Category Archives: childcare

Childcare Chronicles

Check out my new felt board for the kiddos.

Does it look familiar?  It sure does to me.  It’s my Nido Wool Ironing Mat.  I needed a felt board for my kiddos.  My old one was felt over a piece of foam core board.  It was all ratty and icky.  I was going to get supplies to make a new one when I walked by my ironing mat.  Something clicked in my brain and I thought, I’ll try it as a felt board.  Oh. My. Word.  It’s the best felt board I’ve had to date.  Here’s the link for the mat in case you missed it.

Using the mat like this has me wondering if I wouldn’t like a second smaller mat.  My idea is that when I’m laying a block out before sewing that I might want to use the small mat to lay the pieces out on to make sure they are oriented the right way.  If the felt pieces stay on the mat so nicely, I’m thinking the quilt pieces might too…Hmmm.

Anyway…I don’t have a lot of room in the house to keep a lot of things so I try to keep things as simple as possible.  That’s why I’ve always had a simple felt board with no easel.  Setting this up on my kitchen chair like this is perfect.

In the past when I reviewed the Nido Wool Ironing Mat, I said that it was sturdier.  It really is.  Other mats wouldn’t keep its shape like this.  I love it.

We do a lot of circle time/felt board type activities at childcare…it’s in our daily routine right after breakfast.  The kids learn so much as all of the activities that we do reinforce numbers, letters, colors, shapes and the like.  It’s so fun to have the kiddos singing right along with me.

I never dreamed I’d be endorsing the mat as a felt board too.  As an FYI this it the larger Wool mat and you can find it HERE.

We’ve been busy doing other things at childcare…

Here’s something way quick and easy…we made octopus hotdogs.  Simple cut 3/4 of the way up a hotdog cutting it in half.  Then cut the halves into three pieces.  Put the hot dogs in the pan to boil.  They will twist like Carver’s did.  See? Continue reading


You all might remember that I was hoping to put up some bird feeders and attract some birds.  I bought some but haven’t gotten them out yet.

Then one day a week or so ago I had the childcare kiddos here.  A couple of them were looking out the window and one started squealing about something outside the window.  I walked to the window and there was a hummingbird hanging out in my flowers.  Before I knew it, all of the kiddos were looking out the window watching the, now two, hummingbirds buzz around from flower to flower.

About the I remembered that I had a cute hummingbird book “Little Green” by Keith Baker.  The book is perfect for toddlers or preschoolers.

The story is real simple.  An artist is looking out the window and sees a hummingbird zipping around.

In each layout of the book, the hummingbird is zipping from here to there…doing curlicues, zig zagging, and flying in circles.  The last page is below….

The artist in the book painted how the bird flew…in zig zags, circles, etc.

That’s when I had an idea.  Here it is…. Continue reading

Carver’s Georgie

Admittedly, at childcare, Carver is by far the hardest kid to take care of.  Kalissa knows it.  I know it.  The childcare families know it.

We’ve had to work through a lot of things with him.  He’s been a biter.  He’s been a hitter.  He’s been a toy stealer.  Don’t let that little grin on his face fool you.  He can be the sweetest kiddo to me…but he can be not so nice to his friends.

Part of is that he’s territorial.  I’m his grandma.  This is his grandma’s house.  He thinks everything here is his.  I can’t tell you how many times I tell him the toys are mine and I’m sharing them with his friends too.

Last year at this time our big problem was biting.  Yes, that cute little grin could bite.  That got better.  Then he graduated to hitting.  That got better.  Now he’s taken to tattling.  As much as I hate tattling, it’s better that he tattles vs taking toys away from other.  We seriously have tried everything and after he got his adenoids out, things have been markedly better to the point he’s pretty much a normal almost three year old when it comes to handling his actions.  Oh from time to time we still have issues, but nothing like before.  He’s far from perfect but I have lots of hope that he’s getting himself figured out.

Last week on Friday we ended up having an incident.  I had the kids outside playing in the backyard.  When we go out and I have babies here, I take some baby equipment out and the babies hang with me in the shade on the back cement area just out the door.

We had played outside for about an hour and a half.  I told the kids it was time to clean up and soon we’d be going in.  They were okay with that and started cleaning.  While they cleaned, I started taking the babies in.  We got things cleaned and then the kids came in.  Georgia was still outside.  I turned to go get her and one kiddo was closing the door and Carver was standing next to him.  Carver ended up pushing the kid and screamed at him, “You no leave my Georgie outside”.  Ah…what an issue!!  He ended up running outside and went into protective mode for “his Georgie”.

These are times it’s so hard to be a childcare provider.  No he can’t push kids…but he was trying to protect Georgia and didn’t understand.   Thankfully in wasn’t a hard push didn’t amount to anything.  The kid he pushed was only startled and not at all hurt.  I got Carver inside.  I got Georgia inside and then I had to talk to him.

I have to say I do love that he’s protective and caring to Georgie…he’s that way to Gannon too.  I just don’t love how he handled the situation.

I don’t want to create a tattler but that’s what I had to tell him to do if that ever happens again after all tattling is better that pushing.  He needs to come and tell me.  Seriously…being a childcare provider can be so hard.  Dealing with your own grandchildren at childcare adds to it all.  He was right to want to help Georgie but not right in how he handled it.  How do you explain that to a three year old??  I muddled through it.

…and so goes the saga of being a childcare provider, a grandma, and dealing with Carver and his Georgie.

Stitching with the Kiddos

I have one childcare family that has a couple school aged kids and they sadly don’t get to my house very often anymore.  They had a nanny for much of the summer but she took a few days off and lucky me, the kids were able to come back a couple of days.

These two are the craftiest kids I’ve ever had.  They love doing anything with paper, paint or craft supplies.  If you’ve ever been so kind and sent me craft goodies in the mail that are kid friendly, it’s like that these two were the main two using the goodies.

Being they were coming I decided to try something new with them…
Stitching 101.  I’m sharing the idea here today as I know most of my readers have a someone in their life that might like trying it too.

It was easy peasy to prep.  In advance I bought:
Plastic Needles (I got mine HERE on Amazon)
Wood Embroidery Hoops (I got mine HERE on Amazon)
Leftover Yarn

We cut the burlap a little bit bigger than the hoops.  I showed them how to put it in the hoop.  Then we took a sharpie marker and made a design for them to stitch.  Then we started stitching.  The main goal was for them to understand the up and down motion of the needle and to learn how to get the needle near where it needed to be.  It’s really introduction to embroidery or cross stitch.

The oldest gal took off like crazy with it and loved it.  She was doing everything on her own in no time.  She is going into 3rd grade.

A couple of the other girls wanted in on the action and he gal below did really well too.  She is only going into kindergarten.

The kids had LOTS of fun.  I’ll be watching thrift stores and garage sales for more wooden frames.  They like to keep the finished project in a frame.  I was also informed that I need better selection of yarn colors. So I’m hoping I can find a bag of yarn at the thrift store that just has small rolled up balls of leftovers.

All in all for a first attempt I’m impressed.  The one that was making the letter “A” went on and did more designs on the burlap around the “A”.

It was really fun.  I love when I can come up with something they like and can do…and is a cheap craft.  Who knows, I just might have started a girl on getting interested in cross stitch.