Excursions/ Incursions at the Cubbyhouse



Bob the Reptile Man

Bob the Reptile Man

Excursions/ Incursions at the Cubbyhouse.
Excursions/ incursions play an important role in early childhood education. Learning to be part of our wider community is important for young children. Adding excursions/ incursions to the program builds a child’s experience. It allows them to explore their community and bring the community to the centre.
Excursions/ Incursions develop the children’s understanding of the world around them. They provide extra learning experiences that are quite exciting as they are different to the every day routines.

We hold these outings and visits at different times of the year. Depending on educational value, availability, developmental appropriateness, and the weather. We use public transport or walking excursions. As well as visitors to the Cubbyhouse.
The Excursions/ Incursions we access are
*of educational value
*involve local services – the library, fire station and police.
*visits to or from schools or farms
*animal shows and musical performances

Recently we had children’s group “Hi-5″, have a meet and greet at our Taree Cubbyhouse. The Kempsey Cubbyhouse is looking forward to the fire brigade bringing their truck in to learn about fire safety. And a regular visitor to Cubbyhouse “Bob the Reptile Man” will be returning this year to all three Cubbyhouse centres. We will also attend the library for story times. Also to take part in the National Simultaneous story time. Also local schools for a variety of experiences.

We complete risk assessments before excursions/ incursions take place. This ensures the safety of all attending. After the excursions/ incursions an evaluation is completed. This determines how the excursion was of value to the children. Also if any changes are needed should it be repeated at a later stage. As per the Education and Care Service National Regulations,no child will be taken out of The Cubbyhouse without a written permission note from the parent or guardian, signed and dated.

When leaving the Cubbyhouse for group excursions we have a ratio of 1 adult:2 children for under three year olds. This ratio is 1:4 for three to five year olds. Families are invited to attend. This gives us extra hands to help out and extra eyes to supervise. Siblings of children attending with supervising adults are counted in the appropriate ratio group.

Sun Safety at the Cubbyhouse

Sun screen station

Sun screen station

Sun Safety at the Cubbyhouse.

Did you know that the Cubbyhouse Preschool and Long Day Care Centres are registered with the Cancer Council as sun smart services? The Cubbyhouse liaises with the Cancer Council and other authorities to keep up to date with knowledge and strategies for educating the children, staff and families.
We have policies and practices in place that we all must follow to meet the requirements of our registration.

With our harsh sun it is important for our youngest people to learn good sun safe habits from the get go.
Our educators support the little ones to embed these practices into their everyday lives. Our educators model sun safety practices, wearing hats, shirts with covered sleeves and put on sun screen in front of the children.

We ask that families provide their children with hats and apply sun screen before coming to Cubbyhouse. Especially in Summer. We do have spare hats and sun screen available to reapply throughout the day.

We encourage the children to wear adequate covering of clothing for outdoor play. Clothing should be loose fitting and made of tightly woven fabrics, it should protect as much of the children’s skin as possible. Singlet tops, midriff / crop tops and sleeveless dresses are not recommended.

Our outdoor events and excursions will be staged with sun protection factors in mind, e.g. Timing, clothing, hats, sunscreen, length of the activity.

We review of the effectiveness of our sun safety protection policy annually. The policy is available for viewing by all staff, families and visitors in the Parent Policies Manual.

Recently at The Cubbyhouse Centres we have helped the children set up their own “sun screen stations” where they learn about the importance of sun safety as well as develop their sense of identity and a feeling of belonging.

They can check themselves out in the mirror while putting on the sun screen and hats. They have been having discussions with the educators and the other children about how to be sun safe. We also asked the children if they would like a photo of themself getting ready to go out in the sun and have put them up on display at our sun screen stations.
The children seem to be loving it. And we have had barely any hassles getting them to keep their hats on!

Transition of Children’s Education


transition to school


Growing up or starting school is an important milestone for children. And their family.

When everyone knows what to expect, the child is more likely to feel confident and happy about moving into a new room at the Cubbyhouse. Or onto to formal schooling.

Open communication and strong relationships are the key.  Information sharing between families, early childhood settings and schools, before children start helps for a smooth transition.

Children in NSW may enrol in Kindergarten at the beginning of the school year if they turn five years of age on or before 31 July in that year.

Children also transition between the rooms, as they become older. Moving from babies to school age.  As well as across the day within the room, the program and the daily routines.

Smooth transitions for all children, staff and families is the aim.

In Centre Transitions

We encourage the children to spend time during mornings and afternoons in family groupings. Then they are familiar with the Cubbyhouse as a whole. This will develop relationships between all children, educators and families. And will ensure smooth transition as everyone is already known to each other.

As children from the baby room turn two and children in the toddler room turn three years we try to move the children up.

The educators assess the child’s development and readiness to transition. Then talk with the families about moving their child to the next room. Discuss with the director the availability of positions and possible time frame for this to occur.

The children will spend short periods of time in the next room.  When they are ready they can start to spend a whole day in the next room.

Routine Transitions

The children are included in the routines of the day. They are given a signal before its time to change from play to lunch. Or inside to outside play time. We use games and rhymes to move from one place to the next to make it a fun and educational experience.

Transition to ‘Big School’

As a child reaches the year before school entry the educators assess the child’s readiness. They talk with the family  about  school readiness skills. Our teachers use the program to prepare for the transition to school. Discussing primary school through the daily routines and program. Information and ideas are passed onto families to prepare them all for the change. The educators talk with local schools. This ensures orientation and transition to primary school occurs in a smooth manner. This will make it a positive experience for child and family.

Leaving Cubbyhouse

When a child leaves our centre, their developmental profile is passed onto the family to share with any new carers or educators.

Children’s individual needs (health, development etc) will be taken into account during the transitioning process.

It is so important to get this process right. And support all children to be confident and curious learners!

Useful websites



Sensory Play – Slime, Goop and Playdough

All children learn and explore using their 5 senses.

Touching, tasting, smelling, seeing and hearing. Essential areas to develop and explore.

The education and care for children is very important. To help them explore their senses by providing age appropriate activities for sensory play and learning. Which you can do at home with your child. Not only at Early Education Programs.


Some of the sensory play activities and resources we use at The Cubbyhouse Preschool include

  • Light boards with coloured clear plastic tools and shapes, cellophane, oil bottles
  • Making and playing with goop, slime, playdough and moon sand
  • Adding tools (rolling pins, shape cutters), natural items (sticks, rocks, leaves), scents (lemon, strawberry, mint essence, coconut) and animals to sensory play experiences
  • Water play
  • Sandpit play
  • Raw or cooked rice/ pasta/ spaghetti play
  • Jelly activities
  • Ice-cube activities
  • Water beads
  • Finger Painting
  • Glitter bottles
  • confetti
  • Bubbles
  • Tasting a variety of foods
  • Smelly jars
  • Exploring the garden and outdoor environments
  • Audio games and stories
  • Playing I Spy

Some benefits of using these resources and activities for sensory play include:

  • Social development- Interacting with staff and peers, sitting down together completing sensory play activities
  • Physical development – using Fine and Gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination,
  • Concentration, attention skills
  • Exploration skills
  • Visual- perceptual skills
  • coordination
  • Texture and consistency awareness
  • Imaginative skills

Here are some links with recipes of sensory play experiences you can make with your children.

Teething Fever Young Children



teething fever


Teething and Fever  in Young Children.

teething fever high temperature young children


That sounds like a yucky combination for everyone involved.

Teething can be a stressful, emotional and horrible time for both you and your young children.

And comes along with many symptoms.

Teething can cause

* sore and swollen gums that sometimes can bleed

* dribbling/ drooling

*chewing and rubbing the gums

* red or rash on cheeks

* refusing to eat food

* sleepless and disturbed nights

and general irritability.

Some children display other symptoms,

* runny noses

* loose bowel movements

and high temperatures or fever.

It is thought that these symptoms may not actually be from teething but could be because children are more prone to infection as they are more likely to put everything in their mouth!

Fever and teething in young children does not go hand in hand. It can be totally unrelated. So seek medical advice if your child develops a fever at anytime.

Some ways to help young children with the troubles of  painful gums and teeth.

* Allow your child to chew clean, safe items. This can include chewing rings or even a wet cloth.

* Items that can be cooled down can also help to soothe the teething child. For example frozen fruit pieces.

* Wash your hands and rub your clean finger over the sore gums.

* Access a chemist or a doctor to ask for treatment advice

* Give your child lots of cuddles!

Her are some links that may be useful.




Safety Gardening with Children

safety gardening with childrenIts lovely to get outside and dig about, gardening with children.

Planting vegies, looking at worms and enjoying the sunshine.

It can be very simple to develop an area to do gardening with children, even in the smallest of places. A small styrofoam container can become a fantastic little herb or strawberry patch.

Much learning and development can take place in the garden.

Topics you can dicuss when gardening with children.

Healthy foods – vegetables, fruits, herbs and grains and the benefits of these foods.

Life cycles of plants and insects – from seed to flowering plant and egg to flying bee.

Where produce comes from – fruit and veggies don’t come from the shop! much to the surprise of some young children, they are grown from a seed and transported to the shop!

Sustainable practices – reduce, reuse, recycle! Get that worm fertilizer going, build the compost, feed some chickens and definitely don’t let that tap drip :)

There is a large variety of easy to care for plants to help you garden with children BUT there are some precautions to be taken when gardening with children.

Simple things need to be done to ensure safety when gardening with children -

* Always communicate with your child about what is and what is not safe in the garden, eg what is safe to eat, how to use tools.

* Model how to use the gardening tools properly and always store the equipment properly.

* When using soil,  moisten the soil and/ or wear breathing masks to ensure the small particles do not get into your little ones lungs

* Think about the types of plants you are putting into your garden – is it too spiky? poisonous?


Here are some helpful links safety gardening with children





Children and Media Devices

children running

Sedentary time…..this is when children are sitting still for long periods of time and is usually linked to television viewing, computers and other small media devices. Children who watch TV for more than two hours each day are more likely to have  unhealthy choices for their diet and less likely to participate in physical activity. Children who are watching television also view advertisements for foods which are high in salt, sugar and fat. This can influence their eating preferences while watching  television as well as their whole consumption of food.

Children need to be physically active for at least 60 minutes every day as well as having a healthy balanced diet with plenty of water. Being active is beneficial as children learn skills such as running, trowing and catching. It also helps with balance and coordination, growing healthy bodies, relaxing children, and better sleep.

At the Cubbyhouse Preschools, we rarely sit still for long periods of time! If we do use television viewing, computers and small media devices, we do not use them for mindless entertainment. We interact with media devices and computers as part of our educational programs, in an educational manner.  Using a tablet we can enhance our programs and tap into the children’s interests. Through YouTube we can find interactive children’s songs and stories and there are many apps for things like children’s yoga and educational games. Using this media this way supports an active lifestyle.

To see more information on physically active play and sedentary time follow the link below


Swimming – a skill for life

Swimming –  Skill For Life

baby swimming

Swimming – Skill for life

Many people believe that they don’t need to teach their children to swim because they don’t have a pool. What many people forget is that we live in a beautiful area with lagoons, rivers, beaches. It isn’t just about pool safety it is water safety. Water is everywhere. Friends properties which have dams, Bath tubs, mop buckets, boat ramps, fishing. Drowning is the greatest cause of accidental death in children under five in Australia. On average, one child drowns, each week.

Children learn best from a young age and are capable of learning the basics of water safety. Babies as young as 6mths are able  to get back to the edge if they have fallen into water. Babies should be accustomed to water from a young age. Letting water being splashed in their face while bathing or holding onto them and just moving through the water is good for the babies to understand the feeling of water on their skin and help’s them not to be scared of the water.

Take a look at the following website for ideas and resources to help your child to be water safe:


Puffy Paint

puffy paint

Puffy Paint

A fun activity to do with children. Puffy paint is easy to make and can be used with a variety of tools. It can be put into a snap lock bag to squeeze out, use with paint brushes or cotton buds. It is also great because you can talk about maths concepts such as measuring and counting, science such as dry to wet and how it puffs up. We did this with the children at the Kempsey centre this month and they loved watching the paint puff up!


1 cup self raising flour

1 cup table salt

1 cup water

bowls, cotton buds, paint brushes, snap lock bags, scissors, cardboard


 1. Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl.

 2. Stir in the water and mix to combine until smooth.

 3. Divide the mixture evenly into bowls.(depends how many colours you want)

4. Stir in the dye to colour each bowl.

 5. Use the spoon to scoop the coloured paint into a ziplock bag. Start to seal the bag, squeezing the air out and leaving about 1 cm unzipped.

 6. Push the paint towards one corner and use  scissors to snip off a small corner.

 7. Let your child gently squeeze the bag as they paint onto some cardboard. They can be as creative as they want!

 8. Carefully place in a microwave and cook on HIGH for 10 seconds. Check to see the paint is puffing and continue to cook on high at 10-second intervals until the paint is dry and puffy.

Making Playdough

imagesThere are many benefits in using playdough with children:

Building muscles in their fingers and hands which is a pre writing skill

Creativity of creating what is in their mind and recall memory

Sensory of different textures

Socially learning how to share turn take and use it with other children

See below for our recipe so you can enjoy playdough at home with your child

Playdough Recipe

3 cups flour

1 ½ cups salt

2tlb spoons oil

2 cups water


Mix flour, salt and oil together. Add colour to water then slowly add to flour mixture to create a nice consistency.