724.400.5065 (Monday - Friday 10AM-4PM EST)info@theearlychildhoodacademy.com

5 Ways to Celebrate Birthdays in Child Care

5 Ways to Celebrate Birthdays in Child Care

celebrate birthdays in child care


Birthdays are special occasions for children of all ages.  As child care providers, we should make a big deal out of the child turning a new age.  Here are 5 ways to celebrate birthdays in child care, which will make the birthday child feel special.  If the child’s birthday falls on a weekend or a day when they are not at the child care center, celebrate as close to the date as possible.  If the child’s birthday is in the summer, and you don’t operate in the summer, maybe celebrate their half birthday or during the first or last week of school.  The best advice is to keep things simple.  Elaborate parties with lots of icing are only going to cause stress and frustration – not only for you but for the birthday child.


#1 Have child sit in a special ‘birthday chair’ while the other children sing “Happy Birthday.”   You can also use the chair to

  • Take turns to ask the birthday child questions about home and family.
  • Let the other children take turns giving the birthday child nice compliments.
  • Have the birthday child lead the children in a song of their choice or play a special birthday instrument.
  • Let the birthday child ‘show and tell’ one of their birthday gifts.

Photo Source: TeachPreschool.org


#2 Keep a Birthday Bucket (full of trinkets and prizes) and on a child’s birthday, let him or her pick the same number of prizes as their age (ie. if they are 4 years old, they get to pick 4 prizes).

Photo Source: http://www.thehappyteacher.co


#3 Decorate the doorway by hanging streamers in the child’s favorite color.  If the child sits in a specific seat, also tie a balloon in their favorite color to their chair.

Photo Source: missventrella.blogspot.com


#4 Bring out a Birthday Sensory Bin.  Let the birthday child (and maybe one other) play with it first.  Keep it out until everyone has had a turn.  Include in it:

  • Colored rice
  • Birthday candles
  • Number birthday candles
  • Small foil bows
  • Plastic cupcake holders
  • Small loaf pans
  • Measuring cups
  • Whisk

Photo Source: pocketofpreschool.com


#5 Conduct a Birthday Interview by asking the birthday child things about himself (favorite food, favorite color, what does he want to be when he grows up, etc.) Record answers and send home.

Here is a great free printable that we found – CLICK HERE (from www.lifewithmylittles.com)

Photo Source: lifewithmylittles.com


Need some Birthday Board Idea Inspirations? Check out ideas >>HERE<<


Amazon Picks and Resources:

The Calm Corner

calm corner

The Calm Corner, Calm Down Corner, Calming Corner, Quiet Corner – whatever you call it, this is a place for children to go when they need to calm down, relax, take a break, need a time-out or just want some quiet time.


Treat the Calm Corner as a positive place for children to go.  They are able to get in touch with their emotions and feelings, and use the items in the area to calm themselves down so that they can get back to playing and learning with others.  Be sure to teach children that emotions are feelings, and ALL feelings are ok to have.    Model and explain techniques for how to calm down, such as counting to ten and breathing deeply.


Make sure your quiet corner is out of the way of busy centers and traffic.


So, what do you include in this area?  Most important is a comfortable place for the child to sit and relax.


Try a…


Bean Bag Chair Floor Lounger or Comfy Chair or Couch


The activities in this area should allow children to relax and relieve any stress they may have. Definitely include books and coloring books, stuffed animals, and pillows. Also put in some stress relief toys, such as…


Stress Balls Stretchy Strings or Stretch Balls



Fidget toys…


Tangle Anti-Stress Rings or



Liquid Calming Toys…


Liquid Motion Bubbler

Glitter Wand or Calming Bottles



On the wall, put…


A Feelings Poster

A Mirror or a Visual of Ways to Calm Down

Get our Calm Down File Folder Activity to use in your Calm Corner

Tree Scavenger Hunt

Tree Scavenger HuntWhen talking about trees, why not do a tree scavenger hunt.  Print this page and have them find and draw the following:


  • A branch
  • A piece of bark
  • A leaf


  • A tree
  • Something that grows on a tree


  • A bark rubbing (place paper on tree bark and use side of crayon to make a rubbing

Tree Facts

Do you want to learn more about trees? Keep reading to find out the major types, what they need to grow, who their friends are in the forest, and more!



  • Roots
  • Bark
  • Trunk
  • Branches
  • Leaves
  • Seeds



  •  Water
  • Sunshine
  • Soil nutrients (food)
  • Room for their roots



  • Trees turn carbon dioxide into oxygen that helps us breathe
  •  Trees reduce air pollution and prevent erosion
  • Shelter and shade from the hot sun is provided by trees
  •  Wind and noise is blocked by trees
  • Animals and other wildlife use trees as a place to live
  • Trees look beautiful, and smell good too!


All kinds of fruit grow on trees.  Some of the most popular fruits that grow on trees are apples, oranges, bananas, peaches, pears and plums.


Many animals make their home in a tree or among the tree tops. Trees make a great shelter from weather and help protect animals from dangerous predators. Some animals that live in trees are birds, frogs, squirrels, koalas, monkeys and snakes.


Most trees are either deciduous, pronounced DEE-SID-YOU-US, or conifers. Most deciduous trees change color and lose their leaves in the fall. Conifers are also called evergreens because they keep their leaves and color all year long.


(Source: https://www.savatree.com/kids-tree-facts.html)

Amazon Picks and Resources:

24 Random Acts of Kindness for the Preschool Classroom

Getting preschoolers to do nice and kind things for others is a great way to teach the concept of kindness.  Talk to children about what it means to be kind to others.  Talk about how it feels when someone is kind to them.   Brainstorm ways to be kind to others and make a list.


Here are 24 random acts of kindness that you can enforce in your preschool  environment.

  • Tell someone in the class something that you like about them.
  • Help a friend clean up what they are playing with.
  • Open the door for your friends on the way outside.
  • Say hello to someone you haven’t talked to today.
  • Let a friend go first in a game.
  • Bring in a food item to donate to the food pantry.
  • Draw a picture for someone in a nursing home.
  • Make a card for someone in the hospital.
  • Bring in clothes that you outgrew to donate to a clothing drive.
  • Write a letter to a grandparent, aunt or uncle that you haven’t seen in a while.
  • Play with someone new today.
  • Tell someone “Thank you.”
  • Smile at someone.
  • Help your teacher clean up after snack time.
  • Let someone go ahead of you in line.
  • Throw away garbage that you see.
  • Bring in a toy that you don’t play with any more to donate to a shelter or Goodwill.
  • High five a friend.
  • Write a nice note to a friend.
  • Take a treat to the director/owner.
  • Tell someone a funny joke.
  • Give your teacher a compliment.
  • Write a thank you note to the local police station.
  • Make “Be Happy” notes and pass them out to everyone.

Download a free printable with these Random Acts of Kindness.  You can cut and laminate them into cards and have children pick a card to complete.  Click Here to get your download.

Amazon Picks and Resources:

25 Books about Polar Bears for Preschool

25 books about polar bears for preschool

Polar bears and winter animals should be included in a preschool curriculum during January and February.   We have found 25 books about polar bears for preschool children that can be incorporated into your early childhood program.


25 Books about Polar Bears for Preschool:

Ten polar bear facts from National Geographic Kids

1) Polar bears are found in the frozen wilds of the Arctic, in Canada, Alaska (US), Greenland, Russia and Norway.

2) These are seriously big bears, gang. Adult polar bears can measure over 2.5m long and weigh around 680kg. Their huge size and weight make them the largest living carnivores (meat eaters) on Earth!

3) Polar bears are well adapted to survive in one of the harshest environments on our planet. As well as their thick fur, they have a layer of fat, called blubber, that insulates (protects) their bodies from the frosty air and near-freezing water. Polar bears also have black skin under their glistening coat, which helps them soak up the Sun’s rays and keep warm.

4) These magnificent mammals have an incredible sense of smell which they use to track their favourite grub, seals*. In fact, their sense of smell is so good, they can sniff out prey from up to 16km away!

5) Despite their size and bulk, polar bears are excellent swimmers, and have been spotted in waters over 100km offshore. They can comfortably swim at around 10km/h using their slightly webbed, 30cm wide paws like paddles in the water.

6) Although good swimmers, polar bears aren’t quick enough to reliably catch seals in open water. Instead, they depend on the ice as a hunting platform. They wait near seal breathing holes or at the ice’s edge for a seal to surface. They then snatch if from the sea and…gulp!

7) Did you know that a polar bear’s fur isn’t white? It’s actually transparent with a hollow core that reflects light. This helps the bears blend in with their surroundings – a useful trick, especially when hunting wary seals!

8) Female polar bears give birth to their cubs in snow dens (in November or December), where the family is protected from the harsh Arctic environment. At birth, the cubs are only around 30cm long and weigh around half a kilogram – that’s about the same as a guinea pig!

9) The polar family emerge from the den four to five months later. The cubs will stay with their mother for about two years, during which time they learn the skills needed to survive in the Arctic.

10) Sadly, these incredible creatures are classified as “vulnerable”. The biggest threat to polar bears is climate change. Rising global temperatures means that sea ice is melting earlier and forming later each year, leaving polar bears less time to hunt for food.

Preschool Graduation Songs

preschool graduation songs

At the end of the school year, many preschool programs have a graduation ceremony.  There is a lot of excitement as the children graduate from preschool and move on to kindergarten.   Included in a ceremony, the children can sing one or several of these simple songs:


Graduation’s Here
(Tune: Row, Row, Row Your Boat)

Grad, grad, graduate!
Our day is finally here!

We learned so much the whole year through,
Graduation’s here!


I’ve Been Having Fun in Preschool
(Tune: I’ve Been Working on the Railroad)

I’ve been having fun in preschool,
Learning all year long.

I can tell you all about it,
Just listen to this song.

We’ve been learning shapes and colors,
Letters and numbers too!

I’ve learned how to share with others,
Now our year is through!


Kindergarten, Here We Come
(Tune: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)

Kindergarten, here we come.
We know we’ll have lots of fun.
Lots of things to make and do.
Reading, Writing, Counting too.
Kindergarten, here we come.
We know we’ll have lots of fun.


Off to Kindergarten
(Tune: Oscar Meyer Weiner)

Oh, I’m ready to go off to kindergarten.
That is where I truly want to be.
‘Cause when I go to kindergarten,
Everyone will be so proud of me!


(Tune: New York, New York)

Start spreading the news.
We’re leaving today.
We want to be a part of it.
We’ve worked very hard.
We’re ready to go.
We’re gonna be a part of it.
We know our ABC’s and our 1,2,3’s so well.
We’ve worked at sounding out words and stories to tell.
Just asked us to rhyme.
We’ll say hens and pens.
We’ve learned to share and get along with all our friends.
So now we made it here.
We’ll make it anywhere.
We’re on our way.


Leaving Preschool*
(Tune: Frere Jacques)

Leaving preschool, leaving preschool,
Yes we are…yes we are!
Our teachers were the greatest,
They taught us all the latest,
Things to learn, things to learn!


Graduation Day^
(Tune: When Johnny Comes March Home Again)

We are smiling great big smiles, hooray, hooray
‘Cause today is our graduation day.
We learned letters and numbers, too.
We learned about animals, in the zoo.
Oh, we’re all so glad, that you could come, today!  (Point to audience)

We are jumping up and down, hooray, hooray!  (Jump up and down)
‘Cause today is our graduation day.
We met friends and teachers, too.
We painted pictures, quite a few.
Oh, we’re all so glad, that you could come today!  (Point to audience)

We are standing up real tall, hooray, hooray!  (Stand up straight & tall)
‘Cause today is our graduation day.
We are proud of all we’ve done.
We loved preschool, we had fun.
Oh, we’re all so glad, that you could come today!  (Point to audience)

We are waving to everyone, hooray, hooray!  (wave hands)
‘Cause today is our graduation day.
“Goodbye, goodbye,” we now must say.  (Continue waving)
Kindergarten, we’re on our way!
Oh, we’re all so glad, that you could come today!    (Point to audience)

Download these songs:



Amazon Picks and Resources:

Stress Relievers for Child Care Providers

stress relievers

Working as a child care teacher is one of the most important jobs out there.  However, it can also be stressful at times.  When you are starting to become stressed, here are some stress relievers that you can do while you are in the child care environment. These tips are in addition to making sure you get plenty of sleep, eat well, exercise, and carve out time just for you.


Palm Writing: Take a deep breath and trace the word CALM on your palm several times.


Keep a Positive Paper:  Keep a piece of paper nearby, and when feeling negative and stressed, write at least one positive thing about your day (or one of your children).


Dance Party: Turn on some fun music and invite the children to dance with you.  Dance that stress away!


Color: Grab a coloring book and crayons.  Coloring is a great stress reliever.


Laugh: Find a funny YouTube video (that is also appropriate for small children).  Play it for yourself and the kids and laugh!  Try: Funny Vines Try Not To Laugh series.


Strike a pose: Do some yoga.  Have the kids join in.  Get some kid-friendly yoga poses at Childhood 101.


Resources and Amazon Picks:


Favorite November Books for Preschoolers

November books

November is filled with excitement with Election Day, Veteran’s Day, and Thanksgiving. There are plenty of opportunities to read to children, so here are some favorite November books for preschoolers:

Election Day Books:

Veteran’s Day Books:

Thanksgiving Books:

There is also the book, In November.

Description: In November, the air grows cold and the earth and all of its creatures prepare for winter. Animals seek food and shelter. And people gather together to celebrate their blessings with family and friends.

Cynthia Rylant’s lyrical language and Jill Kastner’s rich, cozy paintings capture the cherished moments of this autumn month–the moments we spend together and the ones we witness in the world around us.

Be sure to check out other our other posts:

5 Fine Motor Activities for Thanksgiving

fine motor activities for Thanksgiving

Here are five simple fine motor activities for Thanksgiving that you can do with preschoolers.

  1. Tweezer Sorting: Provide children with Thanksgiving Harvest Mix Bead Assortment, some fine motor tweezers, and a veggie tray from Dollar Tree.  Have kids use tweezers to pick up and sort the various beads into the divided tray.
  2. Turkey Lacing: Cut out a turkey shape from cardboard or thick paper.  After children decorate it, add holes around the edge for children to lace.

    Source: Kaplan Early Learning Company

  3. Colandar Turkey: We love this idea from A Dab of Glue Will Do.  Turn a colander upside down, tape on the turkey printable, and have children start decorating by placing feathers in the colander holes.play
  4. Golf Tee Turkeys: Make some brown playdough, add some googly eyes, and a playdough beak and wattle.  Let children push colored golf tees into the playdough for the feathers.

    Photo Source: icanteachmychild.com

  5. Turkey Baster Painting: Water down (a little water) some fall-colored paints. Dip a turkey baster into paint, squeezing the paint into the baster.  Then squeeze the paint onto paper to make a turkey baster painting.

    Photo Source: notimeforflashcards.com

Why is it important to help children develop their fine motor skills?

Improving children’s dexterity will help them be able to write, pick up items, hold books, and much more. Finding fun ways for children to develop their fine motor skills is an important part of your job as a caretaker or early childhood teacher. Activities such as the ones included in this article are great ways to bring fine motor practice into the classroom without letting children know that’s what they’re working on as they play and create. (Source: Kaplan Early Learning Company)

Resources and Amazon Picks:

Preschool Teacher Apps for Parent Communication

Preschool Teacher Apps

Technology can be helpful when it comes to communicating with parents.  There are many child care and preschool teacher apps that are recommended by early childhood educators to share pictures and updates with parents.  (*Note: The Early Childhood Academy is only sharing information and does not endorse or represent any of these applications).


Seesaw is a student-driven digital portfolio that inspires your students to do their best work and saves you time.  Seesaw helps you see and hear what each student knows so you can better understand their progress.  Click Here to visit the Seesaw website.



ClassDojo helps teachers build a positive classroom culture by encouraging students and communicating with parents.  Click Here to visit the ClassDojo website.




Share photos, videos, notes to parents throughout the day. Record meals, activities, naps, and more to daily reports. Prepare lesson plans up to 4 weeks in advance, and much more!

Click Here to visit the Tadpoles website.




Remind is a communication platform that helps every student succeed. Whether you’re in the classroom, at home, or anywhere in between, Remind makes it easy to stay connected to your school community.  Click Here to visit the Remind website.



Brightwheel is the only app that integrates everything you need: sign in/out, messaging, assessments, daily reports, photos, videos, calendars, online bill pay for parents, and much more.  Click Here to visit the Brightwheel website.



Bloomz makes it easy for teachers to securely share photos, classroom updates and reach parents instantly through messaging, as well as to coordinate events (like PT Conferences) and sign up for volunteers.  Click Here to visit the Bloomz website.



Complete your preschool daily reports, schedules, attendance, check-ins and meal planning in half the time. Send parents daily sheets, pictures, videos and invoices they will love.  Click Here to visit the HiMama website.