Young kids carving Halloween jack-o-lanterns

Crafty Kids for Halloween

Young kids carving Halloween jack-o-lanterns

As Halloween approaches it’s great to get our little ones at pre-school involved in ‘Crafty Kids for Halloween’ fun. Not only is it fun for them, it also gets them using their creative minds as well as the opportunity to work with their hands

I know pre-school teachers out there have lots of ideas to keep our little ones busy and in the festive mood but I came across these to share. As always at Kidsoft we enjoy giving out tips for fun ideas.

Handmade Mummies
Amazing what you can do with toilet rolls. With some white tissue, white twine or wool, glue and goggly eyes of course, they can create their very own Halloween mummy.

Firstly, let them press the end of a strip of tissue in the glue then it’s time to wrap her up. They need to do this twice, then tie the wool around a few times and glue on the ends. Add the goggly eyes and there she, or he, is. At the end of class you will have a whole gang, so why not create a special spot on a black cloth, scrunched up slightly with some toy spiders for an extra effect.

Arty Pumpkins
These arty pumpkins not only use their creative side but also help their fine motor development. With this style of pumpkin craft you can leave them to their imagination. I love this as it combines cutting, ripping, painting, stamping, colour exploration and designing.

They will need strips of white paper, paints in orange, red, yellow, and a little brown, a small round and oval shapes of Styrofoam, black paper, glue, scissors and construction paper for the canvas. Show them an image of a pumpkin, give them their canvas then let them use their imagination with the paint. Leave the brown out until later. The white and black paper is for the eyes, mouth and teeth. You can help them a little here to cut them out, then let them stick them onto their pumpkin. The best bit is letting them dip the Styrofoam shapes into the brown paint to make spiders bodies then let them paint on legs. Voila they have their very own piece of pumpkin art.

There’s lots of ideas for Halloween I just thought these two were simple and don’t require many complicated materials.

Girl on grass in summer day holds windmill in hand

The Difference Pre-School Can Make

Girl on grass in summer day holds windmill in hand

Sending your children to pre-school is proven to have a huge effect. The difference pre-school can make is simply; confidence building, your children will be more sociable, and they will learn the basics of working as a team and also individually. The simplest things like completing a task, for example building something with bricks will make them feel proud.

It is mentally stimulating for children as young as 18 months and two years to be in a classroom/nursery environment. They will react to colours, pictures and a layout that gives them more freedom to be themselves. They will make friends and enjoy group activities, like games and also being given the chance to be creative. 

An example of the positive effect it can have is a personal one that we’d like to share. My God Daughter lives two hours away so I only get the chance to see her once a month, if I’m lucky. The change in her always amazes me! I get photo’s and video’s, but the most recent catchup really surprised me. She has been in preschool now for three months, since she was 20 months, and I had the opportunity to go and collect her.

I walked into a fabulous place, and instantly felt joy at listening to their little voices. She was in her classroom playing with another little girl and a plastic toy, looking very deep into the workings of it. I stood there for a few moments to watch them both, until she spotted me. She instantly remembered me and even gave me a hug. It was such a pleasure to see her little face light up. As children were getting picked up by parents I noticed they all said goodbye and were all in good spirits.

The teachers clearly love their job as they were all of a very sunny disposition and chatty to the parents and guardians. My little angel would have been quite content to carry on which was a really good sign. I was also shocked to discover she no longer wears nappies and tells her Mum when she wants to use the toilet. Obviously she has her own little loo, but still this is a fantastic growing phase for her before her second birthday.

The change in her is absolutely incredible. She is an inquisitive, exploratory, confident, sociable little girl. I can honestly say the nursery has a lot to be thanked for this. I have watched her grow from a baby into a toddler and cannot be more proud. I just wish they were closer.

Our Children’s Nutritional Health

Toddler in bath with slice of watermelon

Our children’s health is very important for their mind, energy and confidence. It doesn’t have to be a dull, boring process we can make it fun!

Educating ourselves over our kids food lifestyle plays a huge part in the way they gain confidence and have a sense of wellbeing. It is down to us to make sure they learn about healthy eating and the benefits from an early age. It is a beautiful thing to see children active, fit and healthy. As early learning professionals we truly believe it is adult responsibility to introduce healthy living to our kids.

By getting kids into a good eating pattern, you can avoid obesity, food intolerances and establish any allergies early on. Food for energy is another part of healthy living, as kids need energy for all the exercise they do, even if it is simple everyday stuff. The important people in their lives like parents, siblings and school teachers can easily promote food for energy and food for thought as they have the most influence.

There are guidelines available by professional organisations that help towards the best choices of food and drinks for our young learners. Whether kids are inside or outside they have the right to enjoy physical activity. Being overweight can effect kids mentally as well as physically. They can become shy and withdrawn and sometimes angry with the world. It is all about balance and starting them on healthy food as soon as they get onto solids.

The government is supporting healthy eating in our kids, you can find out more here .

Mother and little son sitting on a windowsill

Separation Anxiety in Children Starting at Childcare

Mother and little son sitting on a windowsill

Separation anxiety is common in young children as they prepare to leave their parents to embark on their educational journey. Some children suffer more than others and can develop a disorder, so it is vital to understand the signs so you can help to deal with their fears. A child will show their nervousness by being withdrawn and will not co-operate. Usually they will complain about feeling sick so they can go home. They also struggle with joining in activities and tend to sit looking bored. 

This is a part of a child’s development, so it’s nothing to really get too concerned about it, but it does need some nurturing. It also comes with the territory of when a child starts to be mobile, as they fear getting lost or loosing their parents. It is completely normal for a child to have anxieties about being with strangers and only want to be with their parents. The earlier they are introduced to their new environment the better.

My soon to be two year old god daughter is now in nursery and the difference in her is truly amazing. She is so inquisitive, and independent in such a short space of time. Being with her friends and in the fun environment has opened up her little personality and given her confidence. I never thought she would want to leave her mother’s side as they are so close but we have all been surprised. Separation anxiety normally begins to suppress before four weeks, so this is a good time span to nurture and conquer their fears. The main points to deal with this are:

  • Let children bring something from home
  • Always seat them with children they may know from the neighbourhood
  • Introduce them to an enjoyable activity as they arrive
  • Parents need to show a relaxed, happy look on their face
  • Also say goodbye to your children briefly
  • Read stories that are relevant, so their fear seems normal
  • Compliment children as they do something good
  • Encourage them when they like doing something
  • Keep a close eye on who enjoys what

Staff in centres for early learners must have a patient personality and be able to recognise when a child is distressed at leaving their parents. We want our young children to enjoy their school life and develop their personalities. Obviously if their anxieties don’t improve then professional help will be needed. There could also be underlying issues that you are not trained to deal with. Recognition is key to happy kids and school life.

Parent and kid colouring pictures with pencils

Childcare Management Australia

Parent and kid colouring pictures with pencils

The success of Kidsoft is down to our fantastic team who are very experienced in childcare management Australia wide. We are very particular whom we assign to any contract as quality is our focus. The relationships we have built over the years prove our experience and ability to judge correctly.

Our speciality is to assist any childcare business in the management and running of it. Our speciality includes new projects, we make thorough assessments, adhere to the National Quality Framework, government policy, National Education and Care Regulations and more.

Between the team we have over twenty years of early learning, childcare and centre development experience. Our clients are centre managers, developers, operators and new centre start up entrepreneurs. I can’t count how many acquisitions and developments we have completed over Australia and our success proves our worth.

We give you everything you need to start a centre from the very beginning and we also revamp existing ones. Where compliance issues, approvals, due diligence, cost analysis, payroll systems, equipment advice, staff training, accounting services and much more are needed we have the answers.

Our shared passion for our work shows as we prove our success time and time again. This team are high quality industry professionals who enjoy working together and continue to strive for a great education for our young learners.

Giving our children the opportunity to start their education at pre-school means we are helping towards the future of our Australia. This in itself makes us extremely proud.

We provide you with a stress free relationship as our hands of experience do all the hard work into your dreams and ideas. Results are what keeps us driven! Meet the team.

For any information please do not hesitate to contact us and feel free to follow and comment on Facebook page.

Little boy having fun and playing wooden toy drum

Teaching Children Through Songs

Little boy having fun and playing wooden toy drum

Teaching children through songs opens up a whole new set of resources for motivating children or teaching specific points or themes.

Why choose to teach through song?
Songs tend to have rhythm and are usually quite repetitive. Children easily seem to learn songs and enjoy them. They seem to enjoy singing more than talking which is great because songs reinforce language in a natural way. Singing songs in a class environment can build confidence in the shyest of children. Usually quiet and shy children become part of the group which will lead to them being proud of their achievements.

Here’s our top tips for using songs in class.

  • Use songs for basic grammar by integrating them into your lesson.
  • Teach vocabulary in a particular way through repeated verse.
  • Use songs to help with listening and memory.
  • Choose associated songs that tell a story.
  • Use flashcards with a particular song like ‘Old MacDonald’.
  • Print off song lyrics with gaps for the children to fill in the missing words.
  • Jumble up some lyrics, and get them in pairs to figure them out.

There really is no limits to how songs can be used in class. The children love them, it gets your teaching point across in a natural way and the children will look forward to their lessons more. Happy children makes a happy teacher.

Charming little girl takes care about flowers in the garden

The Benefits of School Gardens!

Charming little girl takes care about flowers in the garden

Great news,  studies show the benefits of school gardens and the positive effects they are having on our young learners. At Kidsoft we were so impressed with some latest research results we had to write about it.

Parents continually worrying about the poor diets of their children could be a thing of the past as a simple answer has been brought to light.

The Australian Catholic University and the University of Texas have published that school gardens are a definite motivating influence towards children wishing to eat healthier and organic food.

They stated that children who helped create and got involved in school gardening projects growing fruit and vegetables found that the children enjoyed eating their own grown produce. Creating something from scratch, watching it grow and then being able to eat and enjoy seemed to stimulate them into a healthier outlook at food.

Altogether thirteen school garden projects were researched in Australia and the United States to see how they effected the eating behaviour of the children. The results proved that the children’s attitude towards healthy foods changed which showed a promising strategy in place, and to start it has early as possible.

All the schools that were researched ranged from pre-school through to Year 8, which also shows this can be continued throughout primary as well. At least six programs increased their vegetable intake, and changed the attitude of the children.

So, overall a positive outcome and it also got the children into thinking more about the environment and preferring organic foods. This can only have a great long term effect, so it’s important that our educators and childcare centre managers read this. Establishing a school garden project can easily become part of a curriculum.

It’s so simple to create a gardening project which gets the children involved, keeps them occupied, stimulates the creative and communication part of their brain with great results.

Concentrated brunette woman sitting by the table with laptop computer

Childcare Business Consulting

Concentrated brunette woman sitting by the table with laptop computer

At Kidsoft we can assist you with full childcare business consulting. Our advice covers everything you need to know from demographics, ROI analysis, building and architect liaison, the Early Years Framework, buying and selling centres and all compliances. Not only do we offer all of this we also listen to what you want to achieve. Due diligence is also  an area we strongly believe in.

If you are thinking of setting up a centre we can assist you in everything you need whether it is a brand new business or you are taking over a functioning one. WE can even help you with your budgets for the set up or take over including payroll and accounting services. We take our service that one step further like equipment advice and even staff training so you really have the whole package with Kidsoft. Below is a quick bullet point list to glance at. 

  • Management services to Insolvency Consultants and Financiers
  • Regulatory and Legislative areas
  • Developing Centre KPI reporting
  • New Opportunities
  • New Centre Start-up
  • Centre Inspections
  • Property Analysis
  • Conceptual Design Consultancy
  • Centre Inspections
  • Due Diligence
  • Property Analysis
  • SWOT Analysis

We offer a thorough understanding of the industry as we have experience of setting up childcare centres nationwide in Australia. With 23 years experience we really are the best around. Our passion is obvious and our team are real professionals who care about this business. We are approachable, friendly and helpful and all know our stuff. We love what we do and are proud to have formed many long term relationships with our clients.

To allow our young children to embark on their education as young as possible will give them such a great start in life. Job satisfaction doesn’t get better than this.

Children's educational toy. In the form of a car. Developing motor skills

Fine Motor Skills Activities

Children's educational toy. In the form of a car. Developing motor skills

As I constantly research ideas for my classes I have recently come across some great fine motor skills activities for our pre-schoolers. As we all know fine motor skills are so important in early learning. They bring out the natural creativity in their minds through play, games and arty practices.

Simple activities are easy to set up in the classroom. Our young children need to be taught how to cut by holding scissors properly, draw or trace with a pencil, colour in pictures properly. Simple skills like holding these everyday implements properly will enhance their learning throughout their young educational journey.

There are lots of ways for young children to develop and build up these muscles. My young kids that I teach absolutely love Plasticine and play doh, and these allow them to also get as creative as they want. They can practice manipulating it in their hands by squeezing, and twisting until they make a shape they are proud of.

Another one of my favourites is getting them involved in a proper project like making pom poms, threading beads, anything arty like cutting out and sticking, scrunching tissue paper to make flower heads. I also have some stick bricks in my class with letters so they can even make small words. Usually if we have been doing a theme I will ask them to choose one of their pieces of work and altogether we make a mural from that weeks work.

I find that once I have shown them an example of what we are aiming for they can’t wait to get going and try it. The best feeling is when they run up so proud to show me their work and ask if they can take it home to show their parents. As a teacher focusing on fine motor skills is up their with learning numbers, the alphabet and reading. Allowing them to open their mind at such a young age is the best gift a good teacher can give.

As always I try to communicate with parents so these important growing factors can be carried over into daily family life.

Children looking at a book

Early Learning and Languages

Children reading a book

It’s great to learn that early learning and languages is supported heavily by the Australian government. It is on their education page of their website stating that they have provided $9.8 million so the ELLA trial could happen. This is an amazing opportunity for our pre-school children to be exposed to languages other than English at such an early age. This is part of the Government’s plan to encourage language learning throughout Australia in all sectors of education.

It is a proven fact that adding languages to an early learning curriculum not only benefits a child’s capacity for learning but also gives them an early start to their language studies as they are at the early stage of great mental absorption. This program will also set them up as they travel on their educational journey. When they get to primary school the effects will show through their ability to stay more engaged and adapt to language learning much more easily.

This amazing trial will assist the government in learning the potential of this as a permanent pre-school educational program. The final results will be interesting to know as they will determine the future of the program. There are 41 childcare services and centres that  are on the program for 1 year this year. The languages include Mandarin, French, Arabic, Indonesian and Japanese.