Sunday, November 10, 2013

Porse - Blog No. 2

Toys that Support Children’s Play
“Play is the brains favourite way of learning.” (Diane Ackerman)
As a parent you know that play is important to your child's development. Your child is born with a desire to explore, discover and learn and play is how children do these things.  Researchers define play as activity that is, pleasurable, spontaneous, and voluntary, contains some aspect of pretending and has no extrinsic goals. Children learn through exploring and engaging with items and objects they discover in their world.  These items and objects are often toys.
Many toys on the market encourage passive entertainment rather than active play, for example ‘high-tech toys’, encourage children to push a button and they are entertained, rather than engaging a child in playing. This category includes TV, videos and computer games.   While entertainment has its place, it is important to know these toys and activities are not engaging children in play because the child is not an active participant in the experience.
The design of a toy defines the range of activity and determines how children will be interacted with. To support learning through play, look for toys that respond to your child's interests, are fun, provide opportunities to be spontaneous, allow choice and engage their imagination.  Unstructured play resources for example, multi-purpose toys, such as blocks, dress ups and pegs, will encourage your child to develop their imagination and independence. Make play a part of your child's daily life.
The following information gives you some ideas when choosing toys for:
Zero to four months
Newborns are busy learning where they begin and Mummy ends.
·       A safe floor space is a great play resource for a newborn
·       A parent or caregiver’s face is one of the best play resources.
Sociable, loving and physically responsive interactions with you or an educator/caregiver.
This is where they can get to know their hands, feet and body, build a nurturing relationship and they begin to know their place in the world.
Four months to 18 months
Infants are starting to move and work on the mid-brain development, which controls motor skills.
·       A safe floor space with resources which children can grasp, touch and move.   For example balls, soft blocks, a nest of wooden bowls, wooden rattles, wooden blocks, small cloth dolls, partially inflated beach balls and fabric napkins.
·       A safe seated space (once they can sit) where they can interact with an object.  For example a swing, low seat or tri pillow.  They can interact with soft books or objects they can reach for and move.
One to three years
Toddlers start to develop coordination and are interested in touch and texture.
·       Objects they can put inside another. At around a year old children enjoy doing this, for example boxes with lids, a trolley they can place things in or a bucket to put sand in.
·       Everyday learning opportunities.  By the age of two, children are making sense of their world through role play.  For example you can give them chores suitable for their age, involve them in making their lunch and choosing their clothes.
·       Dress up, allow children to role play, practise stills and use their imagination.  You can include scarves, hats and pieces of fabric.
This is where they can expand their roles in the world, and use fantasy and imagination. So stimulate their imagination, with toys such as a small sized household objects and dress up.  Children want to join in with you and you could be surprised how capable they are.
Three to five years
Young children are developing control of large muscles (gross motor skills) so lots of running, jumping and rolling is great for their brain development. 
·       An outdoor space, with balls, a swing, hoola hoops, bubbles or pinecones. These items can be used to invent games, construct and learn about how their body works.
·       Empty boxes which can be used in construction as jumps or as a surface for art to be added.
·       Art supplies are great at this age as young children enjoy painting, gluing, sculpting and constructing which all encourages motor skills, imagination and creativity.   You could have non-toxic paint, paint brushes, paper, play dough, non-toxic glue and college materials.
Young children like to make choices and decisions about their place, so you can give them choices, for example a range of paint colours for their art.  Do limit the range as they can also be overwhelmed with too many choices.
A general rule to remember when choosing toys which encourage play:
”when a toy is passive the child is active”
Supplied by PORSE In-Home Childcare.
For information on childcare, training or work call PORSE on 0800 023 456 or visit

Porse - Sponsors blog post

Why PORSE In-Home Childcare and Education?

When your family chooses in-home childcare and education, you offer your child an opportunity to have the best start in life. 
In-home childcare and education through PORSE offers your child an alternative to the stress, noise, age-separation, schedules, and staff turnover of a centre.

Research consistently shows us that children who have secure and loving relationships with consistent caregivers in a relaxed and settled environment do best.  While each child is different, recent studies show that children in childcare centres experience heightened stress levels in large groups of children and when they are with unfamiliar or changing caregivers.

Infant brain development and attachment repeatedly tell us that the QUALITY of the relationship they have with their caregivers is the most important thing.

Through PORSE in-home childcare and education your child receives:

Consistency and commitment to you and your child
At PORSE we offer a consistent and committed educator who is able to respond to your child's needs and routine not the needs of running a busy daycare centre.

Safety and security in a settled home environment
PORSE In-home childcare and education is provided in a safe home environment that enables familiarity and stability while using natural play and exploration and the community as a learning playground.

Low ratios of care
PORSE In-home childcare and education provides a maximum of FOUR children in the home which means high levels of personal attention, knowledge and interaction, with less exposure to illness.

Flexibility and responsiveness
PORSE In-home childcare fits with what you want for your child - you choose a caregiver who fits both your child’s needs and your family values, and at PORSE we're flexible around the hours of care you require.

A lifetime of quality relationships
The quality of the relationships we have in our early years are one of the key features that influence us for the rest of our lives - our sense of ourselves and our relationships with others. PORSE is providing a service solution to reach, immerse and support adults raise the next generation of responsible, resilient, competent and contributing members of society.

The best start for learning and developing
PORSE In-home childcare and education through a settled home environment is crucial for unfolding a child's full potential during the critical stages of early brain development. PORSE has returned the responsibilities of nurturing young children back into the hands of family and home.

Employment and professional development
PORSE has established career pathways for educators and parents to develop child focused attitudes, skills and knowledge that will nurture young children for the best start in life.

We're strong on professional development and our in-home programmes support adults learn more about themselves, attachment relationships and how to nurture children during the most important years of play, learning and development.  With the support of PORSE staff, educators work with the family to plan and deliver a programme around each child’s interests, stage of development and care routines. 
Your child's programme will reflect the values and expectations of your family and support their individual learning style, care needs, routines and play.

PORSE organises a variety of activities using the community as our third teacher.  Activities promote friendship and fun, role modelling, observation, reflection of practices, confidence and sharing of information, resources and knowledge. Parents are welcome to attend all organised activities.
For more information on PORSE In-Home Childcare call 0800 023 456 or visit

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Palmerston North workshops in May

The original Nappy Lady - waste free parenting workshops.

Taken by: The Nappy Lady - Kate Meads.

Want Free Nappies? Come along to one of the Nappy Lady 
workshops and learn all about your nappy options and how you can save lots of money.

The best news... you will get to take home a $60 pack of cloth nappies for free from the Nappy Lady and The Palmerston North Council.

At the Nappy workshop The Nappy Lady will:
- Give you costings of Disposable vs Cloth nappies
- Show the environmental impact of both
- show the styles of cloth nappy styles available
- Give you lots of tips and advice on washing
- And advice on choosing and using cloth nappies

Cost: $20.00 per household (babies, partners and mums & grandmas included)

You are welcome to bring along your babies if they are breast feeding to the workshop and your partner, or perhaps your mum.

To Book:

Email 'The Nappy Lady' or call (027) 22 11 242 for more information.

Event held in the The Sound and Vision Zone.

Porirua Nappy Lady Workshop 2013

Porirua Nappy Lady Workshop

Taken by:
The Nappy Lady - Kate Meads
Want Free Nappies???

Come along to one of the Nappy Lady workshops and learn all about your nappy options and how you can save lots of money.

The best news... you will get to take home a trial pack of cloth nappies for free!

At the Nappy workshop The Nappy Lady will:
- Give you costings of Disposable vs Cloth nappies
- Show the environmental impact of both
- show the styles of cloth nappy styles available
- Give you lots of tips and advice on washing
- And advice on choosing and using cloth nappies

Bookings: Please register your interest on my website

Dates for 2013:

Thursday 16th May 2013 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Cannons Creek School Hall
16 Cobham Court

Email 'The Nappy Lady' or call (027) 22 11 242 for more information.

You are welcome to bring along your babies if they are breast feeding to the workshop. But please be mindful if they are crying or upset that there are a lot of other people at the workshop so you will need to take them out and settle them and then come back in.

Cloth Nappy Week - Tauranga Coffee Group

Lots of Prizes, Lots of Free Nappies, Everyone Welcome!

Come and join The Nappy Lady and her team of Cloth Nappy Avengers and be in to win some fantastic prizes including Cloth Nappies!

Join us for:

The mum’s secret Cloth Nappy Hunt
‘It’s in the Bag’ Nappy Game
A Prize Draw for your event only
Question time with The Nappy Lady
Lots of fun and laughs
Plus much more....

Date and Venue:
Thursday 11th April 2013
10:30am - 11:30pm

Grindz Cafe
1st Ave