Busy Bees Thetford
We wanted to engage with our parents at the nursery in developing opportunities for learning at home. We decided to purchase Parent Lending Bags for the whole nursery family to use. We have 0-2s bags and 3-5yr bags which target various areas of development.
As a nursery, we have a diverse culture within our community. Examples of this are with parents working full time, being deployed with the military and also families that are accessing the 2yr and 3yr funded sessions.
We wanted to support the children with their learning at home but recognise that parents did not always have the resources/time to enable them to participate in this.
The setting was nominated for the work within the community from a local business and was awarded a prize which enabled the purchase of the parent lending bags. A display is set up in the entrance hall to enable parents to borrow these as and when they want to.
An article was produced in the newsletter informing parents of the service, and what they could use them for.
Parents were encouraged to sign them in and out so that the nursery was aware of where the bags were. This also allowed time for the staff/manager to explain in more detail about the contents and activities that they could have fun with.
The parents lending bags are very popular with the parents at the setting; it enables them to have a go with their child at home using different toy/resources. Parents have also spoken about the enjoyment of knowing they are supporting their child’s development, here are some comments from our parents:
“We used the soft toys bag at home, it was great fun! We played simple games like peek-a-boo which made us both giggle.” - Miss Brown
“The tweezer bag was good. We used the tweezers to pick up small and big items from the bag but also bits from around our home.” - Mr Duncan
The setting is currently making up some new bags which will contain threading, mark making and gloop.
The impact of the bags should be seen when the children’s development is analysed in the summer term.
As a setting the feedback from parents using this service is greater, with lots of information being passed on to key people. This feedback is given via emails/photos and written observations.
Communication about children’s learning between parents and key people has improved as a result of sharing suggestions to extend activities.
The parent lending bags shall continue to be a positive service to the parents and children at Thetford Busy Bees. Key people are continuing to monitor children’s interests to develop new bags.