Ducks of a Feather…

Touch and Feel Ducks!
( not every craft can be cute- doesn’t this duck look a little rough?!)

  1. Gather your materials. For this duck I used 3 different pieces of paper, one for the background, one for the duck and one to cut the feet and beak out of. Also a marker for the outline and eyes, and of course glue and feathers.
  2. Draw the outline of a duck. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, you’ll be covering most of it with feathers anyway.
  3. Spread the glue! And start feathering your duck, I thought my son would love this , and as it turned out he refused to touch a single feather. Toddlers keep you on your toes!
  4. Let the glue dry, meanwhile cut out the feet and beak.
  5. Cut the duck out and glue it onto a 2nd piece of paper, this will help make it more sturdy. If your child wants to they can decorate the background too.
  6. Add the beak and feet
  7. Voila your very own touch and feel duck!

Song!

Six little ducks!

Six little ducks that I once knew,
fat ones, skinny ones, and fair ones too,
but the one little duck with the feather on his back,
he led the others with a quack quack quack!
Quack, quack , quack,
he lead the others with a quack quack quack!
Books!

” Duck, Duck, Goose” by Tad Hills is a story about friendship and what happens when a twosome adds another person (or duck) into the mix. The author brings these characters emotions to life and children will be able to relate to Gooses feelings for sure!

” Brian Banana Duck Sunshine Yellow” by Australian author Chris McKimmie is a whimsical book, that may get some parents wondering if the author is a creative genius or an avid drinker. Kids will love the silly storyline and adults will enjoy the bits of dry wit put in especially for them. There are a few terms that are not seen often in the United States so this book would also be a fun one to use while teaching an international theme. I loved it!

“One Duck Stuck” by Phyllis Root looks like an everyday book , but inside you will find a brilliantly repetitive storyline, that promotes teamwork, and mathematical skills! My students a few years ago were nuts about this book and yours will be too!


Shape Sun Catcher Craft



Believe it or not in almost 15 years of doing crafts with kids I had never done this! Thanks to Denise in Florida for the inspiration for this activity!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some contact paper, various colors of tissue paper and scissors.
  2. Cut your tissue paper into all different sizes but keep the shape consistent.
  3. Make your sun catcher by folding a large piece of contact paper so that the front and back piece would be connected by a seam, so for a square I cut out a large rectangle then folded it in two. You can make a triangle by cutting out a square and folding it in two.
  4. Peak back the backing only as far as the seam. You can see in this picture the backing is still on 1/2 of the contact paper.
  5. Stick your shapes on, encourage your child to over lap them, and notice that they make a new color when that happens.
  6. Peel the remaining backing off and seal it onto the other side.
  7. Go catch the spring sun!
Song!



The Shape Song!

Do you know what shape this is?
What shape this is?
What shape this is?

Do you know what shape this is I’m holding in my hand?

Books!

The Greedy Triangle” by Marilyn Burns is a funny story about a triangle who keeps adding more and more sides until he is confused, but your preschooler will be learning all about shapes while fun. The author is a bit of a superstar in the teaching world, I am a huge fan of not only this book but her methods in general. If you are a teacher , especially elementary aged and aren’t familiar with her you should be.

” My Very First Book of Shapes” by Eric Carle is a great introduction into shapes, but won’t loose it’s appeal as your child ages. The book is split so the fun begins when you try to match the shapes! Carle’s distinctive collage illustrations are a delight !


” Flip a shape: Go! “ by Harriet Ziefert will keep busy toddlers interested in all the shapes that are made with a school bus , boat and more! The simplistic and bright illustrations coupled with the movements of the flip a shape, this book will be a hit with your toddler!

Windsocks are not for your feet!

Catch The Wind!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a piece of paper , some crayons or markers, some streamers or tissue paper, some tape or glue, a hole punch and some ribbon.
  2. Have your child color and decorate the paper. Let them have some free creative time, and don’t be shocked if it doesn’t last long. Young kids don’t usually spend a lot of time on drawing, so if you want to keep the activity going, switch up colors by giving them one at a time, remember to name the colors as you do this!
  3. When they are finished , tape or glue some long strips of tissue paper or streamers to the bottom of the paper, on the non decorated side.
  4. Tape, glue or staple the paper into a cylinder.
  5. Punch two holes and thread a ribbon through, knot it.
  6. Hang it up where you can watch it dance in the wind.

Books!

Finding books that had to do with wind was not an easy task, at least not ones that held my interest. However my trusty local library and I succeeded in finding two titles that are worth a read!

” The Very Windy Day” by Elizabeth MacDonald is a funny story about how everyone walking on North, South , East and West streets had their belongings mixed up by the wind! Hats , blankets and even food got passed along from one person to the next in this silly story about a windy day.

” How the Ladies stopped the Wind” by Bruce McMillan is a charming story that is reminiscent of a folk tale, about ladies in Iceland who decide to plant trees to stop the wind. There is some fantastic bits of humor for parents and amazing illustrations! This was a great library find!

Before you enroll {questions to ask child care providers}


child care questions


Here is a checklist you can use when touring and interviewing both center based and in home daycares.

  • Is the center licensed?

Ask to see the license- it needs to be on display. Look and see how many children the center is licensed for and what ages and make sure that this matches what the provider has told you.

Ask to see the last licensing visit notes. These are the notes the state licensor has made and noted on his or her last visit. The licensor makes notes of any safety hazards and other infractions the center may have been issued. They must by law allow you to see this.

  • Is there an open door policy for parents, can you walk in at any time unannounced? If not LEAVE.
  • What are the operating hours? Is there a late fee if you are late picking up?
  • When is the center closed? Holiday , staff training days etc.
  • When is tuition due? Does the rate changes as your child ages?
  • How is the daycare secured? Is there a code on the door? How often is it changed?
  • What is the policy if someone other than you or your spouse is to pick the child up?
  • In home care setting who else in the family has access to your child?
  • Are other parents left alone with children other than their own while at the center?
  • What is the teacher to child ratio?
  • Are children segregated by age?
  • How are employees screened? How long have all the employees worked for the daycare? Expect some turnover, focus on any long term employees which is a very good sign! What sort of training and certifications do the care givers have?
  • Is everyone in the building trained in infant and child CPR, First Aid and Blood borne pathogens?
  • Has everyone working in the building been tested for TB?
  • How are the staff trained throughout the year?
  • How do staff members communicate with parents and vice versa? Many larger centers will have a daily sheet that records what the child ate, how long they slept etc.
  • What are the children fed throughout the day? Do you provide food or does the center provide all meals?
  • Is infant formula included? Can you bring expressed breast milk?
  • Is the kitchen clean and tidy?
  • How does the center deal with allergies?
  • Where are babies fed? Are they held when they are eating? Are you free and welcome to come in to nurse at any time?
  • Is there a fridge in the infant/ toddler classrooms to refrigerate bottles without the teacher having to leave the room?
  • How are bottles labeled? What do they do with left over formula/ Breast milk?
  • How do they avoid bottle sharing among mobile babies?
  • Are there appropriate diaper change facilities?What is the cleaning procedure for change tables? Are diapers/ wipes provided?
  • Does the room smell? Are garbage / diapers pails emptied out more than once a day?
  • Are babies allowed to sleep in swings? How do they deal with colicky babies?
  • Are babies put on their backs to sleep? Are staff trained re: SIDS ?
  • Does each child have their own crib or sleeping cot if older? How often are sheets and blankets cleaned?
  • How often are toys sanitized?How often are floors mopped?How often are rugs vacuumed?
  • How are medications stored? Who is authorized to administer the medication to your child?
  • What is the sick policy- when must a child be sent home?
  • What if the provider is sick- are there subs to replace the teacher or does the center close for the day?
  • Are there routine fire/ earthquake /tornado /lockdown drills? Where is this recorded?
  • Ask to see the disaster plan. There should be a safe place designated and a plan of action in case of evacuation.
  • Are the hallways/ fire exits clear of toys, furniture and other hazards?
  • Are cupboards, storage closets, staff rooms and such locked and inaccessible to children?
  • What is the discipline policy?
  • How do they handle potty training? What about accidents in older children?
  • What do they do with children who bite/ get bitten?
  • Are there adequate toys? Are they in good repair? Do you see a lot of books?
  • What is the daily schedule? What sort of activities will your child be doing?
  • Ask to see a lesson plan if possible.

Tips for tours: Walk slowly and don’t allow yourself to be rushed through, stop and look at anything and everything. Look to see how teachers interact with the children, are they on the floor playing, holding infants or talking to them? Use all five senses: How does the center smell? Do you hear a lot of yelling? Is there music playing or books being read? Is there a lot of light? Ask to see the food that is served, would you want to eat it? Are the classrooms cheerful ? Are the floors soft and safe to play on? After the tour return to the directors office or somewhere quiet to talk- ask yourself if you are comfortable with this person caring for your child? Ask any questions you think of and don’t be shy! And finally ask if you can bring your child in and spend some time observing a classroom to help make your decision.

Most importantly how do you feel ?


Bunny Ears Craft

easter craft for toddlers
This was a huge hit with a group of 2.5 year olds, but younger children will still enjoy the process even if they don’t love the end result!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 pieces of construction paper or card stock, some glue, cotton balls , double stick tape or a stapler and some chalk.
  2. Give your child one piece of the paper and the chalk to decorate it with. I use chalk because it gives a soft fluffy look , but don’t feel limited to that.
  3. While they color, fold the 2nd piece of paper in two .
  4. Draw a bunny ear, and cut through both layers.
  5. Using the glue attach the cotton balls to the ears. Let dry.
  6. While your child is gluing , take their colored piece of paper and cut in two lengthwise . Using double stick tape or stapler, create a headband that will fit your little bunny’s head. I don’t suggest glue, it’s too messy for this step.
  7. When the ears are completely dry attach them on either side of the headband! Again i suggest using double stick tape or a stapler for this step.
Song!

Do your ears hang low?Do your ears hang low?
Do they wobble to and fro,
Can you tie them in a knot ?
Can you tie them in a bow?
Can you through them over your shoulder like a continental soldier?
Do your ears hang low?

( Repeat fast, slow, quiet and loud!)

For Easter books check here