Sensory Sensations: Different Ways To Fill Your Sensory Table.

Sensory Sensations: Different Ways To Fill Your Sensory Table. Here are some ideas to start filling your sensory center.

Sensory Sensations: Different Ways To Fill Your Sensory Table.

One of the hardest things about working in day care is coming up with new ideas. Here are a few for your table to get you started.

  1. Peeled grapes
  2. Cold spaghetti
  3. Sunflower seeds
  4. Shaving cream or whipped cream
  5. Cotton balls
  6. Dried beans
  7. Kid safe slime (See Recipe:
  8. Uncooked pasta
  9. Soapy water
  10. Pom Poms
Sensory Sensations: Different Ways To Fill Your Sensory Table.

Photo courtesy of congerdesign via Pixabay

More Ways To Fill The Table.

11. Ice

12. Pieces of bubble wrap

13. Finger jello

14. Sandpaper

15. Pudding

There are many ideas to help your students make the most of their sense of touch.




Stress Less: Tips For Planning The Perfect Day Care Holiday Party

Are you looking to stress less this holiday season? Tips for planning the perfect day care holiday party. Working in a day care is one of the most rewarding jobs you will ever have. Everyday is filled with laughter, play, and love with the kids in your care. Still, you have your everyday responsibilities such as daily sheets, keeping up on everyone’s diaper and wipe situation and keeping your room clean. Holiday time is an especially magical time when you are working with children but can also be very stressful. In addition to your normal responsibilities, you also have to plan your classroom holiday party. How do you get a handle on everything that needs done and plan the perfect day care holiday party?

Tips For Planning The Perfect Day Care Holiday Party.

Start planning early-This seems very simple but is very important. Sit down with your co-teacher by at least mid September and start thinking about what needs to be done. Some questions that need answered are;

*How do you want to decorate your room?
*Where are your holiday decorations? Do you need to replace any?
*What do you want to do for your parent gift?
*If ordering from a company like Oriental Trading, how far in advance should you place your order?
*How do you want to decorate your bulletin board?
*Are you going to do a gift exchange? If so, how soon should the announcement go out?
*Are you going to play any games?
*Are you going to buy a few extra gifts in case one of your students don’t or they forget to bring their gift?
* How soon should you put up the sign up list for snacks/treats and parent volunteers?
*Are you going to send out a newsletter to parents about what you need or are you going to post it on your day care web site?

The Party Planning Phase.

Once you have these questions answered, you can start working out a time line for each step. Here are some tips to help you.

In September: Ideas, Ideas, Ideas.

1. As soon as you know how you want to decorate your room (Winter wonderland, snowmen, Santa’s workshop, etc), make sure you locate your holiday decorations within the next week.

2. Once you locate them, make a list of any that need replaced or anything you need to buy to correlate with your classroom theme.

3. Decide on three ideas for parent gifts. If it’s going to be a craft project, make a list of the items needed. If you are ordering a project from a company such as Oriental Trading, mark in the catalog or online what you are looking at.

4. Decide how you are going to decorate your bulletin board.

5. Decide weather or not you are going to have a gift exchange and what the dollar amount for each gift should be.

6. Decide if you are going to play any games with the kids such as having each child bring an unwanted household item wrapped up in various layers of wrapping paper. To open, the kids must wear mittens or gloves.

Tips For Planning The Perfect Day Care Holiday Party

Photo by Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash

More Tips For Planning The Perfect Day Care Holiday Party.

October/November: Organization

In October:

1. Make an official decision on your parent gift and, if needed, gather supplies or order by the first week in November.

2. Start gathering what you will need to decorate your bulletin board.

3. If you are doing a gift exchange and want a few extra gifts on hand, start buying them. (For example, a few extra books for a book exchange.)

4. Start writing a rough draft of your newsletter for parents so you don’t forget to include anything.

In November:

1. Buy/replace decorations.

2. If needed, order the kits to make your parent gift.

3. Have your holiday bulletin board up by the last week of November.

4. Have your parent newsletter finalized, printed, and in cubbies by the third week of November.

5. Wrap your ‘extra’ gift exchange presents. (Preferably during nap time.)

Stress Less: Tips For Planning The Perfect Day Care Holiday Party

Photo by Sofiya Levchenko on Unsplash

Party Perfection.

December: Enjoy less stress.

1. Hang up your sign up list for snacks/treats/volunteers.

2. Have your parent gifts made by the second week of December.

3. Decorate your classroom.

4. The week before the party, consult the list in your classroom and see if you need to buy anything not signed up for. (Juice boxes, plates, napkins, etc.)

5. Enjoy your party.

These tips for planning the perfect day care holiday party will make your planning process much easier. Although I was thinking of Christmas specifically, you can adapt the time frame for planning various parties throughout the year.  If you take the time to plan ahead and do a few things each month, you are bound to have a less stressed, magical holiday party with your students.

Tips For Planning Fall Field Trips

With back to school comes fall field trips. It can be a little daunting taking your class on a field trip to somewhere different. You have to be extra vigilant in keeping track of all those students. Here are some tips for planning fall field trips.

Tips For Planning Fall Field Trips.

Tip #1: Plan ahead and make sure any money is collected at least two weeks in advance.

Tip #2: Make sure you have enough chaperones.

Tip #3: Have your class all dress in the same colored shirt to help keep track of everyone.

Tip #4: Split your class into groups of five or six per chaperone and pay close attention to whom you put with whom.

Tips For Planning Fall Field Trips

Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

Tip #5: If you are taking lunch and eating it at your field trip location, don’t forget paper towels and garbage bags.

Tip #6: Check with kitchen staff the previous day to make sure any kids with allergies have a special lunch packed.

Tip #7: Remind parents of proper attire. For example, a jacket and sneakers if you are going to the pumpkin patch.

Tip #8: Have fun, it is good for both students and teachers to get out of their element from time to time.

Field trips don’t have to be stressful.  With a little planning and using these tips for planning fall field trips, you can enjoy a great day with your class.


6 Fall Crafts For Your Preschoolers

Fall is in the air. Soon the temperatures will be cooling down and the leaves will be turning their beautiful shades of color. Still, there will be days that are too chilly/rainy to go outside. There will also be weekends that get rained out as well. Your older kids can entertain themselves quite easily, but what about your younger kids? Here are 6 fall crafts for your preschoolers.

6 Fall Crafts For Your Preschoolers

1. Falling Leaves

What you will need:
Leave template
White card stock
Yellow, red, and orange crayons
Yellow, red, and orange glitter
Glue stick

How to make:
1. Print leaf template on white card stock paper.
2. Either let children cut out leaf templates themselves or help them.
3. Let each child color their own leaf.
4. Spread glue all over the leaf and have them shake the corresponding color of glitter all over it. Shake off excess.
5. When dry, display them in your home or classroom.

6 Fall Crafts For Your Preschoolers

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash


2. Tissue Paper Apples

What you will need:
Apple templates printed on red, green, and yellow card stock
Red, yellow and green tissue paper, cut into squares
Stick glue

How to make:
1. Print off apple templates on red, green, and yellow card stock.
2. Cut various colored tissue paper into squares.
3. Have each child pick out an apple and put glue all over it.
4. Let them add corresponding colored tissue paper.
5. When dry, display them in your home or classroom.

6 Fall Crafts For Preschoolers.

Photo by Daniela on Unsplash

3. Corn Stalks

What you will need:
Corn stalk template printed on beige card stock
Green crayons or markers
Bags of both Indian and traditional candy corn
Stick glue

How to make:
1. Print and cut out corn stalk templates.
2. Let the kids color the stalk part green.
3. Spread glue all over the corn part.
4. Decorate with both Indian and traditional candy corn.
5. Let dry and display.


4. Fall Crowns

What you’ll need:
Construction paper (various colors)
Measuring tape
Die cut leaves
Fall stickers

What to do:
1. Measure your child’s head.
2. Measure construction paper to fit your child’s head.
3. Cut the base of the crown from construction paper.
4. Let your child glue leaves on the crown and/or decorate with fall stickers.
5. Staple crown together.

6 Fall Crafts For Preschoolers

Photo by Hide Obara on Unsplash

5. Create Your Own Pumpkin

What you will need:
Pumpkin template printed on orange construction paper
Stick glue
Decorations (Felt squares, stickers, shiny beads/sequins, glitter, etc)

What to do:
1. Give each child a pumpkin template with their name on the back and a glue stick.
2. Let them decorate their pumpkin any way they want.
3. Let dry and display.

6. Fall Placemats.

What you’ll need:
Sheets of beige card stock
Fall stickers, die cut leaves, fall stamps, or even fall colored finger paint

Lamination paper
A Laminator

What to do:
1. Let the kids decorate their place mat any way they want or paint and let dry.
2. Write their name on the back.
3. Laminate and trim down the edges.

These 6 Fall Crafts for preschoolers are a great way to spend time with your family. They are also great ideas for teachers in their classroom.




Dumbfounded by Decorating? 45 Ways To Decorate Your Classroom Door

As I have been discussing, it’s back to school time. There are many ways a teacher has to prepare their classrooms for the new school year. One of the most important ways to do this is decorating their classroom door.  Why is this so important? Because children want to feel welcomed when they walk through the door and having a door that is decorated is a fun way to incorporate this. Dumbfounded by decorating? 45 ways to decorate your classroom door.

45 Ways To Decorate Your Classroom Door.

Check out this blog post from Bored

Dumbfounded by Decorating?: 45 Ways to Decorate Your Classroom Door

Photo courtesy of Shannon Matthew via Pixabay.


Some awesome ideas/concepts they have come up with include:

Encouraging kids to read

Encouraging ambition

Encouraging them to be their best selves


Dr. Seuss…

and much more.


5 Ways To Save On Childcare Costs

As I have mentioned the last few weeks, it’s back to school time. For families with older children, the basic expenses are taken care of in one big chunk at the beginning of the year. What about families with young children? Not even close. I recently read that people are paying close to double their mortgage for child care. Have you ever wondered what you can do to help lower those costs? Here are 5 ways to save on childcare costs.

5 Ways To Save On Childcare Costs.

5 Ways To Save On Childcare Costs.

Photo by Heather Phillips on Unsplash

  1. Create a budget-Sit down and account for all your spending. Are there things you can cut out or cut down to free up some extra money in your budget? Once you know how much you can spend a week or month on child care, you can start looking around.
  2. Shop around-Write down the tuition for each day care you are considering. Then write down the pro’s and con’s of each. This should help narrow your search down.
  3. Talk to your employer-Check with your HR department and see if they offer childcare reimbursement.
  4. Shift your schedule around-See if your employer would let you work less days if you put in so many hours in so many days. For example, would they let you work four 10 hour days instead of five 8 hour days? Could you and your spouse work it so you are on opposite shifts so someone is always home to be with the kids?
  5. Work from home or start your own business-There are lots of companies that hire remote workers like Amazon, Capital One, and Enterprise. If working for yourself is more appealing, draw on your talents and what you like to do. You could start a business freelance writing, being a virtual assistant, or another creative pursuit like making gift baskets. Sure you may still need child care but hiring a reliable babysitter for a few hours a day is a lot cheaper than a week at day care.

These are just 5 ways to save on childcare costs.  If you are able to implement just one, you can be assured peace of mind and a fuller wallet.


3 Back To School Crafts For Preschoolers

It’s that time again. Time for back to school.  Here are 3 back to school crafts for preschoolers that can also double as classroom decorations.

3 Back To School Crafts For Preschoolers.

Glittering apples

What you’ll need:

Template of an apple with eyes printed out on white card stock

Stick glue

Red, yellow, or green glitter

Medium to large googly eyes

What to do:

  1. Print out a template of an apple with eyes on white card stock.
  2. Have your students paint glue all over the apple and then help them shake on red, yellow, or green glitter.
  3. Add googly eyes.
  4. 4,When dry, cut out and  hang these on your classroom door.

School bus train

What you’ll need:

A template of a school bus printed on white card stock

Yellow and black crayons

Individual pictures of your students

How to make:

1.Print off a template of a school bus on white card stock and have your kids color the school bus.

2.A few days before, take individual pictures of your students and print them off.

3. Once your student is done coloring, cut out their face from their picture and add it to the front of the bus.

4. Do this for all your students and yourself and co-teacher, if you have one.

5.  Cut them all out and hang them in a ‘train’ on your classroom wall with the caption, “The Wheels on the Bus Go ‘Round and ‘Round”.

3 Back To School Crafts For Preschoolers

Photo courtesy of charlotteclaireking0 via Pixabay

Eye Catching Books

What you’ll need:

Template of a closed book printed on white card stock

Crayons, markers

Medium to large googly eyes

How to make:

1. Print off a template of a closed book on white card stock. Have your students color the book.

2. Add a pair of googly eyes. and write their name on the back.

3. When done, cut out everyone’s book and hang them on your classroom wall.

4. Add the caption, “Eye Love Books”. You could also create a bookshelf effect on your bulletin board and have the books sitting on the shelf.

These 3 back to school crafts for preschoolers will have your classroom looking cool.



Don’t Despair: Here Is Your Back To Day Care Checklist

In last week’s post, we talked about getting your older children ready for back to school. This week we’re going to talk about your younger children. I know what you’re thinking, will back to school shopping ever end? This should be a little easier because a lot of what you will need, you will already have on hand. Don’t despair, here is your back to day care checklist.

Don’t Despair: Here Is Your Back To Day Care Checklist.

Diapers-Make sure you take in a full box of diapers your first day. Although kids do have accidents and blowouts, these should last awhile and your teachers won’t be asking for diapers every other day.

Pull Ups-If your child is potty training, I personally recommend Pull-ups brand. Why? They are the easiest to get on and off. Just undo/reattach the sides and you’re good to go.

Wipes- Please bring two packs of wipes to start. Even though we use each child’s own ‘personal’ wipes that they bring in, we go through these like water.

Diaper Cream-Because rashes and irritation do happen.

Pacifiers- Two of these are important in case one gets lost. Yes, it does happen and it’s usually not pretty. 🙂

Don't Despair Here Is Your Back To Day Care Checklist

Photo by Laura Aziz on Unsplash

Other Items Needed.

One blanket-Bring one blanket for nap time. I have seen kids bring gobs of blankets, pillows, and stuffed animals for nap time and it’s just unnecessary.

Extra change of clothes-Having several sets of clothes in your child’s cubby is a Godsend. We don’t always have extra clothes to fit your child or if we do, it could be a short sleeve shirt and shorts when it’s the dead of winter. Extra pairs of underwear should also be included, aim for at least three pairs. This is very important to add to your back to day care checklist.

Jacket-As the weather gets cooler, please bring a jacket for your child. Once again, we don’t always have these on hand.

Milk-If your child is allergic to milk, please bring milk they can drink.

Back to school can make you want to pull out your hair. As I said, don’t despair, here is your back to day care checklist. This should make getting ready for going to day care a breeze.



Back To School: How To Keep Your Mornings Calm and Cool

We are getting closer to that time of year again. Our lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer are winding down and soon it will be back to our usual routine. The usual routine is making sure everyone is around and has their stuff, packing lunches, and making sure a quarter of a gallon of milk isn’t spilled every morning. Are you ready? If not, it’s okay. In today’s post, Back To School: How To Keep Your Mornings Calm and Cool, I’m going to share some tips to make your mornings much easier.

Back To School: How To Keep Your Mornings Calm and Cool.

The Night Before.

Back To School: How To Keep Your Mornings Calm and Cool

Photo by dhimas widrayato on Unsplash

Gather up everyone’s school stuff for the next day-Make sure your kids have all their school supplies, notebooks, and homework tucked away in their backpacks the night before. For your younger ones, make sure diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream and any other necessities are ready to go in the diaper bag.

Check for notes from your child’s teacher-Do they need anything special for the next day? Do they need to bring a book or movie for a special day? Do they need something special for an art project? Are fundraiser packets due? Do they need money for a field trip?

Pack lunches-Even if you can’t pack sandwiches ahead of time for fear of them getting soggy, make sure all other aspects of your lunches (fruit/pudding cups, chips, granola bars,) are in each child’s respective lunchbox. This will save on time in the morning. Slap some sandwiches together, add a drink, and you’re good to go.

More Ideas To Make Your Mornings Easier.

Choose outfits-Allow your children to pick out their clothes for the next day with the understanding that what they pick is what they have to wear.

Put things by the door-Make sure all shoes are sitting by the door.

Set the table and put out breakfast items-If you have time in the morning to sit down and eat breakfast, set the table and put out breakfast items like cereal, fruit or microwavable oatmeal cups. If not, set out breakfast items to just grab and go.

Where is your stuff?-As the adult, make sure all your things are in order including your laptop, important papers, car keys and yes, shoes. Make sure those pumps match and are ready to go.

Set the coffee maker-Program your coffee maker the night before to brew as many cups as you’ll need in the morning. 🙂

The Next Morning.

Back To School: How To Keep Your Mornings Calm and Cool.

Photo by Adriel Kloppenburg on Unsplash

Wake up and relax. Just imagine being able to spend a few extra leisurely minutes in bed because your morning is organized. Everything is in its place and more or less ready to go. In using the suggestions above, you’ll be ready for back to school and know how to keep your mornings calm and cool.


Fun Ideas For Five Senses Week.

We are smack dab in the middle of the dog days of summer. It’s way too hot to take your class outside and they are quickly tiring of the same old everyday toys. You may be even having a week where you are completely stuck on what to do differently. It happens. Why not plan some activities for the five senses? Today I’ve compiled a list of fun ideas for five senses week.

Fun Ideas For Five Senses Week.

Sight-Bring in a pair of binoculars and let the kids look through them to see what they can see. If you have one on hand, bring in a View Master from the eighties or a kaleidoscope. If you have an older class, make tie dye shirts so they can see what their t-shirts turn into once removed from the solution.

Smell-Bring in a variety of oils, spices, or unlit candles for the kids to smell. Arrange a field trip to a botanical garden so the kids can smell several different flowers. Research some fun facts about the nose and how we smell. Take a walk with your class in the fall and smell the crisp, cool air, leaves, and other smells of the season.
More Ideas For The Five Senses.

Sound-Bring in CDs or download sounds of nature on your phone or your iPod. If you know someone who knows how to play various instruments, have them come in and teach the kids about the different sounds that various instruments make. You could also just have them come in and sing with your class as well. Bring in a diagram of an ear or call a local ear, nose, and throat doctor to see if someone can come in and do a presentation about the ears.

Fun Ideas For Five Senses Week

More Ideas For The Five Senses.

Touch-Bring in different fabrics for your kids to touch. You could also bring in brown lunch sacks with cold spaghetti, peeled grapes, cotton balls, hard candy, etc. Have your kids put their hands in and tell you what they feel inside the bags without them looking inside the bag.

Taste-Bring in different flavors like peppermint candies, starbursts, potato chips or pretzels, lemon slices, etc. This way you can cover the full spectrum of our taste buds. Show your kids a picture of a tongue and explain what our taste buds do, where they are located, and the different tastes that they pick up.

Your kids are going to learn a lot and have a lot of fun with these ideas for  five senses week.