Time to get outdoors! As the weather becomes warmer and drier there is now much more opportunity to be outdoors with the children in your service. At the Early Years Shop, we have some great new products added to our Exploring Nature with Children category. These include a Butterfly Feeder, a Ladybird Magnifier and Wildflower Seeds. If you are looking to encourage nature to your outdoor area then you can use these products to help you!
Simple additions such as growing some wildflowers or having a butterfly feeder in your outdoor area will begin to attract different forms of insects. This is not only a great way to help the environment but a great way of teaching children about nature. Children can learn about the life cycle of a plant from growing the flowers, how insects such as bees and butterflies use the plants to feed and what those insects look like up close! You do not need to have an expansive outdoor area to encourage nature to you, even the smallest of spaces can be utilised to attract nature to your door!
Get Outdoors – Three Great New Products Now Available!
If you loved the Insect Lore Butterfly Garden or the Creature Peeper products then you will also love these great new products available on the Early Years Shop. These three products are a great addition to any service to encourage nature to your outdoor area, bringing the children closer to nature!
Butterfly Feeder– The Butterfly Feeder hangs in your outdoor area, filled with nectar (you can use sugared water), to attract butterflies to feed. Once the butterflies come to feed the children can use their magnifying glasses to carefully check out their patterns, features and different colours. This is a great addition to any Early Years Service who are looking to encourage wildlife into the outdoor space for children to explore closely.
Ladybird Magnifier – The Ladybird Magnifier was thoughtfully designed with young children in mind. It is both lightweight and sturdy and uses the ladybird’s wings cleverly, opening out to reveal a lens that offers 5 x magnification! This is a great product for children to carry with them as they go outside on their nature adventures! They can search for leaves, twigs, insects, pebbles and put them in their Best Ever Bug Jar for further study. It measures 11.4cm in length and 9.7cm width and the lens is approx. 6cm in diameter.
Flower Seeds – This super mix of wildflower seeds includes a variety of different flowers including foxgloves, clover and forget-me-nots. These seeds have been specifically selected to benefit and attract butterflies to your outdoor area. This process helps children to understand the cycle of plants as well as learning how the flowers benefit nature as they help to feed the bees and butterflies.
All of these products are now available to purchase on the Early Years Shop! Make sure and keep an eye out for more new nature products that we will be adding to the collection over the coming months!
Since 1st April 2021 The Right to Disconnect grants all employees the right to fully disengage from work-related activities outside of their normal working hours. This includes the right not to respond to emails, phone calls or other messages outside of that window. Employers should be mindful of their expectations of their employees in light of the following 3 rights enshrined in the Code:
the right of an employee to not have to routinely perform work outside their normal working hours
the right not to be penalised for refusing to attend to work matters outside of normal working hours
the duty to respect another person’s right to disconnect (for example, by not routinely emailing or calling outside normal working hours)
3 Important Tips on the Right to Disconnect:
Have a conversation with staff in relation to working hours and/or flexi time arrangements and make a note of those conversations
Seek consent to share agreed working windows with other team members so communication boundaries are made clear
Be mindful of the sending of emails/messages outside of other’s normal working hours (for example, where it is necessary to do so, input “For Monday” in the subject bar of emails)
Great 15% OFF Discounts and Great Value Bundle Offers Extended!
Our great Easter discounts on indoor and outdoor safety signage and social distancing products are now extended until midnight April 12th. Take action now and avail of these great offers!
Clearly mark social distancing outside: 15% OFF on all spray paints, primers and stencils!
Choose from a wide range of high-quality outdoor paints and primers and our very popular “footprint” and “arrow” stencils for social distancing.
15% OFF All Wipe-Clean Posters!
Great posters to remind staff, visitors and children about importance of correct hygiene procedures including handwashing, nose-blowing and nappy changing. Also see our Staff Inspiration Posters – all 15% off through April 12!
Social Distancing Special Outdoor Bundle
Includes outdoor signage, spray paints and stencils in one discounted bundle – everything you’ll need to ensure safe social distancing outside your early years service.
Hygiene and Safety Special Indoor Bundle
A great discounted bundle – choose from a selection of wipe-clean child-friendly posters and colourful floor stickers!
Explore the Life Cycle with a wonderful Butterfly Garden. Order your Garden now so that you can assemble it and redeem your Caterpillar Voucher online to receive the caterpillars and start the life cycle process. Many nature themes are suggested from children’s own emerging interests from time they’ve spent outside in the garden or from a nature walk. Children are naturally curious and ask many questions throughout the day. They like to know where things come from and how things happen!
They may ask questions such as ‘how does a butterfly grow its wings?’ Or ‘how does a tree grow so big?’ Practitioners have the opportunity to feed that natural curiosity by responding to those questions in the form of themed activities. A Life Cycle theme gives children a chance to learn about the world around them. There are various life cycles that can be explored including plants, flowers, fruit, bugs or insects.
Explore the Life Cycle with Real Life Connection
Any theme begins by providing various books, stories, charts, pictures, videos, props, games, songs and rhymes for the children. Where possible it is great to be able to make a real life connection with the information that is being learned about. Making a real life connection allows the children to engage directly as they see the Life Cycle process happening in front of them. If you decide on a caterpillar or butterfly life cycle theme, the Butterfly Garden will help greatly to make that connection as the children experience the process of caterpillars becoming beautiful colourful butterflies!
Raising your own butterflies from caterpillars takes approx. 4 to 5 weeks, meaning that by the end of May you will be ready to release your very own butterflies into the wild! At a later time you can purchase a voucher to order more caterpillars and repeat the whole experience. With the Butterfly Garden you receive a butterfly habitat with clear mesh (pop up), feeding pipette, full instructions and a voucher to redeem your caterpillars online on the Insect Lore website. Once you place the order for your caterpillars they will arrive about one week from the stated dispatch date. While you are waiting on your caterpillars to arrive you can begin the learning process about the different stages of the butterfly life cycle. You might like to start with a simple video such as the one below!