Happy Spring Holidays! We hope your family have a wonderful rest this Spring Holiday and enjoy time together.
At Zein, we love the outdoors. Every day we enjoy going outside to play in our natural gardens with age-appropriate and themed areas to encourage imaginative play. So why not take to the great outdoors this weekend. Here are some fun activity ideas you can enjoy as a family:
- Go into your garden or to a local park and try to spot at least three signs that spring is here! Take photos, draw them or chat about what you have seen.
- Try our Family Nature Trail for a bit of outdoor fun in the sun!
- For budding photographers, try our photography challenge and ensure all photos are taken outside. Compare your photos when you get home and create a photo exhibition.
- Create a Spring treasure hunt in your garden and hide treasures for the kids - and adults - to find. Compete to see how many you can find, but here's the twist: whoever finds the most gets to share them with everybody else.
- Outdoor movie screening! The cinema may be closed, but you can create an outdoor cinema in your garden. Set up a screen with comfy seats and cosy blankets, make some healthy snacks together and then you can enjoy your family's favourite film!
We are excited to enjoy the sun this weekend and can't wait to hear about your adventures when you return to Zein!
As Zein prepared to welcome children back to day care and pre-school after the closure period, Zein’s natural play gardens were transformed into snow-filled wonderlands – with some children even seeing snow for the first time!
After a stressful year for many, seeing the delight and wonder on children’s faces as they played in the snow was so magical. We wrapped up in our warmest winter clothing to enjoy making snow people, snow angles and even throwing a snowball or two in the wonderland! Zein's locations look beautiful throughout the year, however with a sprinkle of snow, blue skies and laughing children the picture was idyllic.
Snow brings opportunities for discovery, adventure and stimulating imagination. Zein's teachers made the most of the opportunity to stimulate their play, learning and physical development by integrating snowy-sensory play into learning experiences. It's also no surprise that the cuddly polar bear was the most popular toy last week during indoor play time!
Whilst snowy days don't come around too often in The Hague, our children get to enjoy outdoor play in our beautiful and spacious natural gardens throughout the year.
We were delighted to welcome children back to Zein again at the beginning of the week. It was lovely to see the rooms and playgrounds filled with smiling faces, and our teachers have enjoyed supporting the children in their reintegration to Day Care & Pre-School.
As we welcomed the little ones back, we prioritised a smooth transition for all by focussing on the social and emotional wellbeing of children. This involved supporting parents and children alike by communicating positive habits for drop-off, recognising and accommodating changes to children's routines and offering additional support to children throughout the day.
We were happy to hear that the children enjoyed the Zein at Home videos and activities during the closure period. These were created to support children's learning and to help them stay connected to their teachers whilst at home.
At The Willows, children and staff enjoyed 'Show and Tell' activities. Children could bring in a book they read or a fun craft they made with their parents or siblings at home, that they wished to share with their friends. In the group, they were able to 'Show and Tell' us all about it and how much fun it was! We also enjoyed seeing some cuddly new comforters that the children chose to bring in for naptime. As we move into the second and third week of being open, we will focus increasingly on Zein's award-winning programme.
In January Pre-schoolers children learned all about Travel and Transport in their Zein at Home Activity Guides. Throughout February and March, we will learn about each continent, discovering that children can come from many different places and that our Earth is big and beautiful. Day Care focused on welcoming the New Year in January. Now, we look forward to continuing our programme for February, The World Around Me, as we discuss our family, friends, community and environment. The theme for March is What makes me Special? We will learn about body parts, what happens inside the body, the five senses and how to stay healthy!
With travel restrictions still in place, we still aren't able to see many of our loved ones. Try getting creative with activities that will prompt discussion about family and help them remember fun times they have spent with family!
- Create a frame using cardboard and craft materials for your child's favourite photo of family or friends. Once completed and dry, hang it up in your bedroom
- Write a letter to a loved one who you haven't seen in a long time. Tell them what you have been doing in lockdown and what you are excited to do with them when you see them again! If your child can't write yet, talk about it, write it for them and post the letter together.
- Create a collage to remember fun times with loved ones. Print photos of friends and family, cut out the images and stick them to a big sheet of paper before decorating it with your child's favourite colours and words associated with friends. Don't forget to hang it where your child can see it!
- Landmark Craft If your family lives abroad, help your child connect with that place by selecting a local landmark Build that landmark out of recycled cardboard together and send a photo of it to the family who live there!
- Create a dance to a song you love and record your performance - with costumes! Send to a family member to brighten up their day or perform it on a video call!
- Video call a yogi friend and ask them to host a yoga session for the kids! Family fun and exercise all rolled into one!
- Play Pictionary online with a family member. Write down drawing prompts before an online call and ask your child to draw pictures of the prompts in front of the camera whilst the family member on your call guesses!
- Write a bedtime story together with your child and record a video of them telling the story. Send to a friend or family member with children who can play it to them before bed. You may even get a new bedtime story in return!
We hope that these activities help your child to connect with family, even if they are far away! Be sure to check our Facebook page for healthy recipes and more activity ideas to supplement the weekly activity guides you receive throughout the temporary closure period.
Children at Zein remind us of the small, happy and hopeful things in life that make us smile with their New Year's wishes for 2021.
With the end of the year approaching, we recently asked some of the children at Zein to share their New Year’s wishes. We had great fun thinking about all of the hopes we have for ourselves, our family, and friends.
Across all Zein’s services, Day Care, Pre-School, Out of School Care and Holiday Camps, we integrate real-world context into the programme using themes. Topics such as travel and transport, celebrations across the world, seasons and the human body are integrated into a play-way learning curriculum that focusses on building language, gross and fine motor skills as well as socio-emotional development.
Speaking to the children about their hopes for 2021 not only encourages them to look forward to 2021 with optimism and hope but also supports the development of socio-emotional skills. During the exercise, children think about and communicate their hopes verbally, they express their thoughts and emotions, listen to others’ hopes and know that when their turn comes to speak, they will be heard.
‘I wish everyone a great, happy holiday!’ Piyumi, 8. After School Care.
‘I wish for lots of water.’ The teachers asked why do you need so much water? ‘Because I am a goldfish!’ Nikolai, 3. Day Care.
' I wish to have a balloon filled with water, so I can water my flowers in our garden.' Morade, 6. After School Care.
' I wish to play a lot with my Dad. ' Cara, 3. Pre-School
At Zein, we pride ourselves on our ability to offer a safe, happy environment for the children in our care. This is reflected in the positivity of the children’s wishes - even after a difficult year. Their optimism is inspiring and shows that all of us – even us adults - can find joy in the smallest of things.
At Zein, we offer a safe, homely environment for our community. When children feel a sense of security and belonging they thrive; creating this environment is especially important when the world around them reflects a sense of anxiety.
As Zein continues welcoming children into our locations, we would like to reinforce that the safeguarding and wellbeing of children in our care is our priority. We pride ourselves on our ability to provide a stable environment where children feel, as always, at home away from home. Our teachers and staff are working within clear health and safety guidelines which safeguard the health and hygiene of the entire Zein community. To view Zein’s Health & Safety policy, please click this link.
We thank you for your continued participation and contribution as parents to guarantee Zein remains a safe space for all.
Meet the candidates of our International Talent Programme! We just had our intake group meeting ateh The Estate after which the in-house training commences.
Alongside the Dutch ‘EVC’ process, the candidates – or trainees – will receive extensive training at one of our locations around The Hague under the guidance of experienced Zein professionals. In total, the programme will take around 2-4 months, depending on ones previous experience and expertise. During the additional ten Zein Academy Training sessions attended by all new employees, all aspects of international child care and the Zein approach to working with international families are being covered.
Good luck to you all and have fun while learning about how Zein sets the standard in international childcare every single day!
A parents’ information evening to provide practical tips on how to support a smooth and happy start to school. This will include advice on how to help your child to achieve toileting independence, and other behavioural milestones.
Tuesday 14 May, 18:45 – 20:30, British School in the Netherlands (BSN)
Junior School Diamanthorst, Saffierhorst 117, 2592 GK, The Hague
When your child is reaching a pre-school age and will start school within the next year, there is so much for you and them to look forward to. However, for many parents, this momentous step in their child’s learning journey also comes with a sense of uncertainty on how to ensure their child is fully prepared for their transition to ‘Big School’.
To support families of young children during this exciting time, the Early Years teams of The British School in The Netherlands and Zein International Childcare have teamed up to share successful approaches and helpful tips that will make the toilet training process as smooth and as hassle-free as possible. We invite you to join us on Tuesday 14 May at Junior School Diamanthorst (JSD) to hear about different strategies in supporting your child to be school-ready.
Programme of the evening
18:45-19:15 Opportunity to visit JSD Foundation Stage classrooms and meet BSN staff
19:20 – 20:00 Presentation by BSN & Zein's Early Years staff
20:00 – 20:30 Q&A for Zein, teachers, nurse and BSN Admissions Team
Confirming your attendance. This information evening is open to all Zein Day Care and Pre-School families – regardless of school choice – and to other families who are currently considering Early-Year options for their child. To support the planning of this event, we kindly ask all parents to confirm their attendance by Friday 3 May by clicking the link to REGISTER.
“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so that I may climb thy golden stair!” The Pre-Schoolers at The Estate and the Maples talked about the fairy tale ‘Rapunzel’ last week. Each week, the activities are carefully selected so that it is adequately linked to the monthly theme, which in this case is ‘Fairy Tales From All Over The World'.
Highlights of this week were the Rapunzel role play and our baking day, where the children could braid Rapunzel’s hair with dough and bake it afterwards. Yum! And The Maples Pre-Schoolers dressed up as princesses and princes during the fairy tale theme. Also, they built castles with blocks, decorated Cinderella’s shoe with jewels and glitter, role played the fairy tales and enjoyed lots of cosy moments hearing magical stories from far away castles…
It was all about Father’s Day at our Maples Pre-School. What father would not want a colorfully decorated tie with a loving poem? Our Pre-Schoolers were very proud and did not want to take the tie off at the end of the day :-)
Working on Father's Day present and monthly theme
But not only did they talk about their love for Dad, they also continued with the monthly transport theme. This week the children learned about the fascinating world of submarines. By experimenting with self-made submarines in the water, we quickly figured out what makes them sink or float. What a wonderful week we've had!