A Typical Day - Lilliput Lane Nursery Paisley

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As the children arrive in the morning, the emphasis is on settling them into the nursery environment. By about 9.00am the children are in their own groups and are ready to begin activities. There are planned activities in each room which all the children are invited to join in. Mid-morning break is usually at around 10.00am. This provides the children with an opportunity to sit down to have a drink (water or milk) and some fruit.

It is inevitable that not all of the children in a particular group will always want to do the same activity at the same time. Staff are trained to realise the potential learning opportunities of each child's chosen activity, and are therefore able to help it achieve the desirable learning outcomes.

We believe that it is important to try to include outside play in the nursery's daily plan. Fresh air and natural light are vital to everyone's health and for this reason, weather permitting; the children are encouraged to play outside. We try to bring the children into contact with nature as much as possible to increase their understanding of the environment.
Lunch is generally around 12.00 noon. All meals are used as an opportunity to encourage the development of the child's social skills. After lunch some children, especially the younger ones, will need to have a sleep to recuperate from the morning's activities! Our nursery provides facilities to enable them to do this. Between 12.45pm and 1.30pm equipment is tidied away, some children leave and some arrive for the afternoon session. Then new activities begin.

Mid Afternoon
At about 3.00pm the children sit down to afternoon snack. This is followed by more activities for some children; others will begin to leave from around 4.30pm. Following afternoon snack, activities, as with early morning activities, have to be fairly unstructured because parents will be arriving now to collect the children. By now the remaining children are usually fairly tired so this is a good time to do something that does not involve a lot of exertion, such as reading stories, listening to tapes, or quiet time.

Home Time
When parents arrive they have the opportunity to talk with the staff about their child's day at the nursery. We prefer not to impose a rigid structure onto the daily activities within our nursery. It is obviously important to us to have planned activities to ensure that we are providing a strong, comprehensive curriculum, but we feel that it is also beneficial to allow an amount of flexibility so that all opportunities for learning can be embraced and the children's natural spontaneity is not undervalued.

Here are just a few of our activities that you can try at home with your children.

Outdoor Activities

Sandpit Zoo (Age 1+)
Young children are fascinated with zoos. Help your children make a toy zoo in the sandpit.
What you need
Boxes ~ Polystyrene cups ~ scissors ~ sticky tape ~ drinking straws ~ poster or acrylic paints ~ card ~ lids ~ small
pieces of plants ~ toy zoo
What to do
If your children haven’t visited a zoo take them along. After the visit help them make a zoo in the sandpit. Help them cut holes in the boxes and cups to make animal homes and let them paint them. Next, sticky tape the straws together to make fences for the zoo. Use a piece of card to smooth down the paths for the visitors to walk on and the plants and flowers to make gardens. Help the children fill the lids with the water and bury them in the sand to make ponds for drinking pools for the animals.
Arrange the animals in the zoo and leave the children to have a great time playing with their sandpit zoo.
Cardboard Tunnels (Age 2+)
Cardboard boxes are great because they are free and are also terrific for children’s creative play. Fill up your car with boxes from your local fruit shop or electrical store and let the children make a great tunnel maze in your backyard.
What you need
Cardboard sheets or boxes of different shapes and sizes ~ strong masking or insulating tape
What to do
Help the children open out different sides of boxes and join them together to make tunnels. Long boxes can have a hole cut in the side so another box can be fitted into it. Use the masking or insulating tape to hold the boxes firmly together. Use a variety of boxes of different shapes and sizes to make the tunnel maze a real challenge.
When the tunnels are finished the children might enjoy decorating them with some acrylic paints. They could even make textured tunnels with different surfaces to crawl along – bubble wrap, towels, carpet, hessian mats or just grass.
If they want a spooky tunnel they could hang things from the roof, such as wet plastic gloves , lengths of cellophane, crepe paper, or party blown up balloons.
Sensory Walks (Age 2+)
Make up a sensory walk for your young children to experience.
What you need
Shallow plastic containers containing: playdough ~ gloop (cornflour mixed with water) ~ cooked rice ~ uncooked rice
~ seeds or grain ~ mud ~ wet sand ~ water ~ finger paint ~ sandpaper ~ carpet ~ bubble wrap
What to do
Assemble all or some of the items above, or think of your own interesting mix of textures. Put the plastic containers out on the lawn with a different substance in each. Have the children remove their shoes and socks, and move along the texture walk.
Encourage their vocabulary by asking them what each substance or texture feels like. Make the last container the finger paint and spread some of the paper beside it. That way you can print their little footprints for special wrapping paper or to keep for posterity!

Food Fun Activities

Homemade Lemonade (3+)
A delicious, refreshing drink your children will enjoy making and sharing with you.
What you need
4 lemons ~ ½ cup of sugar or honey ~ ½ cup of hot water ~ 4 cups cold water ~ ice cubes ~ lemon squeezer ~ large
jug ~ knife ~ juicer ~ small jug ~ wooden spoon
What to do
Ask your children to count out four lemons. Help them cut the lemons in half and juice them with a juicer. Pour the juice into a large jug. Your children can measure out the honey or sugar in a small jug, but add the hot water to dissolve it yourself.
Next, your children add four cups of cold water to the large jug. Add the honey or sugar solution and let them stir it well. Add some lemon slices and ice cubes to the lemonade for a decorative touch.
For a slightly fizzy lemonade you can substitute a bottle of sparkling mineral water or soda water for the plain cold water.
Choccy Banana Iceblocks (Age 1+)
Children love bananas and they are very good for them. When you have a lot to use up, try this delicious recipe.
What you need
Bananas ~ Cooking chocolate ~ knife ~ ice-cream sticks ~ tray
What to Do
Your children can help by peeling the bananas, and the older ones can cut the bananas in half (across). Poke an ice-cream stick into the end of each banana, and then place them on a tray and freeze. When they are frozen, dip them in the melted chocolate. Very yummy!
Fairy Bread (3+)
This simple treat is a perennial favourite with children (and many adults)
What you need
Slices of white bread ~ margarine or butter ~ coloured sprinkles ~ butter knife ~ plate
What to do
Let your children help you spread the slices of bread with butter. Then comes the fun part – the children cover the bread with sprinkles. Cut the bread into quarters and serve with a cold drink. Fairy bread is a delicious treat that’s great for tea parties in the garden.
Number Games Activities

Small Teddy, Big Teddy (Age 1+)
Introduce your children to concepts of big and small from an early age
What You Need
A large teddy bear (or soft toy) ~ A small teddy bear (or soft toy)
What to do
Play with the teddy bears with your child. Call the large teddy bear ‘big teddy’ and the small teddy bear ‘small teddy’. (of course, you don’t have to use teddy bears, any pair of soft toys will do- just make sure they are different sizes.)
Tell your child the teddy bears are going to hide. ‘Hide’ both bears in sight of your child. Their hiding places should be obvious e.g. hides one teddy on a cushion; hide another by the leg of the chair. Ask your child to find the teddy.
When your child has done that, ask her/him to find small teddy. Give her/him lots of praise when she gets it right. Do this several times. You’ll be surprised how quickly your child will learn to distinguish between the two bears. Start using the words ‘big’ and ‘small’ when talking to your child about other objects.
Large and small (Age 2+)
An activity to help younger children begin to sort and classify
What you need
Tray ~ large and small boxes e.g. apple box, shoe box ~ big and small versions of the same objects: large toy car, small match box car, large comb, small comb, large brush, small brush, tablespoon, teaspoon, large stone, small stone, large leaf, small leaf.
What to do
Place the items on a tray. Ask one child to find an object, then find its smaller or larger version. Tell them to put the small items in the shoebox and the large items in the apple box.
Big Feet (4+)
Another fun activity that helps your children compare sizes and learn mathematical terms
What you need
Plastic ice –cream container lids or strong cardboard ~ elastic ~ felt pens
What to do
Draw around your feet (or your partner’s). Cut out the feet and attach so your children can wear the feet and discover what it’s like to have ‘big feet’.
When you are walking on the beach or the sandpit compare all the family’s footprints. Can they tell you who has the largest feet, the smallest etc.?
Full and Part - Time sessions offered. Some spaces may be available in holiday periods. All photographs displayed with parents' permission
Lilliput Lane Nursery is registered with the Information Commissioner's Office under the Data Protection Act. Registration Number ZA181484.
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