20th July 2009
There's a Buzz at Nursery as Babies get Busy!
This year, an exciting programme has been developed by Busy Bees called ‘Our Busy Babies.’
The programme introduces images and materials to babies, which will make visible enhancements within the environment where babies are nurtured and celebrated. ‘Our Busy Babies’ uses everyday objects coloured in high contrasting tones to encourage babies to reach and explore. Research suggests using high contrasting tones, such as black and white, are a simple but effective way of stimulating a baby’s brain. Bold, geometrical images can hold their interest and help them to focus, and areas rich in high quality displays are necessary to promote the baby’s visual and physical development.
The programme has been accredited by the Department of Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), who are currently looking to use results obtained from a case study provided by Busy Bees in Shenley, the first of our 131 nurseries to implement the programme, to use in their own publication on baby interaction.
Busy Bees Nursery in Shenley have added textured materials to create a multi-sensory and cosy feel to the babies’ room, allowing the babies to use their senses to explore and discover, encouraging their physical development. Staff have also created black and white photograph boxes, which are unique to each child.
Research suggests babies are naturally drawn towards human faces, and the photograph boxes are covered in the faces of special people in their lives, as this is believed to be crucial for emotional development and well-being.
A place to rest and relax is just as important for babies as a lively play area. An area of tranquil space for relaxation and calmness has also been created using the colours lilac and violet. Research shows these colours are the most conducive colour to soothe and aid sleep for babies and help them to relax.
Staff introducing ‘Our Busy Babies’ will receive training to enhance their already experienced skills, on how this programme will have a positive impact on the baby room at the nursery.
‘Our Busy Babies’ has been praised by Ofsted, who commented; “Improvements such as a project to enhance the baby room by providing different coloured zones and resources to aid brain stimulation and relaxation have had a positive impact on babies desire to explore and investigate.”
“They are particularly fascinated by black and white photographic imagery of themselves and their families that are made into boxes.”
Over the next year Busy Bees will be introducing the programme into a further 35 nurseries across the UK. Childcare and Curriculum Manager at Busy Bees, Lisa Snell, developed the programme and said: “At the start of the year, I recognised that since the new Early Year Foundation Stage framework was introduced, birth to three developments were being lost, which prompted me to investigate resources and development. I attended the Northamptonshire North Baby Project and found it hugely inspiring, it helped me build a vision for a new initiative and from that, I developed the ‘Our Busy Babies’ programme.
‘Our Busy Babies’ has been a huge success at Busy Bees in Shenley, and having the DCSF’s support is a great affirmation of what we have achieved. We’re looking forward to implementing ‘Our Busy Babies’ into all Busy Bees Nurseries, and developing the programme further.”