I live in a quiet part of Rawdon, north west Leeds with my husband and two young children Lucas and Sam.
Our house has a large bright lounge and playroom which provides a wonderful play space for children. This room opens out onto the fully enclosed private garden. We have two outside rabbits Holly and Hazel which the children adore. My home provides a nurturing environment and my priority is for children to feel safe and relaxed.
Our playroom offers a huge variety of toys, puzzles, games and activities for children. I rotate resources weekly to provide new and interesting opportunities. The majority of toys are designed to stimulate open ended play which encourages creativity and imagination.
We like to spend as much time as possible outside and our garden provides a fantastic space for play and learning. We also have a purpose built water table/ mud kitchen, great for imaginative messy play. The enclosed decking area is used for all sorts of play, games and art. The children love to feed and pet the rabbits and learn about how to care for animals.
Every day we have an adult-led activity or craft which is designed within the Early Years Foundation Stage. Activities are fun and creative and suitable for a range of ages, even babies enjoy the sensory experience. Children regularly help prepare meals and bake treats. I encourage independence and build confidence by allowing children to help as much as possible whilst maintaining safety at all times.
I manage a small allotment, just at the end of our road, where we grow fruit and vegetables. My children love to visit the allotment several times a week to sow seeds, weed, water, harvest vegetables and all the other general tasks. Often produce doesn’t make it home and we enjoy fruits picked straight from the bush or tree. Our allotment provides a brilliant setting for learning about plants, food, natural processes and wildlife.
Mealtimes and naptimes
We have a flexible routine and babies and toddlers can nap whenever they need to. I have a private nap room (also my office) with cots and daybeds where children can rest or sleep in peace.
We eat family meals and snacks which I prepare from scratch. I cook with lot of wholegrains and fresh fruit and vegetables. We rarely eat processed foods and treats are homemade, usually by the children.
Trips and outings
We have an outing most morning to a range of groups, classes and attractions such as parks, libraries, farms etc. The children enjoy a lot of social activities. I love getting the kids outside exploring new places. I am a member of the forest childcare association which means at least one of our outdoor sessions is in a wild environment such as a woodland or wild park. I will write more about forest childcare on my blog.