Wednesday, 27 February 2013

What Can We Paint With?

Painting with paint brushes is always an engaging activity you can involve children in, but you can paint with many things you already have in your home. Try some of these items:

Apples - Cut apples in half, dip in paint and place on a paper.

Wet Chalk - Place sticks of chalk into a cup of water. You can add sugar to the water for a different effect. Draw on paper with the wet chalk.

Cars- Dip the wheels of a toy car into paint, then drive the car on a paper to make tire tracks.

Toothbrush - Dip a paint brush into paint and paint with it. Try an electric toothbrush!

Bottles - Paint the outside of an empty, washed, plastic juice or pop bottle.

Kitchen utensils- Wooden spoons, spatulas, flippers, forks, potato masher. use washable paint so it will wash off.

Toy animal footprints-Paint the feet of toy animals and have them walk across a paper.

Leaves and Rocks - Go on a nature walk, collect leaves and rocks. Paint one side of a leaf and stamp it onto your paper. Use silk leaves if not available. Paint the rocks and decorate them.

Ketchup - Provide a small cup  of ketchup, allow children to dip their fingers into the ketchup and paint on a high chair tray . Press a paper onto the tray to transfer their art to paper. Peel the paper off the tray and let dry.

Water - Small children can paint with a toddler paint brush, a small cup of water and paper.

Ziploc bag - Put finger paint in a ziploc bag and seal it. Tape it closed. Children can draw on the bag with their finger creating and erasing designs over and over!

Hands and Feet - Dip children's hands and feet in paint. Make handprints and walk across a large paper taped to the floor. Use different colors and watch how the colors mix.

Q-tips - Dip Q-tips in a container of paint and make dot pictures.

Potatoes - Cut a potato in half. Carve out simple shapes such as a square, circle, triangle and rectangle. Allow the children to dip the potato into paint and stamp on paper. Encourage them to arrange shapes to create characters, vehicles, houses etc....

Laundry Soap Caps - Dip into paint and stamp circles on paper or boxes.

Marbles or Golf Balls - Put marbles or golf balls in paint, scoop them out with a spoon, and place on paper cut to the size and shape of a cake pan or tin box. Roll the marbles around on the paper.

Thursday, 21 February 2013


Greek Style Lemon Roast Potatoes

8-10 peeled potatoes cut in wedges
1 cup chicken broth
½ cup lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic minced
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp pepper

Place potatoes in a 13 X 9 baking dish
Whish together broth, lemon juice, oil and seasonings
Pour over potatoes, turning to coat
Bake in 325 degree oven for about 2 hours, turning occasionally

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Post Office

Items to collect for a Post Office Prop Box:

View detailsStamps-Stickers
Envelopes - all sizes
Ink pads and stamps
Play money
Cash register
Mailing labels for parcels
Packing tape and brown paper to wrap boxes
Valentine cards and envelopes
Blank cards and envelopes
Paper pads
Letter Carrier shirt/coat/hat
Letter Carrier bag
Shoe boxes to put mail in
Box- to pretend it's a mail truck
Post cards
Index cards to write on
Junk mail
Small wrapped boxes to deliver
Pictures of a post office
Mail box


A cornstarch and water mixture known as "Goop" can be made at home using:

2 cups of water in a large bowl or plastic storage container
Add a little food coloring (not very much or it will stain clothing)
Pour in 4 cups of cornstarch slowly
Mix as you add cornstarch. Try mixing with your hands as it turns from solid to liquid.
Clean up: Washes off easily with water or let dry and it will turn into powder.
Put smocks on the children.
Add items to the mixture such as small containers, kitchen utensils, funnels, spoons, plastic knives, animal figures, people figures ........
Make enough for all the children and yourself to play!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Play Dough

3 cups flour
1/2 cup salt
2 Koolaid Packages (same color)
2 cups boiling water

Mix dry ingredients. Add boiling water. Knead on floured board. Can add more flour by sprinkling until desired consistency. Store in a sealed container. Some people store the container in the fridge to slow bacteria growth. Make new play dough each week.

You can also use food coloring instead of Koolaid powder.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Emotional Checklist for Children

Below is an emotional checklist for a parent or caregiver to read and be familiar with when tending to a child's emotional needs:

Child will cry when feeling distressed and this indicates that something is wrong. Give comfort to the child, allow them to cry, redirect their attention, and help the child learn the words to say how they feel. Hold and rock the child. Give the child a soft toy to hug, or talk to a hand puppet. Read a book to the child.

Fear is caused by the presence of something threatening of safety and security. Some situations which cause fear and anxiety are: unfamiliar surroundings, noises, new people, animals, darkness, unfamiliar routine. These situations make a child feel tense and unable to relax. As a result a child will have difficulty eating, falling asleep, and using the toilet. Adults do not have control over a child. We can gently, lovingly influence the child. Refrain from pressuring a child to eat or toilet. Talk with parents. Stay positive. Eat with the children, use nap time toys to comfort, and play soothing music to help relax. Have a predictable routine. Be accepting of the child the way they are.

HANDLES SUDDEN CHANGES AND STARTLING SITUATIONS WITH CONTROL (surprise) Surprise only lasts a moment. It's an unexpected external event such as a clap of thunder or the appearance of a person. Everything is new to an infant so they experience more surprises and startling than older children. Most children will experience delight after the initial shock is over and muscles tensing and body jumps have stopped. Prepare children for surprises such as fire drills, visitors, and new events by talking, practicing, reading books, and showing photos.

Anger results when we are physically or psychologically restrained from doing something, frustrated in our attempts, interrupted, personally insulted, or forced to do something against our will. Anger calls for some sort of release (venting). Caregivers have the challenge of teaching a child how to express their anger in words, not actions, and providing a healthy and safe way to let off steam. Talk about feelings. Give words for feelings. Model responses to situations that cause anger so a child can learn the proper way to face challenges. Encourage children to use words rather than actions. Teach a child what to do, rather than focusing on what not to do.

 Everyone feels shy at one time or another. It results from a heightened degree of self-awareness such as feeling helpless, exposed, incompetent, not living up to expectations. using shame as a form of discipline can be emotionally crippling and should be avoided. Shame results in a real or perceived put down of the self. The child may show embarrassment, cry or hide. Focus on the child's strengths. Do not dwell on the shyness. Pair the child with another peer they are comfortable with. Introduce new activities and people slowly. If the child backs away, comfort them and accept that they are not ready to join in. Some children need to watch first.

Young children show affection when around those who are affectionate. Love and affection are necessary for children's growth and development. Caregivers need to form a real connection with each child and show unconditional love. Offer lots of physical contact. Give non-verbal cues such as a smile, and eye contact. Offer verbal affirmations such as "Good to see you today". Connect with each child several times a day.

 Child can focus on a person or object that captures their attention. Children will use their senses to explore. Interested children are alert, active, curious, and self-confident. A child throwing his dish on the floor isn't being difficult - he is curious about what happens when he lets go of the dish. Stimulate a child's natural curiosity by adding new items to their play, and changing toys, arrangement of the furniture, and by doing new activities. Find out what interests the child. Ask questions, pose problems to solve together.

Joy is positive and spontaneous. It is the result of a pleasant experience (hug, kiss, kind words). A person cannot teach another to be happy but she can influence by presenting a pleasant environment, and responding positively when joy occurs.