Category Archives: Daycare

Winter blues.

How do you “get through” the winter blues?  Those days which turn into weeks that seems to crawl by in January of bitter cold and short amounts of daylight.  I have managed to find a few simple things to help my mood improve at least a little, and hey, I’ll take whatever can help!  I am including a mix of things that are daycare-related as well, since this is how I spend my days!

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Invitation to play-with fresh homemade playdoh!  I use this recipe and double it for large amounts!  I also use paste food coloring and sometimes essential oils for scent, also you do not have to boil the water first and it will turn out fine.  😉

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Add a new element to the play space.  We found this great little tent at Ikea {where else?} and the kids have really enjoyed the reading nook a lot more lately.  Children need a space where they can not be seen by adults sometimes.  It’s fun to hear them make-believe while they are in the tent.

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Set out some paints and allow the children to just come and paint as they desire, not specific direction-just because it’s fun!

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I am enjoying this fake orchid in my window that I picked up at Ikea, I am afraid I would kill a real one so this cheers me up just as much, if not more!

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I did buy a real plant too-this little Primrose!  Even if it only blooms for a few weeks it really lifts the mood to see something bright and cheery growing in my kitchen.

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It’s important to remember to keep caring for your skin {and your overall health} even when you feel the winter “blahs.”  I love this thick shea butter based lotion by J.R. Wakins {MN based company, love!}.  It is super nice to rub on after all the hand-washing that goes on around here.

There are many more ways to keep yourself going this winter, don’t give up!  Spring will come again, we need to remember to find the little things to be grateful for in EVERY season.

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My space: updated playroom

Since I lasted posted pictures of my home and daycare space I have made a few changes.  Most of the changes were made in the main playroom area.  I just couldn’t handle the red wall anymore and needed to brighten things up.  We spent labor day painting a nice very light blue/grey shade to two of the main walls.

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I have actually since changed a few things here and there since these pics were taken, I find that I am constantly trying to improve on how I do things!  I really need a few more things for the wall and I would love to set up an area for the light table possibly or an art table.  It gets complicated with my mixed age group {infants}.

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Still loving my ikea expedit shelves, just trying to keep things neat and pleasing to the eye as well since it is a shared space.  I also really struggle with “kid colored” furniture and items.  Some are okay, but just because you have bright colors doesn’t mean the children will be any better off.  Personally it just overstimulates my brain and makes things feel more cluttered.  It may just be personal preference and we have to be true to ourselves and deliberate about our space.

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I am also planning {when I find the time ha!} to makeover the play kitchen a bit as well as find some new curtains.

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Play outside.

Several “littles” are clamoring to their cubbies to find their snow gear, I am finishing up the last of the dishes from snack as I hear the busy activity and chatter coming from children who are excited for outside time.  Once I get in the mix to help with the zippers, boots on wrong feet and of course those troublesome mittens, the atmosphere gets even more full of energy!  One by one each child is dressed and sitting, waiting to go out as I finish up my own gear and assure the crying infant that “it’s going to be okay!”  Someday you will be able to move {though still not well} in all those snow clothes!

Once outside, the shrieks of joy fill the air, friendships are strengthened by the teamwork it takes to get a little wet sand shoveled around the playset.  Others try as hard as they can to still swing in their puffy pants and I see little lungs breathing in so much WONDERFUL fresh, fresh air.  

Why would you do all this work for such a short time outside?  Some would ask…Indeed, it is a ton of work, and quite exhausting.  As I am out I grimace thinking of all the dry grass, wet sand and muck that will be all over my floor.  It is a pain, but a very good kind of pain because in the end…it’s totally worth it.

I need the fresh air just as badly {maybe more!} than these littles do!  It refreshes the soul, it does wonders for cabin fever and gives us all a chance to reconnect and regroup.

If you are a daycare provider, please consider going through the tough work of “getting outside” this winter.  Don’t let weather be the excuse…make those parents bring in the gear and always have extra stuff on hand for those who need it!  Get in the habit, you won’t regret it and best of all the children will benefit and that is what we are all about…right?

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Here are some tips to help you get outside more often:

-Get organized!  Have drawers, hooks and bins to house winter stuff.  Set up boot trays and designate places to throw or hang wet stuff.  I have a handy hanger clip that really helps with wet mittens and hats.

-Think positively.  If you have a good attitude about being out, even if you have to fake it you will in turn help the little ones to have a better experience.

-Start them young.  I always have taken babies out.  Even if you need to wait for that bottle or that nap, make it happen when you are able to!  They will cry at times, or sometimes the whole time, but stick it out!  They will learn to love it and will still benefit.

-Be organized while outside.  Have a plan before you go out as to what part of the yard you will be playing in and know where your equipment is (sleds, strollers etc).

 

Lunchtime favorites: ham or turkey sandwiches + fajita rice tacos

On these terribly hot, sticky, and heat-advisory type of days we love quick and refreshing lunches that don’t require the oven.  Sandwiches are so great for this, we like pbj of course, but I like the ham or turkey sandwich since it has the extra protein already added into it.  In the summer we also take advantage of the surplus of fresh veggies and fruits!

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Another favorite meal we have been enjoying this summer is fajita style rice {Knorr brand sides} with ground beef added and topped with shredded cheese then added to a tortilla.  Super quick and easy to make, provided the beef is all cooked up and ready to go!  My kiddos here LOVE mexican-style food.

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My Space: part 3

Here are some more pictures of my space that I used for daycare and for my own use as well. You may have seen my other posts in this series here and also here.

These photos are of the REST of the upstairs area and we really do utilize every bit of our home!  The living room is quite tiny since we turned the original one into the main playroom.  I like this room though for a nice quiet area to read before naps and to watch the occasional show or movie with the kiddos.

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Here is my front hall closet that I turned into our cubbie and storage for the kid’s stuff and shoes.  The colors are really nice and bright (harder to tell with my editing here) and the best part is we can close the doors when it’s not in use!

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Next is our main-level bathroom and it’s PERFECT for home daycare use..notice the tiles on the wall?!  Huge factor in considering this house when we were hunting for our next home several years ago.

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