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Busy Bees recognise that babies need an environment that not only stimulates their development, but also evokes a feeling of safety and security.
The 'Busy Babies' programme has been developed by Busy Bees with babies in mind. The programme introduces babies to images and materials which will make visible enhancements within the environment where they are nurtured and celebrated. Designated 'Busy Babies' areas within the babies rooms house 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 quality displays are necessary to promote the baby’s visual and physical development. Textured materials are also added to the area to create a multi-sensory and cosy feel, allowing the babies to use their senses to explore and discover, encouraging their physical development.
Research suggests babies are naturally drawn towards human faces, so individual black and white photograph boxes have been created for each of our babies. The 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. A tranquil space for relaxation and calmness has been created using lilac and violet colours. Research shows these colours are the most conducive in soothing and aiding sleep for babies and helps them to relax.
The programme has been accredited by the Department of Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), who have used results obtained from a case study provided by Busy Bees in Shenley to use in their own publication on baby interaction.
'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."
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 our 'Busy Babies' programme. "