Along with lots of other children this week, N started a new nursery. He’s still going to his old day nursery, but the cost of it full time is too much money however good it is. Once his cousin started school, his aunt wanted to stop looking after N for the 2 days she used to do, so it was time to decide where he could go.
I was keen for him to be at our village nursery school so that he could make friends with the children he’ll likely be starting school with. However, being term time school hours only, it’s provided a lot of angst trying to work out how I’m going to get him to and from there when I’ll be at work.
Thankfully this job (although I’m only maternity cover at the moment) is only 15 minutes from home, and are fairly flexible with working, so I’ve been able to work longer hours when he’s at the day nursery to enable me to start later and do one pick up at the new nursery. I’m still working out what to do on the Thursday pick ups, but I’ve got a couple of options…just the OH isn’t keen on the most straightforward one which is having one of the nursery staff look after him for the couple of hours afterwards. But as he’s not offering to help at all, then it might be the only option unless he wants to start begging family to do it.
After realising I knew no details of what I needed to provide for him being there and chasing that I had to get him a lunchbag/box. All very exciting and cute, although then I realised I was going to have to do packed lunches for him twice a week. I know how much he’ll eat at home for lunch, but when it comes to normally at nursery he’ll have 2 helpings of a main hot meal, plus pudding. So it was a bit of a panic hoping I’d put enough in for him.
I’m a bit of a lunchbox queen, having lots of tupperware, but didn’t have anything segmented that was large enough to include his sandwiches inside. So a round of ham and cheese sandwiches, mini orange tomberries, cucumber, pepper, leftover wafer thin chicken, followed by grapes, blueberries and Soreen cake bars…oh and a mini box of raisins.
I made N stand for the obligatory photo, although as today was a settling in session, he’s not yet got a nursery t-shirt or jumper which I’ll probably get him. He loves his lunch bag and insisted on carrying it (I did tie the strap a bit shorter so it’s easier for him to walk!).
Shortly after I took the photo, as we were getting into the car I spotted he’d managed to get weetabix down his shorts and top, so quick change before heading off.
Given it was settling in today, he was allowed to take Peter Rabbit with him. At his day nursery he leaves it in the car (I thought he was doing well leaving it…until I realised they have the exact same one at nursery so he just hogs that when he wants it!).
I was a tad worried at first because he was saying ‘going to R’s school’, as though he thought he was going to his cousin’s school. I had to explain that it was R’s old nursery school but that he’s gone to proper school now. Once we arrived, he didn’t ask after his cousin, so he obviously did realise that they were at different ‘schools’ so that was a relief.
The new nursery school’s really small, although they do take from age 2-5. Today, N was the only new one (I was expecting more for the beginning of a term) but they said there were 4 new children in total over a week. There were only 6 children there, with N the only one from his ‘school year’, but I’m expecting the other children his age to start once their free hours start next term.
N didn’t seem worried. He’s met his key worker before because she’s a friend of mine, but as soon as the door was opened, he was off. Dumped his bags with me, and went off to explore.
I guess for children, anywhere with lots of new toys and lots of new colourful posters and pictures has got to be an exciting thing.
I hung around chatting to the staff for about 30 minutes, checked out the noticeboard with all the week’s plans and the children’s development ‘next steps’. This is something that’s not as visible at his day nursery, so I might suggest it to them as planning was something picked up on by Ofsted as not being visible enough/proven. Here they had charted showing all the different genres of play (so craft/art, malleable, outdoor, role play etc), with examples of what toys or activities would be available for the children to explore each day. Considering they’ve not got much room, there were lots of different activity stations for exploration…just while I was watching, N got stuck into lots, checking them all out.
He did come to me and say he wanted to play outdoors so I had to explain that this nursery school has set times they go out (they don’t have free flow, as they’re in the village hall and have to take the children over the road to the village green to play), but he seemed fine at that. Then he wanted his lunchbox, so I had to explain that like his other nursery they have set snack times, but he could ask for his drink.
He was playing quite happily, so told him I’d head off. He looked a bit dazed, but didn’t moan or say anything, so I left him to it.
Once I picked him up at 3, he was engrossed in the painting table, but looked up and waved and chattered away. It made me laugh when the manager let me in saying “he’s had a great day, he’s very easy isn’t he?!”.
Yes, that’s N. Pretty straightforward and chilled out.
It did please me to hear that he’d been chattering away all day as well, so he’s obviously settled fine. Quite often he’ll be very quiet until he gets used to people, but not a problem there which is great.
Apart from his crusts (which he then ate after getting home), and his peppers (he’s a bit hit and miss with them), he’d eaten all of his lunch. So I was pleased I’d got that right. By the time we got to tea he was dragging me to the oven to get the food out, so I’m thinking that although they have an afternoon snack at nursery school, maybe he’ll need a small snack on arriving home as well.
He wasn’t so tired that he couldn’t play outside when we got home, making up for the comparatively little time versus his usual outdoor time spent at his day nursery. Hopefully once the sunny weather breaks, he’ll still get outside whatever the weather.
As I was putting him to bed this evening, I asked him if he knew any of his new friends’ names. He’d remembered two of them, then talked about his day nursery friends as well. So hopefully he’ll make lots of friends at the various different places he attends, and will continue to be his happy go lucky self.
Has this week seen your children starting school or nursery? How’s it been?