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Side Jobs for Early Childhood Teachers

side jobs early childhood



Though rewarding, working as a early childhood educator doesn’t always pay a lot.   Many early childhood teachers find side jobs for extra money.  Here are some common side jobs for early childhood teachers.


Child-Related Side Jobs:
  • Babysit or Nanny: Make some extra money babysitting family members or neighbors. They’ll appreciate your knowledge in early childhood education.  Find jobs at https://www.sittercity.com/babysitting-jobs
  • Tutor: Find local children who need tutoring in a specific subject. Find jobs at https://tutors.com/
  • VIPKid: Teach English online to children in China.  You teach one-on-one  with no lesson planning. Their platform allows you to focus on what you love – teaching kids. Get more information at https://www.vipkidteachers.com/
  • TeachersPayTeachers: If you are creative and enjoy creating educational materials, open up a Teachers Pay Teachers store and sell your created resources.  Get more information at https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/
  • Discovery Toys: Inspire children everywhere to learn and grow through PLAY as an independent sales consultant.  Sign up at http://www.discoverytoys.net/
  • Usborne Books: Usborne Books & More distributes books through thousands of independent consultants who sell directly to the consumer via home shows, direct sales, book fairs, and web sites.  Become an independent consultant at https://www.myubam.com/
Other Side Jobs:

(choose your own hours and when you work)

Also, check stores that you like shopping at – work for them and get discounts on products.


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Preschool Soup Theme

preschool soup theme

January is National Soup Month, so it is a great month to incorporate a preschool soup theme.


Here are some preschool soup activities to try:


  • Create a graph – What Soup Do You Like Best?  Write children’s names under the names of two soups.  Count how many children prefer each soup.  Talk about which soup has a bigger number or lesser number of likes.


  • Alphabet Soup Letter Hunt – Put a variety of letters in a pot.  Using a soup spoon or tongs, ask children to find certain letters.  For older children, have them find the first letter of a word (ie.  Find me the first letter of the word “milk”)

Photo Source: thrivinghomeblog.com/


  • Water Play Soup – In a water table, add plastic vegetables, soup spoons, bowls, colanders, ladles and let children use their imagination.

Photo Source: protectingyourpennies.com


  • Make vegetable prints on a black construction paper cauldron.  Provide pieces of vegetables and various colors of paints.  Allow children to dip the vegetables into the paint then make prints on the cauldron.


  • Make Vegetable Soup.  Assign each child to bring in a specific vegetable (carrots, onions, potatoes, celery, tomotaoes, etc.)  Depending on the age of the children, allow them to safetly chop and prepare the vegetables.  Or have each child hand you their vegetables one at a time and talk about each vegetable as you cut it in front the children.  Once vegetables are cut up, place a large pot with chicken broth in the middle of the table.  Allow each child to put their vegetables in and stir it up.  Add some spices, cook, and enjoy!

Photo Source: littlesproutslearning.co


  • Vegetable Soup Song (Sung to the tune of “Farmer in the Dell”)

The soup is boiling up
The soup is boiling up
Stir slow-around we go
The soup is boiling up.


First we add the broth
First we add the broth
Stir slow-around we go
The soup is boiling up.


Now we add some carrots
Now we add some carrots
Stir slow-around we go
The soup is boiling up.


Continue with whichever vegetables you children want.

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National Button Day Activities for Children

button activities

There are a lot of things that you can do with buttons (besides wear them!).  Children can use buttons for sorting, patterning, fine motor activities, art, and much more.


Here are some button activities for National Button Day on November 16:


  • Put buttons in the sensory table.
  • Put buttons in the sand table and use colanders, sand sifters, or slotted spoons (with thin slots) to scoop out the buttons.
  • Make button rubbings.  Place puzzle pieces under a sheet of paper. Using the side of a crayon, rub the buttons.
  • Who’s Wearing Buttons? Ask children to look at their clothes and see if they have any buttons.  Have the children count the number of buttons that they are wearing.  Make a graph of how many buttons each child is wearing.
  • Make a picture frame and have children glue buttons on it.  Put children’s pictures in their frame for a parent gift.

Other Ideas:

button activities     button activities


button activities     

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About National Button Day:

(from NationalDayCalendar.com)


National Button Day is observed annually on November 16. Founded in 1938, the National Button Society recognized button collecting as an organized hobby. Both novice and advanced button collectors celebrate the enjoyment collecting on this day.


Do you remember your grandmother or your mother snipping the buttons off shirts that were headed for the rag basket and then collecting them in jars? Maybe you even played games or strung them for ornaments and crafts.  The buttons were fun to stack into piles, sort by color or size, or scatter/slide across the floor or table making up different games each time.


Crafters across the country utilize buttons in creative ways and are some of the best at finding new uses for old items. There are thousands of button collectors in the United States.



Use #NationalButtonDay to post on social media.

6 Ways to Teach Respect to Preschool Children

respect preschool


It is hard to remember that children aren’t born with a built-in sense of respect for others.  Children need to be taught to be respectful.  Modeling respect is one of the easiest ways to teach children to be respectful.  However, here are some quick and easy ideas of how to teach respect to young children.

So, what exactly is the definition of respect?

  • Respect is thinking and acting in a positive way about yourself or others.
  • Respect is thinking and acting in a way that shows others you care about their feelings and their well-being.

(Source: https://talkingtreebooks.com/definition/what-is-respect.html)


#1  Discuss what respect means.  Before you approach the subject, have a little fun and play Aretha Franklin’s song “Respect”.  Put up chart paper or use a Dry Erase board, and ask the children to create a “Recipe” for Respect.  List the “ingredients” of respect.  Tell children that respect means “acting nice and talking nice.”  Give the following examples and ask children if that examples shows respect or not:

  • The teacher asks Sam to clean up his toys and he yells, “I don’t want to!” (No)
  • Sally holds the door open for her friend when going out to the playground. (Yes)
  • Jaden keeps interrupting his teacher as she is talking to the other children.  (No)
  • Ellie shared her baby doll with her friend Makayla. (Yes)
  • Jordan throws his garbage on the ground.  (No)
  • Jack looks his mom in the eye when she says good-bye for the day.  (Yes)


#2 Make a Respect Paper Chain.  Prepare strips of brightly colored paper.  Ask each child name a way to show respect to each other at school.  Write their answers on the strips of paper, then create a paper chain to hang in the room.


#3 Create Respect/Disrepect Baskets.  Pick out two baskets. Make one of the baskets bright and pretty (this will be your respect basket) and make the other basket old and dingy (this will be your disrespect basket). Fill your disrespect basket with items you have collected around the room that are lacking in respect: torn books, a broken toy, a stuffed animal with a missing button, or a dirty cup. Tell children that the items in your “disrespect basket” want to be moved to the “respect basket” that you need their help. Invite them to figure out with you why the object landed in the disrespect basket in the first place and then what can be done to help the item move over to the happy and very pretty respect basket!  (Thanks, familyeducation®)


#4 Mother [Teacher Name], May I?  Line up the children facing you, about 10 feet away. Give commands to one child at a time: “Sarah, take one hop forward.” If Sarah responds, “Mother [Miss Tina], may I?” you can say either “Yes, you may” or “No, you may not.” If your reply is “yes,” make sure that Sarah says “Thank you” before she goes. Anyone who forgets her manners or makes a move without permission is sent back to the starting line. Keep playing until one child reaches Mother [Teacher Name].  Give each kid a chance to be “Mother”.


#5 Simon Says.  Use a changed version of  Simon Says” to talk to children about how to say “please” and “thank you.” Instead of using the words “Simon says” as the first words, use the word “Please” as the first word; meaning, children should only follow you if you first say “please.” Those who follow your action without your saying “please” are out of the game. Thank the children after each action.


#6 Respect/Disrespect Sorting.  Cut out and Laminate the pictures below and have children sort them by Respectful and Disrepectul behavior.

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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<<


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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)

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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.

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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:



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