Celebrate Holiday Lights in Child Care

Here are ideas to celebrate holiday lights!

December is time for celebrations for many cultures and lights play a large role in many holidays including:

  • Christmas- In the past, trees were decorated with candles, which symbolized Christ being the light of the world.
  • Hanukkah-For eight days , Jewish people light a special candle holder called a Menorah. They do it to remember an ancient miracle in which one day’s worth of oil burned for eight days in the temple.
  • Kwanzaa-It is celebrated in part by lighting  a candle holder called a Kinara.


Christmas Lights-Ask children to use colored paint to make thumbprints on the paper and then you can use a marker to draw a line and connect them to look like a string of lights.





Hanukkah Lights-Children can make their own menorah using clay or dough to hold the candles





Kwanzaa Lights-Children can decorate recycled paper tubes to create their own Kinara







Eight Candles

tune- “Frere Jacques”
Eight Candles, eight candles,
I can’t wait, I can’t wait.
Hanukkah is here,
We celebrate each year.
Hanukkah, Hanukkah.
Eight candles, eight candles,
I can’t wait, I can’t wait.
We count the lights,
Shining so bright.


Kwanzaa’s Here

tune- “Three Blind Mice”
Red, green, black,
Red, green, black.
Kwanzaa’s here,
Kwanzaa’s here.
The decorations are quite a sight,
We light a candle every night,
The holiday is filled with light.
Kwanzaa’s here


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Preschool Cooking Activities

Preschool Cooking Activities are Educational

Preschool cooking activities with young children is a fun and educational activity. By participating in food preparation, a young child can learn many things

  • fine motor skills
  • nutrition
  • science concepts
  • sensory exploration
  • cooperation
  • measurement
  • shapes
  • following directions
  • fractions
  • telling time
  • More, much more!



Cooking Tips:

  1. Don’t be afraid of messes
  2. Be sure to find many safe ways that children care participate; measuring and stirring etc., Leave the use of knives, electric appliances and heating sources to adults.
  3. Keep directions simple
  4. Practice safe food handling and wash hands before and after.
  5. Always supervise young cooks

What to talk about

  • Have child describe what they are doing. What are we doing with the raisins?
  • Discuss where foods come from.
  • Ask them why. Why do you think we need to stir this? Why do eggs have shells?
  • Ask them to predict. What do you think will happen when we add the milk?
  • Encourage them to observe. Watch how the sauce thickens when we add cornstarch.
  • Discuss how the food will be eaten.

Check out the online class-Cooking Up Some Fun

Find some great recipes to start with


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Child Care Consultation, Coaching, and Mentoring Survey

Sixty four child care owners and administrators answered our child care consultation, coaching and mentoring survey. Here are the results

Click Here to View Results









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What Fictional Early Childhood Professional Are You?

Take this fun quiz and find out

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Online Course Catalog

Announcing our access to our entire catalog, Print and share with others child care professionals.

Click Here to View Catalog of Online Child Care Classes

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New Online Child Care Classes

We are excited to announce new online child care classes!!

We listened to child care providers and teachers to hear what professional development training they were interested in. We have worked hard to bring you these newest online child care classes!

    Description – Participants will learn the value of child-initiated play and activities.  This online class includes strategies for employing a child-initiated approach in the classroom.

Learning Objectives- As a result of this training, participants will be able to:

  • List the Benefits of child-initiated curriculum
  • List ways to design an environment that encourages child-initiated play
  • Describe strategies for supporting child-initiated play
  • Identify the steps in the project approach


Description- This training will help the student learn about adverse childhood experiences and how to best to respond to children with traumatic stress or PTSD

Learning Objectives- As a result of this online class, participants will be able to:

  • State the prevalence of traumatic stress in the U.S.
  • List the potential causes of traumatic stress
  • Identify signs of traumatic stress
  • Explain the biological impact of traumatic stress
  • Explain the behavioral impact of traumatic stress
  • Explain the learning impact of traumatic stress
  • List strategies for addressing traumatic stress

Description-Block play is a great way to explore STEM concepts. This class includes ideas for promoting learning during block play.

Learning Objectives

  • State the benefits of block play
  • Identify how engineering and science content can be included in early childhood education.
  • Describe guidelines for setting up a block area
  • List the processes and stages of block play
  • Discuss the role of the teacher during block play.


Description- This online class will show you ways to integrate music into all areas of the curriculum. Learn the benefits of music and how to promote musical expression!

Learning Objectives- As a result of this training, participants will be able to:

  • List benefits of music in early childhood education
  • Identify ideas for a successful classroom music center
  • Describe ways to use music in the classroom




Description-Directors will learn to set goals and manage their time efficiently. They will gain strategies to set priorities and meet the needs of themselves, staff, children, and families.

Learning Objectives– As a result of this training, participants will be able to

  • List the Common Roles of a Director
  • Identify the Needs You Need to Meet
  • Set Appropriate Goals and Priorities
  • Describe How to Manage Your Time Efficiently


Enroll here


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Being the Bearer of Bad News

By Rachel Reid, M.Ed

As a teacher of young children, I think one of the most difficult parts of the job is having to tell parents that their child did not have a great day. We care very much about our students, and of course, we try our hardest to keep children smiling and pleasant. Unfortunately, this is not always the way the day goes. Whether a child was injured, sad, fearful, or the cause of another child’s sadness or injury, it is not an easy task to initiate the conversation with the parents. But it is extremely important because parents are our partners in looking after the children’s best interests. Preparing ahead before starting the conversation can give you an advantage of confidence and calmness. You can anticipate parents’ reactions and have appropriate responses ready. Here are some tips for how to prepare for those dreaded conversations.


  • Find something positive to open with.

Make sure to start out on a positive note. Parents can be easily alarmed and might panic when they see your number appear on their phone. Teachers don’t typically call unless something is wrong. Even if you are calling to report an injury, and you want to hurry to tell what happened, you can quickly pause and mention that the child is fine now and happily playing, before getting to the point of reporting the misfortune.

  • Watch out for sweeping exaggerations.

Try not to say things like, “Bobby was crying ALL day!” or “Sherry was CONSTANTLY hurting other children today.” Most likely, your attention was grabbed more during the times when these events were occurring. You may not have even noticed when Bobby was comforted by being held by the assistant teacher, or the times when Sherry was so focused on playing with blocks that she didn’t hurt anyone for a solid 20 minutes. These are moments to hold onto for the conversations with their parents, because they will be relieved that their child’s day wasn’t ALL bad. Of course, if the day is progressing and those positive moments really aren’t showing up, it would probably be worth contacting the parents earlier, in case they want to pick up their child early or make a suggestion to help.

  • Ask questions and listen to the answers.

It’s easy for us to feel like child experts, as we are the ones with the children all day, and we know what’s developmentally appropriate for the age we work with. However, the real experts about an individual child are the child’s parents. They hold valuable information about the child’s schedules, relationships with people outside of school, experiences that have an impact on the child. Emotionally challenging days can be the most mysterious, and I like to ask parents to brainstorm with me anything at home that might have triggered the strong feelings. It’s possible that Mommy’s grandmother just passed away, and little Sadie is acting out more because Daddy brought her to school instead. Maybe a special comfort toy got misplaced. It could be a hidden sickness, like an ear infection.

  • Avoid placing blame.

Acknowledging what happened objectively will help to ease the tension of whose fault something is. Sticking to the facts can help get the important information across, and then the focus of the conversation can be shifted to the present and future- what is being done now, and what can or should be done next. This way, everybody can still be on the same team, all concerned for the child’s best interest.

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Preschool Summer Fun Ideas

Ideas for Preschool Summer Fun

Ocean and Beach Crafts

Children glue streamers to the edge of a paper plate. Attach a second plate on top of it with glue or staples. Children decorate the plates as the Jelly fish body.

Sand Art
Have children use glue to draw a picture on construction paper. Top with colored sand of their choice and shake excess sand off.

Wave Bottles
Fill a plastic soda bottle half way with water that has been tinted with blue food coloring. Then add vegetable oil. Secure the bottle’s cap tightly. Just tip the bottle to make waves!

Sun Fun

Sun Painting
Place various shaped flat objects on a dark piece of construction paper. You can cut out shapes and designs or use common objects like a ruler or key. Place paper in direct sunlight for a few hours. Show children how the sunlight faded the paper, leaving dark silhouettes.

Oh Mr. Sun
Oh Mister Sun, Sun,
Mister Golden Sun,
Please shine down on me
Oh Mister Sun, Sun,
Mister Golden Sun,
Hiding behind a tree…
These little children
Are asking you
To please come out
So we can play with you
Oh Mister Sun, Sun,
Mister Golden Sun,
Please shine down on..
Please shine down on…
Please shine down on me!

Camping Science

  • Gather leaves and have pictures of trees – have the children match the leaf to the correct tree.
  • Set up an aquarium and learn about fish.
  • Animal Tracks – Set up animal tracks on the table and have children match plastic animals or pictures to the correct tracks.

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Block Play for All Ages

As educators, we know the importance of learning through play. Block play is an excellent “teacher” for children of all ages, from infancy through Pre-K.

What are some concepts that blocks can teach us? For infants and toddlers, blocks help with motor development as they try to stack them or reach out to knock over towers. Blocks offer the chance for problem solving as children try to figure out how to balance sides of the construction to ensure success. They are wonderful for mathematics as we help children count them out, and when given other items to use with blocks (ex. cars to drive under block arches), imagination becomes ignited! Working together is practiced when there is block play. Infants come together, with an adult’s guidance, to learn the concepts of “taking turns” and “waiting,” (two things that can be difficult for young toddlers), and to share in the ultimate joy when the tower comes tumbling down! Blocks can be used to also teach shapes, colors and to discern sounds made by different materials. At all ages, block play is a powerful teaching tool.

When shopping for an educational toy, consider building your “block library”! Your child’s brain will thank you!


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