Learning in nursery school

In these times of working parents, one of the main reasons that children go to nursery is so that they are well cared for while their parents are hard at work. This change in the way the nuclear family functions means that the nursery has taken on many of the tasks that were traditionally done at home. Toilet training, dressing, painting and structured play are all learning experiences for toddlers.

All trained nursery nurses will know the relevant techniques and put them into practice every working day.

From a very early age children are motivated by positive or negative reinforcement. The term ‘reinforcement’ means that a child is influenced by rewards external to the work itself. Being praised for good behaviour makes it more likely for them to repeat it and being told off for bad behaviour makes it less likely to be repeated. Of the two, positive reinforcement has been proven by scientific research to be the most effective. So in the nursery, an experienced nurse will praise a child with words, a smile or a hug when they have done something good.

A good painting can be taken home and praised there too but some of the areas of good behaviour or learning are difficult to take home. Here at Brainwaves we have a pack of fantastic stickers which can help. They come in ‘smiley’ shapes like feet, great when the child puts their own shoes on; or ‘hands’ for when they remember to wash them after using the toilet. A great one is a droplet which can be used for a good day’s toilet training. A member of staff can stick on the badge, then Mum and Dad can carry on the praise at home. This simple but effective system can mean that the lessons of the day are put into action as homework in a fun and painless manner.

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