It is important for children to spend time outdoors, as there is so much to explore and learn in nature. That is why we have our own ‘Nature Bus’ with a forest ranger from the Forestry Commission.
At Partou day-care centres, we take the children outdoors every day. We often stay ‘close to home’, but also occasionally go on a bigger adventure. Every year, for instance, we step into our own Nature Bus together with a forest ranger from the Forestry Commission, who teaches the kids all kinds of interesting facts about nature. They also get to play games together that are not only fun, but also educational. The children are allowed to dig, climb and explore to their heart’s content. Actively using all of their senses teaches them how nature is full of surprises. Leaves, branches, sand and wood stimulate creativity and together we build huts and make ‘works of art’.
At Partou day-care centres, we encourage children to be independent. Naturally, this takes place in close cooperation and consultation with parents.
Children start developing a will of their own at a very young age. They become more and more aware of what they like - and do not like. Our pedagogical staff feels it is important for children to develop their own opinion, so they often ask them what they want. Should new activities or play materials or equipment become available at the out-of-school care centre? We hold special meetings with the children to discuss this. We call this ‘child participation’. This means that decisions are made jointly and everyone gets to have a say. The older children are given more responsibility and freedom. It goes without saying that this takes place in close coordination with parents. For example, should your child be allowed to walk or bike to and from out-of-school care alone? By teaching children how to form and express an opinion, we help them become more active members of society in the future.
Exercise and healthy eating play an important role in children’s development. At Partou, we devote the necessary attention to this.
Physical exercise becomes increasingly important as children get older. They become more adept at hopping, running and balancing from around the age of four. At Partou day-care centres, the pedagogical staff spends a considerable amount of time on sports and playing, both individually and especially as a group. Playing a ball game together teaches the children to not only work as a team, but also to follow rules and learn what it means to win and lose. In addition to physical activity, we also devote a great deal of attention to a healthy and varied diet. We serve, for example, very limited amounts of sweets, salty and fatty foods. Children drink water, tea and milk at Partou. Sweetened drinks like soda are avoided as much as possible. We also serve healthy alternatives during snack time, such as fruits and snack vegetables.
Is your child celebrating his or her birthday and wants to serve treats? Our pedagogical specialists have great ideas for healthy alternatives.
After a busy day at school, children need to have the opportunity to unwind and process all of the day’s experiences, so they go home feeling calm and relaxed.
Children experience quite a bit at school each day, spending the day reading, writing and doing arithmetic in a classroom full of children. That can be quite exhausting. At Partou, we give the children plenty of room and opportunity to catch their breath. We enjoy a drink together and talk about our day. Our pedagogical staff enjoys listening to all their adventures. The children can then decide what kinds of activities they want to do. Play a game? Go outside with the other kids? Do a filmmaking workshop? Anything is possible. And if you’re too tired to do anything, you can simply relax and read a book or do nothing at all. We let the children decide, also those who feel like being alone for a little while.
The out-of-school care centre is more than just the place your child spends time until you pick him or her up. Enjoyment and development should be promoted equally. Our pedagogical coaches make sure this happens.
At Partou, we want every child to feel at home and to develop through play. That is why every region has a designated pedagogical coach. This expert helps and assists our staff with tips and advice. Our staff also undergoes additional training on a regular basis through video interaction guidance in which the coach and employee together watch video images of the interaction with the children. Does the child feel comfortable? How is he or she developing? This training allows our staff to enhance the quality of their work on a continual basis.
More and more studies show that music is beneficial for creativity and language acquisition in children. But it’s much more than that.
After spending the day studying math, language and topography, the children love to play music together. Not only is it fun and relaxing to practice rhythms and melodies in a group, but also highly educational. At Partou day-care centres, all of the pedagogical experts have undergone musical training. They also like to help organise wild and crazy music activities. Together with the other children, they sing songs or play drums, learn how to make a pan flute and more. The sky’s the limit! The children can also come up with their own ideas, such as writing songs with friends, dancing to their favourite song on TV, playing The Voice Kids with a real jury... And that sounds like music to our ears!
Children get acquainted with lots of other boys and girls, not only at school and in sports clubs, but also in day-care and out-of-school care. These friendships are worth their weight in gold.
Having fun and doing all kinds of things together with their friends is one of the most important focal areas at the out-of-school care centres. They often already know other children from school, though there are also lots of new faces. We do our best to help all kids find their place in the group.
As children get older, they become more interested in children of the same age. They learn from each other and need to interact with other children to develop their social skills. We give them plenty of opportunity to do just that and lifelong friendships often develop at Partou. Friends who do not go to the same out-of-school centre are also welcome to come spend an afternoon with us.
At Partou day-care centres, we try to surprise the children with something new every day, from fun excursions to workshops where they get to try out all kinds of new things.
Children love variety. At our out-of-school centres, we offer them a wide range of surprising experiences and activities, from music and dance to sports and handicrafts. We often have visitors who organise a special workshop, from djembe playing and judo classes to beginning capoeira classes. During the school holidays, we also organise special activities, such as excursions to the zoo or building playground. We also decide which excursions to go on together with the children.
Older children (age 8 and up) often want their own designated area, so we have special activities just for them in a separate space with their own materials. Together with our pedagogical experts, they decide on which fun activities they’d like to try.