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I: @redbalwncoch



By z4027795930, Jul 15 2017 03:40PM

Recently, wellbeing has become a hot topic with legislation around this being rolled out and schools and nursery settings being judged on their practise in promoting children's wellbeing as a matter of priority.

Wellbeing encompasses many things. There is physicaly wellbeing - at Red Balwn we promote children having significant outdoor time, plenty of physical exercise, tooth brushing, building independence skills such as toiletting and dressing and all of these come under the wellbeing umbrella.

There are however a whole range of other areas which also come under the wellbeing banner and which are much more in line with social, emotional , behavioural skills of children than their physical health.

At Red Balwn we work to ensure that all children feel respected, valued and listened to. We ensure they build a strong relationship with their key worker (someone who is there especially for them, who spends a good deal of time talking to, playing with and caring for them ). We notice children's positive behaviours and praise these , thus informing the child we like what they are doing and know that they will do it again.

We prepare children for change because we know that change can be unsettling. We ask children for their views - because they are important and we value what they think. We support children to develop good emotional skills and behaviours, to manage their feelings and actions and we model how to do this. We encourage children to develop resilience (an ability to keep going when things are tough and an ability to bounce back from adversity).

Overall, there are many strands to wellbeing however each is hugely important in terms of a child's development, their view of themselves and of others. At Red Balwn we prioritise wellbeing across the day because a child who feels positive about themselves, who feels they are important , loved and respected will be a happy child who is sociable, interested in learning and confident in their abilities to cope with the world.

Following the child's interest and offering choices promotes wellbeing
Following the child's interest and offering choices promotes wellbeing
Supporting strong physical skills
Supporting strong physical skills
Shared interests and focus promote wellbeing
Shared interests and focus promote wellbeing

By z4027795930, Jun 13 2017 05:50PM

A study in the US has found that children are more likely to display challenging behaviour when their parents are distracted by mobile phones. The theory is that use of these devices interferes with parent-child interactions.

The research found that episodes of challenging behaviour , including temper tantrums, were more common amongst parents who use mobile devices whilst engaging with their children.

By z4027795930, Jun 4 2017 12:20PM

Why is it that boys tend not to do as well as girls in early writing skills? Boys have a tendancy to be reluctant writers, to not enjoy mark making activities in the way that girls do. Are their fine motor skills less well developed? What will encourage boys to write? It is vital that those involved in boys early learning experiences in this area really tune into their interests and provide learning opportunities which young boys can relate to.

What do we know and therefore put into practise?

Boys will more readily engage in a writing task if there is something that particularly interests them within that. Using role play areas to encourage boys to mark make can be highly beneficial eg. providing clip boards within a make believe garage so the mechanic can take notes.

Offering a variety of mark making opportunities is more likely to encourage exploration. This should include , for instance, pens, pencils, crayons, paint as well as more unusual experiences such as using water sprays.

Electronic methods of recording markings can be useful and again may encourage certain children to write and to take a pride in what they produce.

The bones in young girls hands develop at approximately 4 years and 2 months whilst those in boys develop later, at approximately 5 years and 6 months. This difference may account for some of the hesitancy around writing on the part of young boys however consideration of the overall developmental level of the individual child is obviously important too.

Activities to strengthen fine motor skills used widely in nursery include:

modelling - with play-doh, using junk materials, clay etc.

Drawing - a wide variety of stationery items are available freely

Washing - use of sponges, cloths, water trays , buckets encourage children to make circular movements as well as up and down.

Finger gym - gives a particular focus upon physical exercises to strengthen finger muscles in a fun way.

Developing Fine Motor Skills
Developing Fine Motor Skills
Finger Gym
Finger Gym

By z4027795930, Jun 4 2017 12:01PM

Research from Imperial College London, Kings College London and Oxford University has focused upon the interaction of dads with their young babies (3 months of age). The study found a measurable link between the extent to which fathers engaged with their children and the cognitive capabilities of those children 2 years later.


By z4027795930, Apr 29 2017 04:51PM

Very young children love to be physically busy. They like to move, crawl, walk, climb, kick, throw. Movement increases muscles , strengthens bone development and even helps to set children's rhythm and routine. Children who are more active tend to sleep better.

Children learn, through physical play, about spatial awareness, how to move around objects, under, over and through them. They learn about speed and distance , they learn to balance and co-ordinate their movements.

In terms of emotional wellbeing, children gain confidence through their increasing physical skills. They are keen to show off what they can do, 'Watch this!'

Children engaged in physical play will often be playing imaginatively at the same time. They may be a knight riding a horse, a superhero running along a wall , they could be climbing a castle or digging for treasure.

Playing outdoors with other children develops social skills. The children learn to share, take turns, wait for each other, employ rules to their games and generally co-operate with peers.

How can we help children to enjoy the outdoors?

Visit a park regularly. Young children will love to explore the space and equipment available - even on a wet day when their favourite activity may be splashing in the puddles.

Have some cheap and cheerful outdoor equipment to hand. A ball and something to ride on will give hours of fun as will a sand / water container and someting to dig with.

Finally, children love it when the adults join in with them in physical play. Whether it be a nature walk, a swim , a trip to the local wood or seaside or purely kicking a ball about in the garden this offers a really enjoyable and healthy way of spending time with your child.

This is fun!
This is fun!
Swing high , Swing low
Swing high , Swing low
Outdoor play is great fun  in all weathers
Outdoor play is great fun in all weathers
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