Tara's Toyland Home Daycare

Where Learning is Fun and Friendships Flourish

Blog

After 30+ years professionally working with children I have a lot of knowledge and ideas to share.  These blog posts are a way to go in depth into a subject and spotlight my thoughts. Even though I consider myself and expert in my field there are always chances that new information or a particular insight changes my thoughts so these blog posts are to be considered in that context in regards to publication date when reading.

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Jack Be Nimble

Posted by tarastoyland on September 7, 2019 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (0)

During our Nursery Rhyme unit we did the rhyme Jack be Nimble.  First we jumped over candle sticks changing the rhyme to match the name of the jumper.  Then we changed it from candle stick (which rhymes with quick) to different objects and came up with rhymes for those new things.  For instnace "Miss Nora be nimble, Miss Nora be fair, Miss Nora jump over the daycare chair"  This was SUPER tricky so we had to figure out our rhymes first.  Rhyming is a prereading skill ...

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Risk Taking

Posted by tarastoyland on September 7, 2019 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (0)

 Do you remember climbing a tree when you were younger? I used to climb to the top of the maple tree in our front yard, trying to go higher than the house, then I would sit up there and read my book for hours.  I loved being that high up, feeling the breeze and being alone.  I didn't even think of it as risky honestly, it was how I grew up and even though my brother had broken both his arms falling from a tree when I was a toddler, I still considered it a normal non-risky activ...

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HOW do you go about getting them to sleep or stay asleep?

Posted by tarastoyland on September 3, 2019 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Overtired Children - When a child is overtired they don't act sleepy, instead they get hyper. For a baby they will get VERY crabby and cry. Each child has a "window" of time when they will easily fall asleep. If you miss the signs and miss that window of time you are going to have a very difficult time getting the child to calm down. Often if a parent has a hard time getting a child to sleep the key is to make bedtime EARLIER so they don't miss that prime sleep window.

So, you know kids...

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Recommended Sleep Times

Posted by tarastoyland on August 31, 2019 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Recommended sleep times:

So what is the right amount of sleep? Fifteen years ago the sleep charts were what I believe to be correct. But somewhere in the last 2 decades the charts have been modified. Here is the sleep chart *I* believe in (the one that was around many years ago).

* Newborn to 4 months old - 19 to 22 hours in a 24 hour period

* 4 months old to 12 months old - 12 hours at night, (may have a feeding after the first few hours when Mommy is ready to go to bed for...

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Using Memory Game to scaffold learning

Posted by tarastoyland on August 22, 2019 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

This past spring I had a set of 4 girls that were going off to kindergarten in the next school year.  They did their kindergarten screening test and one parent said that their daughter knew the letter sounds but not the names.  So when she was shown an S she made the s sound instead of saying it was an S.  Obviously she knew the l...

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A Sick Policy that makes sense

Posted by tarastoyland on July 7, 2016 at 8:00 PM Comments comments (0)

I let sick kids come to daycare. Fever? Just tell me when you dosed them up with and what you gave them. Rash? No problem. Pink Eye? Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease? Bring them. I do not care. The only thing I exclude for is vomiting and diarrhea. For those I am super strict because a child with those needs extra attention, I don't want to have to clean it up and they spread very quickly so sending a child home can keep others from getting it.  (I also spray bleach water on every...

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Art - process or product or both?

Posted by tarastoyland on August 1, 2015 at 11:40 PM Comments comments (0)

I love art.  I actually was an art teacher at a school for two years.  I have a minor in art and an art education endorsement.   I love to do art, I love to look at (most) art, I love how there are great stories behind famous art, I love to do artsy things.  

I also firmly believe that art can be used to teach almost every concept there is in early childhood education.  It can tie the curriculum together, it can make all the parts of a lesson become solidly form...

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Circus Theme

Posted by tarastoyland on June 9, 2015 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

 

 

*We started today by watching a Kid's Songs video about the circus. While we watched we listed what we saw, heard and what we would have smelled, touched and tasted.

 

We also learned that unicycle means one wheeled because uni means one. We made our own unicyclists.

 

Then we popped popcorn and talked about why it popped (it has a tiny drop of water in it and the heat made the water expand then burst). We sand a fun popcorn song tha...

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Jungle/Rainforest

Posted by tarastoyland on June 7, 2015 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

We just finished up our Rainforest theme.  I had been wanting to do this theme for a super long time but never had a time when it seemed right.  I had a really good time with it. I liked how I was able to combine  reptiles, bugs, plants, animals, and so much more all in one unit.  Those are usually my spring themes separately so it ws neat to combine them.  

Here are my daily updates I posted for the parents during the unit:

 

Today we learned t...

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Toilet Learning

Posted by tarastoyland on May 22, 2015 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (0)

My Philosophy - Potty training

 

     I fully believe in early training.  Since I do home daycare I have trained LOTS of kids, more then the Duggars,  so I have developed some opinions on the matter.  I try to start as soon as the child is able to sit  solidly.   At first I just have them sit often at set times, like when they wake, before or after we go outside,  after lunch, after nap.  The parent can sit them upon wak...

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Potty Training Articles (NOT mine)

Posted by tarastoyland on May 20, 2015 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Early Potty Training Key to Success by, John K. Rosemond

What's it going to take for American parents to realize that just as it's far easier to house train a 4-month-old puppy than a one-year-old dog, it's far easier to toilet train a 20-month-old child than a 3-year-old? Fifty-four years ago, according to a study conducted at the time by Harvard University, nearly 90 percent of America's children had been successfully trained before they reached their second birthday. Today, courtesy ...

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Outside time

Posted by tarastoyland on May 20, 2015 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

I love when the weather warms up enough that we can play outside for hours at a time.  I have a facebook page that is only for parents of enrolled kids and relatives/friends they want to let read the things I write.  This is a great tool for me to share tidbits of our day, tell the parents what we did that day in preschool and share pictures of our day.   I was looking back at some of those old postings and thought I would share a few that had to do with outside....

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Today's Discovery!

Posted by tarastoyland on April 22, 2015 at 9:50 AM Comments comments (0)

The kids opened up the water table to find a surprise! The seeds they had played with in the dirt/mud had sprouted. And they were HUGE. The third picture is the seed in a bag on the window which you can see is no where near that big. We discussed what may have made the seeds in the table grow so much more then the ones on the window. We decided that the window is colder and that maybe the lid being on had something to do with making a good environment and that the dirt probably had a lot...

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This Day in History

Posted by tarastoyland on April 21, 2015 at 9:45 AM Comments comments (0)

I have a facebook persona (Tara's Toyland) which is only for daycare stuff.  I only allow people connected to the children currently enrolled to "friend" Tara's Toyland so it's all people that somehow know the kids.  It's really neat to be able to give little antedotes of our day or tell everyone at once what we did for our lesson that day.  I post pictures often too.  Parents use it to connect with other parents for playdates or just to keep in touch after they leave my d...

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Pirates theme

Posted by tarastoyland on April 13, 2015 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

We had started a Pirates theme when I came across this HUGE box. I dragged it home and went to work creating a pirate ship.  The kids loved steering the ship, sailing on the high seas and exploring for treasure.

Decorating treasure chests and showing off our pirate hooks


...

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Friendship

Posted by tarastoyland on April 7, 2015 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

I am on a home daycare bulletin board and someone asked why child care workers insist on saying that the kids are "friends" even if they aren't.  Some said that we were forcing them to be friends with kids they didn't want to be friends with.  Or that we had no right to say who was or who was not their friend.   I thought this was a very interesting perspective and had never even considered NOT calling them friends.  My feeling on this is that these are their first friends...

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Inside of Me Theme Unit

Posted by tarastoyland on April 7, 2015 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)

We had a super time learning about the things inside of our body like blood, muscles, bones, tendons and organs.  There were lots of science experiments during this unit.  

Here are two kids exploring blood, well, not real blood, but a model of blood.  The red water beads represent the red blood cells that carry oxygen to our body parts.  The white ping pong balls represent the white blood cells that attack germs.  The pieces of red craft foam are the platelets ...

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When the provider is sick

Posted by tarastoyland on April 2, 2015 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)

It's spring break week and I have been meaning to get so much done. I started out really great, well, kinda.  I had set up for a cleaning lady to come in and do some cleaning.  This was a first for me, never have had someone else do my cleaning and I am so glad I did.  She got tons done.  But only upstairs.  I ran a ton of errands and did straigtening and laundry that day.  But I was not at 100%.  I have a super bad cough that started last Thursday.

On...

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Picky Eater Plan

Posted by tarastoyland on March 28, 2015 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)

There is a great book by William G Wilkoff, MD called Coping with a Picky Eater that every parent or provider of kids should read and have a copy of. http://www.amazon.com/Coping-Picky-Eater-Perplexed-Parent/dp/B000C4SUO2/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207157772&sr=8-1

 

 

This book has what I call the Picky Eater Plan. I have used this plan with kids that literally threw up at the sight of food and within 2 weeks they were eating norma...

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5 S's and EASY - under 12 mos old sleep help

Posted by tarastoyland on March 27, 2015 at 9:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Here's my reccomendation for sound sleep in under a year old:

using the Baby Whisperer's EASY method for a schedule, and the Happiest Baby on the Block 5 s's method. Those two combined will make cio not be a needed thing (at that age)

 

EASY - when the baby wakes up it Eats. After you feed it, then it has Activity - bouncy seat, tummy time, sitting up and playing with toys, swing, exersaucer, etc. When the baby gets fussy check the B's - boredom, butt or burp. ...

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