Thursday, October 29, 2015

Cookbooks in Early Childhood

Sharing a post on the Stephanie's Stuff blog about a cooking experience. But I also want to give a little frugal thought to buying educational material for early childhood ideas in your kitchen.
This was $1 at a local antique store. It's copyright is 1932. The pictures are very clear on measurements giving children a good idea at what 1 cup looks like for instance. Those little hole-in-the-wall places have such cool things just waiting for reuse.
Check out your little stores and support small business. 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Why Save Paper Towel Tubes? And Toilet?

We like Dramatic Play in my childcare environment. And when you need something to fill the time, you make something the children can take home. But first, we do a 'Test Run'. After all, it's more fun to play with friends! Right?!
So showing you how we turned a simple color page into a way to extend our theme of Fire Safety into the Dramatic Play Center. This color page is from about 16 years back so sorry no link for making a copy.
But maybe you could find a back issue on Amazon??
 Notice the $5.50 price? Unheard of today.

Here is a view of supplies needed including a color page. We printed ours on cardstock for more longevity.
  1. The color and cut stage

    2.Connect the long tubes on each end ONLY.

Masking tape works best.

For the "People", firefighters in our instance, use tape loops and attach to the smaller tubes.
 Finally, slide the fire truck in-between the longer tubes. It should be a snug fit. Trim the ends if it's a little long. And there you have it! Individual play sets for your theme to enhance Dramatic Play.
Skills Learned from Dramatic Play:
  • Learning to cooperate, to control impulses (like tearing it up by 'crashing', leads to less aggressive tendencies.
  • Eye/hand coordination, fine and gross motor skills
  • Developing literacy skills with use of new language, role-playing and problem solving
  • Learning to ask and answer questions. This introduces a larger view of the world they are living in. Some of them will relate the events of the evening news they see at home to their play. Great opportunity to 'be there' to discuss our times.
Talk with your caregiver about the importance of Dramatic Play.



Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Apple of My Eye

The poem of the week for our Apple Theme is pictured here from Pinterest.
 Sharing with you some of the "apples of My eye".
Our upcycled Apple tree before the leaves are added.
Pardon my primitive artistic ability.

I have a 'little' stash of Red Bags from last Christmas.
Perfect for the trunk and the apples.
I am my mother's daughter. I save stuff.

 Apple paper punches could be a big hit, but ours are pretty hard for little fingers.  So we improvised and turned the punches into strips.
This became cutting practice and letter recognition introduction all wrapped up in one.

Remember it's the process, not the product.
Learning rules like: keep Thumbs Up, only cut paper, start slowly & more.
Some of the strips were used for apple rubbings.
 Feeling and finding the bumps under a sheet of paper is also a texture/sensory experience.
The Sorting A/a Activity






Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Rolling The Dice

School is about to recommence for 4 of our children here in Missouri, as it is nationwide. So instead of shedding tears, we have parties. So a Back to School Party headed off with this project of Rolling the Dice. We used an old square box and covered it with wallpaper samples, wrote some question on white labels, and ended up with This.

Each roll of the dice enticed some cute, funny, and smart answers from ages 3 to 6 and I had it all recorded on my phone. Only problem is, the transfer from phone to blog has not worked due to differences in formats. I'm very bummed about this let me tell ya. But I decided to transcribe the majority of the questions and answers even though some of the drama of a room with babies crying, children getting upset over who had a turn first or sudden, joyful laughter won't be heard by you.
But I hope you'll enjoy.

Q: Who is your hero?
Ty: I don't remember. (really just didn't understand the question at first)
Ben: I don't have a hero (another non understander)
Ty: I have one! My hero is the Minions! (He is Very serious)
Lou: My Dad! (Finally, the quiet one awakens :)
Weston: Superman!
Macoy: Spiderman!
Ben: I have Spiderman! Is Batman your hero? (to me)<3

Q: Who is your best friend?
Lou: Points to me :)

Q: What is the most important rule?
Ty: Don't pinch no one's fingers. (after baby Emmi just shut her finger in a toy) Don't be mean to someone.
Lou: Don't teach little kids to do something very, very, very bad.
Weston: Don't tease people.
Macoy: Don't push people (Mom, he Is listening to you, see???)

Q: What is the best thing about being a kid?
Ben: I like counting.
Lou: I like being in fashion and having a smile on my face. (partly my fault as I'm letting her model some of my Etsy items.)
Weston: I have fun going to the Fair. (Have I mentioned our Missouri State Fair is a couple blocks away from my home? Very big deal to these children)
Ty: That's what I was going to say!!!

Q: Were there dinosaurs on Noah's Ark?
IN Unison.: NO!!!
Me: Why do you think they asked that question?
Lou: To like see if you were smart enough, Like if you really listened to the book (we read the story beforehand)

Q: What makes a good friend?
Macoy points to me :) love his face!!
Weston: I say Hudson!! (awe!)
(I reword the question)
Q: What can you do to make a good friend?
Ty: Smile at people
Weston: Play with them
Lou: Give a Valentine (she'll be the one to always remember your birthday.)

Q: What are you good at?
Lou: Standing on my head
Ty: I'm good at listening to my mom and dad and Hunter(baby brother)
Weston: Skipping fast!
Ben: I'm good at stomping fast!!
Macoy: I'm good at baseball (and he is)

Q: What is the greatest thing ever invented:
Me: Make up!!
Lou: Shelter (yep, I looked bad after that brilliant answer)
Weston: Bathrooms! (time to ask another question)

Q: Why do people get old?
Lou: Cuz they turn different ages and they grow and they have growing pains
Weston: Because they turn 40 or 21. (In my head I'm saying 50 lol)
Ty: Because you are almost the biggest one here

I hope you enjoyed our table discussion. Hoping to do this again soon!


Friday, August 7, 2015

An August Snow Event

Last winter after one of our larger snowfalls, I took a couple 2 gallon freezer bags outdoors and stuffed them full of the fluffy stuff, sealed them up and found a spot for them in my deep freeze.

Fast forward to the first week of August. You know, the time of year when everyone has exhausted all their summer ideas. We went through the bucket list and nothing sounded good for the umpteenth time. Boredom officially reared its' ugly head. After I made sure vacations were over with all the families, and we'd have all hands on deck, I pulled these bags of awesomeness out. I had several sets of watercolor paints and brushes and we proceeded to experiment with a Pinterest idea. We found out:
*you can indeed paint on snow with watercolor but it helps to first dip brush in bottom of container where there's a bit of thawed out snow. Once that technique was discovered, there was a moment of silent (yes it can happen in a room of children) artistry.
After awhile they naturally were tired of the project so we decided to finish it off outdoors in the
 80 degree heat.
(It's pretty ironic that a couple of my families had been playing in the sand in Florida the previous week and were now dipping their feet in snow)
A couple other 'snow' ideas we implemented in our theme were
"Watch Out Snowmen!" bowling
(Cat not meant to be included)
Their grand masterpieces, "Snow Paint" i.e. shaving cream paint.

Sorry peeps, these aren't for sale :)


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Stars but No Stripes

Just a few days behind on sharing our Stencil Painting project on the front driveway.
Our ages ranged from 20 months (above)

to 6 years (below)

But then there's the cat (age unknown)
She adopted us when her owner, a neighbor, passed away.
She is our silent participant in most outdoor activities. 

Hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable Independence Day!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Need For Individual Expression

Sometimes a single sandbox is not going to work. With a mixed age group that ranges from older infants thru school-agers who all want to play, there arose a need for individual space. So the tub & lid sand spaces were born.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Ancient Tools

Today we discover ancient writing tools.

Our hunt and peck method of typing was very useful for typing number lines from 1 to 39. Tired of that, there was typing capital letter and lower case letters in order A to Z. And once that idea ran its' course, there was some actual spelling of names we know. Particularly Mom, Dad, and other family members.
Time to thank my mother for her foresight in donating this tool from yesteryear.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Just Going To The Dentist

Our Theme this week was "Healthy Teeth" for the week preceding Valentine's Day. For fun I did a little Conversation Starter with the boys and I got some interesting answers.
We had a "before" and "after" session to see what we learned. Here's how it went

"Before the theme" Conversation Starter: To make sure our teeth are healthy, we visit a dentist. What happens during a check up? Do you like going to the dentist? Why?  (note: none of the children have went to the dentist before so keep this in perspective)

Macoy (age 3) I get something - Yes - Get medicine there

Ben (age 2) Night - yes - Night * I think he had a short nights' sleep before daycare that day in his defense*

Hadley (age 3) We go to the doctor - Yes - Because we have to go to the doctor *he will be a very disciplined adult I believe :)

Weston: (age 4) You can get a toy - Yes - Because you can get new teeth * so there is some hope

"AFter the theme" same Conversation Starter:

Ben: (age 2)  Sad dentist - yes - Doctor get a sucker * in the story we read on Wednesday little Ben has retained that Little Critter was a bit sad and in the end he got a sucker. After all, candy is a big deal at age 2!!

Hadley: (age 3) We be happy?  -No- Because  * It seems my 'disciplined theory' is challenged

Macoy: (age 3) Get a toy at the dentist - Yes - Get a dot on your finger * Still remembering his painful doctor's visit poor guy

Weston: (age 4) You close your eyes tight because you don't want to see a needle - Yes - You can get bubble gum * again a story memory of that darned needle. Ug! of all the story parts to remember.

In conclusion......alas, my work here is not done.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Upcycling wallpaper

You know those wallpaper sample books you can get for free at your local paint store? That is if your town/city still has one with all the large chain stores. (cough Lowe's, Home Depot, Menards, etc)
WE still have a couple here. My dad being a painter by trade during his life, this was a popular spot for us to shop. So... throw in a few decades later and you have me, painter's daughter doing childcare. And this is one of those ideas I use those sample books for.

Here's one example.

So we tear them out for this activity and use 'masking tape' (another painter's utensil) to attach them together. Thus, saving me $$$ from buying butcher block paper and also keeping my costs for families from skyrocketing due to needing more supplies. That( could be a whole other blog post)

 Now for the writing we picked out all the basic colors to keep track of them in case our little friend Hudson decided to run off with one to practice chewing :) And also, notice the print on the back is not a deterrent to the drawing going on.
In fact I used it to my advantage and created a writing prompt for Ben, age 2. Here's his little story.
Hope you enjoy our tutorial and story.