Thursday, 31 March 2011

Mother's Day 2011

We have been busy bees today making some Mother's day gifts for all the lovely mummy's.

We started off with some pretty cards which the children decorated with crayons.  Then they stuck on a paper cupcake case and I stuck a picture of each child in the centre.  The children then glued on green pipe cleaners for the stems and green feathers for the leaves.

We also painted some pretty wooden flower photo frames, again with a photo of each child in the centre.

And we finished up with some yummy giant cupcakes decorated with pink icing and hundreds and thousands and flowers.  They were delicious.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Sacrewell Farm Trip

We go on outings every week, but 3 or 4 times a year we like to take the children a little further afield where they can experience new surroundings.  This month we had a lovely outing to Sacrewell Farm and Country Centre in Peterborough. It was about an hour's drive from our house.  We had fun in the car on the way playing eye spy colours and counting the different coloured cars. We were so lucky to have such perfect weather.  It was hot and sunny, a rare occurrence for March.

We played in the hay bale maze and stopped at the end to take a group photo!  It was a long way around and we got lost a few times, but eventually found our way out.

We walked around the farm and had a ride on a tractor.  We saw lots of animals.  We also bought some food to feed them.  There were goats, shire horses, sheep and tiny lambs, guinea pigs, rabbits, ducks, and a big fat pot bellied pig!
In the afternoon we found a nice grassy area where we sat on a blanket for our picnic. We had sandwiches, sausage rolls, satsumas, fromage frais and raisins with fruit juice to drink.

 There was a lovely play area where the children played on  the swings, slides, and play house.  The children all sat down at the table and pretended to eat dinner. They were all getting very tired by now.

There was a life-sized model of a cow which children could go and "milk".  The children were a bit apprehensive at first, but soon enjoyed squeezing the cow's udder to get the milk into the bucket.  It was really water, but they enjoyed it nethertheless and was a lovely new experience for them.

Jumping in muddy puddles like Peppa Pig!
 We found a friendly tortoise who came up to the fence to see us.  I couldn't resist picking  him up!  He was very heavy and the children all stroked him to see how hard his shell was.

There were lots of tall trees around the lake.  The children all looked in the leaves to see if there were any squirrels

After a long and tiring day, the children all fell asleep in the car. It was a very quiet journey home! We all had a lovely day.  Sacrewell Farm is a brilliant place for pre-school children and we will definately be returning again soon.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Red Nose Day 2011

To raise money for Comic Relief, this year I organised a Toddle Waddle for the children in my care along with 8 other childminders and their children.  It was a miserable, misty morning but this didn't dampen the children's spirits.  They were all very excited. We all met at the park behind Harper's Brook dressed in our red clothes and the Toddle Waddle began just after 10am.  We walked up to the lake with the boardwark and looked at the ducks and geese and then toddled back again!

The children did very well.  We do not yet have a final figure for the total amount we raised, but so far the children at Oakley Childcare have raised £81! I am so pleased.  We can really make a difference to the lives of children in the UK and Africa.

After the Toddle Waddle we played in the park for a little while and ate the red nose cakes that I made.

Monday, 14 March 2011

14th March 2011

It was a lovely day today.  We all took advantage of the sunshine and played in the garden.  We looked at the chickens and fed them some grass.  There were lots of daffodils poking out through the soil.

We are looking at the colour Red this week to coincide with Red Nose Day on Thursday and in preparation for our Sponsored Toddle Waddle. We planted some strawberry plants in the vegetable corner and learnt about how they will grow red fruits to eat.  The children are all looking forward to the summer now so that they can pick the strawberries when they're ripe. The children learnt how the plants are very small at the moment but will grow bigger with lots of sunshine and water.

  We had spaghetti bolognese for dinner.  Some of the children helped to chop the "red" tomatoes to put in it and we had "red" strawberries and cream for dessert.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Playdough Recipe

Today we are making playdough.  We will be making red dough to coincide with our "red" theme for Comic Relief.

Here is the recipe I always use...


2 cups of plain flour
1 Tbsp. of vegetable oil
1 tsp. cream of tartar
2 cups of coloured water
1 cup of table salt


Place all of the ingredients into a large pan. Cook slowly on a low-medium heat and stir it until the playdough thickens. I find using an electric hand whisk makes it go nice and smooth.  It takes less than 10 minutes and is so much easier to stir too.

The playdough keeps best in the fridge in plastic containers.  I tend to change my dough weekly to ensure it's fresh.

EYFS Next Steps:

To support the children's next steps why not add some fragrances or textures to your dough.  Here are some ideas...

Co-ordinate the  fragrance of the dough to match its colour.  For example;

Blue food colouring + peppermint essence
Red food colouring + strawberry essence
Yellow food colouring + lemon essence
Brown food colouring + cocoa powder/coffee essence

I have even been known to add glitter and ground cinnamon to playdough at Christmas which makes a lovely addition to your playdough stock.

You could make a nice natural coloured dough using no colouring and let the children push in herbs from the garden. etc

Monday, 7 March 2011

Do Something Funny for Money...

To support Comic Relief this year I have arranged a Sponsored "Toddle Waddle" for the Children that I care for next Thursday 17th March.  I thought it would be fun to have lots of people joining in to raise more money, so I have invited lots of Childminders from around our community.  So far we are going to be joined by 8 other childminders as well as the children that they care for. I will be providing red nose cakes which I am going to make with the children next Wednesday and refreshments so we don't get thirsty.  I have been putting up posters around my setting to promote it and have sent children home with a newsletter and a sponsor form today to inform Parents about what we will be doing.  Hopefully we will get lots of sponsor money from each of the children's friends, family, neighbours and work colleagues so that we can really make a difference to the lives of children in both the UK and Africa. 

I have set up a fundraising page which can be found by clicking the link on the right.  If anyone would like to sponsor us it was be very much appreciated.  Your money could go towards helping a family in the UK, struggling to make ends meet.  Or a family in Africa who have lost children to Malaria.  Malaria accounts for 20% of all childhood deaths and, in Africa, a child dies every 45 seconds from the disease. Just £8 could pay for ten Ugandan children to be tested for malaria so they can get a quick diagnosis and receive life-saving treatment.

I have acheived 60% of my target so far, but obviously the more money I raise, the more people we can help.  Please spare a thought for the children and sponsor someone today.

Thank you. xxx

Welcome to Oakley Childcare

This post is to tell you a bit about my Childminding service, Oakley Childcare and the facilities I offer the Children in my care.

My Childcare setting is based in my home; a semi detached 3 bedroom house in a quiet cul-de-sac in Oakley Vale, Northants.

We use the living room for general play and the kitchen for all baking, crafts, painting and other messy activities.

We have a fully enclosed garden with a toddlers play deck which I had installed in 2010.  The children love playing on it and it is also home to our Vegetable Corner and Sensory Garden. I have lots of outdoor toys and equipment including a sand and water activity centre, picnic table with UV parasol, ride-along toys, a slide and a small trampoline.

Our Sensory Garden


Our Vegetable Corner

The Toddlers Play Deck

Our Messy play area

My family and I love animals.  I believe that pets have a very positive impact on children's learning and development.  Not only can children benefit from learning about the animals, but they can also develop their communication, nurturing skills and self confidence. We have lots of pets in our setting which Children love to interact with.  We have Jacob, a six year old Welsh Springer Spaniel, Caesar the Cat, aged 5, an aquarium of freshwater tropical fish and our 5 chickens;  Beatrice, Betty, Berol, Maggie and Mabel who are just over 1 year old.  They lay lots of nice fresh eggs for us which are really yummy!

This is Jacob
This is Caesar

The Chooks!

I will be back again soon with my monthly blog.  Hopefully I may even make it more regular!  If you would like to know more about my Childminding service, please see my main website

Oakley Childcare Copyright © 2011 Designed by Ipietoon Blogger Template and web hosting