Play is important business for babies, toddlers and preschoolers so it’s something we take very seriously at Clare’s Little Tots. Whether we’re inside or out I aim to create a nurturing and enabling environment that meets children’s needs and interests and allows them to shine.

Outdoor play

Children love being outside and the freedom to run around until their heart’s content.

Getting outside is an important part of children’s development. Gaining confidence and awareness of their surroundings, and interacting with their environment.

I will ensure that lots of time will be spent outside (weather permitting!) in our fully enclosed garden in addition to all the trips we go on. As a childminder working from my home I aim to create an outdoor environment that allows for lots of child-led and imaginative play rather than create an overstimulating environment.

Even in the rain and snow a range of learning opportunities and experiences are opened up so I ensure parents provide adequate clothing for children so we never miss out.

Some of the things we will get up to our listed below but we also like to take a lot of our indoor activities outside as well and never miss an opportunity for a picnic lunch in the garden:

  • Water painting
  • Sand & water table
  • Paddling pool
  • Water slide
  • Picnics
  • Singing and action songs
  • Bikes / Cars and ride on toys
  • Tunnel / tents
  • Slide
  • Building Bug Hotels
  • Fairy Gardens
  • Mud kitchen
  • Making dens
  • ….and lots of running up and down the garden and spinning round in circles.

Indoor play

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My setting has a dedicated play room with plenty of floor space that is set up so babies and children and do what they do best – play. A list of just some of the things we do is below but as with children’s imaginations, the options are endless.

When possible we also like to take our toys outside in the garden to play in the fresh air. Children are free to move between the playroom and the garden depending on what activity we are doing.

I aim to make sure all the toys are accessible to all ages and actively encourage children to choose the resources they want and play with them where they feel most happy.

The below list is by no means a complete picture of the things we do as I’m sure I’ve forgotten to add some.

If there are any particular activities your child loves doing let me know and I can be sure to include it for them.

  • Lego / Megabloks
  • Train set
  • Fancy dress
  • Messy play and sensory play
  • Toy Kitchen / Play food
  • Baking
  • Arts and crafts
  • Musical instruments
  • Garage / cars
  • Role Play
  • Jigsaws / Board Games
  • HappyLand
  • Nursery Rhymes & action songs
  • Animals – farm, zoo, dinosaurs

Reading & story time

As a child, I was constantly reading and my own daughter Georgia has also developed a love of books. We read to her from birth and she happily reads her books to herself or toys now or brings us book after book and sits on our knee so we can read them to her.

My passion for reading is something that I will make sure there is time for in every day to sit and read with your child. I ensure there is always a wide range of reading material suitable for all ages and many of my monthly topics come from the books that the children are loving at the moment.

As a childminder I find reading is a lovely way to bond with children and spend quiet one on one time with them as well as reading together in a group.

We also visit the local library to access more books and sometimes attend their weekly ‘Story Time’ session.

Out and About

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Going on trips and going out into the big, wide world is exciting and important part of a child’s development.

Allowing them to become aware of their environment and confident to interact with their surroundings helps them develop a sense of self and build confidence as well as offering endless learning opportunities.

As a family, we love going out and exploring Leeds and as a childminder I ensure children have plenty of time in the fresh air exploring, playing games and experiencing what Leeds has to offer.

We regularly attend the below places as well as sometimes visiting other childminders or having visits from them allowing children to mix with children of a similar age.

  • Library
  • Parks
  • Childminding Groups / Play groups
  • Music class (when available)
  • Picnics in the park
  • Garden Centres
  • Farm
  • Museum
  • Soft play centre
  • Visitng other childminders
  • Walks

To read more on what we get up to read my blog or take a look at my Instagram.