Category Archives: Health and Wellbeing

Emotions are good for us!

Hi everyone, Sami here! Hope everyone is well and safe 🙂

I know everyone is probably feeling very heightened emotions right now, and that’s okay. Some days are great, some days are just fine and some days are harder than others. So I thought it might be fun to talk about these feelings. When the children in nursery are feeling like that I like to do a fun wee emotions activity. It can be as serious or as silly as you want! Let’s face it, the sillier the better! Some of the emotions we may be feeling are happy! Let’s acknowledge those days 🙂 Some days we may be feeling sad, or scared or even angry. We should acknowledge these days too. Let’s all try it? Look in the mirror and see how you are feeling. Maybe we could even make an emotions journal?

Most importantly, be proud of yourselves for getting through every day! I honestly can’t wait until we are all reunited and can be our wee nursery family once again. Until that day comes, look after yourselves and stay safe! Sami 🙂 x

All about me ………

Hi , Cheryl here I hope you are all well and finding lots of new things to do. Most of you will know that I work in the toddler room and have been there for nearly 2 years now. I grew up in Ayr where my parents had a hotel, then moved to Mearns I went to Kirkhill Primary School and then Mearns Castle High School after that I went straight to Langside College to to my NNEB in childcare. I have three  great children 1 girl and 2 boys and 1 fabulous grandson Dylan. Our life’s seem to have revolved around animals 2 of my children work for the SSPCA animal charity and my youngest lives and works as a gamekeeper in Fort William. I have a brilliant mum and dad and a brother and sister and 5  nephews and we have great family events including holidays and bbqs . I hope you like the photos that I have for you which are of the animals that we see and help look after at the animal centre. At the moment they have over 160 animals in their care and any help is always welcome . Keep safe and well and see you all soon.

Developing fine motor skills at home…

Hi!  It’s Linzi here today, I’m missing you all ❤ but my kids are definitely keeping me on my toes and I’m sure your parents will be feeling the same.

In some of our recent blogs my colleagues have spoken about different activities to promote gross motor skills – which relate to large body movements and are controlled by large muscle groups, e.g. climbing, jumping, running.  Learning to move is important for children, it enables them to become more independent, make their own choices and learn about the world around them.

Today I thought I’d give some information about fine motor skills and show you some activities I’ve been doing at home with my 3 year old to help support his fine motor dexterity.

Fine motor skills begin from early childhood and develop continuously throughout life, it involves the small muscles in the hands and fingers working in synchronisation, this is also essential for hand and eye coordination.  Children begin by grabbing at larger objects and then slowly develop their movements to involve more define hand and eye coordination.  Effective fine motor skills are important in order carry out everyday activities such as eating, writing, buttoning clothes, tying shoelaces, turning pages, using computer keyboards and much more.

Below I’ve shared some play activities I’ve been doing with Keir, he’s had fun doing them and they all promote fine motor skill development.

Using tongs to move cotton wool into a bowl
Small world play with dinosaurs in a homemade habitat
Putting cereal on spaghetti sticks held in place by playdough
Pegs with letters written on them to attach to the corresponding letter on the cardboard
Painting outdoors with water
Threading pipe cleaners through a colander
Using fingers to mark make in rice
Paint sealed inside a zip lock bag to allow mark making using a cotton bud

These are all really simple to set up play activities using items we already have at home, if you have a go don’t forget to tweet or email us a photo. We all love seeing what you are getting up to at home with your families.

Stay safe, love and hugs,

Linzi xxx

 

 

Our daily walk

Hi everyone,

Its Carly again!

I hope you have all been enjoying the lovely sunshine we have had the last couple of days.

This is Millie. Millie is the same age as some of our boys and girls, she is 3 years old.

Millie is a very affectionate, loving dog, she is very playful and has lots of energy. Millie needs lots of exercise to help her to grow strong bones and keep her healthy.

Millie and I have been going out for long walks in our local park and in the local area, she likes to collect sticks on our walks and I enjoy seeing all the different colours of flowers that have been growing during spring.

We have been making the most of the nice weather to get our daily exercise.

 

I hope you are all safe and well, remember to keep in touch through our twitter. We would love to hear from  you all !

It’s Ok To Have A Blue Day

Hello Everybody!

Helen here, hope you are all well and have been out enjoying the sunshine on your daily walks and in your gardens. ☀

Today I thought I’d start by sharing one of my favourite stories with you called Lucy’s Blue Day by Christopher Duke. Lucy is a very special little girl who has magical hair which changes colour depending on how she is feeling. When she is happy, it turns purple, when she is angry, it turns red! This charming story is the tale of when Lucy wakes up and her hair is blue and she doesn’t understand  why! She soon learns that what she is feeling is sadness and that some days, it’s okay to feel sad.

You can find the link to Lucy”s story below

Managing our emotions is hard, whether your four or forty four! Teaching our children to recognise and manage their emotions and feelings is such an important job for us as teachers and parents.  There is no one way to help children understand their feelings, but it does take regular interactions to guide our children through the following stages of their emotional development:

  • Recognising emotions and feelings in themselves and others.
  • Recognising some physical and emotional responses they have to certain feelings.
  • Learning to share their emotions verbally.
  • Learning to deal with their overwhelming emotions in a safe way.
  • Learning to treat others with kindness and empathy.

During these challenging times I thought it might be helpful to share some ideas on how to support our children with some of the feelings they may find themselves overwhelmed with just now.

One strategy  to help reduce stress and worry is using yoga. I found these lovely yoga ideas for children  from the childhood101 website and have posted them below:

Another technique I find helpful when I’m feeling worried or stressed is using breathing techniques. Below I have included an example and the link to some other child friendly ones:

https://childhood101.com/download/28744/

Finally I found this lovely story read by Alistair Bryce-Clegg called Silly Billy written by Anthony Browne. It tells the story of a little boy called Billy who worries about absolutely everything until one day his Gran helps him to make some worry dolls…. At the end of the story, Alistair shares how you and your child can make your own worry dolls.

https://abcdoes.com/abc-does-a-blog/2020/03/31/abc-does-a-story-silly-billy-by-anthony-browne/

I hope you all have a lovely day, stay safe, and remember just like Lucy, it’s ok to have a blue day.

Preaching out to our loved ones to share how we are feeling and talking through our problems will help us feel better.

Love Helen xx

P.S The author  who wrote Lucy’s Blue Day has written s story specifically all about our current situation called Lucy’s in Lockdown. Here is a link to the story below :

 

 

 

 

 

Scavenger hunt fun!

Hi there, Caroline from the toddler room here. Welcome back to all our Cart Mill families who have been enjoying their Spring break. We all hope that you managed to have fun and enjoyed the lovely weather. I  know we are all missing the buzz of nursery life and particularly today when the children would have been excited to tell tales of Easter bunnies, egg hunts and eating too much chocolate! (That definitely applies to me!)

I have been trying to spend as much time in my garden as possible and today I took my girls on a Scavenger hunt in the fields behind our house. They loved it! Scavenger hunts are an exciting way to get children exploring the natural world and they add great fun to family walks.  They get children outdoors, moving and engaged in the world around them. They encourage the development of motor skills, spatial awareness and identification skills! All this whilst having great fun! This is the Scavenger hunt we chose to do today. From the photos you will see we managed to find  most items on the list!

After our hunt we came back and had some fun on the swings! Even our dog Tara was tired. Why don’t you add some Scavenger hunt fun to your walks or do one in your garden and show us what you can find! Always remember to wash your hands when you get home!!

Here is an indoor Scavenger hunt you could also try! We are saving this one for a rainy day! Hopefully we won’t need it!

Take care everyone, STAY SAFE and hopefully see all your wee faces soon, miss you all xx

Looking after our horse


Hi, hope you are all well. I imagine you are all missing nursery and all the fun we have. I have spent sometime at the hub nursery and seen a few familiar faces which has been great. When I am not at nursery or at home I have another essential job to do which is look after our horse. Everyday we have to make sure his stable is cleaned out and he gets fresh bedding to rest in. We also have to give him fresh hay, clean water and make his feeds up; he has one for breakfast and one for dinner. Now the weather is better he can go out in the fields and get fresh air and exercise. Our horse is called Star and he is 27 years old. He does not get ridden very much now but my grandson enjoys to sit on him and go for a walk. I have also seen some very cute lambs at the farm which are in pens for a few days with their mums and then they also go outside to the fields. Hope you enjoy seeing the pictures of Star. Stay safe and hope to see you all soon. Cheryl x

 

Baking at home with Carly

Hi Everyone Carly here, I hope you are all safe and well. I am missing all your wee faces.

During lockdown I have been trying to improve my baking skills as my area in nursery is the malleable/baking table, the children might know this better as the ‘play dough table’.

I have been using a website called ‘Supercook’ to search for simple recipes. Here you can select the ingredients you already have at home and it will search for recipes to suit the ingredients you selected.

I decided to make a blueberry loaf instead of muffins because I didn’t have a muffin tin. Here is the recipe below;

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups of flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
2 Eggs
3 table spoons of butter
1 cup of milk
1 1/2 cup of blueberries

Method:
Preheat oven to 190° or gas mark 5 and grease muffin tins very well
Sift dry ingredients together.
Mix the blueberries with a fourth of this mixture.
Beat eggs; add melted butter and milk in a separate bowl
Pour into dry ingredients and stir until there are no large lumps
Fold blueberries in lightly.
Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of the muffins.

 

 

 

Children learn through play and can gain many skills that benefit them by baking:

Social-Emotional Development: Hands on cooking activities help children develop confidence and skill. Following recipes encourages children to be self directed and independent, it also teaches them to follow directions and develop problem-solving skills.

Physical Development: Fine motor and eye-hand coordination skills are developing by chopping, mixing, squeezing, and spreading.

Cognitive Development: Cooking encourages children’s thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. It also allows children the opportunity to use the knowledge they have and apply it by counting, measuring, following a sequence, following directions, and cause and effect.

Language Development: Cooking offers the opportunity to develop language development by linking it to all other areas, including Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Arts, and Literacy. This is done by encouraging children to talk about what they are doing, counting, and watching materials change colour, texture, and medium.

I have had lots of fun baking and learning new recipes that we can add to our recipe book when all of this is over and we get back to normality. I would love to hear how you are all getting on, keep in contact with us through our twitter.

Take care everyone and stay safe !

 

https://www.supercook.com/#/recipes

Yoga fun!

Hi everyone!
Sarah-Jane here!
Thought I would share with you all a way that I have been getting my exercise indoors and also staying calm and relaxed during this period of uncertainty in our lives..

First I thought I’d share some of the benefits of yoga for both adults and children..

physical:

  • increased flexibility
  • builds muscle strength
  • perfects posture
  • increases blood flow

mental:

  • Reduce stress
  • reduces anxiety
  • calming effect
  • increase self-awareness
  • helps control breathing

for children:

  • teaches breathing techniques that increase energy and decrease anxiety
  • improves posture, flexibility, balance, co-ordination, strength and motor skills
  • nurtures self esteem and confidence
  • aids better sleep

and not forgetting… ITS GREAT FUN!

i have been using videos on YouTube by just simply typing in “yoga”

even my dog Lola wanted to join in, she’s crazy!

cosmic kids yoga is one the children will be familiar with as we use it in nursery on our interactive board..

Just go to YouTube, type in cosmic kids yoga, and chose your adventure!

Enjoy and have fun everyone, stay safe! See you all soon xxx