Giving This Holiday Season: Family Style

I love to give, no matter if it’s encouragement or love with words. A hot meal. A baked good. Or a gift. There are many ways to give and doing it as a family makes it even more fun. Here are some of my ideas for Giving This Holiday Season: Family Style.

Giving Family Style: Ages 5-12

There are many ways this age can learn to give.

* Explain to them that some kids don’t have toys to play with. Then help them clean out their play rooms or toy boxes and donate the gently used toys to a children’s home or shelter.

* Help your child look through their books and donate gently used ones to a shelter or even their classroom at school. Day cares especially have limited budgets so this would be greatly appreciated.

*Show them the Toys For Tots box and ask if they would like to spend some of their allowance to help another kid have a good Christmas. If there is a Salvation Army Angel tree at your work, pick a child off the tree and take them shopping with you.

*If you have a child that loves animals, call your local shelter and see if they have an angel tree set up at a local store for the animals. Our local no kill shelter does. Have them pick an animal off the tree and buy it some presents.

Giving This Holiday Season: Family Style

Photo courtesy of Tim Mossholder via Unsplash

Family Style Giving: Ages 13-19

*Ask your teen if they would like to adopt a friend who may be from a divorced or single parent  home and buy them a few special presents this year with their own money.

*Ask your teen if they would like to clean out their closet and donate the clothes and shoes they don’t wear.

*See if you can find an outreach that matches your teens interest and ask if they would like to give their time for a few days over Christmas break. (Do you have a reader? They could read to seniors at the nursing home. Have a cook? Serve at a homeless shelter. Animal lover? Volunteer at the animal shelter, etc.)

*Have them volunteer as a bell ringer for The Salvation Army.

Family Giving: Mom

*Cook a meal for an elderly neighbor.

*Bake some treats for an elderly neighbor.

*Help a friend wrap presents.

Giving This Holiday Season: Dad

*Help a neighbor put up their outdoor lights.

*Shovel a neighbor’s sidewalk.

*Help a friend haul home their Christmas tree.

 

These are just a few ideas for donating your time, talents and income this holiday season.  It is always better to give than to receive, cliched I know. However, as busy as we are the rest of the year, taking  the time to do some giving this holiday season, family style, will draw your crew together and create closer bonds.

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3 Ideas For Christmas Kid Crafts

Once again you are trying to figure out what to make in your classroom to use to decorate for Christmas. Here are 3 Ideas For  Christmas Kid Crafts to spark some ideas.

3 Christmas Kid Crafts.

Scratch n Sniff Gingerbread Man-Print out gingerbread men on white card stock and then mix brown paint with glue. Let the kids paint their gingerbread men and then sprinkle cinnamon on them before they dry, shaking off the excess. Use buttons, scraps of ribbon, glitter, etc to decorate their eyes, hands and feet. Punch a hole in the top and string ribbon through to make an ornament.

3 Christmas Kid Crafts

Photo courtesy of Aaron Burden via Unsplash

Build A Snowman- This is an ideal craft for older kids. (4’s n 5’s and up) Cut small squares of cardboard. Glue a large marshmallow to the cardboard then top with another one. Then add one last large marshmallow. Decorate the face with black tube icing, use pretzel sticks for the arms and use an orange Mike n Ike candy for the nose. Let dry completely. (For a completely edible snowman, build on a graham cracker base and use frosting to build snowman.) A yummy idea for a Christmas Kids Craft.

Another Christmas Kid Craft Idea.

Stuffed Stockings-Print off stocking patterns on colored card stock. Cut out pictures of toys, books, electronics, etc from magazines. Have the kids glue on pictures of what they would like Santa to bring them. Add pulled cotton balls to the top of each stocking. Write the child’s name on their stocking in glitter paint. Punch a hole in the top and hang on your bulletin board or from your classroom ceiling.

There are tons of ideas for Christmas crafts all over the Internet. These 3 Ideas For  Christmas Kid Crafts are easy and are quick to gather the supplies for.  Happy decorating!

 

 

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Unique Ideas: Gifts For Preschool Teachers.

You love your child’s preschool teacher and the various other staff at the day care they attend. However, it can be hard to figure out what to get them at the holidays.  Here is  a list of out of the box ideas for gifts for preschool teachers.

 

Gifts For Preschool Teachers.

A Planner- Planning a school year is tough work. Add in personal events and appointments and it can get quite chaotic. Help your teacher keep their sanity by getting them a planner.

Online Gift Subscription to The MailboxThe Mailbox is a magazine for various age groups. It is a digital magazine full of activity ideas, tips and craft ideas and can be a real life saver when a teacher is ‘stuck’ on what to do this week or month. The Mailbox Gold package they offer is just $2.99 a month and includes access to the whole site, free activity newsletters, and The Mailbox Magazine online delivered each month. Other perks to make a teacher’s life easier include being able to print everything they have saved in one click, being able to fill out a calendar and  having access to many print and make tools.

Gift Cards to Starbucks or Local Coffee Shops-These are great to have for in the morning to be able to just zip through the drive through. No counting out bills or change, just swipe and go.

Personalized Tote Bag- Find out what your eductor’s favorite color and/or interests are and order them the perfect tote bag.

Jumbo Book Of Teacher Tips and Timesavers-Written by veteran teachers, this book covers tips for discipline, communicating with parents and students, working with substitutes, etc.(Barnes&Noble, $25.11)

Gifts For Preschool Teachers

Photo by Andrew Neel via Unsplash

More Gifts.

Chicken Soup For The Soul Teacher’s TalesTeaching is not an easy job and everyone needs some inspiration sometimes. (Barnes&Noble, $12.96) These would be good gifts for preschool teachers from the owner/director as well.

Personalized Hobby Gifts- Find out a little more about your child’s teacher.  What are their hobbies? Are they an artist or like crafts? Get them a gift card to Michael’s or Hobby Lobby. Do they like to cook? Look into a one evening cooking class or a cookbook according to their favorite cuisine. Reader? Bookstore gift card.(Don’t forget your local independent bookstores too.) Writer? Try a new journal or a subscription to Writer’s Digest.

Homemade Treats- These are always a hit. Everyone loves baked goods but it doesn’t have to stop there. You can also make homemade coffee creamer, hot cocoa mix and tea mixes as well as different kinds of snack mixes. Check out Taste Of Home and Pinterest for lots of ideas.

Blanket-Sometimes classrooms get chilly, a fleecy, cozy blanket makes a great gift for a preschool teacher.

Children’s Books For The Teacher’s Library-Some day cares have a very limited classroom budget.  Let your child pick out some books that they would like to have in their classroom. Speaking of limited classroom budgets, craft supplies are always a welcome gift as well.

Contigo West Loop Travel MugThese travel mugs are amazing, keeping hot drinks hot for 5 hours and cold drinks cold for up to 12 hours. The best part is they won’t spill. (Walmart, various sizes and prices.)

If you’re looking for gifts for preschool teachers, I hope this list sparks some inspiration.

 

 

 

 

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Do I Need A Business Web Site For My Day Care?

Do I Need A Business Web site For My Day Care? It always amazes me when I’m researching a day care and they don’t have a web site. In this day and age it is vitally important to a business. I know some business owners think it’s too expensive or that it would be a hassle. Some just don’t understand why they need one. There are many reasons a day care should have a web site.

Do I Need A Business Web Site For My Day Care?

Your current clients. Working in day care for six years, I have seen parents and teachers alike get frustrated by a lack of communication in so many ways. So many important announcements would get left in cubbyholes or not noticed until it was too late. A web site for your business would make this so much easier. Your web site is a one stop shop for your business. It is a tool to make your life easier. Parents can log on any time day or night and get the latest news on events, fundraisers/field trip money that is due, and the latest happenings in each classroom. They can find out what is on the lunch menu for the week. Also, if you choose, they can log into your web site and watch their children in their classroom during the day. The days of missed announcements and miscommunication would be over. You can also send out a weekly or monthly newsletter that your parents sign up to receive in their Inbox.

Do I Need A Business Web Site For My Day Care?

Photo courtesy of William Iven via Unsplash

More Reasons Why Your Day Care Needs A Business Website.

Not having a web site hurts your business. Sure, word of mouth and referrals are great. But what about the family that lives in the next state over or across the country who is moving and is going to need childcare? What about the family who lives in another part of the state who is going to need to place their child? If they search for day cares in your area and you don’t have a web site, you are missing out on new clients. Your competition will be getting your business. Another perk about having a web site in this regard is parents being able to both email you directly with questions and being able to download and fill out an enrollment form online. They can then email it back to you with their information. This makes things so much easier.

 Why Have A Blog?

Having a blog on your day care web site is important. A blog can give parents information on the latest topics in parenting, the latest updates on the center and even fun posts from the staff about something cute or cool that the kids are doing in the classroom.

Keeping Up On Your Website.

This is where the beauty of a freelance writer that specializes in the parenting/day care niche comes in. You don’t have to do it all yourself, you can hire someone to write your content for you. This is perfect if you are not a wordsmith or just don’t have the time. Freelancers can keep your content clear, fresh and relevant.

The Cost Of A Website.

The cost of a web site really isn’t all that expensive. There are many companies that offer a lot for very reasonable prices. The key is that you want to set up your own domain name, not a free web site. When you own your domain name, that is your own piece of real estate on the internet. Also, setting up a web site isn’t all that hard either. Some can set up via drag n drop and others can be set up by watching a tutorial on YouTube using the theme you want to use.

As you can see there are many reasons that you need a business web site for your day care. There are many things to think about. When you ask yourself the question,  “Do I need a business website for my day care?” The answer is yes. Why? Because you want to be seen as current and you want to make it easier for your parents (and future clients) to get the information they need. If you haven’t considered the question why do I need a business web site for my day care, think about it. Keep in mind it will make your life easier as a business owner and much more convenient for your present and future clients.

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