Muddy Puddles

Today we donned our waterproofs and wellies and went for a walk around the village. With the recent high rainfall this lent itself perfectly to jumping in muddy puddles!

Playing in puddles is not only a lot of fun, it is a great sensory, learning and physical experience for children. They can explore how it feels to be stuck in mud and soggy from for the water, they can listen to the splashing and squelching sounds and they can see how puddles can be muddy and clear. Playing in puddles is great for kids to investigate concepts such as floating and sinking and measuring depth and width. Playing in puddles is also a great physical workout; it can help improve balance, is great for cardiovascular health and – perhaps best of all – helps promote good sleep. Well, that’s our excuse anyway!

winnie pooh

Improving children’s literacy

The comedian David Walliams has apparently been drafted in by the government to promote a scheme to encourage primary school pupils to read. Education Secretary Nicky Morgan and David Walliams have said that improving children’s literacy should be a ‘national mission’ and say much more is needed to end the scandal of one in five children leaving primary school unable to read properly.

I loved reading as a youngster and loved nothing more than completing a series of stories by an author and hope my son will be the same. It can be hard to find the time as a busy parent to read to your child but this fact has inspired me to ensure I do –

“If you read just one story a day with your child, they will have read 1,862 books by the time they start school.  And your child will have an unshakeable love of stories.” Source Stats from School Library Journal Jan 2014

Sunflower Success!


Way back in April we planted some sunflower seeds that have recently bloomed into gorgeous bright yellow flowers. We have tracked their progress measuring and watering them. Growing plant seeds with the children teaches them how nature works, responsibility in caring for something, an interest in environmental sustainability and pride in themselves for the results. Watching plants grow is a fun and educational experience for children and we can’t wait to try some more!

P is for…


With the rain beating down outside, it seemed like the perfect day to break out the playdough! It takes just minutes to prepare and is incredibly therapeutic, not only for children but for a busy mum and childminder too!

I’ll be adding some more colours to extend our play in the coming weeks.

Pink playdough

Potentially poisonous plants

You may have seen this story in the news today –

This particular plant was by a riverbank but of course our own back gardens can contain potentially harmful plants. Here at Aston Childcare I have fully assessed the garden and noted any potentially harmful plants using the Horticultural Trades Associations (HTA) list of potentially hazardous plants.

We are all likely to have at least one of these in our own garden and common sense should prevail as, ultimately, all non-food plants contain chemicals which could potentially cause mild poisoning (e.g. stomach upset or stomach pain) if eaten (though serious poisonings remain rare), so we need to ensure we avoid those plants which are the most toxic and educating the children not to eat anything (in the playground, garden at home, park or countryside) unless an adult has said it is perfectly safe to do so.

Say No to CO

You may have read the story in the news about Sharon and Neil Shepherd who devastatingly lost their two children Bobby and Christi Shepherd due to carbon monoxide poisoning on holiday back in 2006. After a 9 year battle, an inquest last month ruled that Christi and Bobby were unlawfully killed and that Thomas Cook had breached its care of duty.

The dangers of Carbon monoxide form part of my Risk Assessments here at Aston Childcare and I have an alarm installed in our living room. Make sure you have one too……..

.say no to co

New government legislation

With the ever present threat of terrorism around the world, the Government have issued a new “PREVENT” strategy, effective from today, which aims to protect children from terrorism and radicalisation. I have read and familiarised myself with the document and incorporated the strategy into my safeguarding procedures.

The PREVENT strategy requires all childminders and early years providers to identify any children who are considered to be at risk of being involved in terrorism or radicalised and refer them to the Local Authority.

Definitions – 

Terrorism – the Terrorism Act 2000 defines terrorism as: “The use or threat of action designed to influence the government or an international governmental organisation or to intimidate the public, or a section of the public; made for the purposes of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause; and it involves or causes: serious violence against a person; serious damage to a property; a threat to a person’s life; a serious risk to the health and safety of the public; or serious interference with or disruption to an electronic system.”

Radicalisation refers to the process by which a person comes to support terrorism and forms of extremism leading to terrorism.

Any questions, please ask!

Sand and Water play

With the nearest beach over 80 miles from us, we bought the beach to us today, well, kind of! Sand and Water Play is great for helping promote a child’s development and is perfect for days like today.

 use 2 use 3sand and water play