How to add Nature to a Baby and Toddler Classroom

Autumn Leaves on the Ground

Everyone that works with children knows how hard it is to to make great use of the outdoors with very young children all year round. Therefore we have been
wondering what we can do to bring the outdoors inside the classroom as well. I have previously worked in a Montessori setting which is great for the use of natural objects, wood, glass and metal – and a lack of plastic.

Over time we found that with pre-school children it is fairly easy to introduce natural topics into the classroom and set up a nature table to allow for scientific exploration. There are a lot of resources available – from magnifying glasses to bug catchers.

With children under the age of 2 however all of this tends to be a little more subtle – a nature display table will turn into a jumble on the floor within about 2 mins, without any learning having taken place. Therefore we have to spread our resources out and make natural materials the standard in the classroom for all children to use. Also during focussed activities we need to offer a lot of support for younger children.

So here are a number of steps for you to implement when adding nature into your baby and toddler classroom. Please also see my pinterest board on Natural Environments, which I will be adding things to.  Continue reading

How to make a candle?

~Oh Dear. I finished the whole post and then went to add a picture on the app and it seems wordpress has deleted everything.. so let’s start all over again.~

I already told you about what you will need to make a candle. Now onto: How to make a candle?

Step 1: Find an old pot and fill it with about 2 cms of water. Heat the water but don’t bring it to the boil. That’ll make it easier to keep the second pot steady.

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Step 2: Get out your containers for melting the wax. Make sure they are clean and dry! Please remember if you are using Paraffin Wax you will never get these pots quite clean again! Continue reading

Literary Mini Book Envelopes

New Origami Envelopes. Envelopes are 7×5.5cms in size and all hand folded. The envelopes close without using tape but tucking the top into the special corner that you can see on the photographs. Ideal for Wedding and Party Thank You’s and also for Scrapbooking or Decorating Gifts.

 

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Check out my shop.

Whats your favourite Origami?

How to choose a Nursery for your child

Recently the demand for short term bookings in our Nursery and Pre-School seems to have gone up a lot. Therefore I wanted to write a little something on how to choose a nursery.

When should I look for a nursery?

This might sound ridiculous but a good time to look for a Nursery Place is before your baby is born.

I know, I know, so much going on – preparing baby’s bedroom; seeing aunties, uncles and parents; lots of shopping… but in particular in areas like London the waiting lists in good day care settings are very long. That means the only way to guarantee a place is to get in early.

What do I need to know before I call the setting?

Before calling nurseries you should be aware of the following:

  • When will your maternity leave end – roughly, let them know if you are flexible
  • How many days a week will you need? – If you are unsure, put down a booking for 5 days a week, it is easier for a nursery to accomodate a full-time place than a part-time place which makes the process of actually being offered a place much easier as well.
  • How long will it take you to get your child to nursery and then to work, will you be able to arrange pick up in time? Consider this when looking at the Opening Hours of the setting!

How do I go about seeing a nursery?

Continue reading

How to make a candle – What’s a “test burn”?

So I have all the stuff together and want to make my first candle. Why should I waste time “test burning” it??

Well, a test burn might save you a lot of money in the long run as you can be sure that you’re finished candle will burn properly and smell nice.

Ok, I’ll do it. But what do I need to do?

When I make a candle for test burn I take my container and prepare it the way I usually would. Pre wax the wick, place it inside the container, centre it, melt the wax and pour it in. BUT instead of making the whole candle I pour in about 1cm. Then I leave it to set completely. When the wax is all set I light the candle and observe. I am looking out for the wick, how far the wax is melting and how long it takes for the entire width of the container to be liquid.

Well, that’s good, but you forgot to add the scent.

Nope I didn’t. I go back to washing all the wax out of the container. Then I repeat the process ensuring that I use the appropriate sized wick – this time with scent. I do this because the scent can alter the performance of the wax and wick. It may even mean that I need to use a stronger wick, so I want to be aware of that.

After the second test burn everything should be adjusted. If the wick was too small you can do another one with the next bigger wick and then you’ll be ready to make your candle.

Doing this might mean that you used 70g of wax but have a candle that works, rather than wasting 300g and throwing the candle in the bin.