Oh my goodness, where has this year gone?! How can it be July already? We had a lot of fun during June with the children being able to play outside and enjoy the sunshine. The football tournaments in the garden have been exciting and we even had a mini-waterslide afternoon when it got a little too hot!
This month the children have been building dens inside and out in the garden. We celebrated a birthday in the traditional way with homemade buns and singing. We have also been busy being creative with paper plates and paints and some of the children have been making potions in the garden. We have also been having fun on our walk home from school, playing ‘Bing’ on the grass and walking on ‘tightropes’.
As we approach the end of the school year I can’t help but look at the children and be amazed at how much they have grown, both physically and personally. They really are a fantastic group of kids, all with their own character, opinion and personality. So, it has not been an easy decision for me to stop childminding from the end of this academic year. I will certainly miss the funny conversations, the interesting chats and the laughter that we have all shared. We are now looking forward to making lots of special memories over the next few weeks together before the Summer holidays.
The Easter holidays have taken up a lot of April and since returning to school the children I care for have been full of chocolate egg stories, holiday tales and excitement for Spring. We have been creative, making egg biscuits and decorating them, and the drier weather allowed us to have lots of fun in the garden doing an Easter egg hunt.
The children have been playing imagination games and dressing up in some fabulous costumes from the play box. It’s fascinating listening to their make-believe names, ages and activities. Their imaginations know no bounds!
We have celebrated three birthdays this month, with two on the same day! It really does feel like a family with the children in my care; everyone celebrates each other’s happiness and achievements and it’s lovely to be part of it.
This month I attended my refresher course in Paediatric First Aid which is a requirement of my role of Childminder. Being the sole carer for a number of children is a very responsible role and I take it very seriously. The training ensures I keep up to date with the most recent guidelines regarding first aid procedures and gives me one of the certificates I need to be a professional childminder.
This month we have celebrated two birthdays as well as enjoying delicious pancakes on Shrove Tuesday and wearing fabulous costumes on World Book Day. The children whom I care for all have so much to smile about, being pupils at Tranmere Park Primary School. There are always lots of things to get involved in whether it be decorating potatoes or seeing the teachers all dressed as Umpa Lumpas!
I recently attended a course about the “HENRY” approach which advocates a healthy start for all children in the UK. I learnt some interesting things about nutrition, emotional wellbeing, and positive behaviour and have already introduced some changes in to my setting. I have swapped raisin snacks for fruit and introduced low sugar yoghurts and fruit as an alternative option to breakfast.
I have also introduced some new mealtime recipes including chicken stuffed with spinach and feta which was very popular, and fruit kebabs which the children loved.
Thanks to the dry weather, I have been able to spend more time outside with the children after school and we have played some team games which again, is great for children’s wellbeing and confidence.
Easter is just around the corner and we are all looking forward to the school break. I’d like to wish all my mindees and their families a very happy Easter holiday!
Well, February is the shortest month and it has certainly flown by for me and the children in my setting. Of course, the half term break was a welcome rest from the school routine and the children were ready for it. Beforehand they shared their excitement about their planned trips and activities including travel to London, Skegness, Cumbria and Northumberland…what lucky children! On their return to school this week, they have regaled each other with their stories and we discovered that across all the children, they had eaten food from more than ten different countries, such a simple topic, but an interesting one which the children love to discuss.
Once again, the children have been creative this month. Hama beads have continued to be popular and some lovely heart shaped cards and pictures were created for Valentines Day. I was touched to receive a handmade heart-shaped paperchain from one mindee and a giant gingerbread heart biscuit from another.
The milder weather has meant that the children have been able to play outside in my enclosed back garden and it certainly feels like Spring has sprung but we don’t want to jinx things too early in the year.
Roxy, our family cat has come out of hibernation (almost) but continues to spend most of the day sleeping. The children love to watch her and she clearly enjoys being in the same room as them.
In order to cater for all tastes and dietary requirements we have had a variety of meals including homemade steak pie and vegetables, spicy fishcakes, meatballs and pasta and desserts like Eton Mess and hot cross buns.
So, as February draws to a close, we’re looking ahead to more outside play, Pancakes Day and Easter!
It feels like a lifetime since New Year and January has flown by with the children settling back into the swing of school and coming to my house for before and after school care.
We have had some very cold but stunning walks to and from school. One morning we were able to see some beautiful frozen spider webs on road signs and street lights which looked magical in the frosty air. The recent covering of snow was met with lots of excitement from the children and they loved making footprints in the snow and making snowballs.
In order to keep warm the children have enjoyed hot chocolate drinks after school and porridge with fruit and honey in a morning. We’ve also had some homely meals such as chicken pie with vegetables, pulled pork baps with corn on the cob, and pasta Bolognese.
The children have been playing with Hama beads to make some fantastic shapes and patterns. They appeal to all the age groups and it’s great seeing the children show their parents what they have created and take them home.
For those children who feel tired after school, the TV can be a welcome distraction and we have watched some favourite movies including Paddington 2 and Wreck It Ralph. Being a childminder gives me the perfect excuse to re-watch some of my favourites which is a great perk of the job.
So, as February begins, we’re looking forward to lighter nights, more snow and lots more fun!
December is always such an exciting time for the children at Tranmere Park Primary School whom I look after before and after school. Pantomimes, Christmas concerts, performances and parties at school have meant that my mindees have been bursting with Christmas cheer and giddiness.
During the last week of term, I planned some festive activities of my own and the children loved playing party games, prize bingo and eating party food. Our trip to a local sweet shop also went down well and the children showed lovely manners to the shopkeeper.
We have been busy creating fantastic snow globes, beautiful paper wreathes and decorating goody bags which I then filled with gifts. My daughter had a fun afternoon making artificial snow and the children had lots of fun playing with it. It was truly magical!
We pulled Christmas crackers at our own party and enjoyed traditional games such as pass the parcel and musical statues. And as a final day treat, we had a takeaway tea which was a crowd pleaser whilst the kids watched Toy Story 3.
Now that school has broken up, I’m looking forward to recharging my batteries and spending some time with family and friends.
I’ve been blown away by the generous gifts I’ve received from the families of my mindees and I’d to thanks them and wish them all a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year! xx
Jigsaw mania took hold in November and the children formed little groups to complete a number of puzzles. It was lovely to see all the different age groups play together to achieve the finished picture.
We also had a colouring competition with winners in Key Stage 1 and 2. The children really engaged with the competition and enjoyed choosing and colouring patterns.
The weeks between Halloween and Christmas are always exciting for children and Tranmere Park Primary School always lays on fantastic activities such as movie nights, cake bakes and a whole host of performances. We have also decided to hold weekly movie nights so that everyone can get cosy on the sofa with a hot chocolate or popcorn.
Three new mindees joined my setting in November and I am delighted at how well they settled in and made friends. The beauty of being a home-based childminder means that children can feel at home and choose whether to get involved in activities or just relax as they would in their own home. Some of the children decided to make their own artwork to show how they feel about spending time at my house and I was really humbled to see they painted words such as “fun” and “happy.”
This month my dinner menu has included homemade stew, DIY pizzas and red velvet cake. Breakfasts have included porridge, bagels and cereal. One comment I received recently from a child reinforced my choice of career in childcare; “I love coming here, your house is the best house ever!” I couldn’t ask for more than that!!
October is always a great month for the children at Tranmere Park Primary School and now that my mindees have settled back into school, we have focussed on having fun and cementing their friendships. Sharing creative activities such as leaf rubbing and conker crafts and having fun outside in the garden is always a great way for the children to share fun experiences.
Of course, Halloween provides a perfect opportunity to get excited and creative and the children have loved dressing up as mad scientists, scary skeletons and making their own spooky face masks. The younger children have loved carving polystyrene pumpkins whilst the older kids have created some wonderful skull decorations and decoupage pumpkins.
Over the past few weeks the children have asked me to read to them at teatime and we have enjoyed a number of short stories. The ‘Mr Men’ series has proved very popular with some of the children bringing in their own books to share. I love to see the children enjoying stories and looking at the pictures; they are so interested and intrigued.
We celebrated the birthday of my youngest mindee this month and his face lit up when everyone sang happy birthday to him.
As the weather has cooled down we have enjoyed some Winter warming meals including aubergine parmigiana, chicken pot pie and Jamaican ginger cake with custard.
So, as half term comes to an end, and November beckons, we are looking forward to fireworks, more birthdays, and lots more creativity!
Summer and September 2018
Gosh what a fabulous Summer we have had, with record-breaking temperatures, lots of family time and some fun outings with my mindees. It was a great holiday but by September we were ready for some routine back in our lives and it was really lovely to see all the children back with me and settling into another school year at Tranmere Park Primary School.
It’s lovely watching friendships rekindle and the children have all settled back into school and my setting seamlessly. We’ve already celebrated two birthdays this term and welcomed two new faces to our happy group.
The warm weather has produced a bumper crop of conkers and once again, the children have loved collecting them on our way home from school. Unfortunately, we’ve proved it is an urban myth that conkers keep spiders at bay as we have tackled some eight-legged monsters this month but at least our friendly cat Roxy has earned her keep in that department!
I had my first Ofsted Inspection this month and am very pleased to have been awarded a “Good” grading. I felt so proud of the children who were very natural whilst the Inspector visited my setting and answered her questions with confidence. The positive feedback from the Inspector and the lovely comments from the children and parents reaffirms my decision to work in childcare and I feel very lucky to have a job I enjoy so much.
So, the start to the new school year has been eventful and fun, and we are now looking forward to the all that Autumn has to offer….
Another school year has ended and I honestly don’t know where the time has gone!
July has been full of World Cup fever and we celebrated England’s run by making flags and icing world cup biscuits. The children also completed their individual decoupage letters with lovely designs and stickers which they took home for their end of year treat.
They have been creative decorating jam jars with wool and finishing off any Hama Beads designs…all ready to start September with a clean sheet.
Tranmere Park Primary School has made the final term so jam packed with fun activities and the children have loved going to school in a morning, excited by the prospect of running races, water fights, watching movies and toy day.
We also celebrated the end of term with a final week full of activities including playing Prize Bingo, a trip to the sweet shop and a special Wetherby Whaler tea.
My Year 6 children were involved in the school performance of Oliver which was fabulous and their emotional last day included a leavers assembly, the usual fantastic Tranmere end off and a leavers party after school. I will sorely miss the Year 6 children but have no doubt that they will soon settle into High School and have very bright futures ahead of them.
So, the warm weather looks set to hang around for a little longer which means that the school holidays might be dry and sunny for a change, here’s hoping!
Thanks to all my families for this year, enjoy the Summer and I’ll see you in September! xx
I am a Childminder in Guiseley, providing childcare to pupils at Tranmere Park Primary School.