Creating a Winter Storytelling Corner for Your Child

Creating a Winter Storytelling Corner for Your Child

An enchanting children's activity that's a great antidote to winter is storytelling.Once winter arrives in December and cold winds start to breathe the landscape to sleep for a season, little ones will be less inclined to venture outdoors. Parents, too, will no doubt appreciate them avoiding the rain, cold, and inclement conditions that may occur. As such, winter is the perfect time to transform dreary days and dark evenings into a haven of warmth and cosiness indoors. An enchanting children’s activity that goes hand-in-hand with this is that of storytelling. With that in mind, today’s post guides you through the delightful process of creating a Winter Storytelling Corner tailored for the youngest members of the family. A storytelling corner is a wonderful way to make these winter nights cosy, magical, and filled with high-quality shared moments. Shared reading time is also highly beneficial to children‘s overall learning and development.

Setting Up a Winter Storytelling Corner

Select a cosy corner or nook in your home, then make it comfy and inviting for your child.Start by selecting a cosy corner or nook in your home – for example, a secluded and quiet space somewhere that’s away from busy activity, cold draughts and suchlike. It will need to have somewhere comfortable for you and your child(ren) to sit or ‘nest’ once you get to the storytelling part. Once you’ve found somewhere suitable, it could be adorned with soft blankets, plush cushions, and perhaps even a few twinkling fairy lights. The goal is to create an inviting spot that beckons little ones and you, their parent or caregiver, to snuggle up and feel the warmth together as the winter tales unfold.

You could even go so far as to enhance the ambience with winter-themed decorations that will further engage your little one(s) and attract them to this magical new space — so long as they’re safe, of course. For example, perhaps get creative together by making paper snowflakes to dangle from the ceiling or gather images of snowmen and friendly animals to adorn the walls. If you have any stuffed animals or winter-themed ornaments from Christmastime, these will also add to the winter theme. This approach not only adds a personal and engaging touch but also makes the storytelling corner visually appealing and inviting.

A Winter’s Tale or Two

For the tinier tots, perhaps introduce interactive board books with textures to touch and flaps to lift.Curate a collection of timeless winter stories that capture the spirit of the season. Consider classics like “The Snowman” by Raymond Briggs or “The Mitten” by Jan Brett. These stories, with their simple yet captivating narratives, are perfect for engaging young minds and sparking their imagination. These are just a couple of examples, though, and there are lots of winter-themed books to choose from, whether online, in book stores, in charity shops, or swapped amongst family or friends.

For the tinier tots, perhaps introduce interactive board books with textures to touch and flaps to lift. Titles like “That’s Not My Snowman” or “Baby’s First Winter” provide a sensory experience and keep the youngest listeners engaged.

Storytelling Techniques to Engage Your Little One

Books and stories can be brought to life through expressive storytelling. When you’re reading to your little one, try varying your tone and using different voices for characters. Don’t be afraid to add a sprinkle of theatrical flair by fully ‘committing’ to your characterisation — just like an actor might do. Children will love this — little ones are totally captivated by animated storytellers who make the tales come alive.

Creatively Extending Stories

You can even enhance the storytelling experience in a number of ways.

Reading with your child regularly is like giving them superpowers!Perhaps incorporate simple props that relate to the story. If the tale involves animals, have soft toy animals on hand for little ones to interact with as the story unfolds. Other alternatives are hand puppets and finger puppets. Try using them to act out characters from the stories as you read them, or get your child to do so. Adding an interactive and visual element in this way will encourage children to participate actively and immerse themselves in the storytelling process. This approach can be creative, captivating, and sometimes even comical. As such, this is very entertaining for children and will help to make the whole activity enjoyable and fulfilling.

Another example of extending storytelling time is to encourage children to participate in crafting activities inspired by the tales. For example, after reading about snowmen, engage in a hands-on activity of creating snowmen using cotton balls and craft paper, or simply embark on a themed drawing or painting session. This not only reinforces the story but also provides a creative outlet for little hands together with an extra layer of engagement.

A Magical Antidote to Wintery Weather & Dark Evenings

A Winter Storytelling Corner is more than just a cosy nook; it’s a gateway to shared moments, deeper bonding between adult and child, stimulated imaginations, and the joy and escapism of stories. It opens up whole new worlds to children and, as such, is a magical antidote to some of the colder and more dreary days and dark evenings of winter. So, snuggle up and let the winter tales weave their spells this winter — and make the season a time of warmth and wonder for little ones.

Little Acorns Nursery, Hindley Green

High-quality Childcare & Early Years Education for Babies & Under-Fives

Little Acorns Nursery & Preschool in Hindley Green, near Wigan, Bolton & ManchesterLittle Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green is rated as a good childcare provider by Ofsted.We also love reading with children at Little Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green. It’s not only fun for them but we know how much reading also enriches children’s lives, supercharging both their education and future prospects. So, we encourage parents to read with children too, when at home. Parental involvement in children’s educations is hugely important, accounting for a massive, positive impact on their success.

Little Acorns Nursery is a ‘good’ childcare provider and supports various childcare funding options, making childcare more affordable for eligible families. To apply for a childcare place, arrange a guided tour, ask a question or for anything else, please get in touch:

Our nursery is also close to Wigan, Bickershaw, Leigh, Atherton, Westhoughton, Ince-in-Makerfield, Platt Bridge, Tyldesley, and Bolton, so may also suit families in those locations.

Under-5 to Superchild — the Power of Reading With Your Child.

Under-5 to Superchild! The Power of Reading With Your Child

Reading with children is a powerful tool that supercharges learning, imagination and even life outcomes.In the journey of childhood development, there is a simple yet powerful tool that supercharges learning, imagination and even life outcomes: reading with your child. While a magical connection with books is a cherished tradition in many families, it is also a proven way to optimise a child’s cognitive and emotional development — and even to give some a social boost. With that in mind, we explore today the incredible benefits of reading with children in the early years and learn how study after study has proven how transformational it is to their lives.

Enhanced Cognitive Development

Numerous studies have demonstrated the profound impact of reading on cognitive development in young children. The studies found that reading with children between the ages of 3 and 5 results in significantly improved cognitive skills, including attention span, memory, language development, logical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

This cognitive enrichment is not just confined to early childhood. Long-term studies have revealed that children who are read to regularly during their early years are more likely to perform well academically throughout their school years. We’ll explore more about how reading in the early years prepares children for school later in this article.

Transformed Language, Vocabulary, Spelling & Literacy

Children who are exposed to a diverse range of words in books tend to perform better in language assessments, spelling, and overall literacy development.One of the most notable benefits of early reading is the rapid expansion of a child’s vocabulary. Indeed, research suggests that children who are exposed to a diverse range of words in books tend to perform better in language assessments, spelling, and overall literacy development. With reading to children opening up whole new worlds of information and vocabulary to them, this positive outcome makes total sense.

Academic Preparedness

Early reading provides a substantial head start in academics. A 40-year study by the Nuffield Foundation in the UK tracked the development of children from birth to age 7. Results revealed that children who were read to several times a week at a young age had a significant advantage in literacy skills when they started school.

The language skills of children aged just 3¼ years old were found to receive a 20% boost when they were regularly read to by a parent or carer. That’s an 8-month improvement!

Children who experience shared reading activities with their parents in their early years also tend to have a more positive attitude towards learning. They therefore perform better in school. Indeed, many enter formal education with increased confidence and a love for learning.

Advanced Emotional Intelligence

Reading with children also contributes to the development of enhanced empathy and emotional intelligence.Reading with children also contributes to the development of enhanced empathy and emotional intelligence. Stories often feature characters experiencing a variety of emotions, and by engaging with these stories, children learn to empathise and connect with the feelings of others. That’s because exposure to complex characters and their emotional experiences in books helps children better understand and relate to the emotions of people in their real lives.

Social Mobility

Remarkably, the benefits of reading with young children also have the potential to break the cycle of socio-economic disadvantage. Several studies have found a strong correlation between early reading habits and positive socio-economic outcomes later in life. Specifically, children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds were found to be more likely to surpass the usual limitations of their circumstances when exposed to regular reading sessions with adults at an early age. This positive effect was found to extend well into adulthood. Individuals who were avid readers during their childhood were found to be more likely to achieve higher levels of professional success, with better job prospects, higher incomes, and greater job stability.

Read our tips for effective reading sessions.

Tips for Effective Reading Sessions

Note that, at the start of this article and throughout, we have talked about reading with your child as opposed to simply reading to them. That’s an important differentiation because reading with children means involving them, so they’re fully engaged throughout. That’s another huge factor in unlocking the most potential for the child. So, how do we go about that?

Make it Fun!

Reading in a monotone voice is a sure way to get children to switch off and disengage from your reading sessions. Instead, make it fun by immersing yourself, as the reader, into the different characters and situations, using different volumes, voices, accents, cadences and tones as appropriate. This will naturally captivate your child, bring the story to life, and make it fun!

Encourage Interaction

Engage your child in the reading process. Ask your child questions about the storyline and characters. See if they can guess what happens next and discuss the story generally. This interaction enhances their attention, comprehension and critical thinking skills.

Encourage Questions

When your child asks questions or wants to talk about the story, embrace those moments. It shows their active engagement and curiosity. Encouraging discussions will help to deepen their understanding in so many ways.

Quality Time Spent Together

Reading is also about quality time spent together.Reading is not just about the words on the page; it’s also about the quality time you spend together. The connection you build during reading sessions is priceless, fostering stronger bonds between you and your child.

A Positive Example

Children often mimic their parents’ behaviour. By showing them that you value reading, they are more likely to embrace it as a positive and enjoyable activity. So, why not become a reading role model and let your child see your enthusiasm for books? It’ll not only be fun and engaging for them but is also likely to result in a love for learning and a huge number of profoundly positive benefits.

Quality Childcare & a Good Early Years Education at Little Acorns Nursery, Hindley Green

Little Acorns Nursery & Preschool in Hindley Green, near Wigan, Bolton & ManchesterLittle Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green is rated as a good childcare provider by Ofsted.As we’ve said before, parental engagement with children’s education is incredibly beneficial to little ones and that’s particularly true in the case of reading with them. So, we take every opportunity to read with children and encourage interaction at Little Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green. Reading with children is not only giving the gift of knowledge but also a key to unlocking future opportunities and even social mobility. As such, it is an incredibly powerful tool that effectively supercharges children’s education and future prospects. And don’t forget, of course — children simply love it!

If you are seeking the best childcare nursery in Hindley Green for your child, please get in touch. We offer a first-class weekday childcare service and early years education for babies and children under five. We also support all Government-funding childcare options, making childcare more affordable for eligible families. Please select an option below to further explore a place for your child at Little Acorns Nursery:

Little Acorns is a nursery near Wigan, Bickershaw, Leigh, Atherton, Westhoughton, Ince-in-Makerfield, Platt Bridge, Tyldesley, Bolton and Greater Manchester.

Spooktacular Halloween Activities for Children

Halloween is a great time to lay on some fun activities for children to take part in.Autumn’s arrival means that Halloween is just around the corner, coming on the 31st of October each year. The run-up to that date is a great time to start preparing for some fun Halloween activities for children to take part in. Whether dressing up for Halloween-themed parties, putting carved pumpkin lanterns and spooky decorations out at night, or playing Trick or treat locally, children of all ages will find Halloween a time of unique fun! It’s also a great opportunity for children to strengthen bonds with friends and for families to start getting creative! With that in mind, here are our top picks for spooktacular Halloween activities for kids!

First, Though, What Is Halloween?

Halloween is a widely celebrated and highly festive milestone that occurs each year on October 31st. It has its origins in both Celtic and Christian traditions with both secular and religious roots at its historical heart. These included observances like All Hallows’ Eve, which is the night before All Saints’ Day in Christianity when people would remember and pray for the deceased. However, in more modern times, it has evolved into a time of festive activities and customs, particularly in the United Kingdom, USA, and other Western countries. Today, it is a time for creativity, community, and entertainment, with a focus on costumes, sweets, and — above all — spooky fun for children!

Halloween Activities: Great Ideas for Kids

Here are our top suggestions for children at Halloween. Bear in mind that younger children may need some reassurance around concepts like spiderwebs, ghosts, masks and suchlike and adults would be wise to supervise kids of all ages when it comes to the safeguarding of their wellbeing. That said, take a look at these wonderfully spooky Halloween activities and ideas…

Fancy Dress — Halloween Costumes

Dressing up in Halloween costumes is hugely popular and encouraging children to make their own is even more fun!Dressing up in Halloween costumes is hugely popular amongst children. While purchasing costumes from stores is quick and easy, encouraging children to make their own Halloween costumes (with adult supervision) is likely to be not only cheaper but also much more fun. They’ll also be able to get creative and learn new skills in the process.

  • Bedsheets are perfect for making simple but effective ghost outfits – all that is needed are a couple of eye holes.
  • Witch or wizard outfits can be made from any type of black clothing that’s no longer needed, particularly if it’s baggy in shape. Adults can help children make it look more realistic by making edges ragged and perhaps even helping to make a broom from twigs and a long stick.
  • Pointy witches’ or wizards’ hats can be added too. Create from card and tape, then paint them black — or indeed make them from black card.
  • Children can also dress up as pumpkins if they can obtain (or dye) a t-shirt orange and paint on the eyes and face.
  • Witch or wizard outfits can be made from any type of black clothing and pointy hats can be made using black card and tape.Kids will also love dressing up as spiders. All they need is some black tights — or a pair of skinny trousers — and a black top that’s belted at the waist and then stuffed to make the ‘spider body’ fat. Extra spider legs can be made by stuffing more black tights and attaching them to the belt.
  • Children can also use their imaginations and creativity to dress up as characters from books and movies. Costumes based on Harry Potter, Ghostbusters, ET and characters from various horror flicks are obvious choices.

Spooky Halloween Decorations

Halloween-themed decorations are great fun for children too. Whether shop-bought or home-made, dangling spiders, fake spiderwebs, skeletons, atmospheric pumpkin lanterns and ghost-themed decorations will go down a storm with little ones. There are so many ways to make your own Halloween decorations too and all it takes is a little imagination and creativity.

Make Halloween-Themed Food

Halloween-themed cookies are always popular with children and are pretty easy to make!Your children can take this a step further and add Halloween-themed food into the mix, so there’s something to nibble too!

  • Ghost, spider and bat-themed cookies are always popular with children and are pretty easy to make. Children will not only enjoy eating them but will love making and decorating them too.
  • Pumpkin soup is also an obvious choice, particularly for those families making their own carved pumpkin lanterns (more about those later).
  • Parents can also help children make edible ‘mini pumpkins’ from bell peppers that are hollowed out and stuffed with something delicious like rice, mushrooms or a mixture of the child’s favourite foods. They’ll not only taste great but will look spooktacular too!
  • Drinks can also be themed by children — they can decorate paper cups with all manner of ghoulish imagery. Local supermarkets may also stock Halloween-themed cups, swizzle sticks and suchlike around October and early Autumn.

Trick or Treat?

Children in Halloween fancy dress costumes knock on neighbourhood doors and say Trick or treat?The Halloween tradition of ‘tick or treating’ has its roots in Medieval times. It is a playful remnant of the practice of “souling,” where the poor would go door-to-door during what was then known as ‘Allhallowtide’ (around All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day) asking for food in exchange for prayers for the deceased. Over the years, this evolved into what we now know as Trick or treat. Children, usually in full Halloween fancy dress, knock on neighbourhood doors and say Trick or treat? Then, homeowners typically give them sweets or other treats — or become the target of a playful trick from the children! It’s great fun for little ones, especially if one or more neighbourhood parents can organise the evening in advance. By doing so, the neighbours are warned and can opt out if they prefer. In this way, lots of fun, laughter and treats will ensue and nobody gets a trick that they weren’t expecting!

Go Pumpkin Picking

Pumpkin patches often have wonderful photo opportunities where children can pose in amongst pumpkin displays.Many towns and villages will have ‘pumpkin patches’ during October. These are typically found on local farms and similar that set a field aside, chock-full of pumpkins. Families can come along and children will be able to scour the field and pick their favourite pumpkin. They can take it home in exchange, usually, for an affordable fee. Such pumpkin patches often also have wonderful photo opportunities where children can pose amongst pumpkin displays. In this way, children enjoy a morning or afternoon activity at the farm and end up with a hand-picked pumpkin too.

Pumpkin Lantern Carving & Decorating

Hollowing out and carving spooky and creative faces into pumpkins is a classic Halloween activity enjoyed by thousands of families each year.Hollowing out and carving spooky and creative faces into pumpkins is a classic Halloween activity enjoyed by thousands of families each year. For safety purposes, supervising adults will need to do any carving, though, as it’ll likely involve the use of a sharp knife. They can also loosen the seeds and flesh and then, if able, children can help to scoop it out. Once hollowed out and eyes, nose and mouth have been carved, children can have great fun decorating the outside and turning the pumpkin into a lantern using tea lights (again, under adult supervision or using LED lights for safety purposes). Nothing quite says ‘Halloween’ like a pumpkin face that glows in the garden at night. Children will naturally love the whole experience, end result, and feeling of accomplishment associated with this activity.

TIP: Why not also save the flesh to make pumpkin soup? Seeds can also be saved to grow new pumpkins next year.

Host a Halloween Party!

Halloween parties are a wonderful opportunity for children and families to bond with friends and make an evening to remember.Families can combine all or just some of these Halloween activities into one event by hosting their very own Halloween party for friends, relatives and neighbours. With spooky fancy dress costumes, Halloween-themed decorations, flickering pumpkin lanterns, and themed food and drinks, it’s sure to be huge fun and a spooktacular evening for everyone! Ghostly music and ghoulish games can be added to the event too, perhaps along with a period where children and adults can tell spooky stories and ghost tales. What’s not to love?

Nursery & Preschool Places in Hindley Green Nursery, near Wigan

Little Acorns Nursery & Pre-School in Hindley Green, near Wigan, Bolton & ManchesterLittle Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green is rated as a good childcare provider by Ofsted.This article was brought to you by Little Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green near Wigan. We offer the highest-quality weekday childcare — and a full early years education — to babies, infants, toddlers and preschoolers under five. As well as offering an outstanding childcare service, we also support all official Government childcare funding schemes for eligible families, making affordability easier for struggling households. To enrol your child for a nursery/preschool place, organise a free guided tour, or ask any questions, simply get in touch via one of the following options — we’ll be delighted to help.

Little Acorns is a wonderful nursery & preschool located in Hindley Green, also being convenient for those needing high-quality childcare near Wigan, Bickershaw, Leigh, Atherton, Westhoughton, Ince-in-Makerfield, Platt Bridge, Tyldesley, Bolton and Greater Manchester.

Discover Minibeasts – A Fun Nature Activity for Children

Discover Minibeasts – A Fun Nature-Based Activity for Children

Today's activity comes with a free A3 poster that families can download to help identify 30 types of creature.Today’s ‘Discover Minibeasts’ post is the third in our series of nature-based activities for children. And, as with the bird spotting and the butterfly spotting activities, this one also comes with a free A3 poster for families to download. Children will be able to use the poster to identify the 30 different species of minibeast that are featured. From ants and aphids to weevils, woodlice and worms, there are some fascinating critters for children to look out for.

Did you know? There are about 25,000 different types of minibeast in the UK!

Minibeast spotting is a great activity that will help to nurture children’s interest in outdoor play and nature — and that’s important. Study after study shows that spending time in nature is hugely beneficial to children of all ages. As well as helping children physically, emotionally and spiritually, nature and outdoor play help them learn new skills and can even improve grades (follow that last bold link for more details). What’s more, it can lead to a life-long love and appreciation of nature and The Great Outdoors, as well as encouraging children to learn about ecological issues like global warming, habitat loss and the need to protect the natural world. Such is the potential power of today’s humble minibeast-spotting activity! With that in mind, why not download our free poster today? It’s completely free and no sign-up of any kind is needed.

Preview of the Free Minibeasts Poster:

Preview of the A3 poster. Click to download it (full instructions can be found below the image).

How to Download the Poster

Simply click the large poster preview image or this link to view/download the high-resolution version (whether you left-click or right-click to download will depend upon your particular browser settings — try both if you’re unsure). The file is less than 3MB in size. You will need Acrobat Reader on your device, which is available free of charge here. When printing out, we recommend using full colour and high-quality settings and paper for the best results. You/your child can alternatively view the poster on screen, e.g. on an iPad or tablet, which will allow you/your child to zoom in for the highest detail.

Given that minibeasts are mostly found outdoors, it’s important for children, especially the very young, to be supervised, for safety purposes. There are many potential dangers outside, so parents or caregivers will need to be vigilant around these when supervising little ones.

Tips for Spotting Minibeasts

Once children are armed with handheld versions of their minibeast posters, they’ll need to work out where best to spot them. The good news is that minibeasts are almost everywhere there are plants, trees and soil. Children can look for the more visible minibeasts like bees, butterflies, caterpillars, moths, ladybirds, aphids and hoverflies simply by looking for flowers and plants, which are a food source for such critters. Other minibeasts like grubs and earthworms may be found within soil and compost, so a little (gentle) digging around may prove fruitful for them — but care will need to be taken not to harm the little creatures. Meanwhile, the best places to find creatures like beetles, woodlice, millipedes and centipedes are generally going to be under things. For example, they may have their homes under piles of leaves, under flower pots, under rotting logs and — the best place of all for minibeasts — in the compost heap!

Be Gentle — Encourage Empathy

When supervising children for this minibeast-spotting activity — or any other involving animals and insects — please be sure to teach children about gentleness and empathy. Minibeasts are small and fragile creatures, so ideally should be looked at but not touched or disturbed. Teach children that each is an individual, with its own life, needs and feelings. Minibeasts will also not want to be taken from their homes, wherever those may be. So, please do encourage children to be gentle and kind, just like they’d like to be treated themselves if it were the other way around. Thank you.

Is your toddler frightened of insects like spiders? If so, try naming them, for example, “Simon the Spider”. In this way, children will begin to associate each as an individual, rather than just a scary and nameless critter. This approach can really help!

Discover Minibeasts!

All in all, minibeast spotting is a fun and fascinating activity for children to take part in and is perfect for the spring, summer and autumn seasons. As well as being fun, educational and worthwhile it also raises children’s interest in ecological matters. For example, it may lead children to realise the need to nurture the natural world, the problems associated with harmful pesticides and weedkillers, and the need to leave natural, undisturbed areas for wildlife to flourish. Children will eventually become the stewards of our beloved Planet Earth, so educating them early about looking after the planet is crucial for the existence not only of the flora and fauna, but also for mankind itself.

A Focus on Nature at Little Acorns Nursery, Hindley Green

Little Acorns Nursery & Preschool in Hindley Green, near Wigan, Bolton & ManchesterLittle Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green is rated as a good childcare provider by Ofsted.The childcare professionals at Little Acorns Nursery know full well how important nature is to children as part of their early years learning and development. That’s why we’re adopting the ‘Hygge’ lifestyle at the setting and plan to introduce Forest School in the future. We ensure children get ample access to outdoor spaces to play, explore and learn in whenever possible. Even indoors, children get access to natural materials and resources.

Do you have a child under five and live in the Hindley Green area, near Wigan, or in a nearby location like Bickershaw, Leigh, Atherton, Westhoughton, Ince-in-Makerfield, Platt Bridge, Tyldesley, or Bolton? If so, Little Acorns Nursery offers a first-class early years education and weekday childcare service that’ll give your little one the very best start in life. We’ll nurture them and do everything we can to help them develop into the very best version of themselves so that they’re fully prepared and ready for school by the time they leave us as they approach the age of five. What’s more, we support Government funding including free childcare schemes for eligible families. Get in touch today to register your child for a nursery/preschool place, book a guided tour of the nursery or ask a question. We’re here to help!

Discover British Birds – A Fun Nature Activity for Children

Discover British Birds – A Fun Nature Activity for Children

Today's nature-based activity comes with a free poster download for children/families to print out and use as a checklist.Today, in a follow-up to the butterfly-spotting activity that we published in May, we bring you a matching bird-spotting activity for children to take part in. The activity will help to nurture children’s interest in birds and nature, which is beneficial to children in a myriad of different ways. It’ll also encourage them to recharge in the fresh air, outdoors, and escape from electronic screens and toys for a while. Outdoor play is important for little ones and many studies have backed this up.

Free Bird Poster

Like before, today’s article comes with a free reference poster for families to download and print out. The poster features 40 different species of bird that can be found in Britain. Most are fairly common, with just a handful that are more shy or seen more rarely. Children, including those under five, can display the A3 poster on their bedroom or nursery wall, or print it out as a smaller hand-out to use as reference when they’re outdoors. The visual reference will allow children to see how many different birds they can spot over the course of a year, we suggest. Supervising adults can help them to learn the bird names too, as we appreciate the youngest may not yet be able to read the names unaided. Take a look at the poster preview below and download it for your child today.

Preview of the Free Bird Poster:

Preview of the free poster download - click to view/download (see instructions panel).

Download Instructions

Depending on your settings, you can usually left- or right-click the image above (or this link) to either open it on screen or save it to your device. Once opened in Acrobat Reader , your child will also be able to view the images large, by zooming in, to get all the fine detail. If printing out, we recommend using high-quality printing paper and the finest colour settings for best results. Print at A3 to use as a poster or A4 to use as hand-outs for your children to take outdoors.

Tips for Spotting Birds

As well as being a fun, nature-based activity, bird spotting can teach children valuable skills like patience, stealth, observation, perseverance, critical thinking and empathy to name just a few. With that in mind, here are some tips that may help children to see more types of birds when taking part in this activity.

  • Try different locations and a variety of natural environments, including at different times of the year (spring to autumn). Your child will see different types of birds by using this approach. Please note, however, that we have not included waterfowl in our poster, although may keep that option up our sleeves for a future poster/activity.
  • Teach children to keep movements and sound minimal when they’re waiting for birds to come to a particular spot, so the birds are not frightened away.
  • If moving, for example through a forest, moving quietly and stealthily will ensure that children will see more types of birds. Care even over each footstep will help if it means that children will avoid making a ‘crack’ because they stepped on a twig. Such an approach will also help them hone their balance and gross motor skills, as well as make the activity feel more exciting.
  • Attracting birds with the right kinds of bird food will help with this activity. In gardens, ‘peanut cakes’, suet seed balls, sunflower ‘hearts’ (seeds with the outer husk removed) and, sparingly, grated Cheddar cheese are always popular.
  • The use of binoculars or monoculars will help spot birds further away. For safety, children should use them only under adult supervision and avoid pointing them towards the sun and other bright objects.
  • Teach children to also listen out for the various bird calls, as those can give away the location and even type of birds.
  • Encourage children to develop a ‘keen eye’, i.e. good observational skills that are proactive as well as reactive.

Why This Activity is Important

As well as being fun, educational and beneficial to children through time spent in nature, bird-spotting helps to draw children’s attention to the plight of birds, other wild creatures and the natural environment. Sadly, the number of birds has dropped by nearly 60% in the UK since 1979. The population of house sparrows alone has declined by almost 22 million in the last 57 years. The Chief Executive of the RSPB stated the following after 2023’s Big Garden Birdwatch:

“The numbers speak for themselves when it comes to the startling declines of some of our once common birds…
We are in a nature and climate emergency and we’ve lost 38 million birds from our skies in the last 50 years.”

Nature activities like butterfly-spotting, bird-spotting, country walks and outdoor play around nature will help foster children’s interest in the Great Outdoors and the simple pleasures associated with spending time in the natural environment. That alone is very good for both body and soul. In parallel, though, such activities are also likely to encourage an interest in ecology, conservation, reversing habitat loss, and eco-friendly lifestyles. All of these benefit the world itself. Moreover, such interests often last a lifetime. So, this simple type of children’s activity can have a real domino effect.

Nature-Based Activities for Under-5s at Little Acorns Nursery, Hindley Green

Little Acorns Nursery & Preschool in Hindley Green, near Wigan, Bolton & ManchesterLittle Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green is rated as a good childcare provider by Ofsted.Because spending time around nature is so important, the team at Little Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green ensure that children get good access to nature, nature-based activities and even natural materials. This approach is backed up by our adoption of Hygge’ at the setting and plans to introduce Forest School. These, together with our first-class approach to early years childcare, give babies, toddlers and preschoolers a great start in life, giving them all the tools to absolutely thrive. As well as that, we also support all Government-funded childcare places for eligible families.

Why not register your little one for a childcare place at Little Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green, near Wigan? Get in touch using a button below and we’ll be happy to show you and your little one around, answer questions and register them for a nursery place.

Little Acorns is a high-quality nursery & preschool in Hindley Green, near Wigan. We are also nearby to Bickershaw, Leigh, Atherton, Westhoughton, Ince-in-Makerfield, Platt Bridge, Tyldesley, Bolton and Greater Manchester, so may also suit families living or working in those locations.

Safety & Well-Being

Before we sign off from this post, we should mention the topic of safety and well-being for children. Vigilance around these is critical and seldom more crucial than when children are spending time outdoors. Children, especially the very young, should therefore be closely supervised by a responsible adult at all times, paying special attention to hazards including ponds and water sources of any kind, poisonous plants, toxic chemicals (weedkiller, pest killer etc.), trip hazards, nasty drops and uneven ground, sources of germs, barbed wire and other sharp objects, roads, railways and traffic, potential allergens, choking hazards, stranger danger, risks around becoming lost, and so on. Parents/adults will need to constantly watch out for potential risks and teach children to do so too. This list is not exhaustive, so do your research/assessments.

Discover British Butterflies: A Fun Nature Activity for Children

Discover British Butterflies: A Fun Nature Activity for Children

Nature is hugely beneficial for children, so it's good to encourage them to get outdoors and search out these incredibly beautiful creatures.Today’s exciting blog post encourages families to explore the wonders of nature and embark on a delightful butterfly-spotting adventure! Butterflies are simply beautiful creatures and their amazing colours and patterns are sure to appeal to little ones. With that in mind, we have prepared a visually appealing and informative A3 poster featuring 36 British butterflies, which you can download for free and print out. So, why not get the family ready to step outside, immerse yourselves in nature, and create cherished memories as you observe these enchanting creatures in their natural habitat? The poster gives visual reference and also ensures you have a lasting memento of this unique experience. Over time, this poster and nature-based activity will help you and your little one learn to identify these diverse and important little pollinators. As we reported before, nature is hugely beneficial for children, so it’s good to encourage them to get outdoors and search out these incredible little beings. Let’s take a look and dive into the fascinating world of butterflies together…

Butterfly Poster Preview:

Free A3 British Butterflies poster to download or print.

Download Instructions

Depending on your settings, left-clicking the image above — or this link — will usually open it directly on screen, where you can see the images and zoom in on all the lovely detail. Alternatively, try right-clicking to save the file to your hard drive and then open it manually in Acrobat Reader . Print out the file to good quality A3 paper or ‘reduce to fit’ to print at A4.

Explore the Great Outdoors With Respect

Now that you have your poster, it’s time to venture outdoors with your little ones and seek out these beautiful butterflies. Whether you have a garden, a local park, or access to nature reserves and countryside, these locations often provide excellent opportunities for butterfly sightings. Teach children to have keen eyes and perhaps take along a camera, smartphone or magnifying glass for a closer look. Encourage them to keep track of the butterflies they encounter by marking or ticking the corresponding species on their poster. Perhaps take note of the date and location of each sighting, so you can go back again if you find a busy butterfly spot.

Remember, though, that butterflies are incredibly fragile little individuals that are peacefully going about their business. So, teach your children to respect them and not to touch or attempt to catch them — encourage children to observe, appreciate and enjoy their unique beauty.

Why This Activity is Important

Butterflies and other pollinators have experienced a significant decline in the UK over recent years, highlighting the importance of encouraging children to appreciate and respect nature. According to studies, butterfly populations have declined by approximately 40% in the past four decades, with certain species facing an even more alarming decline. These statistics serve as a wake-up call that emphasises the urgent need to protect and restore habitats that support these beautiful creatures.

Children can be a part of that. Engaging children in nature not only benefits them directly, but it also nurtures their sense of wonder and curiosity. Importantly, though, it also instils in them a deep appreciation for the environment and its inhabitants. By embarking on butterfly-spotting adventures and immersing themselves in the natural world, children will develop a sense of empathy for other creatures. They will begin to understand the interconnectedness of ecosystems and recognise the importance of preserving habitats for the survival of butterflies and other wildlife. Let’s inspire a love for butterflies and the natural world and foster a generation that cherishes and safeguards the rich biodiversity that sustains us all.

Nature for Under-Fives at Little Acorns Nursery, Hindley Green

Little Acorns Nursery & Pre-School in Hindley Green, near Wigan, Bolton & ManchesterWe fully appreciate the importance and enormous benefits of introducing young children to nature at Little Acorns Nursery. Indeed, it’s one of the many reasons we’ve adopted the Hygge approach to early years childcare, and are introducing Forest School to the setting. So, if you would like your baby, toddler or preschooler to enjoy the very best childcare and early years education, register them for a childcare place at Little Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green, near Wigan. We’d be happy to show you around too, so you can see how well your child fits in. What’s more; we support free Government-funded childcare places for eligible families, so get in touch using an option below.

Little Acorns Nursery & Preschool is at Hindley Green, near Wigan, close to Bickershaw, Leigh, Atherton, Westhoughton, Ince-in-Makerfield, Platt Bridge, Tyldesley, Bolton and Greater Manchester.

The Benefits & Importance of Nature to Children in Early Childhood

The Benefits & Importance of Nature to Children in Early Childhood

Exposure to natural environments can have a profound impact on a child's physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development.As parents, we all want the best for our children. We strive to provide them with a nurturing and stimulating environment that supports their growth and development. However, in today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to overlook the importance of nature in our children’s lives.

Nature has long been recognised for its therapeutic and restorative effects on humans, and this is especially true for children in their early years. Exposure to natural environments can have a profound impact on a child’s physical, cognitive, emotional, and social development.

In this article today, we will explore the benefits of nature to children’s development, provide practical tips on how to incorporate nature into a child’s life and discuss the importance of nature education in early childhood. We hope to inspire parents and caregivers to embrace nature as a fundamental part of a child’s upbringing, and to recognise its immense value in shaping their future.

“Nature play in early childhood has been found to enhance the development of sensory, motor, and cognitive skills, as well as creativity and imagination.” (International Journal of Play)

The Benefits of Nature to Children’s Development

Nature and exposure to natural environments can have a significant and multifaceted range of benefits for children. This is particularly true when it’s introduced early in their lives, because research shows that early childhood is a critical period for brain development and learning. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the benefits that nature can bring to little ones.

There are many benefits of nature to children’s learning and development.

Improved Physical Health & Healthier Habits

Spending time in nature can promote physical activity and healthy habits, thereby reducing unhealthy sedentary behaviour and potentially even reducing the risk of obesity. Outdoor play and exploration can also help children to develop gross motor skills, coordination, balance, and agility. Exposure to natural light and fresh air is also known to boost the immune system and thereby help overall health.

Enhanced Cognitive Development

Nature can provide a rich sensory environment that stimulates the brain and enhances cognitive function. Studies show that exposure to natural settings has been shown to improve attention span, memory, and problem-solving skills as well as boost creativity, imagination, and curiosity. In addition, by learning about the natural world, children can develop a deeper understanding of science, maths, and other subjects.

Reduced Stress & Improved Emotional Well-Being

Spending time in natural environments can often reduce stress and anxiety in both children and adults. Nature provides a calming and soothing atmosphere that promotes a more positive mood. Self-esteem, confidence, and emotional regulation are also known to be improved by exposure to green spaces and natural settings.

Increased Creativity & Imagination

Outdoor exploration and discovery can foster a real sense of wonder and awe in children. The natural beauty and diversity of nature can also spark creativity and encourage artistic expression in children. Indeed, it can represent an endless source of inspiration for imaginative play.

Better Social Skills & Relationships

Nature is a wonderful setting for social interaction and play. It can provide many opportunities for children to learn new skills, including collaboration, cooperation, teamwork and communication. By encouraging critical thinking, outdoor activities also promote problem-solving skills. Exposure to nature can also improve empathy, compassion, and respect for others and the environment. It’s also a wonderful leveller.

Nature Education Fosters Environmental Awareness & Stewardship

By learning about the natural environment, children can develop a sense of environmental awareness and stewardship. This can encourage them to take action to protect the environment and promote sustainability.

“Exposure to nature has a restorative effect on cognitive function, particularly attention and memory. Children with ADHD have shown significant improvement in concentration after spending time in nature.” (Journal of Attention Disorders)

How to Incorporate Nature into Your Child’s Life

Integrating nature into your child’s life doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. There are many simple and practical ways to expose your child to the benefits of the natural world. Here are some ideas:

  • There are many simple and practical ways to expose your child to the benefits of the natural world.Make time for outdoor play — set aside regular time for outdoor play and exploration. This can include visits to local parks, nature reserves, or your own back garden.
  • Encourage outdoor activities — encourage your child to engage in outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, gardening, and camping (under suitable adult supervision, of course, especially when children are very young). Such activities can provide opportunities for physical activity, social interaction, and exposure to nature.
  • Take nature walks — go for walks with children in natural settings such as forests, beaches, or hills. Use this time to explore and learn about the natural environment and its wonderful inhabitants.
  • Plant a garden — planting a garden can provide a hands-on learning experience for children, as well as a sense of responsibility and accomplishment. It can also encourage healthy eating habits and an appreciation for nature’s beauty. If you have no garden, grow bags can be used on a patio, or pots can be used on balconies and windowsills.
  • Bring nature indoors — incorporate natural elements into your home, such as potted plants, natural materials like wood or stone, or even nature-themed murals and pictures. The Hygge lifestyle also embraces this approach, hence having adopted Hygge at Little Acorns Nursery.
  • Limit screen time — reduce the amount of time your child spends in front of electronic screens and encourage more outdoor activities and play, supervised as appropriate of course.
  • Get involved in nature-related organisations, clubs or groups — consider joining one of these or volunteering for environmental conservation or nature education projects. This can provide opportunities for your child to learn more about nature and develop a sense of environmental stewardship.

By incorporating nature into your child’s life in these and other ways, you can help them develop a lifelong love and appreciation for the natural world that will last a lifetime.

We hope that this article has inspired you to incorporate nature into your child’s life and consider the benefits of nature education in their early childhood.

“Nature exposure in early childhood is associated with multiple cognitive benefits including enhanced cognitive functioning, increased creativity, improved academic performance, and decreased attentional deficits.” (Frontiers in Psychology)

Our Approach to Nature Education at Little Acorns Nursery, Hindley Green

At Little Acorns Nursery, we believe in the importance of nature in children’s lives. So, we provide a rich and stimulating environment that includes plenty of opportunities for outdoor play and nature education. Our adoption of the Hygge lifestyle, extensive outdoor grounds with natural areas for children to explore, and plans to introduce Forest School in the future are all part of this. If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about our approach to education and how it embraces nature, please get in touch.

Weekday Nursery & Preschool Places in Hindley Green, near Wigan

Little Acorns Nursery & Pre-School in Hindley Green, near Wigan, Bolton & ManchesterLittle Acorns provides an exceptionally high standard of weekday childcare at our Hindley Green nursery and preschool, near Wigan. We support all Government childcare funding schemes, including free hours for eligible families. Do get in touch if you would like to register your child for a place, get a guided tour with your little one or if you have any questions.

Little Acorns Nursery & pre-school is located in Hindley Green, near Wigan, and may also be convenient to those in Bickershaw, Leigh, Atherton, Westhoughton, Ince-in-Makerfield, Platt Bridge, Tyldesley, Bolton and Greater Manchester.

The Benefits of Learning a Musical Instrument in the Early Years

The Benefits of Learning a Musical Instrument in the Early Years

Today, we look at the profound benefits of learning a musical instrument for young children.With free tutorials available on YouTube and inexpensive instruments available in charity shops, phone apps and online marketplaces, there has never been a better time for children to start learning a musical instrument. It’s something for every parent to consider because such a pastime will benefit their child in an incredible variety of ways. Not only will they learn a new skill that will stay with them for life, but their lives will be enriched in many additional ways too. So, today, we take a look at the often profound benefits of learning a musical instrument, especially for young children. We’ll start with the three most obvious benefits before coming to many others that may surprise you.

Playing Music is Great Fun

Firstly, let’s not forget the obvious: learning to play a musical instrument can be great fun. It’ll give children hours of entertainment and sensory enrichment. That’s a good enough reason to learn to play music all on its own!

More Opportunities

The ability to play music is also a skill that often stays with children for life. So, once they grow older, the skill may well lead to participation in bands, orchestras, theatrical performances or even a career in entertainment. Composers, stars of the screen, pop stars and theatrical entertainers all started somewhere. Indeed, many such careers will have roots in having learnt to play a musical instrument as a child.

Boosted Coordination & Fine Motor Skills

Playing notes, chords, rhythm and progressions will do wonders for a child's coordination and fine motor skills.Playing all these notes in a certain order, sometimes in isolation and at other times as chords and progressions, will do wonders for a child’s coordination and fine motor skills. Although perhaps tricky at first, with practice and ‘muscle memory’, children’s ability to master the playing of musical sequences, chords, melodies and rhythms will gradually become easier and easier. Before long, it’ll become second nature to them.

As well as those very obvious benefits to learning to play a musical instrument, children will benefit in other, perhaps less obvious, ways. We’ll take a look at those next.

Enhanced Maths Skills

Music, the structure of songs and rhythm are all rooted in mathematics. So, when learning to play music, children will give their brains a maths workout, ensuring that note length, tempo and rhythm all sound correct and combine correctly. It’s also a great way for children to learn real-world applications of things like fractions (for example, half notes, quarter notes, double note length and so on). At the same time, each musical bar usually remains the same length overall. There’s real-world addition in practice for you!

Enhanced Reading Skills

Learning to play music helps children improve reading and mathematics too.In a similar way, children who learn a musical instrument will usually, of course, also be learning to read printed music. While this comes in different forms, it all encourages children to concentrate on the reading process. Specifically, they’re learning to read from left to right, to analyse the printed music detail and to make sense of it. It’s another great workout for the brain, and we’ll say more about that next.

“…there is little doubt that regular exposure to music, and especially active participation in music, may stimulate development of many different areas of the brain. Takako Fujioka and her colleagues, for example, looking at children with a single year of violin training (compared to children with no training), recorded striking changes in activity in the brain’s left hemisphere. In terms of brain development, musical performance is every bit as important educationally as reading or writing.” (Oliver Sacks, Neurologist & Writer)

Boosted Cognitive Function

All this attention to detail, concentrated effort and intricate movement will also have a profound effect on the child’s developing brain. Reading and playing music is a complete, cognitive workout that’ll deeply exercise the brain, in particular boosting the development of the left side. This will spark the generation of millions of new neural connections, or ‘brain synapses’, which will permanently empower the child going forwards. With the left part of the brain also influencing skills like language and reasoning, these are also going to be boosted.

“Research shows that at least some musical education has a positive impact on [the] social and cognitive development of children. And these effects are long-lasting – better hearing, better motor skills, improved memory, better verbal and literacy skills.” (Alan Harvey, Musician and Neuroscientist)

A Boost for Social Skills

Collaboration instinctively comes from playing music, so it's a natural socialiser, bringing children of all ages together.Playing a musical instrument often goes hand-in-hand with collaboration. Whether it’s forming a band, taking part in a school orchestra, writing songs with friends or simply jamming out together, children of all ages will naturally play together given the opportunity. As such, it’s a natural socialiser and one that brings children of different ages together, with new friendships being formed through a common interest. That is a very healthy thing. It also teaches children a wide variety of social skills including communication (e.g. speaking and listening at appropriate times), collaboration, being mindful of the needs of others, waiting your turn and so on.

Creative Self-Expression

Playing a musical instrument is a wonderful outlet for children’s creativity. Give them just about any instrument and they’re sure to express themselves in some way. Their musical or rhythmic expression is also likely to vary depending upon the instrument being played, showing just how powerful a tool it is. Playing an instrument opens up all kinds of creative possibilities to children and they can experiment however they choose. It can also lift their mood or give them the means to express it. Creating music is hugely empowering.

Greater Self-Confidence

With abundant new skills and even new friendships forming because of their musical endeavours, children will naturally get a healthy boost of confidence. Praise and encouragement from adults and peers around them will naturally help boost their self-esteem too. That’s important, especially when they’re very young and unsure of themselves and their place in the world.

Improved Listening Skills

When children learn to play music on a musical instrument, they learn quickly the importance of listening intently at the right time. Through attentive listening, children will learn to compute and formulate the appropriate response to important information, instructions and requests. This is an essential skill and one that will benefit them at home, in nursery, preschool, at school and ultimately in the workplace. Indeed, knowing when to be quiet and listen is one of the key skills of any good consultant!

Enhanced Well-Being

Music is not only great fun but also a great antidote to stress and anxiety.Music itself is also a great antidote to stress and other emotions. Giving children the tools to appreciate music — and even involve themselves in it — will help with their mental well-being as it can calm them when they’re stressed, relax them when they’re tired or even give them an energy boost when they need to get active. Ask any runner! All they need is the right piece of music and half the mental battle is already complete.

Insights into Different Cultures

Music is the common language of the whole world and, as such, is a great bridge between different cultures. Hearing and playing different types of music, from different cultures, countries and even eras will give children an insight into those other people, places and beliefs. Different music genres (rock, blues, pop, etc.) will also be something they’ll find interesting as they grow older, teaching them even more about their own country. For example, the music history of Britain has been hugely influential over the fashion and culture of the nation and this influence is integral to our identity in the world — amazing when you think about it.

The Teaching of Life Lessons

Through learning to play a musical instrument, children learn so many important life lessons; the importance of persistence, for example, and the value of trial and error. Children learn about teamwork, leadership, critical thinking, collaboration and so much more. The following quotation brings the value of this into perspective:

“The things I learned from my experience in music in school are discipline, perseverance, dependability, composure, courage and pride in results… Not a bad preparation for the workforce!” (Gregory Anrig, President, Educational Testing Service)

It Supports Children’s Education

With all of the above benefits, learning to play a musical instrument is clearly going to help many areas of children’s education. For the youngest, all 7 key areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum will be supported through musical endeavours. For example, it’ll help boost creativity, communication, language, reading, maths, social development, personal development, physical coordination and so much more. This can only stand them in good stead as they progress from nursery, through preschool, into school and beyond. It’s amazing when you take a closer look like we have done today.

Starting Children Young

With so many benefits, it's worthwhile for children to start learning a musical instrument as young as possible.With all these benefits, it’s highly worthwhile for children to start learning a musical instrument as young as possible. It’s easy to start them, for example with simple instruments like drums, triangles, and tambourines initially. With these simple instruments, very young children can learn to keep time to music or a beat a rhythm demonstrated by adults. They can then progress to more advanced instruments such as recorders, keyboards, and stringed instruments. They have to start somewhere, though, but it’s never too early to start! Mozart was just 3 when he began to learn piano playing. By 5 he had composed a whole concerto! Who knows; perhaps your child could be a star in the making!

Your Nursery & Preschool in Hindley Green, near Wigan

Little Acorns Nursery & Pre-School in Hindley Green, near Wigan, Bolton & ManchesterIf you have a child under five and require weekday childcare in the Hindley Green area near Wigan, do consider Little Acorns Nursery. We give babies and under-fives the very best start in life. At Little Acorns, they’ll receive a wonderful early years education and a personalised learning and development programme that includes sensory and creative activities through music and rhythm. It’s a wonderful, safe, loving, home-from-home environment for little ones too. We also support a wide range of childcare funding options for those that are eligible. Get in touch to register your child for a place, arrange a guided tour or simply ask a question. We’ll be happy to assist.

Little Acorns is a wonderful nursery & preschool in Hindley Green near Wigan. We’re also suitably close to those in Bickershaw, Leigh, Atherton, Westhoughton, Ince-in-Makerfield, Platt Bridge, Tyldesley, Bolton and Greater Manchester.

Hygge at Little Acorns Nursery, Hindley Green

Today we explain why Hygge is a very good thing for both children and staff at early years childcare settings.At Little Acorns Nursery in Hindley Green, we’re embracing Hygge (pronounced “Hue-gah”), which is becoming very popular around the globe. But what is Hygge and why are we embracing it? This article explains everything and you’ll soon see why Hygge is a very good thing for everyone at the nursery, including both children and staff. Take a look …

What is Hygge?

The word Hygge is a Danish word, although is also used in the Norwegian language to refer to the same thing. It describes a feeling, mood and lifestyle of cosiness, wellbeing and contentment. It’s also about a lifestyle that’s more simple, where you live more in the moment and are closer to nature. Hygge has been described as “the pursuit of everyday happiness … basically like a hug, just without the physical touch.”Hygge has been described as resulting in “comfortable conviviality” i.e. friendliness and warmth that makes everyone feel welcome and happy. It’s also been described as “the pursuit of everyday happiness … basically like a hug, just without the physical touch.”

What Does a Hygge Lifestyle Look Like?

To understand Hygge more, it may help to know what it looks like. So, with a Hygge lifestyle, you would expect to see a particularly warm and cosy kind of environment. Rooms that embrace Hygge have a lovely homely feel about them with blankets, cushions, rugs and soft furnishings that make the atmosphere warm and reduce noise and echoes. There will be cosy corners, dens and even teepees where people can ‘nest’ while they read, play or converse.There will be twinkly ‘mood’ lighting instead of harsh fluorescent lighting. Rooms will have real plants that bring nature indoors, natural materials and objects like wood, wicker, pine cones and pebbles. There will be calming music and perhaps even scent in the air. There will be cosy corners, dens and even teepees where children can ‘nest’ while they read, play or converse. Hygge gives a room a lovely atmosphere, often with flickering candles (or, at the nursery, the warm-coloured LED equivalents, for safety purposes).

What Does Hygge Feel Like?

The Hygge lifestyle is a very pleasant, comfy and pleasurable one. It’s as much about warmth, cosiness and friendliness as it is about harmony, togetherness, sharing, equality and mutual respect. As such, it minimises conflict and leads to calmness and harmonious play. It’s also about living in the moment (‘presence’) with aspects of mindfulness. Hygge also encourages individuals to reflect on things they can be grateful for. All in all it’s a very pleasurable atmosphere and approach to daily life.

Why Embrace Hygge at Our Early Years Childcare Setting?

Embracing Hygge will make children feel really at home, safe, relaxed, cosy and content.Embracing all these aspects of Hygge will make children feel really at home, safe, relaxed, cosy and content. Their day will feel fulfilling and enriched. It will be calm and peaceful whilst also embracing nature both outside and indoors. Friendships will deepen as small groups of children play, converse, read or simply ‘be’ in the many cosy nooks and dens available to them. They are also free to have some solo time where they can explore a particular interest, relax with a book or engage in an activity in a calm and comfortable corner. Whatever they’re doing, children will enjoy and benefit from the mood lighting, calming surroundings, relaxing music and suchlike.

Hygge instinctively appeals to a child’s very heart and soul.

All in all, Hygge is a far cry from the traditional bright and often sterile surroundings that so many youngsters have to tolerate in early years settings. In contrast to those, Natural materials, atmospheric lighting and nature are all part of the Hygge lifestyle.Hygge is like a warm cloak that softly embraces every child, allowing him or her to quietly blossom, learn and develop in the most homely and relaxed of atmospheres. With Hygge, they can embrace and naturally absorb everything that’s so good about the Hygge lifestyle, including it’s almost magical effects that will bring out the wonder in every child. Hygge instinctively appeals to a child’s very heart and soul, allowing their learning and development to blossom and thrive in the most natural of ways.

Hygge Accreditation at Little Acorns Nursery

Little Acorns is thoroughly embracing the Hygge lifestyle and approach to early years learning and development. As part of this, we will work towards official Hygge in Early Years accreditation over the course of 2022. We believe it will empower and enrich the lives of every child in deep-seated, profound ways.

Little Acorns Nursery & Pre-School in Hindley Green, near Wigan, Bolton & Manchester

Little Acorns Nursery, Hindley Green, WiganLittle Acorns nursery & pre-school in Hindley Green Hygge is a little magical and brings out the wonder in every child.gives babies, toddlers and preschoolers the very best start in life and in their early years education. If you are looking for the best childcare service in Hindley Green, Wigan or near Bickershaw, Leigh, Atherton, Westhoughton, Ince-in-Makerfield, Platt Bridge, Tyldesley, Bolton or Greater Manchester, please get in touch. We can arrange a guided visit for you and your little one, without obligation. Alternatively, simply fill in and submit an application for a nursery/pre-school place for your child — click the relevant button below to get started.  We’re also happy to answer any questions that you may have and to clarify any free childcare options that may be available to eligible families via Government-funded childcare schemes.