The washing is worth it!
Pack more changes of clothes than you expect them to get through, especially in The Nest, we didn’t worry about shoes of any sort until walking stage and even then only when necessary – so just packed extra socks.
Layers for the winter months to ensure that they warm when it’s cold. Typically we went for leggings and vest, joggers and long sleeve top, snowsuit, 2 pairs of socks (ideally one thermal) and a woolly hat that covers ears. We utilised every hand-me-down we were offered, got snowsuits etc on Ebay and invested in wellies.
Tips on snacks and sleep
They eat lots of snacks during the day so ‘normal’ lunch and dinners aren’t always eaten or at the usual portion size.
We struggled for a few weeks after moving up to Robins with broken nights and early mornings, we put this down to lots of stimulation and physical activity during the day. Another HLPS parent suggested limiting/no TV before bed so we cut that completely & now have 7pm-7am with no waking.
A caring and creative ethos to enable the children to flourish
Choosing the setting is one the best decisions we have ever made. The culture is caring and supportive and very creative. The staff truly embrace these values and they care for each child as an individual and respect their needs. The child’s own development comes first and they support that. The whole setting is centred around this idea that children grow in their own way and their own time, and they should be given the freedom to explore nature as a way to develop their individual interests but above all their emotional, cognitive and physical abilities. We love how free they are in the setting; we love that Leo has built such strong relationships with them, and we love that Leo truly thrives.
Embrace mud, paint and sand
Over the last few years I’ve really come to relish seeing our daughter come home with a bag of wet, muddy and/or sandy clothes and paint in her hair. It’s the sign of a good day of adventuring. It does mean we need to pack about 4 changes of clothes per day (and have lots and lots of spares at home) – but we wouldn’t change it for the world.
Always pack a snack
At pick up I didn’t appreciate how tired they would be. A busy day adventuring and being away from you makes for a hungry emotional son. Following the reasons why we are asked to bring packed lunches a nice familiar snack made the transition home easier.
Deep and lasting friendships
Our older children went to HLPS 6 & 8 years ago and I’m still struck by the amazingly loyal and deep friendships they made and how these connections still hold such strength for them now. Bonds that I think will last for many years to come.
Always check pockets for ‘treasure’ before washing clothes
Clothes for living your life in
Both my kids are/have been through HLPS. We don’t have best clothes/pre school clothes – just clothes worn any time! The reason is they can be free spirits and roll around in mud, swing from a tree whenever they choose. So best clothes would never be worn.
My eldest was our flower girl aged 3 she just dumped the petals in a pile at the end of the Aisle as she had her eye on a stick she wanted to play with. Then spent her time rolling down a hill during the photos prior to diving into a chocolate fountain her white dress was filthy she was as good as gold all day and a cold soak got every stain out. Happy kids Happy parents
Get a nice compartment type lunchbox – a bento box is ideal.
If you bring any snacks in for sharing, make sure you include a label with all the ingredients and allergy info.
Learning to let it go
Eating sand is actually normal and fine!
Do not be concerned about socks. Just keep sending in the spares. You will likely never see a pair of socks again but there are better things in life than paired socks!!!