Our toddler nursery is a designated building which provides the care for fun loving and active children from the age of 12 months to 5 years of age. This nursery is fully equipped with wonderful opportunities for our toddlers to explore and become active whilst feeling safe and most important to us here at Smartys to be loved within a homely environment decorated with brightly coloured pictures and equipped with exciting toys and furniture to learn through play.
Our toddler nursery is on two floors: Downstairs is for our fun loving little active toddlers from the age of approximately 18 – 20 months to 2 years of age and our upstairs is for inquisitive and ever developing children from the age of approximately 2 – 3 years of age.
Our staff always make sure that a parent handover takes place. This ensures positive relationships with parents and promotes communication and consistency between the care given at nursery and at home.
Here at the toddlers playhouse we encourage independence in a variety of ways, such as moving from highchairs to little captain chairs for meal times as they are beginning to feed themselves (with the help from carers !!). All learning is through play so the children are barely aware that they are learning quite so much! The morning routine is repeated slightly in the afternoon with different activities provided to ensure a variety for those that attend on full days.
All of our toddlers enjoy lots of messy activities from sand, water, painting, jelly, shaving foam, play dough, glupe, pasta and much more (the messier the better!) We do something different each day. These activities encourage children’s creativity and social skills. They have the opportunity to learn academic skills along with opportunities for fun. These also help to promote their physical and social skills. We offer the kind of activities that may prove to be completely impractical at home. This makes nursery unique and exciting to the children. We offer a wide variety of activities and resources to ensure we find something to stimulate every child’s needs.
We enjoy taking part in circle time which helps the children to develop the understanding of the world and their language skills. The children enjoy taking part in group activities and learn more each day. They often surprise us by coming up with something new at every opportunity.
Our children also enjoy every opportunity to sing in groups and alone. The interaction builds on the children’s language skills and confidence. They especially enjoy action rhymes which they all can participate in. They end up with quite a broad repertoire of songs.
All of the above is also done through makaton signing where the children learn new ways to communicate with carers and peers along with enhancing their current language skills. We believe that early intervention plays a key role in any child’s development.
All of our toddlers are offered the choice of wanting a sleep, sleep and rest encourages growth and development and also recharges their mind. However some of our older children have grown out of this and are full of energy throughout their busy day.
The children sleep on fold away mattresses and each have their own pump bag containing bedding. Some parents may wish to limit the time their children sleep throughout the day. Whereas others may sleep away until they wake up naturally. We encourage any comforters from home to be given during sleep times.
Although we have specific nappy changing times, we check all nappies regularly and change them when necessary and throughout their time with us the children usually begin to toilet train. This is done with the upmost sensitivity ensuring that parents and carers take a similar approach to ensure consistency throughout this period of change. The children are rewarded for their successes with praise, stickers and rewards.
All of our activities are planned to stimulate the children’s existing interests. Adults may take a leading role during some of these where as the children may take the initiative with others and take the activity in a direction of their choice. All of our activities throughout the toddler’s playhouse follow the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage). All activities are also carefully planned around themes that promote children’s overall development.
As our children progress to our upstairs rooms of the toddler nursery they become involved in a variety of activities from wild and wacky messy play to calmer intricate activities such as threading, building, sorting, peg boards and many more. We reward positive behaviour in a variety of ways including stickers, certificates and helpers of the day. The children are encouraged to be kind and caring to each other and to use their manners at all times.
We encourage our older toddlers to become as independent as they can, we enjoy a variety of different activities to promote this from finding our pictures as we arrive in the morning and posting them into the post box, we have a special book containing pictures of the toys so we can choose ourselves what we want to play with this in turn helps us to show and communicate our preference s to carers as to how we want to spend our day. We enjoy circle time where we talk about the weather, days of the week using laguage as a powerful way of meaning, we share our feelings and experiences along with our thoughts.
We like to get messy too and as we become more creative and knowledgeable we begin to combine movement, materials, media and marks. The activities provide the opportunities for the children to get involved in new experiences that may challenge their expectations.
The children throughout their time with us as toddlers have plenty of sensory experiences and activities available to them throughout the day. Not only do they benefit from this creative play but also the children enjoy playing with one another in small groups where they can let their imaginations run riot.
At the end of their busy day and as the parents come to collect their fun loving and active toddlers they are given a detailed hand over about any special moments for the day along with how their child’s day has been and what they have been up to.