Hello everyone, welcome to our October newsletter!
As always, we provide an overview of what is happening within our childcare community. This month we will focus on indoor play, its types, and activity ideas for children of various ages.
Topic of the month - indoor play for children's development
Play is how kids learn and develop during their early years. As the pandemic continues to restrict outdoor activities for young children, indoor play has become the norm rather than an option for most parents for their children’s entertainment and development.
As space is limited, parents need to be more creative in devising play activities that not only entertain the children but also help their early development.
Types of play
This type of play refers to activities that follow a certain set of rules or patterns. The play usually has a goal in mind to achieve. Structured play includes board games for older kids, storytelling for toddlers, and songs for babies.
Unstructured play is play that happens organically and directed by the child’s interest. When you allow a child to choose what to do to entertain themselves, this is unstructured play. And imagination and creativity is its foundation. Whether it’s make believe games like the floor is lava, dressing up as a nurse or police officer, or building blanket forts and makeshift tents, a child’s imagination is the only limit to unstructured play.
Indoor play ideas for children 0-5 years old
Babies (0-9 months)
Babies love faces and it’s a great way to familiarise them with facial expressions. Exercise their eyes and perception by making silly faces and observing whether they’re able to imitate your facial expressions.
It’s a very simple game which contributes to a baby’s sense of object permanence. Peek-a-boo teaches a baby that a person or object still exists even if he cannot see it. It also helps babies develop visually.
Toys that demonstrate cause-and-effect relationships
As babies develop their fine motor skills, give them toys that produce an effect when a certain action is done. Toys that require pushing a button to play a sound or make an element pop out perfectly demonstrates cause-and-effect to their young minds. And the effect also encourages them to do the motion repeatedly.
Toddler (1-2 years)
The texture of paint is something that will tickle a toddler’s sense of feel while its various colours will delight their eyes. It’s also a good way to track and commemorate your child’s growth.
Put any object in your toddler’s hands and chances are he’s either going to put it in his mouth or bang it as if it were drums. Encourage their music-making abilities by giving them pots and pans as practice drums. Just make sure to alert your neighbours first as it’s about to get rocking loud in your home.
As toddlers learn their colours, ask them to practice their knowledge of colours by making them sort and group items of the same colour together. It could be their balls, toys, legos, wood blocks, or even their stuffed toys. This colour-sorting activity enhances your toddler’s cognitive skills along with his hand-eye coordination.
Preschool children (3-5years)
Preschool children have boundless energy and being cooped up in the house for far too long may make them restless. A simple game of tag around the house can help them release their energy through running around their playroom or kid-proofed areas of the house. A couple of laps is great exercise for their young bodies and will certainly encourage nap time afterwards without a lot of fuss.
Preschool children have just started to make sense of the world around them, recognising the different roles and occupations adults around them have. Encourage their sense of imagination and creative thinking by challenging them to play dress up to mimic everyday characters they encounter starting from the friendly traffic enforcer they meet at children’s crossings to their favourite teacher or cartoon character. This activity exercises their resourcefulness and creativity.
Using regular household items, set out your child on an adventure finding these items hidden in the hunt. It could be kitchen tools and equipment needed to make his favourite cookie or dessert. It could be her favourite stuffed toys exploring various areas in the house. This activity challenges their young minds to explore, think, and observe.
0-12 month development
Babies, The Delta Variant And COVID: What Parents Need To Know
Author: Selena Simmons-Duffins
Babies are especially vulnerable to the highly transmissible delta variant of coronavirus. While babies are yet to qualify for vaccines, there are measures expecting parents can follow to ensure a better layer of protection for their baby.
For example, the best thing an expecting mother can do is to get vaccinated. This not only immunises the mother but also passes on coronavirus antibodies to the baby. After giving birth, breastfeeding is also another way of passing on antibodies. Another step is ensuring the circle of caregivers who are in frequent contact with your baby only includes healthy vaccinated people, especially immediate caregivers.
Read on to find out more about how you can protect your baby against COVID-19 delta variant.
1-2 year development
Starting daycare during COVID? Here's what parents need to know
Author: MK Menon
As your little one starts daycare, it’s a naturally anxious time for them. An unfamiliar environment and new faces definitely elevate anxiety levels for them but adapting is the key to a smoother transition.
Relaxed parents translate into relaxed children. And asking the right questions also helps parents feel more comfortable about dropping their kids off to daycare.
Has the word “no” become the favourite word of your little one? As your toddler starts to make sense of the world around them, they will naturally begin to crave more independence. And one of those ways is to establish boundaries and explore alternative options such as saying ‘no.’
When a parent first encounters this in a toddler, it can be quite confusing. And most parents resort to the same techniques that may actually be detrimental to their natural parental authority.
As kids, we learn navigating or wayfinding by exploring our neighbourhoods. Some use landmarks and structures to orient them while others prefer knowing where their north to their south is. Regardless of how one finds his way in a new place, wayfinding skills are essential if one is to explore the world out there.
A recent study showed that adults who were given more freedom during their childhood roaming about their neighbourhood on their own gave them more confidence in navigating new places in adulthood.
Navigate to this article to learn more about wayfinding and the boost it gives our confidence in discovering new places.
Piñata Paper Bag
Teach your kids how to make it rain with treats using fun-sized materials such as a paper bag, coloured tissue, and candy treats.
This next craft is a colourful chemistry experiment that’ll fully engage all of your kids’ senses. Try this delicious experiment during tea time and see what colours you can achieve by adding a squeeze of lemon or a dash of baking soda to a butterfly pea flower tea.
Is your child feeling under the weather? Turn that gloomy disposition into a sunny outlook by showing how weather can be created in a simple jar. From rain to rainbow, frost, snow, or tornado, inspire their wonder and amazement at how a simple jar can mimic various weather situations.
With Halloween just around the corner, deck the halls and walls of your home with your kids’ very own coloured artwork of various Halloween scenes and icons. There are a variety of drawings to choose from--bats and ghosts that allow younger children to experiment with colours and more refined drawings with thin lines to give your older kids a dexterity exercise.