The Use of Persona Dolls In Nursery’s:
Persona Dolls are not ordinary dolls. By giving the dolls their own individual personas, teachers and practitioners transform them from being inanimate objects into ‘people’ with individual personalities. They have families, specific cultural and class backgrounds, names, gender and ages, likes, dislikes, feelings and emotions.
When used professionally and without reservation young children will readily enter into their worlds. The Persona Doll approach offers an effective, stimulating and enjoyable way to combat discrimination, foster emotional literacy, raise equality issues and empower Early Years children.
The Dolls and their stories develop children’s ability to empathise with different situations and to appreciate that name calling, teasing, exclusion from play and treating other people unfairly can cause unhappiness just like hitting, kicking and other physical responses do. The dolls are also used to teach and increase awareness of other cultures and back stories can be intelligently used to create an inclusive environment where children can share and learn together. Click here for more information.
Positive Behaviour Management:
Creating a framework for good behaviour involves all aspects of the life of a setting including the expectations adults have of how children should behave, the way in which strong positive relationships are valued and promoted, how language is used, the organisation and routines of the setting and the emphasis which is placed on building a mutually respectful relationship with parents.
Positive feedback is the best and most effective way to promote positive behaviour and minimise poor behaviour. This encourages the development of self-confidence and self-esteem. Children need to know when they are getting it right, through adults using positive and warm body language, gentle and calm tone of voice, praise and compliments, encouragement, attention, rewards and privileges. When children are praised and rewarded for positive behaviour they are more likely to repeat the appropriate behaviour again and eventually it will become habitual.
Positive behaviour is built primarily on good relationships and communication. Children have an inborn desire to please the people they love and care for and seek approval from them. When unwanted behaviour is observed, it is effective to tell children what the right way to behave in the situation is, instead of what they are doing wrong. They can then internalise the correct way to behave. Click here for further advice.
The outdoors can be the very best place for Early Years children to practice and master emerging physical skills. It is in the outdoors that children can fully and freely experience motor skills like running, leaping, and jumping. It is also the most appropriate area for the practice of ball-handling skills, like throwing, catching, and striking. And children can perform other such manipulative skills as pushing a swing, pulling a cart, and lifting and carrying movable objects.
The outdoors has something more to offer than just physical benefits. Cognitive and social/emotional development are impacted, too. Outside, children are more likely to invent games. As they do, they’re able to express themselves and learn about the world in their own way. They feel safe and in control, which promotes autonomy, decision-making, and organizational skills. Inventing rules for games (as preschoolers like to do) promotes an understanding of why rules are necessary. Although the children are only playing to have fun, they’re also learning communication skills and vocabulary, number relationships and social customs.
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Health and Nutrition:
Infancy and childhood are of critical importance in the development of healthy bodies and habits. What we eat can play a critical role in determining our health, whatever our age and the eating patterns established in the first few years of life influence health during childhood and into adulthood. Work to encourage good nutrition during the early years is therefore an investment for the health of our population in years to come.
Good nutrition is essential during childhood, as it is a time of rapid growth, development and activity, so it is important that the food and eating patterns to which young children are exposed – both in and outside the home – are based on good nutrition.
Growing children need plenty of energy (calories) and nutrients, eg protein, fat,
carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. This can be achieved by including a variety of
foods from each of the four main food groups:
• Bread, cereals and potatoes
• Fruit and vegetables
• Milk and milk products
• Meat, fish and alternatives
Click here to see how we achieve this.
Getting back to work after maternity leave is an emotional and difficult time, especially with a small baby to think about. Article on getting back to work
Choosing the perfect nursery for you and your child is one of the most important and daunting tasks that there is for a new parent. There are so many out there and the standards and services range considerably. Parents should be looking for the perfect balance between excitement, learning and cuddles and nurture – they are only little after all. There are several things that should lead the decision. Staffing of course is a vital consideration. Are ratios strictly adhered to? Are the team knowledgeable, mature in outlook, natural with children and obviously passionate about what they do? Are they consistently talking to and showing interest in the children in their care? Do managers lead and train their staff and have great communication with them? There should be good and frequently replenished resources exactly appropriate for every development stage in that group. Each environment should be clean (frequently renovated) spacious and have lovely areas for your child to relax and feel secure. The furniture should be comfortable and the right height for your child with space for them to crawl, cruise, walk around depending on their stage of development. What is the outside space like? Is it spacious and does it provide manageable risks so the children can learn gross motor skills? Record keeping should be immaculate and intelligent in order to be able to really rest assured that your child is being cared for individually and being allowed to flourish. Food, if provided, should be plentiful and healthy. Are there regular trips out of the setting? The influence over a young child’s developing mind resulting from environment and their stimuli should never be underestimated. Another important consideration is the emotional settling period and if your chosen nursery will tailor it to you and your child’s needs – it is your child after all and you should be in charge. Click here for in informative NCT Article written by Amanda Kelly.