A Warning About Gun Safety

Here is a letter about gun safety that I shared with the families at the child care program I ran Dear Parents and Families: While I was on vacation in Florida this past January, I was a witness to a … Continue reading

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar Theme Activities

Songs

The Fuzzy Caterpillar (Tune: Itsy Bitsy Spider)
The fuzzy caterpillar
Curled up on a leaf,
Spun her little chrysalis
And then fell fast asleep.
While she was sleeping
She dreamed that she could fly,
And later when she woke up
She was a butterfly!

Butterfly Song (Tune: Up on the Housetop)
First comes a butterfly and lays an egg.
Out comes a caterpillar with many legs.
Oh see the caterpillar spin and spin,
A little chrysalis to sleep in.

Oh, oh ,oh wait and see!
Oh, oh, oh wait and see!
Out of the chrysalis, my oh my,
Out comes a beautiful butterfly!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Song
(sung to the tune of 10 Little Indians)
On Sunday, 1 little egg, on Sunday 1 little egg, on Sunday 1 little egg, out comes a caterpillar.
On Monday, 1 red apple, on Monday 1 red apple, on Monday 1 red apple, that’s what the caterpillar eats.
On Tuesday, 2 yellow pears, on Tuesday 2 yellow pears, on Tuesday 2 yellow pears, that’s what the caterpillar eats.
On Wednesday, 3 purple plums, on Wednesday 3 purple plums, on Wednesday 3 purple plums, that’s what the caterpillar eats.
On Thursday, 4 red strawberries, on Thursday, 4 red strawberries, on Thursday, 4 red strawberries, that’s what the caterpillar eats.
On Friday, 5 oranges, on Friday 5 oranges, on Friday 5 oranges, that’s what the caterpillar eats.
On Saturday, too much food, on Saturday, too much food, on Saturday, too much food, that’s what the caterpillar eats.
On Sunday, 1 green leaf, on Sunday, 1 green leaf, on Sunday, 1 green leaf, that’s what the caterpillar eats.
In his cocoon, he goes to sleep, in his cocoon, he goes to sleep, in his cocoon, he goes to sleep, that’s what the caterpillar does.
Out comes a butterfly, out comes a butterfly, out comes a butterfly, isn’t that a great surprise!

Art

Pom Pom Caterpillar– Supply pompoms, googly eyes and glue, let children construct their own caterpillars.

Dotty the Caterpillar-Have children use Bingo Markers to create a caterpillar, by marking circles in a line! Add legs, antennae and face with a crayon or marker.


Snacks

Butterfly Salad (Serves one)
2 Pineapple rings
Cottage cheese
Green olives sliced in 1/2
Food coloring
Celery stick
Slice pineapple rings in 1/2 to use a an outline of the butterfly’s wings Use celery stick as the body Place cottage cheese inside of pineapple ring Decorate the cottage cheese with food coloring, you can also add carrot sticks for antennae.

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Top Child Care and Development News of 2020

Here is a review of the top child care news stories that we featured in our newsletter in 2020


New federal data shows Black preschoolers still disciplined at far higher rates than Whites


Kids Notice Racial Differences Long Before Adults Want to Talk About It


Why babies don’t always remember what they have learned


Regular Physical Activity Can Enhance Cognition in Kids


Virtual Childcare Helps Families Juggle Work And Parenting While At Home


With Engaged, Flexible Parenting, Happy Babies Can Become Happy Toddlers


Babies from bilingual homes switch attention faster

Conflicts in kindergarten can reduce children’s interest in reading and math


From air hugs to airplane arms: What reopening daycare centers look like during COVID-19

Young children would rather explore than get rewards

High-quality child care means raising wages of workers often paid below poverty level


Children’s Self-Control Improves When Cooperation with Others’ Results in Rewards


Humans are born with brains ‘prewired’ to see words


Study: 1 in 4 Kids With Autism May Be Undiagnosed

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Subscriptions of Child Care Training

Announcing Subscriptions of Child Care Training!

This is the most cost effective way to get the child care training classes that you need and want. Take whatever classes that you want whenever you want!

GROUPS

With our annual subscriptions of child care training a staff member can take as many of our online classes as they need or want. Subscriptions are transferable.  The subscription is valid for 1 year from the date of issue.

girl taking online child care classes

INDIVIDUALS

With our  unlimited subscription of child care training  you can take as many of our online classes as you need or want. New classes that are added are included.  The subscription is valid for 1 year from the date of issue.

Click to Learn More~

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Child Care Training for Staff

Quality professional development for your child care staff!

With our annual subscriptions of child care training a staff member can take as many of our fast certificate classes as they need or want. Subscriptions are transferable.

child care classes for staff

RATES

10 employees-$39 per person $399

25 employees -$29per person-$725

50 employees-$19per person-$949

Click Here to Learn More and Get Started

Do you have a smaller group or staff that is between these levels? You don’t have to pay for training that you don’t need; we will custom design an offer for you whether you have 3 employees, 33 employees or a 103!

#childcaretraining #stafftraining

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Balancing Work and Parenting

Check out our feature in Redfin’s latest article: “Home Solutions for Balancing Work and Parenting”

If you thought never in a million years you’d be sharing your office space with your children, think again. The spread of COVID-19 is forcing parents to work from home while helping their oldest manage remote school and coordinating who has diaper duty for the youngest.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the around-the-clock attention your kids demand and the never-ending emails, you’re not alone. Parents all over the country, from New York to Portland, are feeling the same struggle. I was asked to share one of my best tips to help you find creative home solutions for working from home and parenting. Check out what I had to say!

Home Solutions for Balancing Work and Parenting

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The Journey of Teaching Toddlers Online

By Rachel Reid

Life as we knew it is now a distant memory. With the shutting of schools, I have constantly been in a state of processing my thoughts and feelings about this new world we are living in. On one hand, especially for an introvert like myself, it’s freeing and relaxing being told to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. I get to spend time with my kids and puppy. I’m home to actually work on my house and cleaning efforts. And I finally have time to do some of my favorite things: writing, gardening, and doing fun projects (like online videos for the toddlers I teach). On the distant other hand, everything is unclear, unpredictable, and somewhat terrifying. Feeling lonely has never sunk as deeply. And being a single mom of a teenaged daughter and a preteen son is alienating and challenging at best.

Then, there’s this new entity that we’re trying to create as an emergency knee-jerk reaction to schools closing. Online preschool. As a toddler teacher, I fully endorse the benefits of group care for both providing supervision for working parents, but also for building language, social and emotional skills. In my line of work, the norm is to strive to always reach higher goals in our own practices. So I also fully embraced online teaching when I was told that schools were closing. This was my way to continue to bring that quality care to the families I work with.

That was at first, when I was still in the metamorphosis phase of staying at home due to COVID-19. The honeymoon phase, in which my schedule flowed with my family’s needs, pressures and deadlines were temporarily lifted, and people were communicating and supporting each other in local communities in ways we never had before. I don’t exactly know what phase to call right now, but the honeymoon has definitely worn off. As schools around the country scramble to provide online education, it brings a lot of questions with it. What is important to be teaching children in a time like this? What are the main goals of education overall, and how can we deliver these outcomes through distance learning? I still don’t think there’s a consensus. But while we’re all still figuring it out, I am appreciating the conversations and debates that are popping up everywhere. And at the same time, being a preschool teacher puts me in the category of people who stand to benefit more from unemployment than working full time.

Now that I have applied for unemployment, I feel a bit more comfortable in my “volunteer” status of working. I am still meeting with coworkers and students in Zoom a few mornings and afternoons a week, as well as staff meetings in evenings (after teachers with young children have put their kids to bed), and making videos inspired by Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street for my students. My role as a mentor for amateur teachers has continued, though I feel more like a television producer than a teacher. Convincing adults to talk to puppets, to record the world around them, to look at everything as a teachable moment, has brought life to our videos. We are all very hopeful that our online classroom is supporting parents in this time, rather than overwhelming them. I’m looking forward to updating my resume to include my new technological skills!

I miss the hugs. The genuine curiosity. The unabashed silliness. The magical face-brightening smiles. I miss the children. And I miss their families. I miss the routine of reminding children to hang up their coats in their cubbies, come into the classroom, wash their hands, and begin to engage in an activity that would then spark discussion, thinking, learning. I miss teaching. Performing is not exactly my strong point, but to reach the children I miss so deeply, I will follow in the footsteps of Fred Rogers and Jim Henson, my lifelong heroes, and provide respectful quality educational videos: the preschool of the times.

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Can Virtual Preschool Be Developmentally Appropriate? Tips and Thoughts

In a rush to convert preschool and pre-k programs to online classrooms, we must not lose sight of developmentally appropriate practice. So many programs are requiring their teachers to continue virtual teaching on the internet. Google rooms and Zoom are increasing in popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic. We know that we should limit screen time for young children and yet the trend seems to be to slip back to using worksheets and asking children to be more passive in watching videos or presentations.

Now is not the time to toss out everything we know about developmentally appropriate practice and play based learning.  

Using technology with young children is not a black or white issue. Used thoughtfully, technology can be a great tool. Turning to apps like Zoom and Google rooms that have long been used for secondary and adult education should not mean that you have to use them in the same manner.

Remember, we know that young children learn best in relationship based care practices. Stated simply, relationships are the “active ingredients” of the environments. We can promote connections and relationships in a virtual setting.

In his article, Beyond Screen Time: Better Questions for Children and Technology in 2020, Chip Donahue asks,” What are the implications of children using technology tools that were designed for adults? “He lists these important considerations:*

  • Old theory informs the use of new tools. The work of Maria Montessori, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, B.F. Skinner, Seymour Papert and Howard Gardner, remind us that even as the tools, technologies and context changes rapidly, child development remains constant.
  • Relationships matter most. Fred Rogers taught us that it is not about the technology, it’s about relationships. Educators and parents can select and use interactive media that invites and encourages interactions with others, promotes social emotional learning, enables co-viewing and joint engagement.
  • Early childhood “essentials” are always essential. Play, open-ended materials and manipulatives, large motor activities, time outdoors and social interactions are just as important in the digital age as ever. Educators and parents can avoid displacing or replacing essential early childhood experiences with screen-based technologies. It doesn’t have to be either/or.
  • Proper pedagogy complements technology tools. Young children need support to become makers, media creators and digital storytellers, STEM learners, computational thinking and coders.
  • Technology-mediated family engagement and nudges work. Use tools to enhance family engagement and relationships, help families keep in touch at a distance and strengthen parent-child interactions.

With those considerations in mind, here are a few ways that early childhood professionals are virtually connecting and engaging young children.

  • Start out by just letting them see their friends and their teacher. Give the children ample time to explore the new technology. For your first few times, you may allow them to talk and play around.
  • Most programs require that a parent is in attendance with the child at all times.
  • Just like in a classroom setting, small groups are better, shorter duration is better. Some programs split their group into smaller group groups of 4 or 5 children for a 10 minute session rather than meet with 20 children for 30 minutes or more.
  • Once you start any structured time, you may find it helpful to mute children until you wish for them to interact.
  • Make sure each child has a time to talk, demonstrate or share at least once.
  • Keep it simple, a greeting song, a story and an interactive movement activity or game may be plenty. Just remember not to let it turn into a show and tell on your end.
  • You can send along a list of materials and directions for parents if you wish to try to do a craft of project together.
  • Be creative and ways to engage and interact. Have a virtual picnic or tea time together.
  • Encourage them to get up and move, share a yoga pose or try a short workout routine. Perhaps, Have a dance party
  • One popular activity is scavenger hunts. Asking the children to find and show the group what they found.

Check out our online class: Staying Connected Online Class

*Used with Permission , Entire Article is here:

For Further Reading

National Scientific Council on the Developing Child. (2004). Young children develop in an environment of relationships: Working paper no. 1.

Including relationship-based care practices in infant-toddler care: Implications for practice and policy.

Making Connections. There’s No Such Thing as Online Preschool

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Responding to Coronavirus in Your Child Care Program

How will your child care program respond to the Coronavirus? What should you prepare? How can you best protect the children and families? Here are some resources and links when responding to Cornavirus in your child car program.

Remember, if you are unable to go to a conference or training event, online training is just the thing for you!

As schools close and parents lack paid leave, who will take care of the country’s kids?

EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE AND EDUCATION PROGRAMS CLOSURE AND DISMISSAL DURING A NOVEL CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK –
Technical Guidance for Child Care, Head Start and public and private Prekindergarten Education Programs

Free Resources for School Closures

Coronavirus Fact Sheet from the CDC

What the Coronavirus Means for Child Care Professionals

COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel

Find out what the national standards of care are for Health Promotion and Protection when responding to Cornoavirus in your child care program. Learn more about hand washing, sanitizing, daily health checks and more.

Proper Hand washing for Child Care Professionals

Handwashing Songs for Kids

Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus): A Parent Resource

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Rainbow theme for Preschool

March is a great time to learn about rainbows! St. Patrick’s Day includes the symbol of the rainbow for finding the pot of gold. March is also a good time to do a theme on weather, rain and rainbows.

Rainbow Songs and Fingerplays

Rainbow Song (Tune: Hush, Little Baby)
Rainbow purple
Rainbow blue
Rainbow green
And yellow too
Rainbow orange
Rainbow red
Rainbow shining overhead.
Come and count
The colors with me
How many colors
Can you see?
1 – 2 – 3 on down to green
4 – 5 – 6 colors can be seen!
Rainbow purple
Rainbow blue
Rainbow green
And yellow too
Rainbow orange
Rainbow red
Rainbow shining overhead.

Oh Rainbow (Tune: Tune: O Christmas Tree)
Oh rainbow, oh rainbow,
How lovely are your colors.
Oh rainbow, oh rainbow,
How lovely are your colors.
Purple, red and orange, too,
Yellow, green and blue so true.
Oh rainbow, oh rainbow,
How lovely are your colors.

Rainbow Math and Science

Skittle Math
Have a jar filled with Skittles. Let children estimate how many Skittles they think are in the jar. Sort and make patterns with the Skittles.

Make a Rainbow
Cover the end of a flashlight in painters tape leaving only a slit, for light to shine through. Place a handheld mirror in a bowl of water. Shine the light onto the mirror through the water. Hold a white piece of paper to catch the reflection and it will look like a rainbow.

Rolling Rainbows
Fill clear plastic soda bottles with water and put mosaic tiles in them. Allow children to roll the bottles and watch the rainbow colors swirl.

Rainbow Rice
Dye white rice to create rice of each color of the rainbow. Mix all rice together and add to the sensory table.

Rainbow Magic
Needed: Whole milk, Food coloring, Clear bowl or pie plate, Dawn Dishwashing Liquid (blue).

Pour the milk in the bottom of the dish enough to cover the bottom. Add a few drops of food coloring randomly. Put a drop of Dawn on each color or on the side of the dish near each color. Watch! Although you cannot see it, milk contains fat that do not mix with the watery food coloring. Whenever the dishwashing liquid touches the milk, it breaks up the fat which then spreads out. This allows the food color and milk to mix. It will continue on for quite a while. The children can leave and come back and it still will be in motion. The children will find this amazing & some children will watch for a long time. (Be sure to use BLUE Dawn Dishwashing Liquid).

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