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Building foundations: how to prepare your baby or ...

Building foundations: how to prepare your baby or toddler for nursery

Little Progidies

As you embark on the exciting journey of preparing your baby or toddler for nursery, it’s important to focus not only on emotional and social development but also on building a foundation for educational readiness.

There are lots of activities you can do with your little one at home, but getting them used to an educational environment can also help. Little Prodigies Baby and Toddler Classes in Notting Hill offer parents an alternative to traditional ‘stay and play’ sessions. The nurturing nursery-structured environment for little ones aged 6-24+ months focuses on the prime areas of development, helping to ease the transition to nursery school.

In addition to ‘Development Classes’, Little Prodigies also offer Early Years Consultancy Services. Through phone calls, online meetings, or home visits, the specialist team provides developmental and educational support for young learners, and can also help parents with the important process of selecting nursery schools. 

If your baby or toddler will be going to nursery soon, read on for some practical tips and strategies to ensure a well-rounded and positive transition.

Establish a holistic routine

Begin by setting a comprehensive daily routine that includes not only feeding, playtime, naps, and bedtime but also short, age-appropriate learning activities. Incorporate simple educational elements into everyday tasks, such as counting during playtime or basic shapes and colours during creative activities.

If you’re stuck for inspiration, the age-appropriate classes at Little Prodigies can help. Developmental Classes follow the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum and have an ethos that children learn better through play. Classes incorporate topic activities designed to spark curiosity and imagination in young learners. Whether it’s exploring the jungle or discovering the wonders of light, a multi-faceted approach to learning helps to enhance knowledge and also develop essential skills that you can continue to build on.

The Little Prodigies complete package offers access to online workshops hosted by Early Years specialists on various topics, two learning packs with engaging activities to do at home, and a 15-minute consultancy phone call. 

Promote language skills

Foster language development by engaging in regular reading sessions. Introduce a variety of books with colourful illustrations and simple stories. Encourage your child to ask questions and express their thoughts. This not only enhances their language skills but also cultivates an interest in storytelling and reading and develops attention and listening skills. Classes focus on their book of the week to promote a love for learning.

Little Progidies
Learning through play at Little Prodigies

Encourage cognitive development

Stimulate your child’s cognitive development by introducing age-appropriate educational toys and activities. Puzzles, building blocks, and interactive games can enhance problem-solving skills, hand-eye coordination, and spatial awareness. These activities also contribute to a positive attitude towards learning.

Taking your little one to a class is a brilliant way of increasing cognitive development. At Little Prodigies, babies and toddlers are exposed to a wide range of educational touch points. Child-led activities encourage little ones to explore and interact with their surroundings freely. This helps to nurture their natural curiosity and instil a sense of autonomy.

Create a learning corner at home

Dedicate a small space in your home as a learning corner. Fill it with age-appropriate books, educational toys, and art supplies. This designated area reinforces the idea that learning is an integral and enjoyable part of their daily routine.

Visit the nursery’s learning spaces

During your pre-nursery visits, pay special attention to the learning spaces within the nursery. Familiarise your child with educational tools and materials like books, art supplies, and educational games. This exposure helps create a positive association between learning and the nursery environment.

The specialists at Little Prodigies can help guide you through the process of selecting the right nursery for your little one. One-to-one support through their Early Years Consultancy Services will ensure your baby or toddler is prepared for the transition. Consultations are designed to offer families bespoke advice tailored to their unique situation.

Encourage fine motor skills

Sensory play is really important for strengthening your child’s fine motor skills, which are crucial for writing and other cognitive tasks. 

Activities such as drawing, colouring, and using child-safe scissors also promote gross motor skills. This encourages hand strength and coordination, laying the groundwork for future academic activities such as holding pencils.

Little Prodigies is a great place to meet other parents and make friends for your little one

Socialise through playdates

Arrange playdates not only for socialisation but also to incorporate educational elements. Structured play activities, such as counting toys or identifying colours together, can make learning enjoyable. Additionally, exposing your child to diverse social settings contributes to their overall educational development.

Little Prodigies is a great place to meet other parents and make friends for your little one. There’s a strong community of families supporting each other, and there’s plenty of opportunities to socialise inside and outside of classes.

Introduce basic concepts

Begin introducing basic educational concepts such as numbers, letters, and shapes in a playful manner. Use everyday objects and experiences to make learning relatable and enjoyable. For example, count the stairs during a staircase climb or identify shapes in household items. This will also help you to model new vocabulary. 

If you’re not sure where to start with this, the support of early years educators can help. The dedicated team at Little Prodigies guide little ones through carefully designed adult-led experiences. These introduce little ones to new concepts, help to facilitate learning opportunities, and challenge your little one in an age-appropriate way. 

The team’s complete package provides ongoing support to families both inside and outside of sessions, to help you confidently continue your little one’s learning journey at home.

Final thoughts

A holistic approach to preparing your baby or toddler for nursery includes not only emotional and social readiness but also educational preparedness.

By integrating simple educational activities into your daily routine and exposing your child to a variety of learning experiences, you can lay a strong foundation for their educational journey.

Keep the atmosphere positive, flexible, and tailored to your child’s unique needs to ensure a well-rounded and successful transition to nursery life.

This is a paid partnership with Little Prodigies