Chinese New Year begins on February 19, 2015. It’s one of the most important holidays in the Chinese calendar. It lasts for 15 days and is cause for much celebration, and a feeling of renewal. Sharing the concept of Chinese New Year with day care children would open the door for some fun activities!
Many families will clean the house during the celebration, in order to sweep away bad fortune and welcome good luck into the home. Making cleaning a part of a celebration is a great way to get kids to help clean, and who wouldn’t want good luck?
Children might be fascinated by the story of the Nian, a mythical beast that would come to Chinese villages on or around Chinese New Year to attack people. In order to prevent the attack the next year, villagers learned to bang on drums and set off firecrackers, in order to frighten the Nian away with the loud noises. They also used the color red in lanterns, scrolls, and clothing. The story goes that a small child wore red and the Nian was frightened of the color, so it left the child alone. The Nian hasn’t attacked anyone since people learned these tricks, so they are now used at Chinese New Year celebrations. It would be fun for the kids to make some noise, and perhaps make some scrolls from red paper.
On Chinese New Year’s Eve, many Chinese families will eat a “reunion dinner”, usually having a chicken or pork dish. A fish dish is usually included, but it’s important that not all the fish is eaten. Some must be refrigerated overnight, from the previous year and into the new year, to ensure that each year has a surplus. People may give each other gifts of sweets, such as oranges, chocolates, or candies. These would be inexpensive and easily be prepared as a daycare activity for the kids.
You can find more fascinating information about Chinese New Year traditions on the internet. Learning about other cultures is so important for our children, and so much fun for them. This is a great learning opportunity!
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is observed on the third Monday each January. King’s birthday is January 15, so the observance falls around the time of his birthday. Many schools observe this holiday and are closed for the day, but many workplaces are not, so there will be lots of kids in daycare that are normally in school. These school age kids will likely learn about Martin Luther King Jr. in school, and there may be some activities in daycare.
Martin Luther King Jr. is probably the most recognizable figure in the American Civil Rights movement. He brought attention to race issues in the 1960’s. He rallied citizens to end racial segregation by use of non-violent protest. He also worked to end poverty and bring about an end to the Vietnam War, before he was assassinated in 1968.
The Occupy Wall Street movement of 2011, protesting social and economic inequality, also used nonviolent protest, championed by Dr. King and Mahatma Gandhi. These methods have been successful in bringing attention to various causes. The First Amendment to the constitution protects the rights of Americans, including the right to freedom of speech and the freedom to peaceably assemble, meaning that by following a few simple rules, protesters are free to gather and speak their minds.
It’s important for kids to learn not only about history, but how what has happened in the past affects current events and their futures. Children born in the 1990’s and 2000’s have never grown up with segregation and oftentimes, cannot fathom why anybody would treat somebody differently due to the color of their skin. This is Dr. King’s dream come true, and it was through the work of peaceful activists.
The children in daycare on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, learning about the man and his legacy, are also learning that ordinary people have the power to change the world for the good of all mankind. They have an opportunity to make their voices and ideas heard.
As parents, we have the opportunity to hear what our children have learned and discuss it with them. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is an excellent opportunity to discuss history and current events with our children. Dr. King is a wonderful example of how one person really can make a difference in the world. What an encouraging message for all of us!
St. Patrick’s day is just around the corner, so make sure you and your child are ready for a fun day at daycare!
The holiday itself can mean different things to different people but it is is a widely celebrated holiday which you will not want to miss out on in daycare. It’s never fun for your child to feel left out.
St. Patrick’s Day is the celebration of the Irish patron saint, St. Patrick. It is a popular holiday, traditionally celebrated with lots of feasting and parades. As a parent, it’s a good idea to make sure your child has at least a basic understanding of this fun holiday.
Originally, the color associated with St. Patrick’s day was blue. However, over the years it has turned to green. Let your child pick out their favorite green clothes for this fun holiday. You may even consider making a special day of fixing up your daughters hair with some green ribbons. Find a fun green hat for your son to wear on St. Patrick’s day (check your daycare or school rules regarding hats) to help them get into the spirit of St. Patrick’s day. Make sure they know it is not OK to pinch anyone that is not wearing green for the day. Once this practice was commonplace but it is frowned upon by many daycares and can even get your child into trouble. Tell them that pinching is not a nice to do and can hurt, and even if other kids do it, they should not.
Clover leaves have also been associated with the day because St. Patrick was said to use the three leaf clover as a symbol when he explained the Holy Trinity to non-Christians.
For your young children, St. Patrick’s Day often means a fun day of wearing their favorite green clothes. This is also a popular day for many daycare providers to have extra special games and activities. Good quality daycares will use these special days to incorporate fun and educational preschool games to learn about colors and letters. Ask your daycare provider about what they may have planned and if there is anything special that you need to have your child bring to daycare. You may even be able to extend the fun into your dinner at home. Here’s a fun thing to do for your kids:
When you’re getting dinner ready, get a clear, empty glass for your child. Put a drop of green food coloring in the bottom of the glass. Try to swirl it around a bit so it doesn’t look too obvious. Then at dinner put your child’s glass on the table, check to make sure they are watching, then pour some water or light-colored juice (like apple or white grape) in the glass. The liquid will turn green as you pour it in!
Another fun thing to do is to DVR the St. Patrick’s Day parades that happen around the country. Your child will love to watch the parade. If there is a St. Patrick’s Day parade that is happening around where you live, you can make an effort to take your children. They will love to see the giant floats, the marching bands and everyone dressed up for St. Patrick’s Day. They will especially enjoy seeing adults dress up and have fun. This is a good lesson for them that even when you are “grown up” it is still OK to have fun and to play.
There is something that has bugged me for some time as a parent: how to discipline a child for being a “tattletale”. It seemed kind of strange that a parent, teacher, or daycare provider would discipline the child that “tattled” to them regarding another child’s bad behavior instead of the child who is actually behaving badly. I dismissed this as “just what we do” for so long but that nagging feeling about this idea persists. As a parent, I have avoided it because it made me feel uncomfortable but I never realized why until now.
It’s Just Plain Laziness
First of all, children need to know what is right and wrong and it isn’t up to them to decide. Parents and daycare providers are supposed to do this. It is in fact one of the main jobs of being a parent or provider. Whether it is something huge like playing with matches or something small like not playing nice, it is the provider’s job to make the judgment, not the child’s. When the child who “tattled” is disciplined instead of the one actually being bad, it sends the message that we don’t care enough to step in and help when they can’t help themselves, or when they don’t quite know what to do.
Parents and Providers Need to Teach
We should not expect children to make decisions in arguments when they are so young. By the time children are old enough to know the difference between right and wrong regarding a certain situation, they shouldn’t be doing it in the first place. So the parents and providers should get involved to take care of the issue. Whether the situation is something new or old, huge or mundane, it is our responsibility as parents and providers to help them work through these situations.
It’s Name Calling
As simple as this point might seem, it is still valid. Calling a child a tattletale is name calling. Name calling at any time, for any reason, is wrong. It’s as simple as that.
Children Should Always Be Able to Talk
This is one of the most important points of this whole thing. A child should always, 100 percent of the time, feel safe about coming to a parent or daycare provider about anything. And I do mean anything. Parents and daycare providers can’t know or anticipate all of the situations a child might encounter and you do not want children to ever hesitate to talk to you. What if something bad happened to a child and they did not talk to anyone about it because they thought someone might call them a “tattletale”?
A Bully’s Playground
When children are disciplined and called “tattletales”, it opens the door for all kinds of other terrible things to happen. If a bully or an adult knows that a child will get in trouble for tattling, they can easily use that leverage to pick on and otherwise torment a child. They know the children who live under “no tattling” rules will hesitate to speak out when something is wrong. This is a terrible and easily abused situation which could be avoided if we would all agree that it is a good thing to speak out when something is wrong.
No More Tattletales
I hope that this list of reason is enough to illustrate why the whole idea of calling a child, or anyone else for that matter, a “tattletale”, is wrong. This can have far-reaching consequences even throughout adulthood. We are the parents and daycare providers for children and we must make sure that the children are always able to speak to us no matter what. As parents and daycare providers both, we need to take the pledge to end the destructive habit of calling children “tattletales” and take the time resolve whatever situation might be at hand. We owe it our children and their futures.
Back to school time comes with a whole mix of emotions for parents and children alike. Even if you don’t have kids that are in school yet, they are bound to be affected by those that are heading back to school. Some kids will love going to school, while other children will be terrified about a change from their usual daycare routine. Parents can have the same range of emotions as they try to deal with their children in different places and always the struggle of them growing up too fast. Regardless of how you feel, both the children and the parents are bound to be stressed at this time. Here are a few tips to help you along in these transitioning times.
Always Be Excited
Act excited, even if you aren’t! This will help your child be motivated and interested in these changes.
Always Be Interested
Even though you may feel overwhelmed, make sure you ask specific questions about school or their friends they might have who are going to school.
Take Some Time
Cut out some of the extras in your schedule to make time not only for your kids, but for yourself as well.
Make Sure to Show Attention to Your Kids Who Aren’t in School
It is a huge deal that one of your children is going to school, but you also need to make sure you give attention to those kids that aren’t. They will feel left out if you don’t.
Stay on Top of Schedules
Often during school, schedules become very complicated and hectic. Make sure your schedule matches up with your daycare providers.
It is a stressful and busy time for everyone when school starts and if you have children in daycare it can be very difficult to make everything work. It will be even more difficult if you do not follow these simple rules. You want your kids to be excited about school, happy about those that are going to school, and handling the changes well. As a parent you will need to have them responsive to being dropped off and picked up whether it is daycare or school. These simple rules should make it much easier for both children and their parents to make the difficult transition back to school from daycare.
What is it about kids and water? They are deliriously happy playing in the neighborhood pool or a wading pool in the backyard. It seems like such a basic part of childhood, that it’s hard to imagine that an average of 390 children under the age of 15 die annually from drowning, and 75% of those are children under the age of 5 (http://www.poolsafely.gov/drowning-deaths-injuries/). If your daycare provider takes your child to a pool, has a pool in the backyard, or sets up a wading pool during the summer, you might want to determine the precautions they take in order to keep the children safe.
It’s a definite plus for any day care provider to be certified in CPR and have taken classes in First Aid. When a pool is involved, knowing CPR may mean the difference between life and death. The pool should also be fenced off or, if it’s a wading pool, emptied of water when playtime is over.
It’s difficult to keep an eye on children at all times, but at the pool, it’s imperative. The daycare provider needs to pay attention to each of the children. Not only do they need to be watching the children, they need to know what to look for. On TV, drowning is always a noisy, splashy affair. In real life, it is more likely to be quiet and fast. As a parent, we know the kids are up to no good when it becomes quiet, right? When children play in the water, they are noisy. If they start splashing and calling for help, they need help. If they become eerily quiet, they may need help as well. You need to find out why they are so quiet (http://mariovittone.com/2010/05/154/). Even if they are not in danger, a quiet child in the pool may be exhausted or have another issue, and it may be time for them to take a break from the water.
As a parent, you can help prevent problems by taking your children for swimming lessons. Most recreation centers or city pools offer swimming lessons, usually for a reasonable price. There, the children will learn water safety and basics that will help them as they play in the water. However, don’t think that swimming lessons mean your child will not drown. Children need to be closely supervised when they are playing in or near water, no matter what.
Children love to play in the water. But it’s important for daycare providers and parents to take steps to prevent injury or death in a swimming pool: keep kids from getting into unattended pools, keep a close eye on kids when they are in the pool, know what drowning looks like, and teach kids water safety and give them swimming lessons.
It’s that time of year again. Time to start thinking about what to do with the holidays and what we want to do for those special people around us. As soon as your children are old enough to talk you can start to involve them in this wonderful season of giving. It is very important as a parent to start to teach your children the value of giving and doing special things for those people that we care for.
With the hectic schedule of the holidays its easy to overlook some of those that are most important to our child’s lives, their daycare providers. Make sure they are on shopping list. Daycare providers and nanny’s are such a vital part of your child’s life. They need to be reminded just how important and special they are. Involve your children in this if possible as they will just love to pick out things for their daycare provider. They will hold a special investment in the decisions and pride in giving it to them. This will help them to learn the valuable lessons around the joy of giving and showing appreciation.
Now is the time to score some great deals on things for the holidays. With the economy being what it is many retailers are offering deep cuts with their Black Friday and holiday deals.Take advantage of them while you can!
Black Friday and Holiday Deals
Great Toddler Gifts
This Brainy Baby deal is a great one, this could be the perfect gift for those that are expecting or have young kids. This set can get them started off right on the path to getting ready for school.
Daycare Supplies and Games
Here is a great source for daycare supplies. They have great deals year round and they are offering deeper discounts through the holiday season.
Kmart is has been slowly closing up stores but their online presence has been strong. You can find great deals with them through the holiday shopping season. The great thing about Kmart is that you can get a wide variety of things in one place at great prices.
Happy Halloween parents and daycare providers! This is usually a very busy day for everyone. It is very fun day for most but it is important to keep a few things in mind to make sure that you enjoy Halloween. With a little parenting advise and foresight we can make sure that this day is great for both the children, their parents and the hard working daycare providers.
Halloween is a fun time for parents, their children as well as their daycare providers. Most childcare providers have a host of fun activities and games planned for today. Make sure to talk to you children about this so they can be ready to try something new and exciting!
Parents and daycare providers should keep in mind that today breaks the normal routine of their children. So try to have a little extra patience and it will help to make Halloween that much more fun for everyone.
Halloween Celebrations at Daycare
Whether you take your child to an in-home childcare provider, a public daycare center or have a nanny at home to watch over the little ones today is a day full of fun for everyone. Both in-home daycare providers and public childcare centers should have a myriad of fun events planned for the day. Your child will likely have “too much fun” as well as too many candies and treats. Make sure to monitor this as kids will eat so much as to make them sick. It’s a great time to talk about healthy eating. Also be sure to mention that sweets are a treat to be enjoyed but not over indulged.
Halloween After Daycare
After daycare is a great time to head directly out to go trick or treating or any other activities that you or your children would like to enjoy on Halloween. The children are likely in the Halloween party mode already and it will make the transition easier for them. It’s a good idea to double check and make sure every child that is going trick or treating has their candy bucket, a flashlight and warm clothes. You may be spending an extended time outside so make sure everyone is warm and comfortable. It is also a good idea to bring along a spare set of regular clothes for everyone.
As a parent make sure to set a clear goal or plan out for your children. When they know what they are doing and how long they may be out it make them much more comfortable. This will also help you when it is time to stop as the children will be expecting it and the chance of a meltdown is less. To reduce the chance of a meltdown further follow this piece of great bit of parenting advise: Always give your children a countdown. Start at 10 minutes, then give them a 5 minute warning, and finally one final warning that you are almost done at the two minute mark. If your child can’t tell time you can even be loose with the actual time that spans. This just gives them warning that things are about to change and a chance to prepare for something new.
Alternatives to Trick or Treating
You may have very young children, the weather might not be suitable to trick or treating outdoors, or you may just want something a bit different to do on Halloween. Here are a few suggestions in case you are looking for an alternative.
Check your local senior living housing. These are often overlooked but a great place to take young children on Halloween. They are warm, friendly and child safe places where the seniors love to have the cute little kids as visitors.
Local farms or parks. These often have fun activities for children but they are outside so it may be too cold this time of your for the youngest of Halloween goers.
Stop by a local church. Churches often hold Halloween events and are usually very open to new people. They also are a safe bet for young children.
Head over to a local recreation center. Almost all local recreation centers have some kind of Halloween event going on. They usually have trick or treating along with a wide variety of activities suitable for the younger children.
Visit a local mall or shopping enter. They often have Halloween events or activities and are usually indoors out of the weather.
Visit friends, family and neighbors. Instead of canvasing a neighborhood stop by your friends and families houses. This is a great opportunity to see those that you may not get to regularly. They will just love to see those cute little costumes.
Your own home can be the best option. If the weather is bad or if you have infants, doing anything in a public place can be too much trouble and work. Have a few games ready at home and play with your children. You can even have them trick or treat from room to room as practice for later Halloweens.
Regardless of what you decide to do with your own family, make sure to have fun. Halloween is a great casual holiday where both the children and the parents can dress up and have a fun time. Enjoy it for what it is. Try not to let you or your child get sick eating candy and treats. Most importantly though, take this time to spend good, quality time with your family. Happy Halloween!
With back to school now in full swing, the lives of all our families get much busier. It is a time of schedule changes and juggling our priorities to accommodate everyone’s needs. A bit of parenting advice that may be valuable to you is: get to know your child’s schoolmate’s parents like you do with the other daycare parents. You don’t have to be best friends or even do things with them outside of school. But it is a good idea to at least get to know their names and who their kids are.
Why should one parent get to know another parent?
We all have busy lives and we all have too much to do. This is true, but as a parent your primary responsibility is your children. When looking out for the welfare of your child either at school or at daycare, you should get to know those other parents and their children.
Not only does it make it more comfortable since you will get to know them, but it will allow you to stay more informed on what is going with daycare and school. As you talk to these other parents you can learn about them, their children and what they know of daycare or school events. They can help remind you if daycare is taking a day off or if school will be closed the next day.
Not only is it nice to get to know other adults to talk to on the playground, you can also look to these daycare and school relationships in times of need. Maybe a big project is coming up, or your car broke down and you need help from someone, maybe getting your child to school. If you have even a passing relationship with another parent, you could contact them to see if they can help you out. You must be sure to never abuse these tentative relationships but most parents will understand the need to reach out once in a while for help. Most parents will also be happy to help you out since someday they may need to return the favor.
Make Dealing with Issues a Snap
Another one of the benefits of getting to know the other parents of the children that surround your own may make it easier to handle some issues that may come up. You don’t want your first words to another daycare parent to be about something negative, like behavioral issues. If you have already approached these parents and speak to them regularly, then talking to them about the inevitable issues that arise will be a snap. The situation will likely be much more amicable from the start and both parents can handle whatever issue arises with a smile.
There are many other benefits to getting to know those other parents of the children at school and daycare, such as being more comfortable at play dates, or at birthday parties, or knowing important information if something else comes up. You will already have an idea of who they are , which will go a long way toward building trust and ensuring your child’s safety. This will only help to strengthen your relationship with your children, their friends and their parents.
Back to school is an emotional and stressful time for both parents and children. Whether your child is heading back to school or not this time of year will likely mean changes for your children. Take the time and make the effort to make these changes as comfortable and easy for your children as possible.
A child who is not going to school will still be affected by others who are doing so. It is important to recognize this time and to prepare your child for the upcoming transitions.
All parents should take a close look at their children and make sure that they are prepared for this fun time. Make sure that you consider all your children, if you have more than one, and how they will see the changes in each other, themselves, and the nature of their days.
Daycare Children too Young for School
Even if your child is too young to attend school, they will be affected by school age children who attend daycare with them, or by changes the family experiences when older siblings return to school. Your child has gotten used to the various ages of the children they are around all day and during the summer this is often with school age children. Young children who are too young for school look up to older children with interest and admiration. They, like their parents, are often role models.
This is a great opportunity for the older children to help to show preschoolers how fun and exciting school can be. Then you can discuss with the younger children what they are looking forward to when they go to school.
In order to get children in a back-to-school mood, they can play school together. This can be a fun game for all of them and has many benefits. It offers the older children a sense of pride to show the younger children at the daycare what they do in “big kid school”, and helps ease the transition from summer to school days. It also fosters some excitement in the younger children about what school is and helps to teach them a little about it. This is great so when the day comes that they go to school, they will not be as scared since they will have an idea of what to expect, and they’ll be excited to learn. Lastly, this will give the children some good quality time together before the older children are gone for the day and not at daycare.
Daycare Child Heading into Kindergarten
A remarkably important and vital milestone for all children is when they leave daycare and head to school. Even if they are in a preschool daycare environment, the change to Kindergarten is huge and should be handled with care. This is a time when you will set the stage for your child’s success throughout their scholastic career. Make sure to start on the right foot!
It is very important as a parent and a daycare provider to speak excitedly about school. Even if you were one of the many people who really did not enjoy school or if you struggled with it, it’s important not to portray school as something to dread. Implanting that idea into your children as they enter school is very detrimental. It is vital that you help your child get excited about school. They need to be excited about learning and hungry to learn new things.
School is a time that will test your children so be sure to talk about it well before they start and to answer as many questions as you can. It may take days for your child to process the idea of going to school, spending so much time away from friends and those they know. You as a parent need to make a great effort to help them transition into the next stage of their lives and to set the groundwork for their success in school.
This is a great time to play school with them. Go through the alphabet or count with them. Try to play games that are both fun and similar to those things they will encounter in school. They should be ready to enter school excited about starting.
Bring these things up with your daycare provider as well. Make sure they know your upcoming school schedule and help you to prepare your child for school. By reinforcing this as a parent and as their daycare provider it will make this monumental transition from daycare to school easier and better for the child.
During this time, try to empathize with your child. This is a major transition, so they will need a little attention or a little more space to more easily adjust to the new situation. This will also help you as a parent see what they may need for you more easily. It can be hard to do this as a parent, but your children are growing up. Give them the room they need to grow.
Daycare Child going Back to School
With children that have already been in school, this time is a bit easier for them. However, do not neglect to tap into their experience in school. They are likely going to the same school as some of the kids are that are just starting. Use these school age children’s knowledge to help you understand how school is today and to help those preschoolers that are becoming Kindergarteners.
It can seem like the same old routine to those children that are already in school but parents need to remember the younger ones that aren’t in school as well. They may feel left out, alone or not as special as those who are heading back to school. So when you make plans for those children that are heading back to school also make plans for those children that are not going back to school. If you are going to go get back to school supplies for your older child, take your younger one as well and get them a few things.
Make sure to talk to your school age child and see what they thought about last year. What did they like? Was there anything they weren’t too fond of? Use their answers to help them through the next year of school. Each child is different and it is up to you as a parent to get them excited and ready to head back to school. I suggest having the child tell the younger ones about school and what they liked about it. This will help give them a sense of importance and pride and this alone can help get them in the mindset for school.
Back to School Changes at Daycare
No matter if your child is very young or almost done with daycare, this time of year is one of great importance. They will undoubtedly encounter many changes in the next month or so. As a parent you are responsible for making this time as easy as possible for them. Use what you know as a parent to make these transitions as easy as possible. Make sure to talk to your daycare provider and give them any insight or ideas to them about what you want to do. This is a fun and exciting time for both parents and children so do what you can to make the best out of it for everyone. This will help to lead you and your child to another successful year!