Thursday, 21 June 2012

Introducing Our Travelling Ted

Apologies for the absence of my posts recently.  I have been burying my head in paperwork, and trying to get back to normal after spending 2 weeks at Disney World!

We all had an amazing time and I'm sure you've seen the hundreds of photos I have been uploading on Facebook!

As we try to get back to normality, I would like to introduce a very special person to you.

This is Duffy. Duffy is Oakley Childcare's new Travelling Ted. Many settings, including Pre-schools, nurseries and reception classes use 'Travelling Teddies' with their children.  I think the idea works equally well in a Childminding setting.

How does it work?

The Childminder purchases a teddy bear and a notebook. The children are encouraged to take the bear with them when they go on holiday, visit friends or relatives or go on a special outing/family event.

The parents are asked to record the event in the notebook and if possible include a photograph or postcard.

On the bears return to the Childminder, the child is encouraged to share their experience and any photographs with the Childminder and the other children.

How does this help the child’s Learning and Development?
This activity helps children to learn and develop in a variety of ways and I have linked them to the Early Years  Foundation Stage Curriculum and the Every Child Matters Outcomes.

The children:
  • Extend their memory by recalling the event
  • Gain self-confidence in retelling their story,
  • Learn to listen to others,
  • Learn to share,
  • Learn about the written word,
  • Develop a sense of belonging and of being valued,
  • Develop a greater knowledge and understanding of others’ lives and the world in which we live.

Links to the Early Years Foundation Stage:

Personal, social and emotional development - Learning to respect others, about relationships and the importance of friendship.
Communication, language and literacy - Opportunities to speak and listen, availability of print.
Mathematical Development - Counting - How many outings has Duffy had etc.
Knowledge and Understanding of the world - Gathering information on other parts of the country/world, on others lives and cultures.
Physical development - Developing fine motor skills to dress Duffy.
Creative development - Children have time to explore ideas. 

Duffy is a very special teddy as he is a Disney Bear.  He has travelled all the way from Disney World in Florida to stay with us.

Duffy was originally a present for Mickey Mouse from Minnie to keep him company on his travels.

The story goes...

Duffy was previously known as "The Disney Bear" with an entirely different backstory. The original story found on the tag of the first released bear's ear said that Mickey brought his favorite bear to the Magic Kingdom. Mickey sat in front of the castle wishing that he had a friend with him to share the excitement and magic of the park. Tinker-bell appears and sprinkles pixie dust on Mickey's bear, bringing it to life. Mickey then hugs the bear and a Mickey-shape appears on the bear's face, forever bonding Mickey and his new friend. I think I like that version a little bit better, but that's just me.  I was totally captivated by Cinderella's Castle at Magic Kingdom.

Whilst at Disney World, I also bought the children a book; Duffy the Disney Bear: Mickey's New Friend.  This is an extended version of the story above. We will be reding this next week.
If you would like to read the story to your child at home, here is a lovely read-along video...

We were very fortunate to meet the real Duffy when we were in Disney's Epcot, as shown at the end of the video.  Oliver and Amelia took an instant love of him and gave him lots of bear hugs.

If your child attends Oakley Childcare and you would like to take Duffy on a special outing, please let me know and I will get him and his passport ready for his next adventure!

If you are a Childminder and you would like Duffy to visit your setting, please let us know :-)

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Father's Day

 The weather has been so miserable recently.  Our garden has really suffered and the poor chicken's run is just mud where the rain has turned the straw to mulch. I will be so glad when our summer starts so we can get into the garden properly.

We actually made it outside this morning as the sun decided to come out. We tested out our new bubble machine and the children enjoyed catching all the bubbles as they floated around the garden.  We also went to Asda and bought some play sand for the activity table and the children had fun building sandcastles and using the dinosaur moulds.

This afternoon the children were busy bees making cards and cupcakes for their Daddies. We used some black card with some paper ties stuck on the front with PVA glue and a lovely poem inside.

The children then helped to make some cupcakes, taking it in turns to add ingredients and stir the mixture.  We used some football cupcake cases which the children thought the daddies would like.

We left them to cool while we went off to play and then later took it in turns to ice and decorate them while the rest of the children read stories about Dads with Paul in the living room.

 We then finished them off with a cute cupcake box with balls on.

The Daddies really enjoyed their cakes and cards and the children enjoyed the ones that they took home too (well we couldn't JUST give cakes to the Daddies could we?)

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