At CompaNanny, we are more than happy to share our extensive knowledge about child development. Which is why we organise (online) events such as CompaTalks and regularly write blogs, where we take you through specific topics about child development. Or provide tips on how to properly nurture different skills at home.
Spending a lot of time at home with the kids is certainly cosy, but it can also be a challenge. So how can you fill up your days in a meaningful way when you are at home with your child(ren)? CompaNanny's team of Pedagogic Coaches is more than happy to provide practical suggestions and tips. Each week we will update this page with new activities, so watch this space!
Making a daily schedule can help provide structure and a sense of tranquillity, both for yourself and for your child(ren). Whether they are at CompaNanny or at school each day, your child is already used to this sort of structure, so the transition will most likely be a smooth one. What can help when it comes to creating a sense of calm in the house is to agree upon a ‘work zone’ and a ‘play zone’ with each other. This gives children clarity and freedom and can prevent exasperation. Click here for an example of a daily schedule, and here for a blank daily schedule that you can fill in yourself.
How to teach your child to play independently, and how to let them do so
You don’t need to entertain your child(ren) all day long, as it is very valuable to know how to play independently. For example: it helps build self-confidence, creativity and problem-solving skills. Some children are able to play independently for a while more easily than others, but all children can learn how to do it. Here are some tips to teach/let your child play independently:
Inspiration for activities at home
This list will be updated each week with new activities per age group.
Activities for babies aged 0-2 years:
Activities for toddlers aged 2-4 years:
Activities for children aged 4-12 years:
Healthy and tasty animal-shaped vegetable pizzas
This e-book (in Dutch), has templates and recipes that you can use to make tasty and healthy pizzas at home like true pizza chefs! Which ones will you and your kids make? Share your creation(s) on social media with the hashtag: #MagionixCompaNannypizza
CompaNanny on YouTube
Have you come across our YouTube channel yet? Here you will find videos made by our very own team, in which we encourage children to exercise and inspire their creativity. Check out the CompaNanny Kids YouTube channel!
Screen time and media use among children are popular themes in our digital society. These are subjects that include a lot questions when it comes to the upbringing of children. In fact, more questions are asked about his, than about sleeping and nutrition. Therefore, we take you into research on this subject and list some tips. It is also definitely worthwhile discussing this together because, in doing so, you can help guide your child in their use of digital media from the get-go.
Positive effects of digital media use
Due to the rapidly growing range, and frequent use, of digital media among adults and children, there has been a great deal of research carried out about the topic. There are studies on numbers: how often and for how long do children look at a screen? But in recent years, there have been more and more studies on the consequences screen time has on the development of children. Something that many parents/guardians are curious about.
There are some studies that have shown that a lot of screen time has a negative effect on development, while other studies have not found any significant effect. What’s more, other studies have shown that young children can learn logical reasoning and cognitive skills from videos. Research has also shown that the use of a touchscreen by young children is connected to fine motor development, such as a child’s ability to stack blocks or hold a pencil
2,5 hours screen time per day
Young children (0-6 years of age) look at a screen for an average of 1 hour and 45 minutes a day. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, this has increased to an average of 2.5 hours a day. Due to the unusual circumstances and being at home more this year, parents/guardians have become less strict.
In the Netherlands, 80% of all parents/guardians wonder how much screen time is healthy for their child. Perhaps you do too. And just as many parents/guardians wonder what they can provide their child as an alternative to media use. At the same time, 84% are also happy that they can sometimes fall back on a screen to keep their child occupied. On the one hand, media use brings serenity to family life, but on the other hand, most parents/guardians would prefer their child do other things than stare at a screen. Many parents/guardians struggle with a good balance.
Healthy screen time
It is difficult to determine exactly what is considered healthy with regards to maximum time on a screen. One specialist says a maximum of 10 minutes, while another says a maximum of an hour. There is no official advice on this matter available yet. After all, families and children also differ. It is therefore important that you, as a parent/guardian, assess what is good for your child. A guideline here can be to pay attention to when your child is no longer concentrating on the screen; that is a good indicator that it is time for another activity.
This is how you find a good balance
It’s quite normal to find it difficult determining what is healthy media use for your child. You are not alone and in this modern society there are screens everywhere, which does not make it easier to find a good balance. Remember: if you want your child to cut down on their screen time and media use, it doesn’t have to be done in one fell swoop. Try it step by step. And perhaps the following tips will help you further:
At CompaNanny, children do not use tablets, but we do pay attention to different activities that match the needs of each child.
Subconsciously live consciously
Much more than adults, children live in the here and now. While we constantly have our busy schedules in mind, children just think about what is happening right now. And while young urban professionals take a mindfulness course to find themselves, children are completely absorbed in the moment. Children subconsciously lives very consciously.
Children experience daily activities as separate parts of the day. It is difficult to imagine a day as a whole at a young age. Only after a lot of repetition does a child recognize situations and associate those with each other. When specific moments during the day are repeated, a child builds knowledge and experience in that. This way, recognizing what is to come, becomes easier. A child then slowly learns to anticipate.
The ritual of dinner
As adults, we incorporate all sorts of rituals and structures in our daily actions. Much more than we think. However, we tend to be unaware of said patterns because we do them automatically. Think of washing your hands after using the toilet, lean back when you have finished your food, do groceries at the same store every time, or listen to a certain song while cleaning your house. We also tend to use the same objects in specific situations.
Children copy this. A child starts associating certain materials and structures with specific situations. An example of this that recurs daily is mealtime, which is comprised of all sorts of rituals. For instance, we eat at the same time every day, we smell scents of food being prepared, we set the table in advance, wash our hands before we sit down, and put the food on our plates before we start eating. All these structures, the use of certain materials, and even the smell of food, alert your child that it is time to eat.
Recognition creates security
By sticking to a fixed order in the day and especially in certain situations, your child learns to recognize the recurring daily events. This recognition gives him or her a sense of security. Because they can trust themselves and their environment. Only when a child feels secure can he or she focus on what is happening around them. And only then will a child develop.
Children are still learning to properly filter the millions of stimuli that come in at the same time. We grown ups, do this unconsciously, partly because our brain already knows what is important and what not. But for children, everything is new. So when there are certain moments that recur every day and are largely the same, the input of new stimuli is much less.
Predictability prevents overstimulation
Predictability, fixed rituals and repetition therefore ensure peace and quiet, and prevent a child from becoming overstimulated. That is why we at CompaNanny maintain a fixed daily routine for children. It is also the reason that we continuously talk with children and describe everything during the day. The sound of the garbage truck outside, the behaviour of other children, what will happen later, and what we are doing at this moment. So talking to your child is not only useful for their language development. It is also important for their sense of rest and security.
Does your child need predictability?
How important predictability is for a child, differs per individual. After all, every child has a different temperament. It can be said however, that young children are more sensitive to changes and unpredictability than older children. This is because an older child already has a lot more knowledge about the world and its immediate environment. As a result, he or she is able to place an unexpected event in a familiar and understandable framework much faster.
This is how you create predictability
When you notice that your child is restless or overstimulated, it can help to introduce fixed rituals, or being more consistent with the existing ones. This can be done, for example, by always singing the same song before mealtime, or to always read a book before going to bed. Moreover, it can be very helpful for children if you announce a change or activity some time in advance. For example, announce that you will be heading upstairs to brush their teeth in 10 minutes, and then repeat the announcement 5 minutes in advance. To be able to properly assess what your child needs in this, it is important to watch them and listen to them carefully and respond accordingly.
Want to know what kind of daily routine we maintain at CompaNanny or how we ensure predictability? Read more about our methods or request a tour!
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A baby’s life revolves largely around their primary needs; eating, drinking, pooping, peeing, and sleeping. When these go smoothly, a child will automatically feel well. After all, it is easier to play when you have a filled tummy, a clean diaper, and are well rested. Only then will a child also develop further.
However, getting a good night’s sleep can be easier said than done. And it makes it even more difficult if your child cannot speak yet, and thus cannot clarify what might be wrong. So we have listed some tips to help your child find their natural sleeping rhythm!
Got curious about how we at CompaNanny work with regard to sleeping? Request a tour at one of our locations!