September 2021 @ Oak Valley

September has been a great month for us all at Oak Valley. We welcomed back our term-time children & had many new starters joining us to begin their nursery journey! We have loved welcoming our parents back into the building to see our newly decorated rooms & the exciting activities that have been taking place!

Baby Room has been exploring words & sounds this month. We have been singing nursery rhymes in English & French, creating sensory music bottles to use at group time, & using our ‘Words of the Week’ to explore. The children particularly enjoyed fruit tasting & baking with lots of different textures & flavours.

Toddler Room has been making the most of the warm weather & spending as much time as possible outdoors. We have enjoyed an outing to the park to play games, & taken part in our monthly Super Star Sport session! This month we focussed on football; the children practiced their gross motor skills & hand -eye coordination, while running around getting lots of exercise & fresh air.

Rising 3’s have been especially interested in role-play this month. The children have created a post office area where they have been busy writing & sorting letters, serving customers & answering the phone. After working really hard, the children decided they need a break, & went on holiday on their aeroplane to lots of exotic destinations!

Rising 3’s have also enjoyed making sensory playdough, drawing shadow pictures of their favorite toys & exploring different countries, to name but a few activities sparked by the children’s interests (which never fail to interest us!)

To finish off the month, Pre-School have been for an adventure into the woods to collect leaves, conkers & sticks! We then made some lovely Autumn pictures to show what we had found.

Some of you may have seen our Early Years Care & Education bear on the Sheffield Bear Trail in aid of Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Keep your eyes peeled, as he’ll be on his way to spend some time with us at Oak Valley 🙂

adventures | aeroplane | answering the phone | autumn | Babies | baking | children | children's interests | created | decorated | English | exciting | exercise | exotic destinations | exploring | flavours | football | French | fresh air | fruit tasting | gross motor skills | group time | hand-eye coordination | holiday | join | leaves | letters | new starters | nursery | nursery rhymes | Oak Valley | parents | practiced | Pre-school | Rising 3's | role-play | Running | sensory music bottles | sensory playdough | September | serving customers | shadow pictures | Sheffield Bear Trail | Sheffield Children's Hospital | sticks | Super Star Sport | term-time | textures | Toddlers | toys | warm weather | welcome back | Woods | words & sounds

August 2021 @ Highgate

In July, we welcomed the Early Years Care and Education bear! Thanks to the amazing fundraising efforts across the Company for the Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity prior to the first lockdown, we were lucky enough to sponsor one of the ‘little bears’ in the Bears of Sheffield trail. The children have enjoyed finding our bear over the summer and were very proud when they received their certificates!


Toddlers have loved using their senses to explore this month! We enjoyed getting messy in our rainbow bubble foam and talked about what colours we could see! We made some great observations such as “it looks like a rainbow colour” and we decided that it felt soft! We also enjoyed smelling the lovely aroma of the foam. We were all willing to have a go and all had lots of fun exploring!



Rising 3’s had a fantastic time exploring in the woods! The children collected lots of leaves, sticks and pinecones to use in the loose parts and investigation area back at nursery. They then stopped at the park on the way back to nursery and had lots of fun on the equipment!



The children have enjoyed helping to prepare healthy snacks this month too. They used their fine motor skills to have a go at cutting their own bananas, watermelon and strawberries. We were all willing to have a go at this, trying really hard! We also made our own choices about if we would like milk or water to drink to keep us hydrated. We all tried our snack and found our fruit very yummy! Rising 3’s also had lots of fun making their own fresh bread for snack. Each child made their own pattern on the bread roll before we put them in the oven to bake. The best bit was eating them at snack time!

We’re now looking forward to starting the new academic year; we wonder what it will bring…

July 2021 at Riverview!

What makes us unique

The children in our Pre-School room started the month by discussing what makes them unique. They talked a lot about what they had in common, and also what differences they have. They made faces out of playdough and, at the mark-making table, they drew themselves.

It’s coming home

For the Euros, we had a special football party before the tournament final. The Pre-School children worked together to create a big England flag that we hung up in the garden. In Babies, they experimented with the colour red by playing in red spaghetti, and making lots of marks in the sensory tray with red paint.

Good luck school graduates

July saw us waving goodbye to our first ever Pre-School graduates, and what a lovely bunch they were! We’ll miss them all dearly. To celebrate them finishing at Riverview, we had a ceremony where each of them were presented with a certificate. We then had ice-cream in the garden and some party games to celebrate their achievements.

Sports day fun!

Pre-School also had their very own sports day. Simon from Super Star Sport came in to deliver a session for us and the children had a great time running around, playing with the footballs and participating in the physical challenges. Afterwards, we talked about why exercise is good for us and the effect it has on our bodies.

Tooth Brushing club

As we will soon be starting a tooth brushing club, we have introduced the children to the importance of oral health, and what they can do to look after their teeth.  In an activity to promote good oral health, the children used toothbrushes to clean dirty marks off the teeth model.

We’ve been growing!

As well as brushing teeth twice a day, eating a balanced diet can also help promote good oral health. In the garden, we have had our first harvest of green beans. The children have been enjoying eating these at lunchtimes. The children love watering the plants and learning what makes them grow. Toddlers and Pre-School have both done experiments to see what happened to bean/pea seeds under different conditions. We have found that the seeds that have water and sunlight grow, whereas the seeds without will not.

Our ant world

Toddlers have been looking after their own colony of ants in their ‘ant world’. They enjoy observing the ants in the nest, watching them dig and crawl around.  They watch them walk down the tube of the ant world in the viewing container, where there is food for the ants to eat. We have talked about the types of food ants like; we have found they like sugary fruit and vegetables as this gives them lots of energy.  

We are looking forward to more fun in the sun this summer, and to welcoming our families old and new back in the new term.

June @ The Little School House

We enjoyed another busy month at The Little School House in June.

One of our favourite activities across the board was our planned England-themed day to support the England football team in the Euros Tournament. We dressed up in our football kits, or red & white, & held our very own football match in the nursery garden. Not only did the children make the most of the physical aspect of this day, they also had fun with the creative side; they made England flags with a range of craft materials & continued the theme into their sensory trays with a England flag made from coloured spaghetti & flour, & a football pitch made from rice with miniature goals!!

The Pre-School group took the opportunity for a lovely trip to Graves Park Farm. They enjoyed seeing the pigs, guinea pigs, chickens, goats & ducks. Our favourites were the ducks because they were very noisy, although we gave them a good run for the money!! We enhanced our trip by talking about the places the animals live, the noises they make & the different names when they are baby animals.

We were lucky enough to have had a fun visit from Super Star Sport. Simon, the instructor, came along & hosted a range of sporting activities with the children. These different challenges help to build our physical skills; gross & fine motor movements, hand-eye coordination & self confidence. Simon taught us lots of ball games which included throwing, catching, kicking & dribbling. Well done to Ruben who received the Super Star Sport Certificate for all his hard work 🙂

We’re now looking forward to the rest of the Summer & beyond!

A helpful parent guide to oral health

From brushing their first tooth to their first trip to the dentist, here’s how to take care of your children’s teeth.


A regular teeth-cleaning routine is essential for good dental health. Follow these tips and you can help keep your kids’ teeth decay-free.


Toothbrushing tips
It’s important to use a fluoride toothpaste, as this helps prevent and control tooth decay.

Toothbrushes
Toothbrushes should have a small head size (the toothbrush needs to be small enough to reach behind the back teeth and brush them easily). The bristles should be medium/soft so that they do not hurt the gums. Toothbrushes should be replaced at least every 3 months, or sooner if required. Toothbrushes should be individually identifiable for each child

Children aged up to 3 years
 Start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as the first milk tooth breaks through (usually at around 6 months, but it can be earlier or later).
 Parents or carers should brush or supervise toothbrushing.
 Brush teeth twice daily for about 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste.
 Brush last thing at night before bed and on 1 other occasion.
 Use children’s fluoride toothpaste containing no less than 1,000ppm of fluoride (check label) or family toothpaste containing between 1,350ppm and 1,500ppm fluoride.
 Use only a smear of toothpaste.
 Make sure children don’t eat or lick toothpaste from the tube.

Children aged 3 to 6 years
 Brush at least twice daily for about 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste.
 Brush last thing at night before bed and at least on 1 other occasion.
 Brushing should be supervised by a parent or carer.
 Use children’s fluoride toothpaste containing no less than 1,000ppm of fluoride (check label) or family toothpaste containing between 1,350ppm and 1,500ppm fluoride.
 Use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
 Spit out after brushing and don’t rinse – if you rinse, the fluoride won’t work as well.

Children aged 7 and over
 Brush at least twice daily for about 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste.
 Brush last thing at night before bed and at least on 1 other occasion.
 Use fluoride toothpaste containing between 1,350ppm and 1,500ppm of fluoride (check label).
 Spit out after brushing and don’t rinse – if you rinse, the fluoride won’t work as well.
Children aged 7 and over should be able to brush their own teeth, but it’s still a good idea to watch
them to make sure they brush properly and for about 2 minutes.

How to help children brush their teeth properly
 Guide your child’s hand so they can feel the correct movement.
 Use a mirror to help your child see exactly where the brush is cleaning their teeth.
 Make tooth brushing as fun as possible by using an egg timer to time it for about 2 minutes.
 Don’t let children run around with a toothbrush in their mouth, as they may have an accident and hurt themselves.

Taking your child to the dentist
 NHS dental care for children is free.
 Take your child to the dentist when their first milk teeth appear. This is so they become familiar with the environment and get to know the dentist. The dentist can advise you on how to prevent decay and identify any oral health problems at an early stage. Just opening up the child’s mouth for the dentist to take a look at is useful practise for the future.
 When you visit the dentist, be positive about it and make the trip fun. This will stop your child worrying about future visits.
 Take your child for regular dental check-ups as advised by the dentist.

Fluoride varnish and fissure sealants
 Fissure sealants can be done once your child’s permanent back teeth have started to come through (usually at the age of about 6 or 7) to protect them against decay. This is where the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are covered with a special thin plastic coating to keep germs and food particles out of the grooves. The sealant can last for as long as 5 to 10 years.
 Fluoride varnish can be applied to both baby teeth and adult teeth. It involves painting a varnish that contains high levels of fluoride onto the surface of the tooth every 6 months to prevent decay. Some children may need this more often. It works by strengthening tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay.
 From the age of 3, children should be offered fluoride varnish application at least twice a year. Younger children may also be offered this treatment if your dentist thinks they need it. Ask your dentist about fluoride varnish or fissure sealing.

Between meal snacks
 Avoid sugary and acidic food / drinks between meals and an hour before bedtime
 Honey, smoothies, fruit juice and dried fruit are not tooth-friendly snack
 Milk is a tooth friendly drink during the day, water is tooth friendly at any time
 From 6 months onwards encourage the use of open top cups, discourage bottle use after the age of one year
 Remember to ask for sugar-free medicines whenever possible
 If you need help finding a dentist please telephone: NHS Helpline: 111 or visit their website: ww.nhs.uk

How to brush
Place the head of the toothbrush against the teeth, then tilt the bristle tips to a 45 degree angle against the gum line. Move the brush in small circular movements, sever-al times, on all the surfaces of every tooth
Brush the outer surfaces of each tooth, upper and lower, keeping the bristles angled against the gum line.
Do this again, but on the inside surfaces of all your teeth. To clean the inside surfaces of your front teeth, tilt the brush vertically and make several small, circular strokes with the front part of the brush.
Brush the biting surfaces of your teeth.
Spit out after brushing and do not rinse, so that the fluoride stays on the teeth longer.

Song to sing to your child
Brush, brush, brush your teeth
(Tune ‘Row, row, row your boat’)


Brush, brush, brush your teeth
Brush them every day
We put toothpaste on our brush
To help stop tooth decay

Clean, clean, clean your teeth
Clean them every day
Your teeth will sparkle for years to come
In the most beautiful way

Brush, brush, brush your teeth
Brush them every day
Happy, healthy teeth you’ll have
If it’s done this way

Oak Valley Win Well-Deserved Accolade!!

We couldn’t have been happier to hear that Oak Valley (https://www.eyced.co.uk/nurseries/oak-valley-day-nursery/) have been awarded a place on the list of the Top 20 Nurseries in Yorkshire & the Humber 2021.

The setting’s Manager, Emma Wheelhouse, says she’s “surprised but thrilled to receive the accolade of being included on this list”. Director, Carlette Sarayreh, & Area Manager, Lisa Mapley, whole-heartedly agree that the fantastic reviews volunteered by the families who access Oak Valley are testament to all the efforts made by Emma & the team. “They all work so hard to implement our Company vision – keeping the unique child at the heart of all we do; providing positive relationships & enabling environments to support their learning & development. It really shows in the relationships the staff have with both the children & their families.”

Read on for the report:

Parents have revealed the best nurseries in the country, with the top nurseries judged from thousands of reviews compiled by the UK’s leading nursery reviews site, daynurseries.co.uk.

The winning nurseries have been judged on over 57,000 reviews between 29 May 2019 and 28 May 2021 from parents, relatives and guardians of children who attend the nurseries.

daynurseries.co.uk launched the Top 20 awards back in 2014, in a drive to make people’s search for a nursery easier and to give them a valuable insight into the quality and type of childcare offered.

Amanda Hopkins, reviews manager of daynurseries.co.uk, said: “The vision and ethos of a nursery can have a huge impact on children, instilling in them a desire and enthusiasm for learning and discovery that will sustain them throughout their lives.

“Nurseries have a big effect on children’s wellbeing and development. We feel it is a real achievement to be recognised for being a Top 20 nursery by children’s families and carers.

“Nurseries have been through such challenging times during the pandemic, many of whom were offering childcare to vulnerable and keyworker children during the various lockdowns and giving children a piece of all important ‘normality’.”

The award is based on the nursery’s reviews from the children’s families and carers. Parents give it a rating on overall standard, facilities and outside space, learning, resources and equipment and ICT, care, activities, staff, food and nutrition, management, cleanliness, safeguarding as well as value for money.

Mrs Hopkins added: “We hope these awards will boost the spirits of nursery staff which have had to help children adjust to the ‘new normal’, as well as help parents choose a top performing nursery for their child.”

For a full list of all regional and national winners click here

May 2021 at Kingswood!

Wow, what a busy month May has been! We have been up to all sorts of things, including celebrating festivals and cultures as well as looking after living things and raising money for charity. Take a look below at some of the amazing activities our children have been engaged in. We have also had fantastic news that Claire, from the Baby Room, has been awarded the Termly Bonus for her dedication, hard work and commitment; well done Claire, enjoy your reward!

May Day

The children used flowers to create ‘May Day’ hats to celebrate the Summer. They had lots of fun discussing the colours they could see on the flowers. The children went outside to see what flowers they could see, and even learnt some flower names such as bluebell, pansy and daffodil.

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Looking after living things

At Kingswood this month our children have shown a real interest in looking after living things, including our nursery fish Pedro and Guppy, as well as our chrysalis’/caterpillars/butterflies. The children also found a snail in the garden, who they were very interested in; they wanted to find the snail a new home in the nursery garden. As this was an interest led by the children, the adults extended the children’s learning through using story sacks/creative activities and providing new vocabulary to learn.

Ramadan and Eid

At nursery this month we have enjoyed learning about Ramadan and Eid. The children learnt that the traditional food that is used to break the Ramadan fast are dates. Using their senses the children enjoyed tasting some dates using describing words such as soft and sticky. ☪️ The children have been busy creating moon pictures in celebration of the Muslim festival of Eid, as the new moon is important in determining when Eid will take place. The children enjoyed exploring the textures and using their fine motor skills to collect all of the different materials to make our moon pictures.

Charity Event for Crackerjacks – PJ Day!

What a cosy day we all had wearing our pyjamas! We enjoyed helping to raise money for Crackerjacks Children’s Charity and the Toddlers even pretended to have some ‘bedtime’ stories 📖 Well done everyone and thank you to all those who helped to raise our incredible total of £305.50 for such a worthy cause.

April @ Oak Valley

April saw the start of some lovely sunny weather for us, so here at Oak Valley we decided to make the most of our outdoor learning opportunities. Rising 3’s and Pre-School took a trip to the park where they played on the swings, climbed on the high frames and took part in a treasure hunt. Back at nursery the Baby and Toddler rooms enjoyed splashing in the paddling pool and playing with the bubble machines.

The children have done a lot of exploring this month; the babies have enjoyed joining in with Rhythm Time waving the coloured scarves and playing the musical instruments, while Pre-School and Rising 3’s had lots of fun dancing using different ribbons and fabrics, moving in different ways and expressing themselves.

Also this month we have been learning about life cycles and have been lucky enough to have experienced hatching our own chicks in nursery. We watched the eggs turn into chicks and named them ‘Scoop’ and ‘Digger’, as voted by the children. The children took great pleasure in caring for the chicks, taking it in turns to feed, clean and hold them for several weeks before it was time for them to start their next chapter on the farm.

Following on from this, we also learnt about the life cycle of a butterfly, starting with caterpillars. The children drew pictures of them and enjoyed digging in the messy trays searching for minibeasts! Once the caterpillars had transitioned into butterflies, the children took them out into the garden to feed them oranges before releasing them.

To finish off the month, we have taken part in lots of sensory activities! We particularly enjoyed the ‘dinosaur escape’ where the children had to free the dinosaurs from blocks of ice! We have practiced our mark-making skills with flour and paintbrushes, and have explored the dinosaur world with erupting volcanoes! What a busy month we’ve had, what will May and beyond bring?!

March @ Highgate

At the beginning of March the children enjoyed dressing up as their favourite characters for World Book Day & helped raise money for new books through our sponsored listen event! A big thank you to everyone that got involved.

Our Baby Room have been busy doing lots of sensory activities this month, from playdough & painting to baking. They had so much fun exploring all their senses by touching, smelling & tasting.

The children in Rising 3’s have been learning all about Baby Bear’s travels to Italy! They helped to make pasta neapolitana, garlic bread & pizzas from scratch and then ate them for their dinner – yummy!


We’re now looking forward to celebrating Easter. We’ll be back soon to fill you in on more exciting Highgate activities 🙂


Celebrating with Riverview Day Nursery, February 2021!

It has been a very busy month of celebrating! We started the month by supporting Mental Health Week; we practiced some yoga with the children to aid their physical development and to promote them being mindful of themselves. From this we have also purchased some books about being mindful and grateful towards others.

We then went onto celebrate the Chinese New Year by having a lovely Chinese cuisine for lunch. All the children really seemed to enjoy this meal!

Valentine’s Day was next; we shared the love by baking and engaging in many different activities, from using flavoured teabags to imprint different effects and colours onto the paper, to gluing and sticking heart pictures, exploring different shapes and textures.

Pancake Day – my personal favourite! We were very fortunate to have been given a donation of ingredients from Jacks Supermarket to help aid us in celebrating this yummy day. We enjoyed trying lots of different toppings, from a wide variety of fruits to support healthy eating, and also a choice of a yummy treat toppings of maple syrup, or chocolate or strawberry sauce.

Finally, this month we celebrated our 1 year anniversary of officially opening! And what a year it has been!  We had fun marking the occasion with the children and enjoying the delicious cake that Rachel, our Deputy, kindly made for us. Here’s to many more years of Riverview success!