My setting offers two separate play areas, a safe garden and a large kitchen table for art, crafts and baking. The largest of the two rooms offers all kinds of play opportunities. The “quiet corner” offers children an opportunity to help themselves to a blanket or cushion and a book or a teddy and take some time to chill out or read.
The other room contains two large wooden storage units with various toys such as:
- Brio train track and loads of trains
- A dressing up box of weird and wonderful hats, and bits of material, so your child can be whatever they want to be.
- Puzzles for all ages
- Role play – shop
- Role play – tea set
- Shape sorters
- Toddler Toys
- Mr Potato head
- Fisher Price garage
And much more!
There is plenty of floor space for your child to spread out their toys and play.
Sometimes I will initiate an activity but your child will be fully in charge of what they want to do at all other times! Sometimes I join in, and sometimes I need to assess them. I think allowing the children to get involved in open ended play is vital for their continued learning. We all know how much fun a child can get from a plain cardboard box – and I will endeavour to make sure they have this kind of thing to play with. (big cardboard box donations very welcome! New TV? bring the empty box to me!) If your child tells you they’ve washed the doll or teddy clothes and pegged them on the line – or they tell you they’ve been working in a shop, or designing a zoo, – don’t panic, it’s just role play and I am merely seeking to widen their knowledge of their environment.
I also provide a child sized table and chairs – perfect for that impromptu drawing or doing a jigsaw puzzle. Another large wooden unit holds lots of boxes filled with various toys and objects of interest.
Finally, the kitchen offers a place to enjoy a meal, do a craft activity, create something from play dough, or make a messy painting. I also encourage the children to get involved in making cakes and preparing simple meals. The double patio doors lead out into the secure safe back garden. These doors are left open (weather permitting) so the children can choose to be outside whenever they want. The children will be provided with something to cover up their clothes (probably a large t-shirt or an apron) when we are painting or doing messy crafts, but please be aware that kids do get messy whatever they are doing, so sending them to me in their old play clothes is probably wise! Your child will bring home any pictures or objects that they have made, except if there is something specific we have done and I wish to include it in their learning story folder, or display it on the notice board. It will be sent home at a later date unless your child wants to bring it home.
Out and about/day trips
Despite all the toys and equipment I provide I know that children need a change of scenery and to get out into the countryside. This is where a childminder can offer a more unique and interesting service for your child. I am able to take your children out into the country side so they can appreciate nature and see some different places at the same time.We can find the grey squirrels in Kelling woods, we can feed the ducks and we can follow endless nature trails through Sheringham Woods. We can go Pond dipping and rock pool hunting, and we can take advantage of the many different swing parks in the area. To teach the children about different animals and their habitats we can visit Hillside in West Runton and Cromer Zoo. The Bower at Sheringham Park provides many wonderful play and learning opportunities. Pond dipping is encouraged, as is den building. There are many interesting plants and flowers and a large grassy area ideal for ball games and picnics. A huge board provides information about the many things you may find in the pond. The bug hotel and the butterfly garden is also very interesting and a great way of introducing children to nature. All outings go through a vigorous risk assessment first, and the ages and abilities of the children will always be taken into account. These trips and any others will of course be discussed with each parent on an individual basis. If any parent knows of any local outdoor spaces that they are already enjoying with their child, do please let me know, I am always on the lookout for different places to take the children.