child and teacher playing clapping game together

Learning through music

Grant, five months old, attends a nursery where the staff and children love to sing. One day his key worker lost her voice, and she noticed that Grant was fussy and discontented.

“We have all experienced crying, fussy, or sick children in our care who become calm when quality instrumental music is played. They are listening!” writes Elizabeth Carlton, music consultant at High/Scope Educational Research Foundation.

“If we sing to our three- and four-year-olds, we will probably be asked to sing the song again…and again. Many listening experiences during the first two years of life are necessary before children actually sing or talk with us…Songs, instruments, and instrumental music are wonderful ways to develop children’s listening skills and awareness of different words and musical pitches.” Read the article

toddlers playing

Understanding and encouraging toddler play

Toddlers are more complex than we often give them credit for. What better way to learn about how toddlers think than by watching them play? Kay Albrecht has worked with young children for many years and has a way of inspiring others to observe the wonderful world of "toddlerhood."

Read this article on observing and enabling toddlers' play.

Letting babies lie in

Letting babies lie in

What better way to start the day than waking up in your own good time and lying cosily in bed until you are ready to get up? Isn't that why we all look forward to Sundays?

That's why babies prefer to sleep in a bed that they can access themselves like a Dream Coracle. They can crawl in when they feel like snuggling down, and wake as gradually as they want!

P.S. Watch this video to see how one nursery allows babies to choose when to sleep.

Baby exploring

Babies are scientists

Science is about making and testing hypotheses. This is what infants do all the time! They are continually experimenting and asking “What if” in actions rather than words. The first time a baby knocks a cup from the highchair, it’s an accident. Next time, it’s on purpose to check if the falling cup will cause the same intriguing splash on the floor and the same exciting noise from mum!

As long as these little investigators are surrounded by interesting things and as long as they feel secure, they will continue to investigate and learn. Their active brains have a lot to process. No wonder they sleep so soundly at the end of the day.

Dream Coracle

Unexpected benefits of the Dream Coracle

“Our children are more contented.” This is what staff at Horn End Nursery Rugeley told me after they set up the sleep area with Dream Coracles. “The Dream Coracles enable us to make better use of the space within the room as the children now sleep when they are truly tired,” explains EYP Deborah Barton, the owner. “Children are more content and staff can spend more time supporting play and development.”

“The Dream Coracles are great for our children’s imaginations,” adds Kate Allen, baby room team leader. “On a daily basis they put the dolls to bed and look after them. The coracles have enabled them to develop this role play.” 

The Horn End Nursery chain will be switching to Dream Coracles in all their nurseries as a result of its success at Rugeley. They're not alone: Over 400 nurseries across the country are now using Dream Coracles!

Horn End used the Dream Coracle DVD to introduce the concept to parents and staff. Watch the video and request copies here.

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