Strawberries: 1 Year to 2 Years
The Strawberries space is separated into two connected sections, a bright and active play area for messy play, creative play and meal times and a quiet, role play and reading area. As in Blueberries there is a minimum ratio of one adult to every three children so there is always lots of support for each child whatever their needs.
The Strawberries are just beginning to understand and enjoy the world of make believe and they love the role play area with its little kitchen and simple dressing up costumes. They have open access to the reading area and enjoy looking at picture books, reading stories during quiet times.
The children also particularly enjoy singing, music and movement in this space, for which we provide lots of age appropriate instruments, scarfs and ribbons.
The Blueberries and Strawberries have direct access into their own garden full of age specific resources. We also encourage the Strawberries to use the larger garden area at quiet times. There they can explore the construction area, sand kitchen, forest area and growing area. The Strawberries love the challenge of these environments.
Another important resource for Strawberries is the sensory room. The Strawberries have direct access to this space. The children love the different sounds, sights and sensations that the sensory room presents to them.
The Blueberries and Strawberries have separate spaces but often combine the groups at appropriate times of the day. It is very important that the younger babies are given access to the older children and vice versa. The little babies emulate the older and the older learn to be gentle and kind to the younger children. It is a vital part of their social development.
At the Mulberry Bush the quality of food provided to children is of upmost importance. This starts with their very first experiences of solid food. Please click on our Healthy Choices page for further information.
The Strawberries are seated in small, social groups for meal times and they sit at the table and start to learn the basics of table manners and start to learn to use cutlery. They are always supported by an adult to help them to cut food and feed themselves as well as to make meal times a fun, social part of the day.
The Blueberries and Strawberries have their own peaceful sleep room. This has air conditioning for the summer months. The sleep room has a viewing window so that, as well as regular checks on the children, staff can keep a constant eye on the babies as they rest. We provide fresh linen daily for each child although you are welcome to supplement that with any individual sleeping items, sleeping bags, comforters etc that are helpful for your child.
As the Strawberries approach the time to leave and transition on to the Raspberries room we encourage them to get used to sleeping on sleep mats in the sensory room. This is how they will take their naps in the older age groups and it greatly aids a smooth transition if they have become used to this in a more familiar environment.
When your baby joins the Blueberries or Strawberries they will be allocated a key person and taken through an induction process. Please click on the links for further information about our settling in process. This can be a time of anxiety for both parent and child so we work hard to make this as smooth and stress free as possible.
At about 2 yrs old your child will be ready to move on from Strawberries to Raspberries. Please see our Useful Stuff section on Transitions for further information about this process.