Sunderland nursery uses colour system to help stimulate children’s learning

Supervisory nursery nurse Fiona Shevells pictured with 17-month-old Tom in the black and white area.
Supervisory nursery nurse Fiona Shevells pictured with 17-month-old Tom in the black and white area.
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BABIES are learning in colour thanks to a new initiative at a Sunderland nursery.

The Busy Babies scheme has been launched at Just Learning, in Doxford Park, aimed at stimulating the brains of little ones through contrasting colours.

In the Twinkle Room, which is for the youngest children, there are now designated areas of different colours and housing everyday household objects coloured in high contrasting tones to encourage babies to reach and explore.

Lisa Snell, childcare and curriculum manager at Busy Bees, which owns the nursery, who developed the programme, 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.”

She said research suggests using high contrasting tones, such as black and white, are a simple but effective way of stimulating a baby’s brain.

“In the black and white area of the room bold, geometrical images have been added to help them focus, as well as textured materials to create a multi-sensory and cosy feel, allowing the babies to use their senses to explore and discover.

Individual black and white photograph boxes have also been created for each of the babies, covered in faces of their loved ones, which the nursery says will 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, so a tranquil space for relaxation and calmness has been created using lilac and violet colours, which research shows are the most conducive in soothing and aiding sleep for babies.

The programme, which Busy Bees is using in a lot of its nurseries, has been accredited by the Department of Children, Schools and Families and praised by Ofsted as having a positive impact on babies’ desire to explore and investigate.