Spacious outside areas create quiet shaded learning spaces and provide ample room for exploring.

Baby room

Babies feel secure in their own classroom, equipped with cots, soft flooring, mats and toys.


The shaded playground has specialist soft flooring with quality equipment and a large walk in sandpit.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Choosing the right summer camp

With such a wide variety of summer camps on offer nowadays, it can be hard to know which one is the best choice for your child.

Below are some benefits of summer camp and some tips on how to make the right choice. 

Why should I send my child to summer camp?

There are many reasons why going to summer camp is a great experience for your child:

It gets them up and out! They will be enjoying a day of fun, stimulating and energetic activities that will keep them occupied and entertained and they will have the opportunity to learn lots of new skills and ideas. 
  1. It helps them develop their social skills, independence and many other Personal, Social and Emotional skills.
  2. If your child has not attended school or nursery before, it can be a great opportunity to gently introduce them to the school environment before they start in September.
  3. If you choose a summer camp with lots of physical activities, it will help your child stay fit and healthy! 
  4. Creative projects can help your child develop many useful skills as well as stimulate their mind.

Which is the right camp for my child?

With the wide variety of camps on offer, it can be a difficult process knowing which one to choose for your child. There are many different factors to consider and it basically boils down to what suits your family the best.  

Most schools, nurseries and childcare centres offer summer camps and there is a huge variation in the activities offered, the hours of the camp and the price. Look for the one that you feel will stimulate your child and work with their interests.

  1. Try and find a camp that has a variety of fun activities, it is the summer after all!
  2. Ask how much opportunities there are for physical activities and games. It is really important your child has lots of chances to get active!
  3. Visit the facility before you sign up. Take a tour and see for yourself what indoor and outdoor space is available, ask about:
    •  the age range of the children (large age ranges should be split into appropriate groups)
    •  how many staff will be working (you want to know your child will have enough attention and be safe)
    • whether the staff are qualified (this is very important for the quality of care your child will receive)
    • whether there is 'tv time' (the point of summer camp is to provide fun and stimulating activities, not sit them in front of a screen)

All in all summer camp can be a fantastic experience for your child and I hope this information will help you choose the right one for your child.

For more ideas and tips, check out our Facebook page

In my next post, I will give you some ideas for eco-friendly activities and toys...see you soon!

Katie is an Early Years specialist in Dubai, where she 
manages an EYFS nursery. She has a special interest 
in psychology and early childhood development.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Supporting your child's literacy and mathematics development at home!

There is no reason why your child’s learning should stop during school holidays. Here are some simple ways to develop your child’s Literacy and Mathematics skills at home.

Supporting your child’s Literacy development

Developing strong language and literacy skills are important for your child’s overall development and key for when they start school. 

Here are some tips on how to help your child at home during the holidays and even on weekends or after school!

1. Join in your child’s games – playing is a great opportunity for your child to develop new language skills and expand their vocabulary. Imaginative play also develops children’s comprehension of stories. By joining in, you can encourage all these skills by giving them someone to talk to. Ask a lot of questions, encouraging your child to explain what they are doing, as well as role playing with them. You will help increase their vocabulary and understanding of language, and have some fun!

2. Talk and sing songs as much as possible – ask your child what they have done today, talk about what you are doing and topics they are interested in. Try and ask lots of questions and talk about how things look, feel, work, smell or taste and how they make you both feel. Spend time singing your favourite songs together and try clapping out the rhythm of the song or syllables in words. 

3. Read with your child – spend time reading books with your child. Show them how to look after and hold books, read to them, ask them to ‘read’ the story to you (they will use their amazing imaginations here!) and discuss the story together as you are reading it. Not only is this valuable quality time but it helps develop important Literacy skills. 

4. Point out things in your environment – when you are out and about, both you and your child can point out interesting things that you see or hear. This is a great way of encouraging your child to communicate and is a fantastic distraction on long grocery shops!

5. Practice phonics – ask your child’s teacher for information on the sounds they are learning and how they are learning them in nursery. Re-enforce this at home with your little one by singing the songs or discussing initial sounds in words. Make it into a game so they learn without realizing!

Supporting your child’s Mathematics development

From birth, children are developing their mathematics skills to understand everyday life. There are so many great ways you can help your child learn key skills such as counting, shapes, colours, position and sorting. 

Here are some ideas:-

1. Counting – try counting things in the environment with your child such as the stairs to bed, crockery on the table or the number of tomatoes you are buying in the supermarket.

2.     Colours and shapes – colours and shapes are all around us and by asking lots of questions, you can help your child learn their shapes and colours. For example, ask them what circles they can see in the room (a table, coffee coaster, clock etc) or what blue things they can see. You could bring in counting as well by counting the number of items they have found! 
3. Sorting – ask your child to help with sorting items such as food, laundry or saucepan lids. There are many ways they could separate them, a great way is by size as you are re-enforcing size vocabulary and sorting skills. 

4. Position – talk to your child about the position of different objects so they learn and become familiar with position vocabulary. You could also ask them to position objects in certain places while playing (for example: can you put the cow in front of the sheep?)

5. Routines – by talking through daily routines, it helps children develop their understanding of time and sequences of events. It also helps them to become familiar with vocabulary such as before, after, next and later. 

I hope I have given you some useful ways to support your child’s learning at home. I have only scratched the surface in this post so for more information and ideas, check out our Facebook page

Have a lovely summer! 

Katie is an Early Years specialist in Dubai, where she 
manages an EYFS nursery. She has a special interest 
in psychology and early childhood development.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Helping your child stay active at home!

Having a fit and healthy child is important for all parents but in this time of ever increasing technology, how do we get our children away from the screens and exercising?

Here are some helpful tips.

How do I encourage my child to enjoy activities that don't involve a screen?

Too much time in front of a screen can inhibit creativity and the development of concentration and attention, as well as decreasing the amount of time spent in physical activities.
Here are some top tips on reducing screen time at home:-
  1. Establish a routine for time they are allocated to watch TV or use media.
  2. Replace screen time with playing fun, physical and imaginative games (ideas below!)
  3. Don’t over-emphasize the importance of screen time by using it as a reward or depriving your child of it as a consequence. Instead encourage and praise things such as healthy eating or physical activities.
  4. Make meal times a time for family communication and bonding, rather than having the TV on. This will not only help to limit screen time but also encourage communication and language development, as well as helping your family to connect.

How do I get my little one exercising?

Physical activity is so important for people of all ages, especially little ones whose bodies are growing at an amazing rate.
Why physical activity is good for children:-

  1. It helps them stay fit and healthy
  2. Physical activity produces endorphins which help your child be happy and relaxed
  3. Exercise builds strength, flexibility and endurance
  4. Lots of fresh air and exercise will help your child get lots of good quality sleep
  5. It can promote cognitive and social development, as well as developing their fine and gross motor skills
  6. Increased concentration and attention spans

Physical fun ideas:-

  1. Get outside! – When the weather is bearable, make the most of it. Take your child to a park or play in the garden. We don’t get enough opportunity to be outside in Dubai, grab every chance you can!
  2. When reading a story, act out the parts with your child, making it as silly and fun as possible. As well as moving around, this will also promote early literacy development :) 
  3. Play equipment – some simple resources are affordable and a great way of inspiring your children to join in games and activities. Have a look for things like hula hoops, soft balls, bean bags, cones and balancing equipment. They will give your child endless activity ideas and enjoyment!
  4. When you are moving about the house, encourage your child to move like different animals (for example: hopping like a bunny or slithering like a snake)
  5. Dance and let loose! Put on some music and get your child moving and shaking, it’s a great way of keeping fit, promoting rhythm and body control and having lots of fun in the mix!
  6. Have a look for physical fun activities in the community. 

Why not try: 

Fitness fun at My Gym Dubai -
Music and Movement at Boogie Babies Dubai -
Indoor play at Fun City -
Toddler football fun at Socatots Dubai Sports City -

For more information and ideas, check out our Facebook page

Katie Hamdi
Katie is an Early Years specialist in Dubai, where she manages an EYFS nursery. She has a special interest in psychology and early childhood development.