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					 CHILD CARE PROVIDER CONNECTION
       Coming together is a beginning, Keeping together is a progress; Working together is success. ( Henry Ford )


CHILD CARE PROVIDER FYI…..                                                                                             Volume 4 Issue 3


                                                                                                                     SPRING 2007
                                    Rating Your Family Daycare
                                                                                                                 Frequently Used #’s
                                                                                                                 OEYC - Barrie 792-7878
If someone were to ask you tomorrow, “ How do you rate your program,” what would you say?
Have you ever wondered how your home child care program would rate if you actually used an as-                   OEYC -Innisfil 431-7666
sessment to evaluate it?                                                                                         OEYC -Bradford (905) 775-
Are you aware that the increasing concern over the affect of daycare on children’s lives has focused             3039 x229
attention on the quality of that care?                                                                           Public Library 728-1010
Since most child care is provided in home day cares, the need has grown for an accessible, reliable,
and thorough means of assessing the quality and suitability of such settings.                                    Poison Centre
The FAMILY DAY CARE RATING SCALE (FDCRS) is an adaptation of the Early Childhood                                 1-800-461-1716
Environmental Rating Scale, (Teachers College Press, 1980)
                                                                                                                 Simcoe County Health Unit
It’s an interesting fact that child care was once viewed as a “substitute for parental care” and, there-
fore primarily a service for parents. Now, as knowledge of child development has grown, the qual-                721-7330
ity of the child’s experience while in child care has become a concern because of the possible
“detrimental effects of custodial, un-stimulating care on the child’s development.”
High quality daycare is important for both the child and the parents. One of the main goals for the              CHILD CARE PROVIDER
                                                                                                                 CONNECTION
child in a quality child care is to focus on the child’s total development. In addition to ensuring the
child is being cared for in a safe, healthy, stimulating learning environment, it is important there are         Contact: Donna Cherutti
continued opportunities for parent involvement and ongoing communication between the parent and                  734-0761 Mon-Fri 1- 3pm
home child care practitioner.
The Home Child Care Practitioner is expected to be professional and able to provide a safe, suppor-
tive, and stimulating environment for a group of children with varying needs.
The 32 items of the scale cover six categories: 1. Space and Furnishings for Care and Learning, 2.               Inside this issue:
Basic Care, 3. Language and Reasoning, 4. Learning Activities, 5. Social Development, 6. Adult
Needs.                                                                                                           Spring Resources
The FDCRS tries to remain realistic for family daycare home settings. However, a family day care
home should not be thought of as simply the private home of a family. It must provide the neces-                 Suggested Spring
sary additional organization, space, materials, activities, and interaction to give developmentally-             Themes/Outings
appropriate experiences to the children who are enrolled there for daycare.
The FDCRS is an easy to use tool that will enable you to look at areas of your program and rate                  Professional Develop-
them in an unbiased manner on a scale of 1-7. This tool will allow you to see where extra emphasis               ment Opportunities
is needed in your program and help you to set goals to make practical changes.
For more information go to: www.fpg.unc.edu/~ecers/                                                              Home Daycare
                                                                                                                 Focus
yours in caring, donna



An Informal Caregiver Is…...

In the province of Ontario, you      school-age children in addition to   Should you wish to care for more
may provide care for up to 5         your own.                            than 5 children plus your own at any
children under 10 years of age in                                         given time in your home, you would
                                     Example 2. If you provide care
addition to your own children at                                          require to be licensed under the
                                     for 1 infant, 2 toddlers and 2
any given time in your home.                                              Ontario Day Nurseries Act and
                                     preschool children during the
                                                                          meet all of it’s regulations
Example 1. If you care for 1         day, you are at your maximum
infant plus 2 preschool children     number of children, hence you        Ontario Ministry of Community
during the day, you may also         cannot care for any additional       Family & Children’s Services:
provide after-school care for 2      school-age children after school     737-1311
                                             SPRING RESOURCES
Spring
Arts & Crafts

Bumble Bees
What you would need: Black and yellow, fuzzy, pom pom balls. construction
paper. and anything you might want to use for flowers.
Have the children pick out a background and make a bunch of flowers in the
background. Then with the pom pom balls make little bees whom are going for
the flowers and their nectar.

Kites
Cut kite shapes from construction paper and let them decorate by coloring or
markers. Tie on a piece of yarn and add cloth or ribbon bows to the yarn.
They love running with their kites. You can talk about wind also.

Daffodils
Give each of the children a yellow and a white cupcake liner. Have them
flatten one of their liners and spread glue on the center portion. Then
have them place their other liners upright on top of the glue to make
daffodil flowers. If desired, attach Popsicle sticks or pipe cleaners for
stems.

Popcorn Flowers
Supplies:
popped popcorn
powdered tempera paint
paper bag
construction paper (spring colors)
glue
markers
Directions:
Mixed popped popcorn in bag with colored tempera paint and shake. Have
children draw a stem and leaves for their flower on construction
paper. Glue popcorn on paper for flower petals.

Hand Flowers
1. Trace outlines of the child's hand on paper OR paint child's hand.
2. Cut out hand shapes.
3. Using a pencil, roll the fingers up so that they curl up.
4. Curl the handshape vertically into a sort of trumpet/lily shaped
cylinder with the finger curls curling outwards.
5. Staple the flower onto a drinking straw, along with cutout leaves.
Four or five of these make a nice bouquet.

Pattie cup flowers
Use a popsicle stick for the stem, a pattie cup for the flower, paint the inside
of the cup with glue and sprinkle in some glitter then put in a drop of lavender
oil or rose or something smelly - or even perfume.

Apricot Tree
Using a picture of a bare tree, glue popcorn pieces on the paper to make your
own Apricot Tree
Nest
Make a bird nest using brown construction paper, yarn, etc add a bird to it


Rainbow
Make a rainbow with paint or construction paper.

Take an 11x13 sheet of paper, fold it in half and then open it up. Then take
tempura paint (any color) and put a dot in the middle of the paper to one side
of the crease. Then put as many dots of paint around this center dot. Do this
only on half of the paper. When all paint is in a semi-circle around the first
center dot, fold the paper in half and smash the paint flat. Then open it up and
see what kind of beautiful flower was created!

Games & Activities

Science:
Create a worm farm with a 2 liter soda bottle, topsoil, and worms. Provide a
box for the bottle to go into (with a lid for children to open the box) so that the
worms can grow and will move around comfortably. The children can watch
them grow and feed them with small scraps of lettuce, carrots, and cucumber
peelings. To keep the soil moist, use a small spray bottle to squirt water on
top (only need 3 or4 squirts).

Gardening
Drill holes in the bottom of a plastic swimming pool, fill with dirt, and help the
children plant vegetables or whatever you wish for a small, manageable
garden.

Science
In addition to the usual spring time planting of seedlings and dyeing eggs...use
this time of new birth and renewal to bring in some kittens or puppies into your
classroom. This is a great opportunity to allow children to practice their "gentle"
skills, help introduce pets to a fearful child and perhaps even a way to find
homes for the babies. Of course, double check about pet allergies. Also, have
the children bring in photos of their pets to share with the class.

Setting the Scene

Bulletin Board Idea
Display LIONS with CAPTION - NO LION , IT' S SPRING
Make LIONS by using a paper plate for the head and they cut out brown
strips of paper and glue them around for the mane. All they need to add
are a lighter brown triangle for the nose and they can draw the eyes and mouth.
Add whiskers, it you'd like.

Songs & Fingerplays

Spring Song:
I look out my window and what do I see?
Popcorn popping on my Apricot Tree
Spring has sprung and to my surprise
Popcorn popping right before my eyes
I can take an armful and make a treat
A popcorn ball that will smell so sweet
It really isn't so,
But it seems to be
Popcorn popping on my Apricot Tree
Saint Patrick's Day
Books
Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato
Clever Tom and the Leprechaun by Linda Shute
The Leprechaun's Treasure by Joyce John

Arts & Crafts
Shamrock
Precut a shamrock and glue green tissue paper on it.
St. Patrick's Day Pouch
Get squares of green felt and with a whole punch, punch holes all the way
around the felt. Let the children decorate the felt with sequins, glitter,
rhinestones, or what ever. Then when it dries let them string a piece of yarn in
and out of the wholes to create a small pouch. Then as a small gift, give them
a rock or coin that has been painted gold for their 'treasure' to keep in their
pouches.
Pepper Prints:
Cut a green pepper crosswise and make pepper prints, look like shamrocks.
 We made shamrocks out of bell peppers today. Slice your bell pepper, dip in
green paint, make the prints, add a little green stem with marker. They turned
out cute. Have fun:)
  We also made this week a Pot Of Gold: Paint a little clay pot black, tie a green
ribbon around it then fill with chocolate gold coins. They make a cute gift.
Cut three hearts and a stem from paper. Glue them in the shape of a
shamrock. Then trace it onto green paper. You will have a perfect shamrock
every time.
Texture Shamrocks
Have the children use green fingerpaint that has been mixed with grits (to give
it a texture) to cover a shamrock shape. (Or any other St. Patty's Day shape
you might like to use---or have a variety for the children to choose from) This
gives these are very different feel.

Games & Activities
Treasure Hunt
Cut out 2" Round pieces of cardboard, color them gold and number them then
we have a treasure hunt to find all the gold. Then I have a Pot made out of
construction paper with matching numbers and we put the gold back in the pot.
Duck Duck Goose
We play a version of Duck, Duck, Goose that I have adapted for SPD. We
substitute leprechaun for duck and treasure for goose

Snacks & Recipes

Let the kids add green food coloring to vanilla pudding for a special SPD
snack. Also, offer a variety of green veggies for them to enjoy...celery, broccoli,
spinach leaves, cucumber. Serve with ranch dip and they gobble it up. What a
great way to get them to eat veggies.

Songs & Fingerplays

Leprechaun Pie (from http://www.abcschoolhouse.com)
Leprechaun pie,
Leprechaun pie,
If I don t get some I think I m gonna die.
Give away my pot of gold,
Give away the sky,
But don t give away
My Leprechaun Pie!!!
Easter Bunny and Chick
Arts & Crafts
Thumbprint Chicks -
With this idea, you can make pictures, cards, wrapping paper, etc.
Give each child a piece of white paper. Let them dip their thumbs into yellow
paint that is in a shallow container. Let them practice first, before making a
craft. The teacher or the child can add an orange beak, 1 eye, black legs &
feet, with markers, felt, paper, etc. You can add small wiggle eyes too.
 Easter Chicks for older kids -
The day before, give each child a real egg, (or two). Crack a small hole at the
top & bottom of each egg. Blow the inside into a bowl. Wash the inside with
soapy water. Set out to dry. Punch out hundreds of yellow paper circles with a
hole-punch, die-cut or 3 ring puncher, or let the kids cut their own pile of paper
bits. Cover a small area of egg with glue. Using pencil eraser, tweezers,
fingers, etc., lay pieces on egg. When finished, glue on paper, foam or pipe
cleaner parts: legs, beak, wings. Let dry completely. (the glue helps stiffen the
egg).
 Easter Chicks for Little Ones -
Give each child a fake egg; may it be styro-foam, wood, plastic, etc. Let them
cover them with bits & pieces of cut or torn yellow paper, yellow feathers,
sequins, felt, etc. follow above directions. (using fingers not pencil).
 Pom-Pom chicks -
Take any size of yellow pom-pom balls. Glue on:
2 small yellow feathers for wings
2 wiggle eyes
2 black pipe cleaner legs & feet
1 orange beak (paper, felt, etc)
Blown Eggs
A fun craft to do with older (upper elementary) children is to very carefully
hollow out a raw egg, by gently putting pin holes in each end and blowing out
the raw egg...then, after running water through and allowing to dry overnight, let
the kids paint them. This gives them the opportunity to make a neat Easter
craft that can be kept for years to come, provided it is packaged safely so it
doesn't get smooshed throughout the rest of the year.
 Homemade Easter Grass -
Give each child several pieces of thin, white (typing) paper. Let them shred the
paper into little strips or little pieces. Put pieces into a zip top bag, or twist tie
top. Give each bag several drops of green watercolors. Shake the bag until all
pieces are covered & damp, not saturated. Pour out onto a flat surface to dry f
or a few hours. (Set in sun & they will be dry shortly). Use for lots of projects!
 Basket of Chicks-
Give each child a styrofoam cup. Let them color the outside light brown with
markers or water colors. With a darker brown, draw horiz. & vertical lines onto
the cup. Tear the cup around until it is about 3" T. Take 2 brown pipe cleaners
& twist. Poke a hole on either side, about 1 inch from top. Gently thread twist
ends through & curve back toward cup. Fill the inside with homemade Easter
grass & pom-pom chicks.
Baby chick
Precut an egg from paper. Cut it so it looks like it hatched. Make a chick from
paper and glue on yellow tissue paper.
Chicks
can be done either altogether or by using two circles, one larger than others,
and stick together for head and body then cover with yellow feathers or any
material or crepe/tissue paper. then add a beak and legs - we used pipe
cleaners for legs.
Easter Bunny
Trace child's hand out of white paper and cut out. Fold down and glue middle
finger, then fold thumb and little finger into middle and glue. (This will look like
the "arms", and the tow fingers left up are the ears) Glue onto construction
paper background. Draw on facial features--eyes, nose, mouth. Add green
paper or Easter grass for the grass and I usually hide small oval shapes for
eggs in the grass.
Handprint Chicks
Cut out yellow circle or oval shape for body and use two hands for the
wings. Add pre-cut orange legs and feet. Add Googly eyes and small
orange folded diamonds for the beaks. You can also replace the
hand-wings with feathers for a different effect.

Snacks & Recipes
Chicks in Nests
You need:
Waffle Bowls (Keebler) for ice cream
Chocolate Syrup
Rice Krispys/Sugar Snaps/Kashi type cereal
Robin's eggs/jellybeans
mashmellow Peeps
Have children or adult coat bottom of waffle bowl with chocolate syrup. Then
have children add in some of the cereal of choice. Add a robin's egg or two/a
few Jellybeans. For the final touch plce the Peep in and you have a Spring
Chick in a nest.
Chocolate Nests
Use shredded wheat breakfast ceral, or rice crispies or anything - melt
chocolate and mix with cereal and then put in paper cases. these can then be
finished off with either a little chick, or with chocolate mini eggs.


Songs & Fingerplays

Baby Bunny
Baby bunny in your hutch,
I like you very much.     (Nod head)
With furry coat and ears that flop,
And a little hop, hop, hop. (hop)

Little Bunny, Little Bunny
Little Bunny, Little Bunny, turn around,
Little Bunny, Little Bunny, touch the ground.
Little Bunny, Little Bunny, wiggle your nose,
Little Bunny, Little Bunny, touch your toes.

Little Bunny, Little Bunny, wave good-bye,
Little Bunny, Little Bunny, don't you cry.
Little Bunny, Little Bunny, rest your head,
Little Bunny, Little Bunny, jump into bed.

Little Rabbits
Watch the little rabbits
Peeking through the grass. (Peek through fingers)
When they see me,
They duck down fast! (Crouch down to floor)
Mother's Day
  Gift Ideas:
  Hand shaped flowers:
  Have each child trace their hand onto a piece of paper. Then have the
  child cut it out. Obtain a picture of the child to place in the middle
  with glue. Have the child paint a pop-sicle stick green. When the stick is
  dry, glue or tape the hand shape on the stick to make hand shaped flowers.
  Variation:
  Supply each child with a cup to decorate. Place a little bit of playdoh in
  the bottom of the cup and stick the flower in the cup.
  Fun Frames
  You will need six popsicle sticks, glue, decorations, two small magnets,
  construction paper and a picture of the child. Then you make a frame with
  four popsicle sticks. Lay two stick parallel to one another (stick 1 and
  2) then complete the frame with sticks 3 and 4. Then to make the picture
  stay in you will need to add stick 5 and 6 on the top and bottom of the
  frame. So you have sticks 3 and 4 (the sides) with a stick on the top in
  front, top in back, bottom in front and bottom in back. Follow? Connect
  these sticks with glue. When dry have the children decorate these sticks
  with paint, glue and glitter, macaroni, string, lace, puzzle pieces...
  whatever Let that dry. Cut a piece of paper to fit the back of the frame.
  Glue that on. Cut the picture to fit in the frame, and insert the picture.
  Then glue the magnets at the top and bottom of the back of the frame.
  Viola.. an awesome mothers day gift.

  Hand Prints
  Paint the child's hands, or feet with a paint brush and tempera (or non
  toxic) paint. Press onto a piece of paper. Write a cute poem or saying at
  the bottom. Like this one:

  Sometimes you get discouraged
  because I am so small
  and always leave my finger prints
  on furniture and walls
  But every day I'm growing
  I'll be grown someday
  and all those tiny hand prints
  will surely fade away
  So here's a little hand print
  just so you can recall
  exactly how my fingers looked
  when I was very small

  Bath Salts
  Last year my son's class collected baby food jars and filled it with bath
  salts and they decorated the lids with plastic flowers and ribbon.

  Necklace for Mom:
  Children can bead a necklace for mom with real beads and fishing line.

  Make a card with:
  Glitter Crayons Pens Colored Pencils Markers Paint
  Lace String Yarn Ribbon Paper Doilies Tissue Paper
  Torn Paper Heart Shaped Paper The Holes from a hole Punch
  Stickers Sand Twine Old Puzzle Pieces Buttons Colored Glue
  Colored Tape Chalk Wet Chalk Wrapping Paper Stamps Aluminum
  Foil Heart Shaped Confetti Glue on Candy Confections Heart Shaped Sponge
  Painting Pasta or rice colored with red food coloring
  You could:
      Make the Card Heart Shaped Cut the Edges with special scissors that have a
      funny shape. (If you have a pair you know what I'm talking about)
      Make a Card Have pre-written poems for the children to glue on their Card,
      let the children choose the poem they like the best.
      Make the card out of the paper doily, heart shaped. Let the children write
      a poem for the inside.
      Let the children write a special message, or have the child tell you what
      to write.
      Use bleeding tissue paper on white paper. Have the children place small
      pieces of tissue paper on the paper. Have them add water with a paint
      brush. Allow to dry, and peel off the paper.

      Make Heart Shaped Cookies with a Sugar Cookie recipe.




    Mother’s Day Poem for cards

      Roses are red
      Violets are blue
      You’re my one and only mommy
      And I Love You


Don’t forget to check out what’s happening at your local Ontario Early Years Centre or on their website at
www.ontarioearlyyears.ca/oeyc/en/Location/Simcoe/Barrie-Simcoe-Bradford/centres.htm then click on
calendar to see what workshops and programs are currently taking place.
The Barrie Public Library offers a drop-in Preschool Story Time at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. on Friday mornings.
Each session is 30 minutes and children must be accompanied by an adult. There is no cost or registration re-
quired.

                                                    SPRING THEME IDEAS


                 March                                        April                                      May
•      Weather                            •        Easter ((April 6-9)                 •     Mother’s Day (May 13)
•      St. Patrick’s Day (March 17)       •        Ducks & Puddles                     •     How Does A Garden Grow?
•      First Signs of Spring (March 21)   •        Earth Day (April 22)                •     Babies On The Farm
•      Kites                              •        Birds & Bees                        •     Pond Life


                                                    SPRING OUTING IDEAS

                 March                                         April                                      May
•      Visit a Maple Sugar Shack           •       Visit a Tree Farm                    •     Visit a Local Farm
•      Fly Kites at a Local Park           •       Visit the City Greenhouse            •     Visit a Garden Centre




                                     CONTACT NUMBERS FOR LOCAL OUTING IDEAS
 Simcoe County Museum                          728-3721                   Wye Marsh ( Midland)                   526-7809

 Shaw’s Maple Sugar Shack                      325-4347                   Big Curve Acres                        487-2000

 City of Barrie Greenhouse                     739-4223                    Drysdale’s Tree Farm                  424-9719
                         PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES:




Family Child Care Online Training Program Level Two

The Family Child Care Training Program has been developed to enhance the early childhood development
learning and care received in family childcare settings. This project has been developed with the collaboration
of seven provincial family childcare organizations, two national organizations, a Canadian University and a
research organization supported by funding from the HRDC.


Level Two is intended for individuals who are currently, or are interested in becoming, providers of family
child care in both regulated and unregulated sectors. It is primarily intended for those who have participated in
an introductory level training program, (eg. Level 1 of the Family Child Care Training Program, Step Ahead,
Good Beginnings) and/or have had experience as caregivers and participated in some training/professional de-
velopment opportunities.


Participants who complete the entire series will receive a Certificate of Completion

  Email

  Unit 1 –Caring for Infants                               April 8, 2007
  Unit 2 – Caring for Toddlers                             April 15, 2007
  Unit 3 – Caring for Preschoolers                         April 22, 2007
  Unit 4 – Caring for School-Aged Children                 April 29, 2007
  Unit 5 – Meeting Children’s Needs in a Multi-
                                                           May 6, 2007
  Aged Group
  Unit 6 – Developing Children’s Language Skills           May 13, 2007
  Unit 7 – Developing Caregivers Observation
                                                           May 20, 2007
  Skills
  Unit 8 – Caring for the Caregiver                        May 27, 2007
  Unit 9 – Balancing Work and Family                       June 3, 2007
  Unit 10 – Planning for Play                              June 10, 2007
  Unit 11 –Risk Management                                 June 17, 2007
  Unit 12 –Serving Nutritious Meals & Snacks               June 24, 2007


Level 1, Level 2 and, Level 3 of Family Child Care Online Training will be starting a new intake of interested students
for Fall 2007.

If you are interested in this FREE Online Training course please contact:
Donna at 734-0761 or by email at: childcareproviderconnection@sympatico.ca
                   CALLING ALL HOME CHILD CARE PROVIDERS

                                      SOCIAL/SHARING NIGHT




                                        Tuesday, May 1, 2006
                                               7 pm- 9pm
                                       Ontario Early Years, Barrie
Guest Speaker:
Jennifer Hunt agent for State Farm Insurance will be discussing Business in the Home
Program which will cover areas such as Property, Liability, Loss of Income, and records
among others.

Today, more and more people are conducting some type of business from their homes and may not realize that their Home-
owner’s Insurance may not adequately cover them. State Farm’s Business in the Home Program is designed to provide a broad
range of coverage’s, at a very affordable price, for individuals who run a business from their home.


Bring a desert and Summer Theme activity idea to share. I will have access to copy your
 idea/s for the group. Coffee and tea will be provided. If you know of other Home Child
Care Providers who would enjoy an evening of friendship and sharing please bring them
               along the more the merrier just be sure to register your guest.


                                          Pre-registration required:
                                          Contact Donna at 734-0761



           Social from 7-8pm                              Guest Speaker/Question Period 8-9pm
                     COME CELEBRATE WITH US!

                         Friday, May 11, 2007 Is....


                  CHILD CARE PROVIDER
                    APPRECIATION DAY
  Child Care Providers will be honored province wide by child care lead-
  ers, organizations, elected officials and, most importantly, parents on
  this special day.

  Locally, The Child Care Provider Connection will commemorate this
  event with a walk along the bay. Everyone is welcome to participate in
  the celebration.

  If you would like to join us in this event, please meet at the South
  Shore Community Centre for 9:30 a.m. on Friday May 11, 2007. From
  there, we will proceed with a walk along the bay that will conclude at
  the Centennial Beach Playground. Please note that no snacks are pro-
  vided and that no rain date is scheduled.

  Be sure to celebrate the childcare professional in your life by making
  this a memorable day.
            •    Get together with other parents to create a surprise
            •    Send flowers, cards or a handwritten note
            •    Bring her a special remembrance from your child
            •    Bake some muffins
            •    Order lunch for your provider – and the children
            •    Volunteer to help out
            •    Whatever you feel is appropriate!
Do not let this day go by without a special thank you to this person who is
  so important to your child and your family!


                   The Child Care Provider Connection

                     www.thechildcareproviderconnection.ca
                                        HOME DAYCARE FOCUS:

SETTING UP YOUR DAY CARE HOME
Laurie Miller
Program Director
Human Development Laboratory School, Toddler Center
University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Setting Up Your Home

YOU WILL LEARN:

•   children learn from everything around them.
•   the way you set up your child care home can make children act in different ways.
•   a comfortable, pleasing, and safe space helps children play and learn better.
•   you can make your home meet your family's needs and the children's needs.

The most important thing to remember is that your home should be safe and clean. Before any children come into your
home, you must CHILD PROOF it.

•   Put covers on all electrical outlets.
•   Put poisons (such as bleach, ammonia, detergent, plant food, etc.) out of children's reach.
•   Put breakable objects, sharp things, and house plants out of reach.
•   Make sure the play area is clean. Vacuum rugs daily if you have infants and toddlers. Sweep often. (Infants and tod-
    dlers put everything in their mouths.)
Set up activity areas in your home. Remember that it is still your home.Your family needs space for relaxing, studying,
and entertaining friends.


PLANNING ACTIVITY AREAS
Activity areas for children should include:

•   a place for messy play, like art or water activities.
•   a place for loud, active play, like jumping, rolling, and dancing.
•   a space for working or playing quietly.
•   a place to pretend.
•   a place to relax or be alone.
•   a place to eat.
a place to rest or sleep.


A PLACE FOR MESSY PLAY
You should have some of the following things:

•   dish pans or wash tubs, paint brushes, paints, shaving cream, food coloring, magic markers, paper, towels, and
    kitchen utensils like rolling pins, measuring cups and spoons, and egg beaters.
•   a sink nearby for washing up.
•   sponges and wash cloths so the children can help clean.
•   a low table with chairs or a regular table with cushions or children's seats on the chairs so children can use the table
    comfortably.
•   towels to mop up water on the floor.
•    old sheets or drop cloths (or newspapers) to put under messy activities and keep children from slipping.
Children enjoy messy play more if they sit in chairs or on the floor. Messy play is safest and easiest to clean up in the
kitchen, or it can be done outside in good weather.


A PLACE FOR LOUD, ACTIVE PLAY
You should have some of the following things:

•  mattress, pillows, or cushions for jumping.
•  blankets for hiding and rolling in.
•  scarves for running and dancing with.
•  ropes for jump rope.
•  boards for making balance beams and ramps.
•  refrigerator or other appliance cardboard box for crawling into.
•  a radio or stereo for music to dance to.
•  a big, open space to move in.
Keep loud, active play away from your quiet area.

Children need to move a lot. Change the way you set up your activity space a little every day to keep it interesting to the
children.

If you have enough room, a living room or den would be a good place for active play. It should be away from your quiet
space but where you can watch and supervise the children.


A PLACE FOR QUIET PLAY
You should have some of the following things:

•   beads, buttons, spools,
•   puzzles, pegs,
•   blocks, stacking toys, etc.
•   a rug or table with chairs for sitting.
The quiet work space can be a corner in the kitchen, so you can watch children while you make a snack. Put toys on a
low shelf or in boxes on the floor, so children can find toys easily. Put toys in buckets, baskets, or boxes. If you put the
toys in the same place each day, the children can remember where to find them. Put the same type of toy in the same
box each day. For example, put all the beads in one box and all the blocks in another. Be sure to keep toys with small
pieces away from infants and toddlers. Keep this area away from noisy play.


A PLACE FOR PRETENDING
You should have some of the following things:

•   large cardboard boxes for making pretend cars, stoves, desks, etc.
•   toy telephones.
•   baskets, dolls, hats, and old clothes for dress up.
•   old pots and pans.
•   a blanket to put over a table to make a house, cave, bus, tent, etc.
This space should be away from noisy areas. It could be in a corner or behind a couch.


A PLACE TO RELAX OR BE ALONE
You should have some of the following things.

•   soft pillows or a mattress in a corner.
•  soft pillows in a big, cardboard appliance box.
•  a blanket or colorful sheet to put over a table to make a tent.
Use this space as your book area. Keep your books on a shelf close to the floor or in a basket so children can see them.
They should be in a place children can reach.

If you have infants and toddlers, have lots of soft places for sitting, resting, looking at books, or cuddling. Use bright fab-
rics. Have a rocking chair to rock young children to sleep. Let older children sit in it and read.


A PLACE TO EAT
You should have some of the following things:

•   child-size tables (or regular tables and chairs with boosters).
•   a drop cloth or plastic tablecloth under the table to keep the floor clean.
•   high chairs for infants and toddlers.
a washcloth and toothbrush for each child, with his or her name on them.


A PLACE TO SLEEP
You should have a quiet place for each child to sleep. The child should sleep in the same place each day. Buy sleep
mats or cots if you do not have enough beds. Play quiet music so children do not hear noise from outside.


RESOURCES TO EXPLORE
*Planning Environments for Young Children* by Sybil Kritchevsky and Elizabeth Prescott, available from the National
Association for the Education of Young Children, 1834 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20009 (1-800-424-
2460).

"When You Think About Spaces" and "Worlds for Infants and Toddlers," *Beginnings Magazine*, Summer, 1984.




DOCUMENT USE/COPYRIGHT
National Network for Child Care - NNCC. Part of CYFERNET, the National Extension Service Children Youth and Family
Educational Research Network. Permission is granted to reproduce these materials in whole or in part for educational
purposes only (not for profit beyond the cost of reproduction) provided that the author and Network receive acknowledg-
ment and this notice is included:

Reprinted with permission from the National Network for Child Care - NNCC.
Miller, L. (1991). *Setting up your day care home*. (Family Day Care
Facts series). Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts.

				
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