Tag Archives: infant

Cleaning Out Toys for Daycare and Tax Deductions

toy-messAre you wondering what to do with the piles of new stuff you have for your kids? Are they outgrowing the toys you have been accumulating over the year? Is that tax time just around the corner? Here at Decide on Daycare we can help you with all of those!

It’s that time of year again, when we find ourselves buried under piles of new toys while we look at the piles of old toys to and try to figure out what to do with it all.

First things first, talk to your children and get them involved in the process of cleaning out and cleaning up the old toys. It’s important to teach them that it does not matter how many toys you have, but what toys you have. You can follow your own beliefs but it is a good idea to help your children determine the difference between educational toys and regular toys.

Which Toys are Which 

Developmental Milestones of Young Children
Developmental Milestones of Young Children

Educational toys are ones that help teach A-B-C’s, counting, matching, shapes and colors, etc. When kids have these types of toys, they are playing and learning at the same time. It sets the foundation for their little brains to learn properly for the rest of their lives. It’s important as a parent to show excitement for these toys. Your children are going to feed off your excitement. Even if you are not actually excited about the educational toys you should still encourage them to play with these over the non-educational toys.

Non-educational toys will be more of the “standard” toys that kids often get. Things such as stuffed animals, cars, balls and other toys that are not directly related to things your children will need to learn and know to start school. These toys can be good, none the less, as they can help build imagination, sharing, and several other good behaviors. However, they can still often learn these same things through educational toys.

As a parent I try to keep the ratio between educational toys and non-educational toys at least  50/50. You can strive to make most of their toys educational. That way, the likelihood of them having higher quality play time is better.

As far as books go I try to encourage the same ratio as the toys, but I am much more hesitant to get rid of any books. The reason for this is even the youngest and most “babyish” books are great tools to help your children to read. Children will first learn to memorize the book. However, over time, they can learn to read the book as they grow older. You can really help them along with this by teaching them to skim the words as they read. By showing them you are helping them to learn to recognize the words. It may seem strange but your children can actually learn to recognize words prior to learning how to read or write.

Clean Out the Toys

Now that you have an idea of what’s what, start to go through your toys and books with your children. If you empower them to help and make decisions regarding what to keep or what to get rid of, it will make them feel like they are in control and will make this a much smoother process.

Make sure you talk through their decisions with them. If they want to get rid of something they play with every day, explain that that would not be good because they like the toy so much. On the flip side, encourage them to get rid of things that have sat in the bottom of the toy box without being touched for years.

Take this opportunity to throw away all toys that are broken or missing important pieces. Since they are getting new toys, there is no reason to hang onto the old stuff.

If they are unsure or you think they may actually want a certain toy later, you do have an option for a middle ground. You can tell them you can put their toy in “storage”. Put these toys in a bag or box and then put them in a place like a closet or spare room—someplace accessible to you but out of the way, and out of their sight. You might want to label this bag or box so you know it contains your child’s things, and put the date on the label as well. That way you know how long it has been since they played with the toys inside. If they ask for a toy, you can get it out of storage, but if it’s been six months, chances are you can donate them. If they realize that they want something from storage, you can get it back for them.  If you do, don’t take them with you. They will want all the toys in the bag! Just get the one item they asked for and take it to them. Use your best judgment since the ultimate goal is to clear out the old to make room for the new.

If there are any special toys, something that was one a parent’s, or something that would make a good memento, put it aside special for them. It can be a nice surprise when they head off to college to get the stuffed bunny they carried around for their first three years of their life, or when they are expecting their first child to receive some special toys they had as a kid.

Lastly, make sure that you keep a list of everything that is going into the donation bags. This will come in handy later. Throw out the broken toys but anything that is usable can be passed to another owner.

Donate to your Daycare or Charity

Lower Your Taxes - Big Time
Lower Your Taxes

There are many avenues to get rid of the unwanted but usable old toys your children have outgrown or no longer want. Use the list you created and send a copy to any of your friends that may have kids that are the right age for the toys that you have. Give a copy to your daycare provider and see if they want any of it. It can be fun for your child to find an old toy show up at daycare. Once you have talked to anyone you know that would want them, as well as your daycare provider, take what is left to your favorite charity.

Make a list of the toys you donate to charity. It is quite likely that these donations are tax deductible.

A Season of Getting and Gifting

It can be difficult for kids to understand the importance of why we give to others. It’s hard for them to grasp the idea of selfless giving. But if you help to reinforce this idea before the holidays and then back that up this time of year, you can help them to really absorb this lesson.

Explain to them that by donating their toys to their neighbor, family, daycare or charity is a great way to practice selfless giving. Show them how much you enjoy helping others and they will learn to enjoy giving as well.

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Cyber Monday Deal on Baby Signing Time

daycare-babyOne of the most frustrating things to both parents and their children is not being able to communicate properly. It takes children years to learn how to talk. As a parent you don’t have to wait years to learn to communicate with your child. How do you talk to those that can’t? Through sign language of course!

Sign language is something that your baby, even an infant can learn to use. It is comprised of basic motions and movements which are much easier for your baby to learn then a speaking language. Using sign language to communicate with your baby is a great way to ease much of the frustrations that come with early parenting and your child’s early years. Parents are able to ask infants basic questions aabout what they need and why they are sad. Infants are able to tell you want they want and when they need it.

Teaching children sign language before they can speak can have a profound impact on the rest of their life.   By enabling early communication, building vocabulary and building a strong relationship with your child during the first three years, you are helping your child to develop the foundation for language and learning that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Teaching sign language helps you to do this.   There is a growing body of research that suggests that signing has many benefits, including:

  • Strengthens parent/child bonds
  • Enables early language, vocabulary & expression
  • Reduces frustration and tantrums
  • Helps parents to be more observant and responsive
  • Promotes positive emotional development
  • Builds confidence and self esteem

Sign language is something that can and should be transferred over to your daycare provider. In fact many daycare providers already know and use sign language. If the teaching and use of sign language is used at home and at daycare you will see dramatic a dramatic increase of your baby using it.

Baby Signing Time has some great holiday deals going right now and there isn’t a better time to get started. This would make an amazing gift for any parent, grandparent and daycare provider.

Holiday Special!! For A Limited Time Only, Save 35%
Holiday Special!! For A Limited Time Only, Save 35%

I have used sign language with my children and it has helped dramatically in trying to calm upset infants. It works great to know if they are hungry, thirsty, or tired. It really is amazing how well it works. I know it has surprised many parents, it did me, that their tiny little infant has much more to say about the world around them then you ever knew. Sign language helps them to say these things. When parents use this at home and their daycare providers use sign language it can really help make the first few years before they learn to speak much better. It gives them a head start on learning, and gives parents, daycare providers and anyone else taking care of your children more tools to insure they are taken care of well.


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Day Care Kids Get More Infections Now, but Fewer Later

daycare_toy_trainThis article is credited to:
By Maureen Salamon, MyHealthNewsDaily Contributor
posted: 07 December 2010 11:39 am ET

We found this article very interesting and thought that we would share it with you.


Young children who attend large day care facilities suffer more respiratory and ear infections as toddlers than kids who spend their days at home, but develop fewer such illnesses during their grade-school years, a new study suggests.

“Overall, all the children got sick the same amount, so there are no differences between the groups — just the timing is different,” said study researcher Sylvana M. Cote, a psychologist at the University of Montreal in Quebec.

However, “one can argue that there is an advantage of not missing school days, when they’re missing major education that’s really the basis of their academic trajectory, Cote told MyHealthNewsDaily.

Cote studied data over eight years, tracking how often children suffered respiratory, ear or gastrointestinal infections during their early preschool (up to age 2½), late preschool (3½ to 4½) and early elementary school (ages 5 to 8) years.

Among the 1,238 families in the study, kids who began attending day care facilities in large settings before age 2½ had higher rates of respiratory and ear infections compared with children who were cared for at home until grade school. Cote defined large day care settings as facilities with at least 100 children.

The apparent trade-off, Cote said, was that these children developed fewer infections after age 5.

The results follow the logic that the more germs children are exposed to, the more likely they are to get sick, said Dr. Henry Bernstein, chief of general pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York, who was not involved with the study.

“There’s no question when there’s an environment where kids are in close contact — and young kids may not be washing their hands as much as adults — the spread of germs happens more readily,” said Bernstein, who is also a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Infectious Diseases.

Cote also found that children who enrolled in small-group child care facilities in early preschool, as opposed to facilities that had larger groups of children, didn’t have any more infections than kids who stayed at home. She added that few previous studies examined the impact of group child care on infection rates beyond the preschool years.

Kids who were initially cared for at home and later enrolled at any child care facility had more ear infections between ages 3 ½ and 4 ½, but no other differences in infection risk, according to the researchers.

The researchers did not find a link between gastrointestinal illnesses and group child care at any age.

“Young children do get more gastrointestinal infections, but it doesn’t matter later,” Cote said. “We do have a protective effect for intestinal infections when we get to grade school.”

Bernstein said gastrointestinal illnesses may not be spread as readily as respiratory or ear infections at day care facilities because parents may be more likely to quickly intervene when symptoms — such as vomiting or loose stools — appear. But runny noses or coughs may not attract parents’ attention as readily, he said, keeping sick children in day care and increasing their chances of exposing others.

Other studies have shown that repeated, mild respiratory infections at young ages — which stimulate the immune system — can prevent asthma from developing, Cote said.

“I hope people will not worry so much about sending their children to day care in relation to infections. Really, what we are seeing is a natural part of life when we get to large groups,” Cote said. “In the long run, it shows day care does not have an impact in the long-term burden of disease. I think it is (an advantage) in terms of the academic aspect.”

The study is published in the December issue of the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Pass it on: Kids who attend day care facilities when they are very young may get sick less once they reach elementary-school age than those cared for at home.

This article was provided by MyHealthNewsDaily, a sister site to LiveScience.

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