As it’s the time of year for all things school photography and the like I thought I’d put one up of our little nursery class.
From left to right the little ones in the front row are:
- John – Always first to try something and best friends with Jolla,
- Steven – The tinker of the class, always wanting hugs from Teacher iBear,
- Jolla – Seems to receive the most praise and has recently won his 4th consecutive star of the week award,
- Little Katy – A friend to all, can get a little excitable,
- Rosie – Constantly asking to play with the class tablet, thinks everything is “ammmmaaazzzinng”,
- (Back row)Big Katy and Sophia – these two visit Jelly nursery and seem to always either fall asleep or require some sort of medical attention.
Playing babies is by far the most popular game iBear and I do. We pretty much play with them in some capacity every single day. As soon as I get in from work and we’ve done our usual routine the infamous question “Do you want to play babies?” comes out no matter what else is going on. Putting a load of washing in – “Do you want to play babies?”. Pop to the loo – “Do you want to play babies?. Chatting to Mammy about her day – “Do you want to play babies”. Yes. I. do sweetheart. I just need to ….. ok, ok, I’m coming I’m coming!
We’ve been playing with the babies for the best part of a year and a half now and the thing I love about it is that it offers insight into what she did at nursery, and now in reception. Without any prompting she’ll come up with games involving the babies that she has had personal experience of. For example, one of the earliest games I remember is when the babies had to have some “digest time” and go into the “sensory room for a little nap. As most parents will probably appreciate, it’s pretty much impossible extracting any useful information out of kids when it comes to what they’ve been up to during a day so this is a perfect way for me to learn.
We’ve done it all – dishing out Pizzas for lunch, going for nature walks, practising our writing, drawing pictures, going to the construction room, tidy-up time. There’s also been plenty of time-outs and it’s really funny watching her chastise her pupils for something they’ve apparently done. (She insists it’s not her at school getting told off mind….). A personal favourite is when Teacher iBear announces it’s story time and we all gather on the floor while she sits on the sofa and “reads” one of her books. She’s got it down to a tee even pausing to show all the babies the pictures.
As iBear has now started school, the babies have moved up to Jelly reception and already I’ve learned that they queue for their lunches, have to hold hands with a partner on their nature walks, the signing of the register and the job of taking it to the office and how the star of the week and other awards are announced. On the discipline side there was a big telling off the other day for John and Jolla who apparently didn’t listen to some instructions. Those two are always getting up to no good! Every one of the babies has a personality that iBear and I have created and it’s a source of great amusement to the rest of the family when we talk about the babies and what they’ve been up to. Everyone needs a back story, right?….
Through this kind of play I’ve found I can steer things towards a bit of subconscious learning for iBear by encouraging her to teach the babies how to write letters using her little whiteboard, for example. What’s also very noticeable is in the early days I’d be the predominate one of the game who’d tell iBear what was happening. Now, there has been times where I’ve been pretty much a silent observer just sitting there while she cracks on.
One Dads View
I always wrestle with myself over playtime with iBear. She’s always been very demanding of my time and it does get a little frustrating when jobs need doing but the majority of the time I try and play as much as possible with her. I’ve said this before but I want to look back on this time of her life and have no regrets. The babies game brings so much joy to her and the fact it also allows me to find out about how she’s growing outside of our care makes the time spent all the more worthwhile.