• 4 Strategies to Teach Technology to Children
    4 Strategies to Teach Technology to Children With the rapid increase in technological development, babies as young as a few months of age are being exposed to a variety of devices, such as phones, tablets and screens. In fact, many scientists are referring to the generation of children born after the year 2000 as ‘digital natives’ because of their interactions with digital media from a very young age and the ease at which they can learn to manipulate these electronics. So what are some ways, for us as parents and educators, to ensure that we provide positive and valuable learning experiences for our young children? Make it purposeful – instead of passively using the technological devices (which we are all…
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    Every Day is a School Day – Even for Teachers
    Every Day is a School Day – Even for Teachers Beautiful Minds Nurseries is always a few steps ahead of the game when it comes to teaching practice and pedagogy.  How so… you ask?  Our nurseries achieve this high quality first and foremost by a complete team of qualified teachers and continuous professional development.  Research is constantly developing and new findings are made daily.  Our passionate teachers have an innate professional drive to continue learning.  Together we seek new knowledge and drive quality standards forward. We receive Professional Development through a variety of means – ‘in-house;’ Early Years Educational Services (EYES); August Staff Professional Development Week; World Forum on Early Care and Education; Preschool Learning Alliance Accreditation. Everyone is an expert! Our team of ‘beautiful minds’ teachers and supervisors…
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    10 Guilt-Free Apps for Nursery Children
    10 Guilt-Free Apps for Nursery Children Right Mums and Dads!  Here is our list of favourite Apps for your kids… Now before I start I must make one point clear… I’m not a parent that thrusts an iPad or iPhone into my child’s hand at any given moment to keep them quiet.  You won’t see my children with a device in their hands at a restaurant or in the supermarket, or in the car on the way to nursery in the morning.  It’s at these times that I delight in the imaginative and often enlightening conversation with my child. I love the discussion about what they think we might need from the supermarket, how many tomatoes we might need for the…
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    8 Things your Teacher Wishes you Knew
    8 Things your Teacher Wishes you Knew Ok!  So this question got us on a roll… it turns out there are loads of things we would love for you all to know.  We put this message out to our teachers here at Emerald City Nursery… “what things do we as teachers wish parents knew” and here is a list of our favourite answers that came back. Zero to three years are the most important years in your child’s life – for real! This isn’t just something people say on a whim; see this series of videos by the Harvard University for the Center for the Developing Child on Brain Architecture for an insight into how your little one's brain is developing.  An…
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    5 New Year’s Resolutions you can Involve the Kids in!
    5 New Year’s Resolutions you can Involve the Kids in! So it’s that time of year again when we are full of good intentions. Whether it be to eat healthier, exercise more or find ways to make our dirhams go further we all have something we would like to achieve in the year ahead. The beginning of the year symbolises a new start and with that comes new aspirations and dreams, but why not keep it simple this year?  Give yourself realistic goals which are achievable and stress-free.  Involve your children, even better make resolutions focused on them(let’s face it our world revolves around them anyway) which can be incorporated into everyday life.  Here are 5 that may be worth a try.…
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    Keeping Green – Our 14 Steps Towards Being Eco-Friendly
    Keeping Green – Our 14 Steps Towards Being Eco-Friendly We are ALL ABOUT reducing our carbon footprint and being eco-friendly!  Read our 14 steps that we implement in the nursery and maybe they will give you ideas for the home.  Go GREEN!!! Think Before Printing – we do – do you? Save ink, save paper, save trees! Only Organic & Biodegradable Cleaning Products in our house. Give AC’s a break!! Switch OFF when not needed. The lights go OUT when we leave the room. Join our Parent Garden Committee & grow organic veggies! We love the dedication & sense of community. Composting brings life to our organic veggie garden. Bokashi – Keeping Nature Alive – Only natural compost for us!  Food scraps & special bins = zero waste. Have you used…
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    Organic Gardening 101 with Kids
    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…
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    Benefits of Play Dough + Easiest Dough Recipe Ever!
    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…
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    5 Things you can do to Encourage Your Child to Read
    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…
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    Teach Your Child to be Emotionally Smart
    Teach Your Child to be Emotionally Smart The “you’ll be alright” attitude that may have been instilled in 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 meltdown, but the trick is to take a deep breath and try to understand what your little…
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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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    Being a Good Role Model
    Being a Good Role Model “We teach by example – the ‘mentor’ or role-model affects behaviour far more than telling children what to do (and also far more than punishment – we do not condone punishment). Children observe all interaction between their parents and other people – your children are constantly watching and listening. Parents rarely need to say the words ”Watch this” or ”This is how you carry yourself in the world” – children instinctively learn through their own observations of their parents. What is important for us to always keep in mind is ‘modeling’ – teaching by example – has a direct effect on all children. Modeling does not necessarily dictate a child’s behaviour as children of course…
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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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    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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