Friday 12th June

Hello again everyone!

How are you?

This week, in school, I looked in the cupboard that stores all the boxes of toys for Little John’s and I felt a pang of disappointment that we can’t all meet up again at the moment.  I also had a look inside the boxes and decided I need to have a good tidy up!  Some people have been telling me how much their children are missing coming, so I thought I’d share this idea I saw on Instagram of a play idea.

You just need an empty egg box and some pens or paints … paint each part of the egg box a different colour, then go out into the garden, or out for a walk or even have a wander around the house and see what you can find to match each colour.

 

 

If you do have a go, please take a photo and send it to me, I’d love to see them!

As ever, please feel free to contact me at any time on 07962 240 767 or email me jsmith@stjohnssevenoaks.co.uk I will always be delighted to hear from you.

Speak soon! Love Jane xx

Friday 5th June

Hi everyone!

How are you all?  I have been in the playground twice this week and it has been so lovely to see some of you.  On Tuesday morning it took nearly 45 minutes for everyone to come into the playground and queue up to have their temperature taken before going into their new pods, and I was so impressed today that everyone was inside after only just 20 minutes!

I wonder what it would be helpful for me to talk about on here?  Something I learned this week is just how nice it was to see some of the staff at St John’s and also some of the lovely families again.  I knew how much I was missing seeing my family, but the reality is, I have really missed meeting with and talking to all of you too!

5 things have been recommended to help boost our mental health and connecting with people is just one of them.  The other 4 are: exercise, and this includes just getting out of the house for a walk, eating well, getting enough sleep and keeping to some sort of routine.  All these things help boost our immune systems too!

I do hope to see all of you soon, but as ever, please feel free to contact me at any time on 07376 216 078 or email me jsmith@stjohnssevenoaks.co.uk

Speak soon!  Love Jane xx

Friday 15th May

I can’t believe it, my blog from last week isn’t here?  I managed not to post both my blogs last week … oh well today is another day!

I wonder how you all are?  I have spoken to some families this week who have a child who is struggling at the moment.  The novelty has well and truly worn off, and they are missing their friends and their normal lives.  I think we are all feeling a bit like this from time to time!  There are lots of great resources out there to help us with our mental health, and here is one in particular to help primary school children understand and promote children’s mental health and wellbeing, so do have a look:

https://www.mentallyhealthyschools.org.uk/

and remember you are always welcome to give me a call on 07376 216 078 or email me on jsmith@stjohnssevenoaks.co.uk and I’ll always be delighted to hear from you!

Speak soon, love Jane xx

Monday 4th May

Hello everyone!  Here we are back again on a Monday … a week which saw much of the same only more rain, and a sad farewell to lovely Mrs Canniford.  I hope you have all had time to watch our farewell video, it was quite a tear jerker!

I have had some lovely conversations with parents this last week.  You’re all doing an amazing job of keeping your children entertained, filled up with snacks and engaging in school work.  I do hope you’re proud of yourselves!  It got me thinking about how we talk about ourselves in front of our children.  Parents often tell me how they want their children to be confident and to have good self-esteem, and this got me thinking about the importance of modelling that.  How often do you praise yourself in front of your children?  It sounds a bit of a tricky concept, almost laughable, but it is ok to eat your evening meal and say “that was really nice!” or, for example, congratulating yourself on some colouring-in “Oh, I’m pleased with that!”.  It’s also good to model looking after yourself, such as “I need to have an early night tonight, I’m tired”.  Give it a go this week!  You may find it awkward at first, so you may need to practice it, but it does get easier I promise!  As ever, do let me know how you get on!

I do hope you are all ok and (as above) looking after yourselves!  Please remember you can contact me anytime by email jsmith@stjohnssevenoaks.co.uk or on my mobile, and I’ll always be happy to hear from you!  Have a good week and enjoy an extra day this weekend, hopefully in the sunshine!  Love Jane xx

Monday 27th April

Hello again everyone!  The funny thing is, this odd life we’re living at the moment is starting to feel quite normal to me already.  I have come up with a new routine, and I do hope you have too … even for those of us that don’t like a strict routine, having some structure every day can really help us to feel grounded and calm.  I do hope you are ok.

I have spoken to several families now, and it’s been wonderful to touch base.  I wanted to talk briefly with my ‘play therapy hat’ on, as several families I have spoken to seemed to be feeling a little guilty about their children playing so much, and I wanted to reiterate just how important play is!  Play allows children to process all that’s going on in their lives.  Through play, children not only learn how to express their creativity, but how to problem solve and practice all the skills they’ll need as they grow up!

If you can, find 20 minutes to sit and watch your children whilst they are playing, and try not to ask questions and take over.  This is hard and it’s going to take some practice!  Rather than question and suggest things for them to do, try just commentating on what you can see.  For example, if they’re playing with a farm say “the cow is on top of the tractor”, rather than “why have you put the cow on top of the tractor?  The cow should be in the field!”  Just try it!  It’s a play therapy technique and it shows the child that you are both interested in them and their ideas.  It takes some practice but it’s so valuable.  Let me know how you get on!

Remember, as always, you can always contact me on 07376 216 078 I’ll be delighted to hear from you!

Have a good week and I’ll be back next Monday come rain or shine (hopefully shine!)

love Jane

Monday 20th April

Hello everyone!  I do hope you are ok and managing this new way of life … it’s all a bit strange isn’t it?  Although I am surprised to see how quickly it has become the new normal!  I have been ringing around families to see how they are, so don’t be too shocked if I call you!  Also, please know you can call me any time.  Here’s my number again 07376 216 078

Some parents have been telling me their toddlers are missing Little John’s which is normally on every Tuesday afternoon 2-3.15, so maybe you could have your own Little John’s sessions this week at home!  If you’re feeling brave, you could even try getting something messy out …. any dried foods you have at home, or out of date herbs and spices give hours of fun stirring and mixing together.

My fool proof play dough recipe is as follows:

1 x cup of flour

1/2 a cup of salt

1 x tablespoon of oil (any you have will do, vegetable, sunflower, olive …)

1 x tablespoon of cream of tartar (in the baking section of most Sevenoak’s supermarkets

1 x spoonful of food colouring

Stir this all together and then add:

1 x cup of boiling water

Stir together and voila!

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me, I’m always delighted to hear from any of you, and any suggestions for parenting issues you’d like me to write about will also be very welcome.  Speak soon love Jane

 

 

Monday 30th March

Morning everyone!  I don’t know about you, but in some ways I found the weekend a bit harder than last week (mind you, I’m not trying to be a primary school teacher like you suddenly are!).  I didn’t know what to do with myself, and aimlessly wandered around the house.  This got me thinking about Routines, and how during the week last week, I had fallen into a new routine.  I have always felt that this is one of the reasons children like coming to school; they know where they are, as having structure to the day can help us all feel more secure.  It doesn’t have to be a rigid routine with every half hour planned (although it can be if you like that), but even a few markers during the day can help.  If you didn’t try that last week, try it this week!  You can even do it with the children, and help them become involved in planning their days.  Please let me know how you get on!

 

I also wanted to encourage you all to have conversations with your children about coronavirus.  Not talking about something can sometimes make children worry more!  Remember, you don’t need to have all the facts and answers, but you can reassure them as we know that most people who get the virus make complete recoveries, and some have it so mildly they don’t even know they’ve got it.  There are lots of excellent resources out there to help you, for example this short video put together by playmobil.  Https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DIOGKpMNs4 

The NSPCC have also got some excellent information on talking to a child who is anxious about Coronavirus.

As ever, please feel free to call or email me with any concerns, I’ll always be happy to hear from you!  Have a good week and speak soon (albeit virtually!) love Jane

Hello!

Hi everyone, I do hope you’re doing ok in these somewhat bizarre times … I just wanted to let you know I’m still here … just rather than wishing you all a good morning as you bring your children to school, I’m a on the end of a phone or email!  Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any queries or just for a chat, I’d be delighted to hear from you!  If you’ve got any ideas of topics you’d like me to talk about here, then please send them over …

No doubt you’ve all found lots of excellent resources to help keep your children occupied during the day.  In one quick search yesterday I found Harry Judd offering to teach you to drum (all you need is a couple of wooden spoons apparently) and Mylene Klass offering music lessons to all.  I’ve even managed to get my parents in their 80s to join in with Joe Wicks who is clearly going for world domination and quite rightly so!  I want to remind you all to look after yourselves too … save those activities that always keep your children entertained for when YOU need some time to yourself.  Remember YOU are important too, and you are your children’s greatest role model, so by looking after yourself, you’re teaching them to do the same thing too!

Anyway, speak soon and stay in touch!

 

 

Apparatus

Last week at Little John’s we were very lucky as Mrs Hollands our PE teacher joined us and got the PE apparatus out for everyone to enjoy!  Lots of the children enjoyed climbing up the long ladder and swinging on the rope.  We were also able to enjoy some of the other PE equipment.  Mrs Hollands is going to come once a short term, so we’re very grateful to her and Grace!

 

All welcome every Tuesday in term time, 2pm til 3.15!

See you in January!

We had a little Christmas party at Little John’s last week, we had Christmas themed activities and lots of treats to eat!

 

 

 

 

We wish you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas and new year, and look forward to welcoming you all again in January for more messy and friendly fun!