Sidestepping the Summer Learning Slump

The kids just got out of school and summer vacation is on. Although kids need to rest and recharge like the rest of us, you don’t want them to totally lose the skills they learned during the school year. Still, you’re not sure if summer school is the answer either. So what do you do? Here are some ideas to sidestepping the summer learning slump.

Sidestepping the Summer Learning Slump.

Cook Together-Have your kids cook with you at night to keep their math skills sharp.

Join A Reading Program-Sign them up for reading program at the library. When they are done reading the book, discuss it and see if you can plan an activity around it.

Go on a Virtual Tour-Would you love to travel the world with your kids but just don’t have the funds? Go on YouTube and find a video about the place you want to go.

Sidestepping the Summer Learning Slump

Photo courtesy of David Lezcano via Unsplahs

Plan an activity day-Pick a day and plan the whole day with your child. Choose a set amount of money and have them help you manage it as you decide what activities you want to do.

Take your High School kid on a Virtual Campus Tour-Use the website to find tours of colleges your child wants to attend.

Join a community garden-Join a community garden with your child where they can learn to how to plant different vegetables.


These are just a few ideas in sidestepping the summer learning slump. With some conversation with your child and a little creativity, you be able to make this summer a fun learning experience.






6 Ideas For Your Summer Bulletin Board.

We are slowly making our way into the hot, lazy days of summer.  Time for baseball, cookouts,  and splashing in the pool.  It’s also time to switch your bulletin board for the next three months or so. Are you looking for some simple ideas that won’t take a lot of work? Here are three ideas for your summer bulletin board.

Six Ideas For Your Summer Bulletin Board.

1. Sipping through summer-Cut out milkshake patterns and have your students color them. Add stretched out cotton balls for fluffy whipped cream and a small red pom pom on top. Buy a red checkered table cloth and cut a piece as long as the bottom end of your bulletin board. Staple it to the bottom. Add a colored background that you think will complement and then line up and staple the milkshakes on the table cloth. Add the caption, “Sipping Through Summer.”


2. Lazy Days-Make a pool background on your bulletin board. Copy and cut out patterns of children at the pool and add a head shot of each of your students. Add the cutouts to the pool. You may even want to add yourself and your co-teacher as lifeguards.  Add the caption, ” Crazy, lazy days of summer.” or “Splashing through summer.”

3. Flying through Summer-Another great idea for your summer bulletin board is to add a blue background with some clouds and green on the bottom for grass. Copy patterns of kites and have your kids color them. Add different colored yarn for a tail and then staple them all over the bulletin board. Add the caption, “Flying through summer.”

Six Ideas For Your Summer Bulletin Board

Another three ideas for your summer bulletin board.


4. S’more Summer- Cut out a template for a s’more and have your kids color the graham and the chocolate. Add googly eyes to the marshmallow part and a smile. Add a dark blue background to your bulletin board and a template of a bon fire and then scatter your s’mores all around the board. Add the caption, “We are ready for s’more summer.”

5. Strawberrylicious Summer-Print an oversize template of a basket of strawberries. Also print off enough individual strawberry patterns for your class. Have the kids color them and add googly eyes and a smile. Add green on the bottom for grass and light blue on top for sky.  Add the caption, “Strawberrylicious Summer.”

6. Swimming into summer-Add a blue background and have your kids color templates of fish. Add some grass and seaweed. Then add the caption “Swimming into summer.”

These three ideas for your summer bulletin board should make re-doing things a snap and have a bright, eye catching board all summer.



9 Social Skills Kids Need Before Preschool

Your child is getting ready to start preschool. This can be a whole new game when they are used to being home with you on a regular basis.  It can be hard for some kids who struggle with social skills when they start their first day. Here is a list of 9 Social Skills Kids Need Before Preschool to help you prepare them for their best school days ahead.

Social Skills Kids Need Before Preschool.

Skill #1: Introducing Themselves-Sometimes kids can be shy but it’s good for them to be able to introduce themselves. To make things easier, teach them to start with a smile and then introduce themselves. Starting with a smile shows others that they are friendly and fun to be around. Explain to them that they may have to introduce themselves several times because it will take time for everyone in their class to learn each other’s names.


Skill#2: Asking for help-It is important that your child is comfortable asking for help.  If they are nervous, explain that sometimes asking for help in a group is much better because there are a lot of other people to help you. Give them an example where they may need to, like needing help picking up the Legos at clean up time.


Skill#3: Following Instructions-This is a big one. It is important for your child to be able to follow instructions. In the weeks before preschool, start giving them 3 step instructions to follow and see how they do. For example, to clean your room;

  1. Make your bed
  2. Pick up the toys off the floor
  3. Put your dirty clothes in the basket


9 Social Skills Kids Need Before Preschool


Skill#4: Disagreeing Appropriately-It’s bound to happen, there will be disagreements at preschool. Teach your child to respect other people’s opinions and to agree to disagree sometimes. For example, a boy may think that girls can only play with dolls, ponies, and stuffed animals while your girl thinks that she can play with whatever toys she wants, regardless of gender stereotype. Teach your child to calmly state their opinion instead of getting into a he said/she said, I’m right/you’re wrong screaming match. Your teacher will thank you. 🙂


Skill#5: Accepting ‘No’ for an answer- This is very, very important. There will be many times when your child will want to do something or try to do something and hear the word ‘no’.  Sometimes they will want to get out a new playing center when there isn’t enough time before transitioning. Sometimes they will follow another student in doing something they shouldn’t just to test the waters. It happens. Teaching your child to accept the word ‘no’ will lead to a lot less headaches later.

More Social Skills Kids Need To Know.

Skill#6: Showing Appreciation-Teach your child to say “Thank you” when a classmate does something for them.


Skill #7: Making An Apology-Teach your child how to make a heartfelt, genuine apology. This  will go a long way in the classroom when a wrong has been done.


Skill#8: Controlling Emotions-Children need to learn how to control their emotions in stressful situations. Teach them techniques to calm down before they lash out in their emotions. Everyone has a right to how they feel but blowing up at a teacher or classmate can lead to much bigger problems.

Skill#9: Accepting Consequences or Criticism-When your child gets in trouble at home, make sure they have consequences. They will need to learn this in order to prepare for school.  Each school has different consequences for bad behavior and your child will have to deal with these consequences. Also, they need to learn to accept criticism when it comes their way. And it will. Kids can be really mean sometimes. Explain to your child what criticism is and teach them ways to cope and understand it. Always start off your day with a positive affirmation.


By teaching these 9 social skills kids need before preschool, you will be sending a genuine, sympathetic, awesome child to school. By your child learning these 9 social skills today, they are headed for a better day in the classroom.







15 Tips To Prepare For The First Day Of Daycare

It’s the day parents look forward to and dread at the same time, their child’s first day of daycare. You are excited because your child is growing into a little human but you are also nervous in leaving them with another human. Getting ready for the first day can be stressful on parents and kids alike, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are 15 tips to prepare for the first day of daycare.

15 Tips To Prepare For The First Day Of Day Care

Tips To Prepare For The First Day Of Daycare.


       Tip #1:Explain the schedule-When children know what’s going to happen, it makes them feel better. As a former day care teacher, if a new child was upset I would respond like this. “I know you’re upset Sadie and miss your Mommy but it’s okay. We are going to have a great time today. We will continue to play for awhile, then we’ll have breakfast, after that we will have circle time and play some more. Next we’ll eat lunch and then take a nap. After nap we will get up and go potty and then have snack. Once snack is over we will go outside and then your Mommy will be here.”

       Tip #2: Start adjusting to the new routine-Start getting your child used to an earlier bedtime and wake up time.

      Tip #3:  Visit the center-Take your child to the center so they can look around and meet their teacher and classmates.

      Tip #4:  Make sure you are both comfortable with the teachers- Ask your teachers lots of questions and pay attention to how your child reacts to their teacher. It is normal for them to be shy or quiet at first, but pay attention over the coming weeks to their interaction.

      Tip #5: Purchase something special for your child-Starting a new chapter can be both scary and exciting for children so buy them something special to mark the occasion. Boys can get a new backpack or character shirt while girls can get a new outfit or cute pair of shoes.

15 tips to prepare for the first day of daycare

Photo courtesy of Markus Spiske via Unsplash

The Day Of.

Tip #6:  Take plenty of time- Wake up early and allow you and your child plenty of time to get ready. Compliment them on how they look, take time to eat breakfast with them and address any last concerns about their day.

Tip #7: Add a memento of home-Add a family  photo or a favorite stuffed animal to their backpack or cubby so they can look at it if they become upset.

Tip #8: Arrive early-Kids like to spend a little time with their parents in the morning so make sure you arrive early. Let your child talk to you about what they see in their classroom or even show you around.

Tip#9: Come up with a goodbye routine-Since children thrive on routine, come up with a goodbye routine for each morning. I have seen parents use a sequence of hugs n kisses, a positive affirmation (I was never in day care but my Mom always used to tell me “You’re beautiful, you’re smart, and I love you.” everyday before I got on the bus.) or a combo of high fives and fist bumps.

 Tip #10: Treat yourself-This can be a stressful day for everyone so treat yourself on the way to work. Stop by your local coffee house and order that grande iced peppermint patty coffee with whole milk and whipped cream or two of those super indulgent donuts that you love. 🙂

End Of Day.

Tip#11: Establish a going home routine-Sometimes your little one can be wound up at the end of the day after playing with his or her friends so establishing a going home routine is important. This can be as simple as greeting your child with a hug, grabbing their stuff out of their cubby, having a brief conversation with their teacher and then leaving.

Tip#12: Arrive On Time-This is crucial for at least the first two weeks of daycare. It is important that your pick up time stays consistent. Children get very anxious when they are waiting on their parents past normal pickup time.

Tip#13: Plan something special at home-In honor of the first day at daycare, serve your child’s favorite meal, watch a favorite movie, or go out for ice cream.

Tip#14: Extra bonding time-Spend some extra time with your child in the evening. Play a favorite game together or read an extra story.

Tip#15: Ask your child about their first day-Make sure you ask your child about their first day and really listen to what they tell you. If there is anything you need to talk to his or her teacher about, make a mental note.

As a former day care teacher, I hope these tips are helpful to you. The less stressed you and your child are, the better.  Use all 15 tips to prepare for the first day of day care or just the ones that resonate with you and your family. Using these tips to prepare for the first day of day care will help establish a great first day for you and your child.










Getting To Know Your Students Questionnaire.

Have you ever started a new school year or had a new student and wondered what is the fastest way to get to know them? How about a getting to know your  students questionnaire that they can fill out with their parents. Once you have collected all the questionnaires, put them in a binder of clear plastic sheets for future reference. This way they won’t rip or tear and if anything gets spilled on them, they won’t get damaged. There can be tons of questions to ask to get to know your student better, here are some to get you started.

Getting To Know Your Students Questionnaire.


  1. What are your child’s strengths?
  2. What are their weaknesses?
  3. Do they like school in general?
  4. Where do they struggle?
  5. Do they have any fears about school and what are they?
  6. What upsets them?
  7. What frustrates them?
  8. What are their interests?
  9. How does your child get/stay motivated?
  10. What are your concerns/goals for your child?
  11. What helps your child when they are frustrated/stressed/upset?

How Does This Questionnaire Help You As  A Teacher?

This questionnaire is a great way to get to know new students and your entire class in a quick, effective manner. These sheets are great for future reference and for when those who have to substitute teach in your classroom.

Getting To Know Your Students Questionnaire.

Photo courtesy of Ashton Bingham via Unsplash

How Does This Help Your Parents?

This definitely lets your parents know that you care and that you are interested in their child. It shows that you are taking the initiative to get to know their family and that you want to help their son or daughter be successful.

Parent/teacher relationships are important and this is a good way to get off to a good start. Take some time to think about the questions you want to add to your getting to know your students questionnaire today and watch the relationships between you and your kids blossom.



Melt Her Heart Mother’s Day Gifts

Once again, Mother’s Day is coming and you are trying to figure out what to do for the significant female in your life. More importantly, you are trying to figure out something meaningful to give Mom from the kids. Here are some ideas for Melt Her Heart Mother’s Day Gifts.

Melt Her Heart Mother’s Day Gifts: Easy Crafts.

Hand print Potholder-Buy a set of pot holders, paint your child’s palm and place it in the middle of the pot holder and let dry.


Hand print vase-Trace and cut out your child’s hands from green foam and make a unique flower vase for mom.


Tickled Pink-Get a pink box or basket and add pink tissue paper and items like a candle, bubble gum, nail polish, candy(nerds),etc. Add a note that says, “I’m tickled pink that you’re my Mom.”


Homemade Sugar Scrub-What Mom doesn’t like a day at the spa? Get the recipe here for Lemonade and Raspberry Lemonade Sugar Scrub.


Melt Her Heart Mother’s Day Gifts: Stunning From The Store.

For the Mom who loves luxury.

Melt Her Heart Mother's Day Gifts

Bath Bomb Gift Set-Add a relaxing pop of fizz to Mom’s bath.

For a more personalized touch.

Create a personalized gift-Make Mom a blanket with a picture of the kids on it or take her favorite photo and put it on a canvas to hang in the bedroom.




Write Mom a book of love.

Knock Knock What I Love About Mom Fill In The Blank Journal-Go through this book with your child and help them answer all the questions as to why they love their Mom.


Whether you choose to make something or buy it from the store, these melt her heart Mother’s Day gifts will endear you to her even more.












Why Daily Sheets Are So Important

Do you ever wonder why daily sheets are so important? As we all know, the mornings and the evenings are probably the most hectic part of the day. In the mornings we are getting ourselves and the kids ready, packing lunches, making sure the dog went outside to go to the bathroom, etc. The evenings are not much better. We’re getting off work, picking up the kids, going home to eat dinner, do homework, etc.

It is the same for your child’s teachers, especially day care teachers. Sometimes we are talking with another parent and don’t get to address an issue during the day. Sometimes we are busy changing a child or disciplining someone and don’t get to talk to you. Other times, you are in and out the door before we can catch you.

Why Daily Sheets Are So Important

Photo courtesy of Fotownetrza via

Why Daily Sheets Are So Important.

This is why daily sheets are so important. On them you will find;

* What your child did during the day
* What they ate
* How they ate
* When and how they slept
* Notes about being out of diapers/wipes (if applicable)
*When they went to the bathroom and what it was
*Notes about upcoming events (tomorrow is movie day, book day, etc.)
*Notes about their behavior (Abby did a good job sharing today/ Griffin helped Joe pick up toys/ Sasha was a very good listener,etc.)

This is one of the best ways we have to keep everyone on the same page. It is frustrating for everyone when there is no communication and a child does not have the things they need.

Reviving Rhyme: Poetry Books For Your Kids

April is national poetry month. Although sort of a lost art, lots of people know Robert Frost, Edgar Allan Poe, and W.B. Yeats and love them. But what about introducing your kids to poetry.  Are you looking for some poetry books for your kids? When it comes to kids and verse, a lot of people think immediately of Dr. Seuss but here are some other books that your children may also like.

Poetry Books For Your Kids.

Moo-ve Over For Poetry by Angela Marie Hall-Herbie the cow leads children through a fun filled collection of poetry via a trip to the zoo.


In The Eyes Of The Cat by Demi– This book is a collection of Japanese verse for both preschool children and the young reader.


Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein- A beloved classic book of poems and drawings.

Poetry Books For Your Kids

Photo courtesy of Ben White via Unsplash

More Poetry Books For Your Kids.


Poems To Learn By Heart by Caroline Kennedy- This is a great set of poems to read for all the moments in a child’s life, from hitting a home run during the game to watching the sun set with their best friend.


Read Aloud Rhymes For The Very Young by Jack Prelutsky– This book is considered one of the best poetry anthologies for preschoolers.


As you can see, there are many options when it comes to poetry books for your kids. In honor of national poetry month, go check out a book of poetry and introduce them to the magical, emotional world of rhythm and rhyme.






Parents Wonder: Why Does My Child Bite?

Why does my child bite? Many parents are shocked to hear that their child bites. Some children bite others and some bite themselves. This can be very disconcerting for parents who don’t understand why this is happening. Does this mean their child is bad? Actually, biting that happens during a young age is pretty normal. Still, parents may wonder, why does my child bite? There are actually many reasons.

Why Does My Child Bite?

Having Trouble Coping.

Sometimes children will bite if they are feeling overwhelmed. If they feel cornered or fearful, they may bite. Sometimes if they are angry or frustrated they will bite. In my experience, fighting over a toy has led to biting as well as a child being cornered by several of his classmates.


If two children are fighting between themselves, a bite is sometimes likely to occur. Child number one is angry about something and child number two may feel as if they are going to be hurt, so they bite.

They have been bit.

Children learn from each other. If a child has been bit by a classmate, it is possible that they will go and bite someone else. You also have situations where a child will just go around biting for no reason. They haven’t been provoked in any way, they just go and bite.

Why Does My Child Bite?

Photo courtesy of Tina Floersch via Unsplash


Sometimes children will bite out of over-stimulation, they just get so wound up they will bite. Sometimes children will bite just to get an emotional reaction or to get attention. Other times children bite out of a misplaced sign of love. They don’t understand that biting is a wrong way to show affection.

A New Baby.

Having a new baby in the house is always exciting. Still, it is important to give your other child the same attention. Many times children will act out, bite or start having accidents when they feel left out.

A New Home.

Children need to feel secure in their surroundings. Moving into a new home is unsettling and scary for some children. They are in a new place with new surroundings. They may not understand why all their belongings are packed up in boxes. In order to cope, they may start doing some things that are out of the ordinary for them, including having accidents, separation anxiety or biting.

There are many possible answers to the question, why does my child bite? It is important to keep in mind that children don’t want to go around hurting others. They would much rather spend their days playing with friends, doing fun projects, and playing outside. However, sometimes they feel they have to defend themselves in their surroundings. Other times it is not out of self defense, but just something to do for reasons not understood. It is important for parents of both biters and non-biters alike to understand that this is rather common in day cares and play groups. It will not last forever. With the right reaction and discussions, future biting can be prevented.


Lessons Learned: Should Day Cares Require Employees To Get Degrees?

Should day cares require employees to get degrees? As some may know, many day cares have a mix of employees. Some have their degrees, some are going to school to get their degrees, and some are those who don’t have a degree.

This has already happened in Washington D.C. They are at the forefront of an effort to improve quality of care and raise teaching standards. To some people, Early Childhood Educators are more like glorified babysitters. However, science has shown that the demands of the job are closer to an elementary teacher. The minimum educational requirement for a teacher is an associate degree and they have four years to earn it. Also under this new regulation, directors must earn a bachelor’s degree and those with home day cares must have a CDA.  Scholarships are also in place to help with the costs.

Should Day Cares Require Employees To Get Degrees?

I think there are many pros and cons to this requirement.  I think some of the pros include;

*Teachers will be better educated in the field.

*Teachers will be able to stay abreast of the latest developments in the field.

*Teachers will have a better understanding about children and their needs.

*Teachers will be able to provide excellent ongoing care from what they have learned.

*Teachers will have more pride in what they do by feeling accomplished in earning their degree.

Lessons Learned: Should Day Cares Require Employees To Get Degrees?

Photo courtesy of Rochelle Nicole via Unsplash.

Cons to requiring degrees.

I also see some cons as well, like:

*What if the person can’t afford to go to school and the state they live in doesn’t offer any scholarships.

*How will centers deal with the fluctuating staff shortage due to when classes are available.

*How will this affect those who love children and work with children but have struggled through school all their lives.

*How will directors find the time to take classes when they have a business to run.


So, should day cares require employees to get degrees? Should the nation follow suite and strive to give both older and younger generations a good education? Overall, I think day cares requiring employees to get degrees is a good thing. I think it will help teachers and expand on the ways they teach. They will be able to learn about the latest innovations in Early Childhood Education which will help them run more efficient, enriching, stimulating classrooms. At the end of the day, I think this is a win for everyone. Teachers, parents, and children alike.

What do you think? Should day cares require employees to get degrees? I would love to know your thoughts.