Monday, October 29, 2012

::Pin Art::

Remember when I told you about bead art? Well guess what...Here's another lifesaver. Pin. Art. We use this every year during December. It's one of our kids favorite activity. I got to thinking though, why do we only do it during Christmas time? Why can't we have pin art during different seasons? So I made some fun prints for Halloween.

If you don't know what pin art is, I'm going to tell you. It's very simple. All you have to do is take a "dotted" picture and attach it to a piece of construction paper (I usually staple it once or twice in the upper corners). Then you take a push pin and poke the holes. When the whole picture has been poked you detach the "dotted" picture and you have your picture. We usually hang ours in our window so that the light can shine through and so everyone can admire our work. ;)

Here's the pin art pictures I made for October. If you want to use these, just click on the image and then right click and then save.

Laters guys!

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Monday, October 22, 2012

::How Do I Do It?::

I've been asked many times from many people how I come up with my ideas for crafts. That's a slightly difficult question to answer because it's a process. I use many methods to come up with crafts. Because I have been doing this for so long and I have repeat kids every year, I try not to do the same crafts over and over again. That means after about my second or third year I had exhausted every single craft book we had on file. I had to start using the internet and my own devices to come up with projects.

A lot of times I come up with a concept that I want to use for my bulletin board and try to find projects that complete that idea. But that only works for so many days, I still have a lot of time to fill with projects. I always try to do at least 3 projects a week; that way I have one floating day to prep or just relax a bit. Plus there's other parts of our room to decorate (like the ceiling!) ;) (at our site Fridays are toy days, so we don't break up into groups like we usually do which means we have no time for projects) What usually happens after I've mapped out my plan of attack on my bulletin board I move on to the projects that I want to do for fun.

For either type of project, I come up with the idea. Sometimes I flush it out myself and come up with my templates to trace the project out. Sometimes I draw a blank and have to turn to other websites and blogs for projects. A lot of times I'll think "I want to make _______." We'll use a penguin for an example. I'll Google search "penguin crafts" or "penguin kid projects" and see what I can find. From there I'll either use what I find and make templates to trace out the project pieces or I'll combine 2 or 3 different images into one cohesive project. More often than not I don't like what I see and combine multiple things into one idea. Many times I'm just looking for inspiration and ways to flush out my own ideas, other times I'm lazy and want someone to do my thinking for me. ;)

With pintrest, things have become much easier. I can just search what I want and lots of things come up. I usually start there and then go to Google if I don't see something I like.

Here's some websites that I've used in the past, both for projects and time fillers like word searches or mazes. I don't really use them much anymore but they're a good starting point and wonderful resource to have on hand.

 The first and one of my very favorites is Kaboose, they have lots of fun and unique projects. They also have cooking projects if you're brave enough to try cooking with your kids. This is probably one of my favorite sites. The second is FamilyFun. They also have wonderful projects as well as group games and easy recipes. The third site I've used is DLTK Kids. This site is generally for the younger crowd. There's a lot of paper projects as well as mazes, word scrambles, and word searches (that could work for the older kids). The last is Coloring. It's a site chalk full of FREE coloring pages. Seasons, holidays, animals, and all sorts of people. The selection is endless for your kiddos. 

So that's how I do it. No rhyme or reason to it. Just good ole creativity and the ever faithful Google. I keep a sample of all my projects in a file box. I want to remember what I've done and it's always a good starting to point to see what I've done and how I can improve. I highly recommend doing it's always fun to look back. I'll show you how I do it later. :)

Happy crafting friends!
PS if you need more inspiration you can check out my "All Things Child Care" board or my "Bizarre Holidays Lesson Plan" board. Pin It

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

::The Marvelous World of Bead Art::

Have you heard of bead art? Fuse beads? They are a child care teacher's bread and butter. They keep kids busy for hours...

This is the patterns we have at school from S&S Worldwide. We order a lot of supplies from them. That bucket of beads lasts us for most the year, and that's with some where between 15 and 20 kids doing bead art everyday. Among these shapes we also have squares, hearts, octagons, and circles. I've seen Christmas and sea animal shapes also.  

We use this during down time to keep the kids quiet and busy. One thing I've discovered, is that if kids aren't kept busy, they'll find trouble! So we do all we can to keep them occupied. 

You can do more with these than just make the shapes. I recently bought some beads from Michael's Craft Store for a project at my house and in it came an idea book. You can make all sorts of things from any regular shape. I've seen sheep, balloons, acorns, spiders, owls; the list could go on for ages. I took the book to work and donated it to our bead artist's and ever since then, literally everyday, I have a table or two full of kids busy. These projects are great for all ages, kinder - 5th. 

Every child care needs these. Every parent needs these. If you've got restless children...this is your way to focus their energy and keep those little hands busy. Encourage them to make patterns or different kinds of things with their peg boards (that's what you put the beads on to make the shapes). Some of our boys have come up with some fun robots and aliens- YES even our boys enjoy this! There are even some patterns that show you how to make 3-D objects like ships, castles, or even couches! We've added google eyes to some of they're creatures for an extra element and even turned some into magnets by just gluing magnets to the back.

I'll be sure to take some pictures of some of the things my kids have done. They are quite creative!

Peace Out!

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::October Boards of the Past::

Well apparently I don't have a picture of last years board (so sad)! Maybe I should change the title to "October BOARD of the Past." hehehe! But here's my board from 2 years ago. Those spider webs were a pain in the rear to put up by my lovely co-worker helped me and it really made the board fun. Sorry its not a very good picture, I took it with my very old cell phone.
We did a marble roller project. I love doing these! They turn out so wonderful! Unfortunately when we were doing this I didn't have any black construction paper so I had to use tissue paper. That was such a pain because the paper was so thin and it kept rolling with the marble. But we made it through and had some pretty awesome pictures to hang up. I added little spiders to their pictures to really get the point across. 

If you've never done marble painting before its very simple. You need a pan with sides on it (like a jelly roll pan or brownie pan- any pan with at least a 1/2 inch side is good), a marble, paper, and paint. You put the paper on the bottom of the pan and then dip the marble in your paint. Put the marble in the pan and tip the pan back and forth to get the marble rolling. You can use as many colors as you like, even add a little glitter. They always turn out great no matter what you do.

Have a spooky day! ;) Pin It

Monday, October 15, 2012

::Teddy Bear Day::

October 11th is "Teddy Bear Day." So we made teddy bear faces. Just something simple for the kids to take home. Directions after the jump.
Bear Hall of Fame
We took a paper plate and glued tissue paper all over it (painting the plate is always an option too). The kids cut out the eyes, ears, and nose and glued them on the plate. We drew on a mouth and glued on google eyes.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

::Spooky Time::

I don't know how many of you have the opportunity to hang things from your ceiling, but I'm a big fan. BIG FAN. I love hanging things from our ceiling. Springtime, Wintertime, Fall time, things are going up! This year I decided on bats. I'm not really into Halloween. Never really have been. But I'm always down to make our room look festive. So bats it was. Here's our batty collection (directions after the jump).
This is my bat.

 Here's my flock of bats...I have no idea what a pack of bats is called so I'm just going to call it a flock lol! ;)
 Here's the batty hall of fame!
 This little missey wanted to add red eyes to make it more spooky and somehow managed to put the wings on upside down...actually a surprising amount of kids put their wings on upside down. How does that happen!?
This one's simple. We rolled black construction paper around a toilet paper roll (you could paint but I didn't want the clean-up). Then I had the kids cut out the eyes, nose, teeth, and wings. They glued them on and used marker to draw the eyes and nostrils. You could use google eyes but we happened to be out so this was my back-up plan (PS...Dollar eyes. All sizes. One dollar. SCORE)! I hung string from the back and then hung them from the ceiling. Golden!
I'll add a link to my PDF stencil cutouts for the wings, eyes, nose, and teeth tomorrow...I just haven't gotten around to scanning them in yet.

Peace Out Homies!
Tomorrow I'll show you my past October boards! Pin It

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

::October Board::

October kind of snuck up on me. At our site we switch boards every month. We rotate who gets the front board to keep everything fresh and showcase each groups things. I wasn't really sure how I wanted to go about this month's board. Usually I've thought ahead a couple weeks and planned out what I want to do so that I'm ready when we switch, but this month it totally cut me off guard. Eventually I settled on doing a "monster mash" board. It's not my most glamorous board but I think it's kinda cute...well at least the kids projects are. 

We made spiders, "monsters," and "mummies." 
(side note: Dollar Tree has lots of teacher supplies- the letters on this board are from the dollar tree, I also bought metallic boarders which I'm particularly excited about). ;)
Here's the monster that I made as an example.
Here's my groups "monsters." I was really happy with how they turned out. 
Each one is different and adorable. 
Here's some of my favorites- We'll just call it the monster hall of fame :)
Our monsters are painted toilet paper rolls. I traced arms and feet for the kids to cut out. I cut out the mouths for them because it was easier and faster for me to do it. I like to give a certain amount of freedom when we do projects so I let them pick out whatever color they wanted for their noses and any amount of eyes up to 4. They also had the option to add stripes or polka dots to their creatures. Plus they got to pick out the color they wanted to paint they're monster.
Here's the mummies. They were easy. We wrapped 2-3 strips of white paper around a toilet paper roll and added 2 google eyes. Easy as pie! I've seen it done with gauze or ripped paper strips but we just stuck with strips of paper. 
 These are our spiders. Typically I would have had the kids paint these but I just wasn't up for a paint project so we opted for the quicker (and much easier to clean up) marker project. We took a single egg carton cup and colored it black. I punched 2 holes on either side for the legs. We used pipe cleaners that the kids pushed through both holes and then bent to make spider legs. Then the eyes and I tied a string from the middle so that I could hand them from the ceiling.

I'll share some of our stuff from the last week as well as some of my projects from past years in the coming weeks. We're getting into my favorite part the year here. I always get excited to do fall and winter art projects because they're my favorite seasons; so I'm excited to share with you! 

Peace out peeps! 
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Sunday, October 7, 2012

::Lesson Planning::

Part of my job description for a long while. When I first started writing lesson plans, my boss had pre-planned weekly theme's that I had to match my projects too. There wasn't too much freedom but I was OK with that because I had never had to write out lesson plans before. I did that for about a year before I transferred to another site. When I got to my new site (where I am now and have been for the last 7 years) we didn't write plans for a few years. But then we decided to revamp our program and began writing lesson plans. I had loads of freedom. I picked the projects, the games, and themes. From there I began to challenge myself to pick bigger and better projects. I wanted my parents to see how much I could do with they're kids and how creative they could be. That piggy-backed on my desire to do some slammin bulletin boards! I wanted our collective creativity to really come across.

Moving on to this year, we're doing something completely different. My boss decided he wanted to reinvent our program again and really make it an experience for our kids to come to child care. We want our child care to be fun. We want it to be worth the money our parents have to spend to send they're kids to our program. To us that means something going home almost everyday, that means fun games and things to talk about when they get home. We want to encourage parents and children to engage with each other.

That birthed the idea of our "Bizarre & Unique Holiday Lesson Plan." We divided up the months of the school year between three of us, my boss, me, and a fellow coworker (you can find the ideas for my months on Pintrest- you can find my other child care ideas on this Pintrest board). Each of us took a month and the list of holidays from this website and planned an art project and games for the day. Our schedule includes outside play time and an outside game. Then an art project and inside game. Our projects have to be relevant for kindergarten thou fifth grade and that's a rough spot to be in.

So far it's proven to work out pretty well and to be a little over ambitious at the same time. It's taken a little of time to figure out how to prep 50+ crafts daily. But we're working it out and the kids have been able to take home some pretty fun things. We post our schedule and weekly plans by the door so that our kids and parents can see it as they walk in. Several of our kids ask to stay a little longer so that they can do the activities we have planned and even bring in things that coordinate with the day!
Here's something we did in September for "mini golf day." 
Every kid made they're own mini golf hole. 
We used Styrofoam balls and Popsicle sticks as golf clubs.

Overall it's been a rewarding experience to try and launch this idea! When we really get this idea rolling we want to send home a daily or weekly letter to help encourage dialog between parents and kids. It'll include what we've done for the week and things to talk about based on what they've learned or done. Maybe even a kid written article.

So there's a little insight into my days and way we structure our site.
Laters! ;)

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Saturday, October 6, 2012

::September's Past::

As my first official child care related post I'm going to share my September boards from the last 2 years as well as the one I did for this year. I always have a lot of fun doing bulletin boards. I love the opportunity to show case my student's work and to show our parents that we really do things with their kids when they're with me. So here's my "September's past:" 
 September 2010- I love photography so this was a fun/silly way to incorporate that. I punched the camera's and film strips at my local "ESC" (educational service center) and put pictures of the kids in my group in each camera.

 September 2011- This one I was a little less thrilled with. I felt it was kind of boring, but we sure had fun making our frogs. I was really into paint projects last idea why but this one jump started it all (no pun intended).
September 2012- We made "boot-leg" smores. I had wanted to use fun foam for the smores but alas, we didn't have the colors I needed so we used felt and cotton balls. Hey- it got the point across! 
Here's a close up of our "smores."  

Can't wait to share more things with you!
I've got a lot of projects and posts to write about so I'll be seeing you soon!
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Welcome to my space! I'm Miss Roberts. I've been a child care teacher since 2005. I've been toying with the idea of starting a blog about my adventures in child care for a while now. This year I'm finally doing it!

I'm planning on sharing my projects and board ideas with you. My philosophy behind child care is to make it worth the money that the parents spend on sending their kids to our program. I want it to be as warm and comfortable a place as possible. I try to take the time to talk with my kids and really get to know them. I have kindergartners and first graders so I feel that I have them in an integral time of their school experience and I do my best to make it as enjoyable as possible. Imagination and "playtime" were always important at my house growing up so I try to incorporate that as much as I can during my time with my kids. I want to keep my students "kids' as long as possible.

My favorite thing to do with my kids is art projects. I always encourage them to be unique and make each project their own. I read in a book somewhere that when asked in the 1st grade how many students thought of themselves as artists, almost the entire class raised they're hand. Ask the same class the same question in 5th grade and only a handful of students raised they're hands. I want to prolong that as long as possible and make every kid think of themselves as artists. I try to help them tap into they're creativity as much as possible.

So there's a little about me and my philosophy on my time with my students. Hopefully you'll get some inspiration and ideas for your own classroom! Pin It