We are utilizing our foam board for the exploration of tools, fine motor skills, problem solving, gross motor skills, balance, sensory, and vocabulary building "play!" Today we introduced our sweet babes to the "hex head screws, Allen wrenchs, and screw drivers." They had several choices of sizes of the Allen wrenches and had to select which one fit the hex head screws. This was quite a challenge and thier little personalities shined through as some patiently worked until they completed the task while others became frustrated and disinterested. As they asked for assistance I was available to aid them. But, I mostly stood back and observed thier determination, level of interest, fine and gross motor skills, and exploration. Surprisingly, my youngest little fella' was the one who was most captivated by this activity. He worked endlessly until he mastered each step. A team of horses couldn't have torn him away!SUCCESS! I think I get just as much of a thrill watching them conquer a concept when they are determined to do so as they do! I wish you well and I hope YOU get to play today.-L
What a sweet moment. What a sweet game. I hope they remember it always. These two little cutie pies invented and new game that meant more than they will ever realize.
The "I Fall Down But I'm O.K." game. As a avid Dr. Becky Bailey fan I consistently seek to "focus on what I want more of." At the onset of this game it was obvious that they simply wanted me to notice that they had "fallen down."
It began with a genuine fall of one of our little ones...then the others followed suite upon recognizing the attention I had given to the one truly injured. That was A O.K. with me! Once I realized the attention needing communication they were giving, I devised a plan to focus them on what they wanted more of as well...."I'm O.K.!"
See those happy faces! This was after they carefully placed themselves on the steps to once again receive my notice of injury, and subsequent question, "Are you o.k.?" "I O.K.!" they would shout, leap to their feet and giggle away.
It could have gone much differently. I wanted them to be the ones to tell themselves, and me, if they were o.k. or not. My goal here was not to issue a directive, but to notice, listen, and respond if needed.
It went like this...
The child would begin to "fall down" and look at me. I would then say, "Are you o.k.?" The child would think for just a moment and respond, "I o.k.!" hop up and I would give then a BIG high five and say, "GREAT!" "You did it!" " You are o.k.!" "See how STRONG you are!" "I knew you could do it!" They would respond, "I STRONG!" "I did it!" "I o.k." Sometimes they wanted more than one high five or a big hug then they would run off to do it again. Why did I choose to notice? Why did I choose to ask if they were o.k. instead of saying, "Ohhhh...you're o.k., get up, you're fine."
I wanted to acknowledge that yes, they had fallen...yes, I notice you...yes, I am concerned about you and love you...yes, I am going to let you self-assess to answer if you are o.k. or not. I wanted their focus to be on the strength they possessed to get back up. I wanted their focus to be that they are STRONG no matter if they fall down or not.
Why was this and is this important to development?
Since I focused on the act of them getting up and being o.k., and followed that up with, "You are STRONG!" "You did it!" "I knew you could do it!" "You did it, you fell down, but you got back up and you are o.k.!" And then followed that up with connection of high fives and hugs they became focused on the same...the ACT OF GETTING BACK UP...the feeling of being STRONG!
This is real life training. This is where what we speak into their little hearts and minds becomes the mantra for what they will be saying to themselves in coming years. They WILL fall down, life will knock them down, circumstances will try to keep them down, but if they have been trained that their focus is always on getting back up...that no matter what happened or happens that THEY ARE STRONG...THEY WILL BE STRONG...THEY WILL GET BACK UP!
How many of us want resilient children, resilient teens, resilient adults? We all do! How many of us want our first reaction in time of trial or "falling down" to be, "I am strong..I can do this...I am o.k." This is even in the Bible "Let the weak say, 'I am strong!'" It doesn't say, "Let the weak say, 'I can't...I'm weak!'" God said in His word that we are to say, "WE ARE STRONG!" (Joel 3:10) Why? Our words over our children hold powerful results just like our words over ourselves. If we want our children to believe they are strong, we must embolden them with genuine examples of us noticing and proclaiming their strength.
I pray that later in life when one of my children fall down, that the first thing they think is, "I AM STRONG, I CAN DO THIS...I AM O.K." and maybe, hopefully, all these little teachable moments add up to a lifetime of focus on GETTING BACK UP AGAIN.
I wish you well, and I hope you get to play today.
What a perfect time of year for the story of Adam and Eve and the snake in the garden to pop up! We have been utilizing our Children's Bible Book and turning the stories into play for our little ones. My sweet babes LOVE playing dress up and we acquired some of the cutest snake puppets to go along with this theme.We have practiced high and low, slither and crawl, and a couple of fun new words; slinky and sly! We took FULL advantage of the gorgeous weather and spent much of our outdoor time spotting animals and insects in the trees, bushes, under rocks, and in the ground. Luckily...no snakes (real ones that is!) were reported!
Our sweet crew spotting animals "on the greener side!"
We also introduced a new song:
Slithery snake sly and slinky,
crawling and creeping,
Slithery snake on the ground,
up the tree, all around!
(To the tune of London Bridges)
I am so glad I get to capture these little moments!
We have been practicing how to make our snakes this week. I have a fairly young group of babes so this motor skill is not yet natural. They are still trying to understand how to make their hands move to produce shapes, balls, snakes, "worms" like it is called here. I LOVE this little captured moment. It just makes my day :)) We were happily playing, rolling, pounding, focusing on our skill and out of nowhere one of my little ones comes sprinting across the table to sit in my lap while he played.
What's the fastest way to cover a distance? A straight line of course!!! He is a naked noodle in the pic (except for the diaper) as we had just come inside from some dirty, muddy, sandy, squishy play and his clothing was a caked on mess. I just threw it all in the wash and we were off to the next moments of play!
A little more on our snaky adventures...
This little project was a mix of practicing following directions, determining where the "ends" were, and adding "one more" to make our snakes "longer." Whew! Now that is a LOT of learning for one sweet little lesson that includes ooey, gluey fun to boot!! We just cut curvy lines out of our construction paper with a snake shaped head at one end and lots of color choices for the rest of the pieces, passed out the glue and started trying to find the "ends." We practiced slithering and hissing the sound "s" all while engrossed in our play.
Just bake and take!
I wanted to use up the rest of the play dough we made last week as I try to keep this fresh. So after one of our fine/gross motor skill building/snake making sessions, we simply placed all the creations on a pan and set them in the oven at 185 degrees to dry and harden them for painting. They turned out dog-gone cute!
The only issue I ran into was that I forgot them completely. Thankfully, the 10 hours they spent in the oven (your welcome KCPL!) didn't harm them at all. They are crispy critters ready for little hands to craft and create!
Another sweet snaky moment...
With all the belly crawling we have been doing around here this week you'd think I was raising a "baby ops" team. No...really...it's not Navy training from the womb...it's just the "snake dance!"
The Name Game...
This is one of our favorite ways to learn name recognition and writing while the weather holds out...The Name Game! We have been blowing through the chalk outside practicing our letter, lines, shapes, numbers, squiggles and more. They LOVE for me to draw with them, grab the water, erase it, and do it all over again. For smaller hands the sidewalk chalk is also easier to grasp and writes in such larger lines that it is easier to follow. This is a GREAT way to practice writing, letter recognition, color recognition, gross and fine motor skills and simply have a break from the papermill.
What you FOCUS on you FIND!
I am going to be writing more on this and the effects of our choices in another post but I wanted to touch on this for just a moment. Since my little group is comprised of 2's and 3's, we, at times, find ourselves all having human moments of intense emotion. In the midst of these "moments" (I place that in parenthesis because it is WAY longer than a moment) it can be difficult to maintain calm, project peace, and understand that "this too shall pass." Yes, we must maintain boundaries in a loving and empathetic manner to assure safety and camaraderie for the group. But, we must also realize that this IS a developmental milestone. Temper tantrums, emotional outbursts, whining, temper tantrums (did I say that twice? :)) are par for the course. WITHOUT them we would have to wonder if we gave birth to Jesus...nope...mine is a normal one!! HA!! We know this IS a normal part of development that is spanned throughout the ages and generations, otherwise I do not believe that the phrase "terrible two's" would have come about. Yes, it is challenging...but consistency is king! When your tot is flailing, and boy do we have quite a bit of that going on right now, focus on calm...breathe...exhale...smile...know that "this too shall pass." Then hug your little one once they able to accept it, move on and know that when you focus on control, you get a little one also focused on control (just not YOUR control, but their own). When you focus on love, you get what you are hoping to find...more love.
I wish you well and I hope you get to play today!
As a childcare owner and operator, homeschool momma, preschool teacher, blogger, and all around wearer of too many hats...moments like the one pictured here make me cringe. Not only due to the fact that I am uncertain what one of my own children may pass to those in my care, and vice versa, but the forced time CLOSED that those like myself have no choice but to take when one of our own children has an illness, fever, or symptoms that meet the State sanctioned closing protocol.
Since I have a hubby that can work from home, I can, at times, shift care of my little girly to him in a sequestered part of our home to prevent spread. However, there are still times when he, nor my back-ups can heed my call for help on a moment's notice.
Giddy Doesn't Even Begin To Describe!!
This is EXACTLY how I felt on the day I had a phone meeting with the amazing folks behind EnrollSmart.net. I was literally closed on that day due to a sudden 3 a.m. 102.5 fever of my little one. My hubby was out of town, my back-ups were unavailable and I had no choice but to close. I HATE closing my childcare/preschool. It puts families scrambling to call their back-ups at ungodly hours of the morning, or face missing work themselves. And we ALL know, with babies and toddlers, sick days are inevitable. But, having to plan for the sick days of your childcare provider is...well...a hassle at best, and at worst - very costly for all those involved.
Those days ARE OVER!!! Just one of the MAJOR benefits of EnrollSmart.net is the ability, for free, (YES I SAID FREE!!!) to post a standing "temporary" position to be able to pre-connect with available people looking for employment on either a full-time, part-time, temp, and/or every now and then type position in the Early Childhood Education industry.
THIS IS HUGE!!!
This means NO MORE forced close days! NO MORE calling weary families at 3 a.m. and apologizing for having to close! NO MORE loosing business due to too many sick days!!! Can I get an AMEN!?!
Yes, I realize it sounds like I must be a paid endorser, spouse, or employee of EnrollSmart.net. I AM NOT! I was simply at the right place (closed and feeling terribly sorry for my families) at the right time (when the caring folks at EnrollSmart.net called me!). It was absolutely NOT happenstance. Oh yes...and did I mention...IT'S FREE to ALL PROVIDERS!! (Insert happy dance here!)
It Is SOOOOO Much More Than A Meet And Greet...
The Enroll Smart Jobs Community
If you are looking to work in a child daycare center, join
the Enroll Smart Jobs Community. As a member our Jobs Community, childcare
centers can view your profile and then connect with you when they are in need of
staff to fill their full time, part time and substitute positions.
This Is Also A MAJOR Benefit For The Families You Serve
The feature I am most excited about, however, is just a small part of what this race car is capable of. It's major features are:
** How Our Family Smart Account Works Family creates a Smart Account that they own and can attach to as many as five schools or daycares for each of their children. The idea is that the account will stay with the family. **
Very interesting, eh?! It's SOOOO easy to test drive EnrollSmart.net. It will help you streamline your medical records, notify you of allergies, contact EMS in the event of an emergency, and keep the vital records of the children in your care UP TO DATE!
I am very excited about the possibilities presented here. I know ALL my families are looking forward to NO MORE CLOSED DAYS! Testify!!!
I wish you well...and I hope you get to play today.
Life is made of moments...
"There isn't anything more full of hope, joy and peace than a child's smile... It captures the mundane and makes it extraordinary." - LaDonna Woolsey
I am a Mother Goose Time Blogger. I decided to become one after trying their products because I they are comprehensive and serve my mixed age group well. I do receive products to review from Mother Goose Time and do so with my own honest and thorough opinions. For more information, please contact me at Ladonna@woolseyacademy.com