I believe that children should move gently and gradually from their home environment to the wider world. I aim to be a bridge between the moment they start to be away from their carers for a few hours and moving to a slightly bigger setting before starting formal school. Therefore, the mornings at Hummingbirds’ Nest are tailored for little children up to three and half years old. Afterwards, your child should fly to a bigger nest.
The nest is open from Monday to Thursday, 8.30 am to 1.30 pm, but hours may be extended until 3 pm. We will be a group of a maximum of 4 children and me.
While in my care, your child will be in my so much loved nest and days will follow a simple homely life rhythm. My role will be to take care of your child’s every needs, with my calm and gentle attention. I will also be doing simple tasks that nurture life like cooking, baking, taking care of the environment, while your child plays.
Based on the principle that children are natural imitators full of curiosity and this is the way they learn, I am hoping that while I am doing my tasks with love and joy, I will be creating an atmosphere in which your child can be active and play and that over time they become more and more interested in joining me to help.
I offer morning sessions from 8.30am to 1.30am, Monday to Thursday, but hours may be extended.
The daily rhythm
The mornings will start indoors, and children will have plenty of time to play freely. Play is children’s real “work”. Children learn through play, making sense of the world around them. Together children learn to share, take risks, resolve conflicts.
The toys available are simple, made of natural materials, and open-ended. Open-ended toys which come without a defined form allow children to be creative and use imagination. They freely move from one idea to another. While they play under my attentive eyes and guidance, I will be doing the activity of that day or some seasonal crafts, and will prepare the morning snack. Children may choose to keep playing or join to participate in the activity.
With a song that children will become familiar with, we will tidy away. With all of us helping to tidy our nest away, children gradually start to get a sense of responsibility and care over their space and toys.
Once the nest is finally tidy we will be ready to start our circle time. That is a moment when we sing seasonal songs together, recite verses, use movement, and do fingerplays that are repeated over three or four weeks. This repetition aids the children’s memory as we sing, act and move each day. Within the circle time children also build fine motor skills with fingerplays and gesture, and gross motor skills with skipping, balancing, jumping, clapping and more. Pre-literacy skills such as listening, rhyme, letter sounds, counting, which will be needed later for formal literacy are also developed during our circle time. In the end, from our circle we will sing ourselves to the toilet and wash our hands to get ready for our snack.
Having finished our snack, we will get ready to go to the garden. Dressed in accordance, children can experience all the extremes of the weather and observe the different colours of each season. While outdoors, children can dig in the earth, play in the sandpit, climb and balance in cut logs, find worms and bugs, everything while listening to the birds.
After all the play in the garden, we will return inside. Children go to the toilet and wash their hands. Then, we gather together in a circle for a story. That is a moment for children to sit still and emerge into a world of fantasy and imagination. Once the story is finished, we will have our lunch. We sit all together around the table, and before starting to eat our nourishing homemade meal, a candle is lit, and a song to thank for our food is sung. Finally, children will have a rest in a cosy and quiet space until collection time.
Activity of the day:
Monday: Chopping vegetables
Wednesday: Bread making
Thursday: Home loving and domestic tasks
The foundation of everything I do at Hummingbirds’ nest is built upon the principles presented in the Pikler Approach: the respectful relationship between an adult and young child, through choreographed tender care moments, a naturally paced motor development, free self-directed movement and uninterrupted play; and the understanding of life and human development presented in Waldorf Education, which one of the most essential aspects of the work with the young child is the inner attitude of the educator, who provides the example for the child’s imitation.