We have many conversations about what we use at nursery, so I thought it would be good to have a place where we can share what we use, and why we chose what we use.
So, here are our top picks!
At nursery we cook our meals with the children every day, so we have some excellent recommendations for utensils, aprons and knives.
Knives. We highly recommend these knives by Kuhn Rikon - Kinder kitchen Children's Dog Knife Set https://amzn.to/344WQUn They're designed to fit small hands, the design helps children to see what way up they should be. They're sharp enough to actually cut vegetables including carrots and potatoes, but well shaped to be safe for children's use. They're also really cute!
Grater. A standard box grater can be a liability in a kitchen when cooking with children, they are sharp and easily cut small hands. So we were delighted to find this grater from Ikea. It's easy for our older children to use and can be right or left-handed. https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/stralande-rotary-grater-white-40153190/ You can also get it from Amazon - https://amzn.to/2Y6fwPD
Chopping boards. These small boards from Ikea are ideal for the size of jobs children will do. They are light enough for children to safely move around, but sturdy enough for actual use. They also fit on top of boxes so you can store what they have prepared. https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/p/ikea-365-chopping-board-60406304/ or https://amzn.to/3he45wM (for the containers, take a look at the Ikea 365+ series boxes https://amzn.to/3iNcqrW)
Aprons. It's important to choose good aprons. In a catering kitchen like ours the apron protects the food from us, but in your home kitchen you're going to be looking for something that protects your child's clothes from the food. If your child is three and under we cannot recommend these aprons highly enough. They wash and wash and wash and wash and still look brand new. The long sleeves keep food off arms and sleeves, and the poppers and back ties ensure a close fit. This one is the Stage 4 size, but they do come smaller - https://amzn.to/3iKvYNn We also like these tabard style aprons https://amzn.to/2Y1bBDV
We love Stamptastic stampers. Everything at nursery needs to be named so it doesn't get lost, and this is just the best way! Quick and easy and doesn't wash out. If your child is the eldest in a family I'd personally recommend getting your stamp made up with your last name so your "hand me downs" work for siblings. https://stamptastic.co.uk/
When we're inside nursery we wear slippers. We do this because:
we play on the floor and it helps keep it clean
they keep our feet safe from stepping on anything and getting sore
they stop us from slipping on the floor
they help support our feet
Our favourites include:
Dotty Fish soft leather soled shoes https://amzn.to/2EnLfVD These are so lovely, they're easy to put on and take off but they stay on securely in between. There are a lot of different designs too, and they're super cute!
Clarks City Dance Toddler shoes https://amzn.to/2QhpUjx These are an excellent indoor shoe. They're also easy to put on and take off, but their sole is a bit more supportive and firm.
When it comes to 2020 cleaning and washing your hands is something we've been doing a lot of! That's why I'm so glad we chose Bio D for our cleaning products and handwash.
Even though I'm really keen on choosing products that make the smallest ecological impact, I can be sceptical when it comes to efficacy when changing from my "usual" products. However, we've tried all of the below Bio D items and I'm totally convinced.
Everything we use can be bought online, but we actually buy most of our stock from a local shop - Durham Health Food Shop. It's vital to buy from local businesses especially in this time of pandemic.
Handwash. We have used three varieties and like them all. They wash well, are not too drying even on sensitive skin, the children find the pumps easy to use. I do have a favourite "flavour" which is the Geranium, it smells like Turkish Delight! We've tried the Geranium, Lime and Aloe, and the Fragrance Free. We store the 5L containers and refill the pumps when we need to, cutting down on waste too.
Surface cleaner. This comes in a good sprayer, and a 5L container to refill from. It doesn't have a strong smell and is good at keeping things clean. https://amzn.to/34pBYqZ
Multisurface cleaner (which we use for the floors). Be warned - this stuff is super thick and a very little goes a very long way! https://amzn.to/2Ytf5zg
Windows. We have so many large windows that using something effective is really important. I love this cleaner, it's really effective and doesn't have a strong smell. We have the spray and the 5L refiller too. https://amzn.to/2FRaIHN
The only exceptions to my Bio D monopoly is what we use in the dishwasher and washing machine. I've tried a few of the eco ranges and don't have a firm favourite yet, but we're currently using Finish 0% https://amzn.to/34DuUYb in the dishwasher, and Persil non-bio in the washing machine with, you probably guessed it, Bio D Nappy Fresh when we wash nappies!
Also in this category, I must mention our cloths. We use small microfiber ones from Cheeky Wipes (see below) but we also use these ones from Ethical Superstore. They're a great selection and cover most of your bases for cleaning everything. You can get them from Ethical Superstore here or Amazon here. My absolute favourite is this one though. I've never ever used something so great for washing up before!
We're in love with Cheeky Wipes. We use three wipes from their range for different purposes.
White Premium Cotton Terry Cloth for nappy changes.
Rainbow Premium Cotton Terry Cloth for hands, faces and dry ones for single-use child-sized towels.
Microfiber washable wipes (rainbow) for wiping up small spills and messes at the table and in the kitchen.
We find they wash and wash and wash and wash and wash and wash and are still fantastic. They often have offers for things like 15% off so if you're interested then get in touch and ask us if we have a code if this one isn't working - https://go.referralcandy.com/share/K86GSKH
If you ask Jenny I've saved the best for last! We use Little Lamb one size pocked nappies.
We believe very strongly in reducing the amount of waste we make, especially if it isn't properly biodegradable. We agree with the article on The Nappy Lady website that talks about research conducted by the Environment Agency (https://www.thenappylady.co.uk/news/plastic-disposable-single-use-v-cloth-nappies.html) Reusable nappies and wipes are a good choice for reducing waste heading for landfill, and reducing the impact of manufacturing disposable nappies.
Little Lamb nappies are fantastic. They are also really lovely people to deal with.
We are a wholesaler for their wonderful products, so if you're interested you should definitely get in touch.
I imagine we'll have a follow up article about nappies, nappy choices, and reusable nappies. It'll be written by Jenny as she has such extensive knowledge of reusable nappies. In the meantime, if you'd like to know more, please do ask (she'll LOVE it!).