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5 Creative Ways to Get Children to Clean Up

5 Creative Ways to Get Children to Clean Up in a Child Care Setting

clean up

Getting children to clean up in a preschool or child care setting can be tough. Check out these 5 creative ways to get young children to clean up.

 

Mystery Clean-Up: Before beginning clean-up time, look around the room and pick out an item that needs to be put away. Announce to the children that you have chosen a mystery item and that whoever puts it away will win a prize.  When the room is cleaned up, announce the winner.

 

Tong Challenge: Give each child a pair of tongs and challenge them to pick up toys, using the tongs, and put them away.

 

Color Call-Out: Call out a color and let the children find a toy that has that color in it to put away.  Continue until all toys are put away.

 

Clean-Up Train: Start a train and walk around the room to the first area that is cleaned up, picking up the kids in that area.  Keep the train going around the room until every area is cleaned up and all kids are part of the train.

 

Roll-A-Die Clean-Up: Roll a die and have each child put away the number of toys on the die (i.e. Roll a 2, and each child puts 2 toys away).  Continue until all toys are put away.

clean up


Clean Up Books and Songs:

5 Tips for Handling a Difficult Parent in Child Care

Written by Susan Gove, Ph.D. – CEO of Your Center Success

5 Tips for Handling a Difficult Parent in Child Care

difficult parent

Some parents walk through the door and you brace yourself for a challenge.  Others are so sweet that you think you could become friends.  That’s Day One.

 

You don’t always know how parents will interact with you on any given day.  After all, you are caring for their most precious child.

 

Here are a few tips on how to handle some of the most common difficult parent situations:

 

  1. The parent comes in and wants to carry on a lengthy conversation with you while you are trying to tend to a room full of children.
  2.  

    TIP:  You explain that you need to be engaged with all of the children you have in front of you right now and that a good time for the two of you to talk would be (fill in the blank).  Be courteous, but speak with conviction.
     

  3. The parent is upset because he believes that his daughter is not getting the same attention that all of the other children are getting because the staff member in her group doesn’t like her and he wants his daughter to be put into another area of the center.
     

    TIP:  You make sure that you manage his escalating temper and, don’t argue whether he is right or wrong.  Assure him that you are sorry to hear about his concern and that you will observe his daughter’s interactions with staff over the next few days and then you and he can talk again.  Assure him that his daughter’s success is very important to you.

  4.  

  5. The parent is complaining that her child is unhappy about coming to school and cries when he has to get in the car to come to the center. She wants to know what is happening to her son in your center to make him feel this way.
     

    TIP:  You show sincere concern and tell her that this is not uncommon, but something that you and she will want to work on together right away.  Schedule a time when you can talk together.  Tell her that you will do some extra observations of him and talk to other staff members about her son prior to your meeting.

  6.  

  7. A parent wants to talk with you; you are uneasy and expect confrontation.
  8.  

    TIP:  Parents just want to know what is going on with their child.  They care and they can’t be there with their child, and that is very disconcerting to many parents.  The TONE of their question may not really reflect how they feel about the center or you.  Listen to the content and skip all of the facial clue and voice tones that you would normally examine.  It is your job to talk to parents because their children can’t tell them about their day with any reliability.

     

  9. As hard as we try, we very often judge a book by its cover – or a parent by her appearance/attitude. Bad move.
  10.  
    TIP:  Don’t judge parents.  Listen to them.  Show that you care about their child almost as much as they do.  Show that you have a plan for their child’s success and that you want them to be a part of the process.

25 Books about Picnics for Preschool

25 books about picnics for preschool

Picnics are popular in the summer months and it is something that can be included in a preschool curriculum.   We have found 25 books about picnics for preschool children that can be incorporated into your early childhood program.  Keep in mind that picnics can be just as fun indoors on a rainy day.

25 Books about Picnics for Preschool:


Top 10 Health Benefits of Going on a Picnic (Good for children and adults)

  • Outdoors Spending time outdoors, basking in nature, breathing fresh air and enjoying a great view. The pure air invigorates you and leaves you feeling rejuvenated. For those with respiratory disorders, breathing clean air helps clear the lungs.
  • Family bonding Spending time with family is always a great bonding experience. In the fast-paced, urbane lifestyle of today there is often limited time for maintaining relationships with some of the most important people in your life. Staying engaged with your family and friends can help build stronger bonds and foster warmth, security and love, as well as feelings of belonging.
  • Enables communication Since picnics often take place in warm environments, the tendency to participate in relaxing small talk is high. Simply keeping updated on what is going on in other people’s lives and learning what their plans can improve relationships. Conversations during the meal provide opportunities for the party to bond, plan, connect and learn from one another.
  • Grants time for self-reflection While picnics offer many social benefits, you don’t have to spend the entire time chatting up a storm. Picnics offer an excellent opportunity for you to spend time meditating about your life, the decisions you have made and the decisions you will make.
  • Foster healthy eating habits – Meals prepared and eaten at home are usually more nutritious and healthy than eating out and particularly so for when you bring food for a picnic. The typical portrait of picnics present a wicker basket full of fruitsvegetables, dairy and grains. These foods provide nutrients such as fiber, calcium and essential vitamins.
  • Stay active – Regular picnics can foster a family ritual where young ones are introduced to sports, games, and nature and encourages adults to partake in physical activities as well. Mini games between family and friends like tug-of-war, 2-hand-touch or flag football and kickball can be played before a meal to help induce a feeling of achievement prior to a well-deserved meal, while playing more casual games like horseshoes and bean bag toss can serve as a relaxing but still active activity. Even consuming the healthy food usually provided at picnics keeps you energetic and active through the day.
  • Mood booster – Eating lunch outdoors is a natural mood booster. You can be amazed how much the lack of sun in your body can affect you mood. There’s something about fresh air, sunshine, or a nice breeze that just puts you in good mood and motivates you making you want to get some exercise.
  • Relieves stress – Picnics are a great stress buster as it helps reduce the stress and anxiety related to work and home. Being an adult isn’t always easy and it’s great to be able to ease up on the responsibility from time to time by lounging in the sunlight.
  • Builds stronger bones – The vitamin D we get from the sun is needed for maximum absorption of calcium from the intestine, which helps build strong bones and teeth. Getting enough vitamin D can help you reduce your chances of getting bone deterioration diseases like osteoporosis. For children, regular sun exposure helps increase the process of growth and height and can decrease the risk of rickets. The sun also provides benefits to your skin by providing a nice, warm, sun-kissed glow.
  • Saves money – Picnics are known to be quite inexpressive. All one has to do is prepare meals at home and head out to a park or picnic area. If you have a well-stocked refrigerator and pantry, you may not even have to spend a cent!

Child Care Directories That You Need to Be Listed On

Get more ideas in the “Publicizing Child Care Openings” online class

When a parent needs child care, they will most likely do an internet search for child care near them.  It is so important to list your child care program and website on the many child care directories out there.  The more directories you are included in, the more likely parents will find you.  In addition to your state licensing website (who should have you listed), here is a list of many child care directory websites that you can add your program to:


Using daycare marketing tips will ensure that your home based daycare stays full to capacity. According to Merriam Webster, advertising is defined as, “the action of calling something to the attention of the public”.

 

It’s an opportunity to toot your own horn. You are a professional child care provider and you want potential parents and children in your area to know that you exist.

 

So, how do you get the word out?

 

There are two absolutely free ways to advertise child care. Once you are established, these two forms of daycare marketing will likely be responsible for most of the business you receive.

 

 

Child Care Resource and Referral. This is an excellent resource and accounted for nearly half my enrollees over a period of a dozen years. This is a service that matches parents looking for providers with available daycare homes in their area. This is a great form of daycare advertising that works year round. Here, in Minnesota, I didn’t need to do anything other than get my license to be added to the list. Once you have your license, feel free to contact them to make sure you have been added.

 

*This is also an excellent resource for lists of classes or workshops available to enhance the quality of the care you provide. They also provide grant information to licensed providers.

 

Word-of-Mouth Advertising. Tell everyone you know about your new venture. Daycare advertising is easy when you notify neighbors, co-workers, family and friends. Do not limit yourself to only those that have children. Everyone has the potential to know someone in need of child care. The people who know you best will be able to refer people looking for child care directly to you.

 

There is no better form of daycare marketing than to have satisfied parents tell others about you. Run your child care home like a professional, keeping both children and parents happy, and over time there may be no need to publicize. Parents who referred other parents accounted for half of the children in my care.

 

When you are first starting out however, your daycare marketing campaign will have to be creative.

 

(Taken from Online Article Day Care Marketing)

____________________

Ice Cream Shop Prop Box

Ice Cream Shop Prop Box

Prop Boxes are groups of dramatic play materials that are based on a theme.  Bring out an Ice Cream Prop Box in the summer (especially during National Ice Cream Month – July).  It is easy to put together an Ice Cream Shop Prop Box.

Just grab a tote/container, and collect the following items.  Large pom pom balls make great scoops of ice cream.  You can also create a menu board with a dry erase board or poster board.  Ice Cream Cones can be made easily (here is a tutorial).  Click Here for tote label that you can laminate and tape on the tote.  Prop boxes are meant to invoke the imagination of children.  Providing prop boxes with basic items for dramatic play can be very beneficial for children.

Empty Ice Cream Tubs
Ice Cream Scoops Bowls
Spoons
Homemade Paper
Ice Cream Cones

Pom Pom Balls
for Ice Cream

Empty Chocolate
Syrup Bottles

Empty Whipped
Cream Cans

Play Cash Register
& Money

 


Shop Ice Cream Toys:


Pizza Shop Prop Box

pizza-shop-prop-box

Prop Boxes are fun!  Playing Pizza Shop is great anytime (especially during National Pizza Month – October).  It is simple to put together a Pizza Shop Prop Box.

Just grab a tote/container, and collect the following items.  Menus, Order forms, and felt pizza can all be made very easily.  Click Here for tote label that you can laminate and tape on the tote.  Prop boxes are meant to invoke the imagination of children.  Providing prop boxes with basic items for dramatic play can be very beneficial for children.

Empty Pizza Boxes
Aprons & Hats
Pizza Menus
Cash Register
Phone
Order Books/Pens
Pizza Pans
Toy Pizza Cutter
Felt Pizza Set

Also, add table cloths, plates, forks, napkins, open/closed signs, etc.

table


Shop for pizza toys on Amazon:


Benefits of Dramatic Play:

Intellectual and Physical Benefits
Play is the work of children, and through play children benefit intellectually, physically, socially, and emotionally. The benefits of play for children’s intellectual growth are numerous. As children play out the situations in their lives (or in their pretend lives), they are met with situations they do not understand. As they approach the situations and attempt to make sense of them in the context of their own lives, they practice problem-solving skills and build new knowledge. Children grow physically as they rearrange (gross motor) the large elements (table, chairs, cradle) of the interest area and as they manipulate (fine motor) contents (food boxes, dolls, clothes, and hats) of the interest area.

Social and Emotional Benefits
Perhaps the greatest opportunities for growth through dramatic play are in the areas of social and emotional development. In a situation where children feel safe and protected, they can play out situations that are troubling them. As children are negotiating all the situations inherent in dramatic play in a group setting, they feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. Dramatic play is absolutely open-ended, and through this nature of open-endedness, children cannot fail. They just grow and learn according to where they are in their own development.

(Excerpt from Dramatic Play: A Daily Requirement for Children)

Child Care Provider Resolutions

Child Care Provider Resolutions

Child Care Provider Resolutions

Happy New Year! We often make personal resolutions, but have you thought about resolutions for yourself as a child care provider?

Try these resolutions this year:

  1. Greet EVERY child and parent with a smile each day.
    smile Child Care Provider Resolutions
  2. Say something positive to every child each day.
  3. Encourage learning through play by asking leading questions when children are playing.
  4. Get on the floor with children during play.
    Child Care Provider Resolutions
  5. Let children use their imagination and creativity throughout the day.
  6. Listen to parents’ concerns and offer appropriate solutions.
    Child Care Provider Resolutions
  7. Get children up and moving several times a day for physical activity.
    Child Care Provider Resolutions
  8. Work cooperatively with coworkers to achieve your program’s best practices.
    Child Care Provider Resolutions
  9. Be prepared for all activities by planning ahead and gathering all materials.
    Child Care Provider Resolutions
  10. Get a good nights’ sleep to make sure you give each child care day your best effort.
    Child Care Provider Resolutions

What other Child Care Provider Resolutions can be added to this list?

Also, here is a link for Kids Year in Review printable that we like – click here!