The Nest Playschool

infant and toddler community


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What we’ve been up to…

We’ve been very busy at The Nest. This week marks the start of our interviews for teachers. We’ve received some amazing resumes, so the hard work will be choosing the very best fit. So many choices, and such an important task we have at hand. I have confidence that so many would add amazing things to our programs, so it will be difficult to pick just a few.

Renovations are continuing. We had friends and family in painting two weeks ago, so the entire inside of the school is now painted Behr “Provence Cream” with white trim. The flooring is down, and the toilet and vanity go into the bathroom this week. Our new IKEA kitchen and a cedar fence are the in the works for later this month. We are hopeful that the largest projects will all be completed in time for our open house, July 27th.

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I’ve been reading the Go Green Rating Scale Handbook and studying the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning (http://www.ewg.org/guides/cleaners). It’s enough to make your head spin! It is shocking to see what products do not rate well, and even which ones do. We all want to make wise choices for the products we use in our homes. On a larger scale, I want to make sure we are supporting the companies which are working to manufacture environmentally-responsible products.

In more fun and inspiring reading, I enjoyed this blog post from Janet Lansbury. We rarely stop to to think about the underlying messages we are sending through our daily interactions with young children. It is surprising to think about how ingrained in our culture the “normal” way of interacting with and caring for children has become. Who hasn’t handed a baby a toy, or propped them up? ( http://www.janetlansbury.com/2012/07/the-infant-need-experts-dont-talk-about/)

 


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Thoughtful Selections

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As we begin to select the toys we want to offer at our school, we are taking into consideration so many things. First of all, we want to be sure that it is safe. Non-toxic, safe to be explored in all the ways young children desire…in the mouth and in the hands.

Our second consideration: How does this toy serve children’s developmental needs? In our opinion, a toy that is open-ended draws a child’s attention for so much longer than those toys labeled “educational” by today’s marketers. Sometimes, it is the material that isn’t even a “toy” which will be the most useful. As just about every parent knows, the box and the wrapping is often the most enthralling part of a new toy.

We want to be sure that we give children opportunities to develop naturally, on their own timetable, while exploring simple, safe, and often natural materials. We are excited to observe how children will explore each material, given ample time and opportunity. As Magda Gerber wrote in Dear Parent: Caring For Infants With Respect, we’d like to help raise active explorers. The last thing we want is to create a situation where a passive child is watching an active toy. It should always be the child who is bringing the toy to life.