Friday, July 16, 2010

NAFCC Conference

Well, I have been at the NAFCC conference for 3 days and I am meeting some wonderful people and learning some great things. It is great networking with some really great providers. I am in awe with the amount of Family Child Care Providers in one place. I love talking to people with the same issues and passion as my own.

I have gone to some great workshops and I can't wait to post about some of them, when I get some time :)

I am in Nashville, TN and believe it or not, but they are having the American Idol tryouts right around the corner!!! The amount of people here is amazing. Also, the FBLA is having a conference of some sort also and the amount of high school teenagers is out of control!!! They are every where!! In the halls, jumping in front of you to get on elevators, every where you look or walk, they are there. I guess they could say that about the people of the NAFCC conference... it does seem like there are a lot of us :)

Well, when I get home and can devote some time to processing everything, I will post about the highlights of my trip. Next years conference is in NV... I have started to plan already :) If you are a Family Child Care Provider you should look into it!!

Take Care!!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Vacation, NAFCC & Lables

We have a 3 week break!! I will be going to the NAFCC conference (which I am soooo excited about~!!), then on to camp!! We are looking forward to the break and visiting with family. So, I may not be posting much for the next 3 weeks. But, I came across a post from Yo Yo Reggio! BabyFingernails, bullies and the image of the child. If you have a minute take a hop over there... it really brings me back to what it means to be a child and the need to explore, test, take risks, and grow.

I really try to allow the kids to explore their personalities and take risks without worry or fear of getting in trouble. Labeling toddlers and preschoolers is a common problem. I hear a lot of labels, I am guilty of it sometimes too. After reading Elise's post, I had to think of how I talk about my own children. Labels that they may just live up to, if I'm not careful.

Children need our understanding of their need to try things out. They need to know that testing the limits and boundaries will not lead to a place that they cannot get back from. That biting will not bring onto them a label that follows them. A child that needs extra guidance, should be given just that, not a roll of the eyes. I have seen it to many times. I just hope after reading the post by Elise... people will just take a second and remember that childhood is the time to figure things out and it is our job to guide, not assign labels.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

It is HOT!!

It is sooo Hot here... I know it is hot many places right now, but we are sweating here!! I have tried to come up with a lot of creative ways to keep us moving and cool this past week. We have gotten the water slide out, we have had water balloon tournaments, spray bottles, water guns, sponges, sprinklers... anything that will keep the kids cool.
I have found that the early morning is the best time to go out... so out we go. The big kids have been playing wiffle ball in the backyard, with a twist... we use the water sponge balls with a the "fat" bat. This was a big hit!!! They have been creating a lot of "Tournament" type games. I am not a huge fan of competitive games, but they spend a lot of time coming up with the game, spelling out the rules, and then completing the game. It has been working out pretty good.
When it starts getting really hot out, we either go to the area movie theater (which had morning movies real cheap) or watch a movie. We have done a Card Tournament, a Wii Sports Tournament, and board games. I try to have them do most of their strenuous activities in the morning, and cool, wet activities in the afternoon. Then in the middle there is our more inactive games. It has been a pretty good routine to beat the heat :)
I have noticed that boys are not into arts & crafts as much as girls. I have tried putting out open ended activities and more teacher directed ones... and maybe my son will pick it up and do something, but there don't seem real interested. I think there favorite activity was painting some wooden cars and trinket boxes... but the kite activity was a bust. The volcano experiments were fun, but they didn't really care to take time with the play dough and make the actual volcano... they just wanted to create the lava. It was a fun time though.
I am sorry I don't have photos of a lot of our time this summer... it just hasn't been handy. Which is odd of me. I am getting in gear for the start of daycare again in August. After vacation I only have a couple weeks to get the room back to normal, my curriculum set, and things set... I am getting excited!! I am really looking forward to welcoming some beautiful new children and beginning some great relationships with new families... Although, I will miss my graduates very much!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Summer & Boys

These past few weeks, with my own school aged children home, I have been experiencing a period of brain freeze. I love that my daycare children have access to all sorts of materials, that they can delve into the joys of mud, sand and water, the wonders of bubbles are magical and dynamic... not so with BIG KIDS.

I have found that putting out play dough, goop, slime, etc... is fun for about 10 seconds. The sprinkler is fodder for many, many silly antics and jokes. Board games are great... until someone decides to change the rules. When asked to find something to do... It is always to hot, to cold, to much, not enough or just plain boring!! My summer is getting to be very long :)

I was looking through some photos from last summer, and the kids all were so engaged... I am realizing that these BIG KIDS need to be challenged a little more. I decided to start with putting out the slime, but they had to make it. Read the recipe, gather the material and equipment, and finish the project. They loved it. It made it there own and like the cornstarch and water goop last week, they loved working with the Little's. (And it gave me 25 minutes of no whining)

BIG KIDS need to be challenged, given risks, and opportunities just like the daycare kids, but at a different level. This is my first summer that the BIG KIDS didn't WANT to be outside playing, running, water balloon fights, relay races or group games. So, I am scouring the Internet for ideas that will bring together 6 boys ranging from 4 to 12. Opportunities for modeling behavior, problem solving, sharing, communication, and leadership. There are so many ideas out there, now just to sort them out and find a place to begin...