Fay offers her views on the importance of Paediatric First Aid training and how the childcare sector needs to champion an increase in qualified first aid practitioners.
Every childcare professional feels the weight of responsibility on their shoulders. After all, they have been entrusted with a parent’s most precious possession; their child. While a child is in their care, they are responsible for not only their day-to-day welfare and development, but more vitally, their safety.
Outdoor play can benefit children of all ages and no activity is more beneficial (or quite as much fun) as building dens. The creative and cognitive juice that goes into putting together a den is often more profitable than simply copying letters from a whiteboard. When children participate in this activity, they are not only building dens, but they are also building the key skills they need for growing up.
Creativity And Problem Solving
Playing outdoors is not just about keeping kids active. Many vital social and emotional skills can be learnt through creative and imaginative exercises. The outdoors is great for this purpose, because it provides children with a ready-made world to explore together. By engaging their imaginations, children can discover more about the world around them, solving problems with creative thought and building relationships through social mimicry.
Introducing equipment and activities that encourage this kind of play can enrich your pupil’s development. There are many types of imaginative play, but the following tend to make the most of your outdoor area.