Every now and then blog readers send me a email or leave a comment in the comment section that I need to answer. When I think other readers might be interested too, I answer them here on the blog. Today is one of those days…
“Congratulations to the whole family.! My 2 daughters gave me 2 granddaughters 10 months apart! Such an honor and a blessing to care for them while their parents are at work!! One 16 mo toddler and a very strong 6 mo old infant already crawling and pulling herself up to stand! We are busy!
Sometime when life permits, I’d love to know how you structure your daycare charges’ day. Where do they nap? Etc”
I know I have several childcare providers that are readers and I know I have lots of grandmas that are doing childcare….and I know a bunch of you are curious so I’m tackling this question today.
First off I have to say that ALL OF THIS IS FLEXIBLE. I learned long ago that with childcare one of the #1 things I need to do for it to be successful is to be flexible. Kids are sick…or moody or I have a different mix of kids so we can’t always do the things I hope.
Kids arrive, for the most part, between 7:20 and 7:45. I have one family that comes later. At about 7:45 I often turn on Youtube and find Super Simple Songs. The songs there are all fun and encourage movement. I leave it on for about 20-30 minutes. It seams to get everyone in a mood for play. The sleepy ones gradually wake and the busy ones get busy dancing.
After that…breakfast. As the kids are finishing up breakfast we have circle time. I read 6 or so books and I do some finger play/puppet/felt board type things. Typically the things we do relate a little bit to the season. The kids adore this. All of the things I do are all math and literacy based. I have 5 two and three year olds at this time of day and four of them know almost all of their uppercase letters, all of their colors and quite a few of them know numbers. I attribute much of that to this time of the day.
All of my kiddos take care of their own dishes. I’ve taught them how. They take their plates to the garbage and scrap them themselves. Then we wash up. After that it’s free play time. Now is when I finish cleaning up and prep lunch as far as I can. I also often prep an art activity.
By 10:30 my other family is here and we often do some type of art activity. It’s nothing fancy…sometimes true art…sometimes something with do a dot markers…sometimes painting. It varies. Sometimes it’s a glorified worksheet or coloring page.
After that we clean up and I get out what I call table toys. We have lots of Melissa and Doug puzzles and other activities that are learning based.