Kids love nothing better than making a mess. It’s part of exploring the amazing world around them. Messy painting, sand pits, crafts, crayons and play dough are all great ways to help children explore their creativity. Now and again you might be yearning for something where you don’t need to clean up afterwards, however, which is why these classic activities should never be underestimated. Not only are reading, music and dancing a vital part of children’s education, they are great way to keep children amused, with little or nothing to clean-up afterwards!
Reading is an important part of every child’s development. It can take a while for children to learn to focus on a book, but it’s essential to regularly share stories and images with them, even if they don’t always remain riveted (that generally comes later!) Scheduling a daily book time or story time is a simple and effective way to open children up to the wonderful world of books, and all it takes is a great book! The key is to tailoring books to a child’s age. While babies love bright colours, textures, sounds and simple pictures, older toddlers are starting to become fascinated by stories and descriptions. Rhyming and repetition are techniques that often help make a book more memorable, and therefore easer for a child to respond to.
A dance a day
Regular physical activity is recommended for children from an early age. The Australian Government’s guidelines state that toddlers and young children should be physically active for at least three hours during the day. It obviously can be spread out, which is why it’s great to include a mix of activities such as playground time, bike riding and dancing. Children respond incredibly well to music and generally love dancing. For a regular dancing time, you need only a space for children to stand and spread out, and some catchy age-appropriate music. The popularity of The Wiggles is due in no small part to their ability to create instantly memorable songs and dance routines that even the youngest of children can enjoy – not as easy as it seems!
Music to play by
And for every time they get up and dance, there’s bound to be plenty of times when they love nothing better than making the music themselves. Most children learn best by starting with simple instruments, such as maracas, tambourines and drums. Colourful keyboards and toy guitars are wonderful options for slightly older children. Of course, a great activity is for children to make their own instruments that they then can play. They might decorate ice-cream containers for drums, create chimes from hanging pots and pans, strum a ‘guitar’ made from elastic bands wrapped around a shoebox lid, or create a tambourine from a paper plate and smooth-edged bottle tops.
And for messy times
Encouraging expression and creativity means that yes, there will be plenty of times when children make a mess. Childcare centres in particular need to take precautions to ensure the environment is clean and hygienic at all times. The Federal Government’s Staying Healthy: Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services report includes specific guidelines, and it is worth hiring a cleaning service that specialises in pre-schools, childcare centres, and kindergartens. That way, children can make as much mess as they like, and stay safe. And, you don’t have to deal with the mess yourself!
Good cleaning services for childcare centres will tailor a schedule to suit your business, and will offer everything from general cleaning and disinfecting, and pressure washing of chairs and playground equipment, to buffing floors. Look for a service that also offers non-toxic and environmentally friendly cleaning products.