Like most 3 year olds, Big D is developing at a remarkable pace. While some of this might be down to her home life (and being surrounded by amazing family, friends and godparents who make her feel like the Queen of the World), a key part is that we were lucky to find a nursery that she absolutely loves and which fits her little personality perfectly.
As she skips off with Daddy B three mornings a week, she genuinely can’t wait to get there to be social with her network of buddies (she has a better social life than me these days), and to learn. Now we all know toddlers are sponges that absorb every ounce of knowledge they are presented with – but it amazes and slightly terrifies me how sophisticated these little people are getting.
There are of course many different types of nursery, and it follows that some will fit your child better than others.
When I started to look into nurseries, I was told that there were broadly 3 different teaching philosophies to consider: Montessori, Steiner and Traditional.
Montessori is a teaching method designed to develop a child’s innate curiosity for learning. Children actively determine what activities they want to undertake from the range offered. Sensory materials are used to stimulate the children, who are encouraged to develop at their own pace.
Steiner schools are designed to foster a child’s imagination and harness their creative impulse. The emphasis here is on creative play and there is far less formality than in a traditional or classic nursery. If your priority is to give your toddler the time to really be a child and to love play, this may be worth thinking about.
Traditional, the classic nursery typically follows a more structured path – with formal lessons and a focus even from a young age on the three Rs.
I liked elements from each of the three types of nursery – but felt that a focus on either the Montessori or Steiner schools would be too much. We therefore looked for more of a balance and went for a more traditional nursery, with structured teacher-led classes and topics, but which drew on some of the elements of these two. Ultimately though, I picked the nursery which gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling when I looked round it and where I felt Big D would feel most at home.
Big D finds her classes fun and engaging (last week she met PC Jones and has now decided she wants to be a policewoman!), and loves to tell us what she’s learnt today!
Not long ago, Big D returned home singing an amazing song about the Continents, which just blew me away so much I had to share it with you (click on the image above for a rendition!). I can’t believe what these little people are capable of learning – you can even hear Little D giving her two-penneth in the background.
But how amazing is it to watch these wonderful little people grow and develop? Seeing their excitement and enthusiasm for new things and experiences gives me a wonderful new perspective on things I’d probably not register without Big D reminding me daily to take in the environment around me.
A beautiful flower she picks up and wants details on, a wonderful storybook she loves, a video-clip of a volcano she wants to watch and understand. My daughter makes me feel like I’m learning about the world all over again – but this time it’s through her inquisitive innocent eyes that see the world as a truly wonderful place.
Love Mummy B