Frugal Fun Friday – Oats, Oats and more Oats!

In this weeks episode of Frugal Fun Friday: oats!

Thanks Mairianne! 🙂

Kids Expo 2016


On Saturday 19th March Fiona, Issy and Jen attended the Kids Expo 2016 at the Leisure Centre in Inverness. We erected the CALA banners and set up our tables with CALA leaflets (for Childminders and Volunteers). We were there to promote the benefits of being a member of CALA and to inform the public about parent & toddler groups in our area and why it is important for adults and babies/children to attend these.

Treasure baskets were set out for children to play with and we had made bright coloured playdough for the children to take away along with recipes for the adults. We had a pool with shredded paper on the floor and a blanket set out with books and puppets. One little boy had fun running around making the sounds of the puppets!

There was a steady stream of people attending the event throughout the day. A few people signed up to the CALA blog and we answered questions e.g. about Dads groups, CALA membership, treasure baskets.

Throughout the day it was good to see some faces from the various groups we support.


– Jennifer Morrison PTGF

Lochinver Preschool says “thank you” to the Culag Woods

lochinver-featured-imageOur local preschool spends one day a week, all year round, out in the woods with Fiona Saywell. Only high winds stop our adventures from taking place. The children and adults gain so much from the wonderful, woodland environment and each year we like to say “thank you”.

After a visit earlier this year to Little Assynt tree nursery the children selected trees (kindly donated) to bring back for planting. These trees have now been planted enthusiastically by the children and observed by our local Community Councillor Dr. Slater.

This year we are embarking on a learning journey towards “green flag” status with Eco Schools project. This involves being aware of sustainability on a global scale. The children have a new eco code which they thought up themselves and from which we could all learn a lesson! Feel like singing along? The lines are sung to the tune of “Hot Cross Buns”!

Save the world,

Save the world!

Help the animals,

Plant more trees and

Save the world.

Don’t drop litter,

Turn off electric,

Walk if you can.

Recycle everything and

Save the word!

– Jane and Amy, Lochinver Preschool

Last Chance to Register for Strathpeffer Play into Practice (PLiP)

There are still a few places available for Play into Practice in Strathpeffer. If you are interested in attending, make sure you get your completed booking form in by the 28th of April (Thursday).

What: Play into Practice (PLiP) is for inexperienced practitioners or experienced practitioners looking to refresh their skills and knowledge in the value of play and learning.

Where: Strathpeffer Community Centre.

When: Starts on the 4th of May, 2016.

Click here to download more information and a booking form.

Frugal Fun Friday – Spring Flowers

It’s time for another Frugal Fun Friday! Mairianne says: “This week we have simple spring flowers for printing fun!

Thanks Mairianne! See you next week 🙂

A tale of princesses, butterflies and banana splits

Julia from Drakies Out of School Club has been in touch to share with us a story one of the children has written. Julia says:

“Phobella has been putting her creative writing into practice and has made a small story about our staff in Drakies OOSC. Hope you all enjoy Phobella’s story and her drawings. Looks like we may have a future author 🙂 ”


“Once upon a time there lived two princesses. One was called Tracy and the other one was called Nicola. Tracey was very pretty, and so was Nicola. Tracy had a pink bed and Nicola had an orange bed. For breakfast they had pancakes and banana and toppings on their pancakes. One day Tracey went for a walk. She saw a butterfly – it was pink and green. Nicola went for a walk – she saw a butterfly as well. It was orange and blue. After their long journey they got tired so they went home and got their pyjamas on and brushed their teeth and went to bed. The next morning they had banana splits with topping on top and they lived happily ever after.”

Thanks for sharing Julia! It looks like you might have a budding JK Rowling on your hands there 🙂

Highland Play Strategy 2016 – 2020


Did you know that in the eyes of the United Nations, every child should have the opportunity for play and recreation? The Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 31, states:

“Children have the right to relax and play, and to join in a wide range of cultural, artistic and other recreational activities”

There are many many benefits of play, including exercise, building friendships, teamwork and improving social skills.

Given the importance of play for a child’s development, how do we ensure Highland’s children are given the opportunity to engage in regular and worthwhile recreational activities?

With these questions in mind, For Highland’s Children have published “Highland Play Strategy 2016 – 2020”. The aim of the Highland Play Strategy is to “make Highland the best place to grow up” and this report contains a four step strategy to help make this happen.

The PDF report can be downloaded by clicking here.

Children and staff at Cromarty Childcare Centre try their hand at some first aid

Cromarty Childcare Centre recently received a visit from Ronald Young, a community first responder, who instructed the children and adults on basic first aid. Topics covered included CPR, how to stop bleeding, and how to apply a bandage.

Fiona from the centre has written a report on their experiences. You can download it by clicking here. It sounds as though the children had fun and learnt some very useful information. Thanks for sharing, Fiona!

Drakies Summer Holidays Out of School Club

Drakies Out of School Club are now taking bookings for their Summer Holidays OOSC. Here are Tracy and Nicola from the centre to explain more:

“Summer holidays are fast approaching, we would like to share our Drakies Summer Holiday planner and booking form with you.

There are limited spaces and they will be on a first come first served basis. The children over Easter holidays have helped choose what activities we should have. This is just a taster as we will have lots more fun activities planned nearer the time, and of course changes will be made in conjunction with the children’s choices.

Please come and visit us and collect registration and booking forms, we are open from 2.30-6pm Mon – Fri.

For further details please email [email protected] or [email protected] or telephone Drakies OOSC 07876542621. Cost over summer is full day £24 or half session 8-1 or 1-6 £14, all to be paid in advance and non refundable.

Mid morning and mid afternoon snack will be provided, you just need to provide a packed lunch and a spare set of clothes, especially if we are having sun shine ? wet ‘n’ wild play is very popular ?

We look forward to seeing you all in the Summer holidays!”

Download booking form

Wimberley Estate Childcare Centre Renovations

Jayne at Wimberley Estate Childcare Centre has been in touch to let us know about the fantastic progress they’re making in renovating their childcare centre. The changes include a brighter, fresher reception area, more floor space, and the addition of a fantastic outdoor classroom.

It’s been six weeks of hard work, but from the photos it looks like time well spent! Have a look at the PowerPoint presentation Jayne has prepared to see the difference the renovations have made.

Third Sector Children and Families Service Providers Network and Information Workshops

We are pleased to announce an upcoming free workshop, intended for community groups, charities and social enterprises. The purpose of the workshops is to “raise awareness of the For Highlands Children 4 outcomes, identify current local activity, network and identifying key actions that could support the groups attending to work closer together or strengthen existing activity.”

If you are interested in attending this workshop, more information can be found by downloading this PDF.

Family Matters: Opportunities and Challenges in the 21st Century


Families come in all shapes and sizes. Divorce, remarriage, stepfamilies, long working hours, geographical mobility, technology, and a host of other variables, has meant ideas of what the ‘traditional family’ looks like have had to change.

As little as a half-century ago, children were typically raised in homes with two biological parents, mum probably didn’t go out to work and chances were there was the support of extended family members nearby to ensure consistency in the care and nurture of the children.

Fast forward to the second decade of the 21st Century and we find that society and the new ‘normal’ for families is evolving rapidly in ways which may leave parents isolated, under pressure, feeling guilty and stressed! Or is all this change a good thing; packed with opportunities to give our children a much better future?

At our annual Conference this year, we’ll take time to look at some of these issues, the impact these may have on children and consider how we can work together to support families to be the very best they can be, improving better outcomes for all.


To celebrate the forthcoming CALA conference, our friend Blake drew us a picture! It features a family of trampoline enthusiasts and their assortment of pets. Thanks Blake!

Please make sure you save the date: 30/09/2016 at Greyfriars Free Church, Balloan Road, Inverness.