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

Easy Easter Egg Collages

Collage Easter Eggs

 


This activity allows children to experience how different materials work with glue and paper. Although simple to adults, children can learn many things about texture, thickness and any other attributes that the chosen materials have. Don’t limit yourself to tissue paper, use ribbon, rice, dried beans or pasta even. Older children can even make patterns !

  1. Gather your materials. I used 2 different thicknesses of paper ( tissue and card stock) , and a number of different ribbons for this egg. Having a small toddler I stayed away from pasta and beans since they can present a chocking hazard when uncooked. For the egg I used card stock, and of course you will need glue.
  2. Cut out a large egg shape out of card stock, or cardboard.
  3. Spread on some white glue.
  4. Start the masterpiece! While your child is placing the materials on the egg you can ask them about what they are doing, ask how the material feels, if it will need a lot or just a little glue to stick on , what color and shape it is… but remember not everything has to be turned into a parent/teacher directed learning experience. If your child thrives on this interaction go for it , but if they thrive on individual creative play, let them take what they need from this activity and follow their lead.
  5. Glue the egg on a large piece of paper if you want for a more finished look.

 

Song!


5 Little Jelly beans.

5 little jelly beans,
I wish I had more,
I ‘ll eat the red one ,
now there are four!
4 little jelly beans,
tasty as can be,
I’ll eat the green one
now there are three!3 little jelly beans,
Only a few,
Ill eat the pink one
now there are two!2 little jelly beans,
eating them is fun,
I’ll eat the blue one,
now there’s only one!
1 little jelly bean,
the last one for me,
I’ll eat the purple one,
I’m happy as can be!


Books!


While traditionally Easter is a Christian celebration, more and more non religious people are celebrating the Easter Bunny with their children. That trend in mind I have only one religious book in my recommendations, the other two are simply bunny themed.

” What is Easter” by Michelle Medlock Adams is a easy to understand book about why people celebrate Easter. She explains that it’s not because of the Easter Bunny or the fun egg hunts either, that the death and resurrection of Jesus is what Christians are celebrating . Great book for those who observe the holiday.

” That’s not my bunny, it’s tail is too fluffy!” by Fiona Watt carries on the theme of the art project , exploring the sense of touch with all different textures. Great for the under 2 crowd!

” Knuffle Bunny” by Mo Willems is hilarious and heartwarming all at the same time. The story is about a lost bunny, and a dad that can’t quite understand what his toddler is trying to “say” to him. Luckily the mom speaks ” toddler” and dad gets to be a hero by reuniting his daughter with her beloved bunny.

You’ve got mail !

DIY Postcards

Who doesn’t love to get mail? Making their own postcards then sending them to themselves is a fun way to introduce the concept of the mail to your child. For teachers this is a great activity for a community helpers unit.

  1. Gather your materials. I used a black card cut in two but you can just use any heavy paper cut into the size of a post card. You will need some art materials to decorate your postcard too. I am using blue painters tape to tape over the area to put both the address and return address on.
  2. Go nuts decorating the front of the post card.
  3. Flip and decorate the back too!
  4. Remove the tape, and address the postcard .
  5. Stick on a stamp and pop it in the mail.

If you are doing this with more than one child or doing more than one post card you can record how long it takes your post card to return to you, or to get to whoever you send it to.

Song!


In the mailbox, In the mailbox
look and see, look and see,
a package or a postcard,
a letter from my grandma
just for me, just for me!

In the mailbox, in the mailbox,
look and see, look and see,
a magazine that’s dandy
a valentine with candy,
just for me , just for me !

Book!



A fantastic book about letter writing is ” Dear Mrs. LaRue letters from Obedience school ” by Mark Teague. The story is a humorous look at Ike’s time at obedience school and how his perception of the hardships he is facing is a little different from reality.