Runny Nose in the Child Care Setting

Runny Nose in the Child Care Setting
(The snuffly child or Green Gooky Nose)

What Is It?
The child with a runny nose and stuffiness is a familiar problem in the child care setting. The nose is lined or covered by a delicate tissue called “mucosa” which produces mucus (the sticky, slippery secretions) to protect the nose. If this tissue is irritated, it swells up, causing blockage and a lot of mucus. Sometimes children get repeated runny noses or permanent sniffles and a green nasal discharge, which are uncomfortable conditions for the child as well as child care provider.


What Is Causing the Runny Nose?
The Common Cold is the most common cause of a runny nose and chronic runny nose. This is generally a mild illness, and the child feels and looks well otherwise. The child usually gets better on his own within a week. Runny nose is usually accompanied by mild fever. It may also go with other symptoms such as headache, sore throat, coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, and fatigue.

The child with common cold usually gets better on his own within a week.


Allergies can also cause a runny nose. They usually occur after 2 years of age and after the child has had plenty of exposure to allergens (the substances that can produce allergic reaction in the body). They might occur during a specific season or after a particular exposure (e.g. to grass or animals). The allergic runny nose might also be associated with watery and itchy eyes, sneezing, asthma, rubbing of the nose and a lot of clear mucus.


With allergies, the runny nose may last for weeks or months, but there is no fever or spread of disease to others.


Bacterial infection (sinus infection) may occasionally develop and contribute to the continuation of illness. This additional infection of the common cold tends to cause yellow-greenish mucus and sometimes pain that continues for more than 10 days.


Remember that yellow or green mucus does not mean that a child has a bacterial infection. It is normal for the mucus to get thick and change color as common viral cold progresses.


Is Green Mucus More of a Concern than Clear Mucus? In most cases green nasal mucus (usually found toward the end of the cold) is not more contagious than clear mucus and may even be less contagious. The runny nose usually starts with clear mucus and then becomes whitish or greenish as the cold dries up and gets better, (as the body mounts its defenses against the virus, the white blood cells enter the mucus and give it the green color). Usually the green mucus is in smaller amounts and thicker, a sign that the cold is “drying up” and ending.


Green runny nose that lasts for more than 10-14 days, and that may be accompanied by fever, headache, cough, and foul-smelling breath, might be a sign of sinus infection. The child should have a medical evaluation and may need antibiotic treatment.


When Are Children Contagious?

The amount of virus present is usually highest 2 to 3 days before a person develops symptoms of the illness and continues to be present for 2 to 3 days after symptoms begin. As a result, infected children already spread viruses before they begin to feel ill.


If Infected, how is the Infection Spread?

If infected the child may spread the germs to others by:

Wiping a nose with their hand and then touching people and objects
Provider wiping children’s noses and not washing hands
Sharing of mouthed toys by infants and toddlers
Coughing and sneezing into the air
Kissing on the mouth
Poor ventilation


How Can We Limit the Spread of Infection?

To prevent the spread of infection from respiratory illnesses and runny noses, follow routine healthy practices:

Avoid contact with mucus as much as possible.
Make sure that all children and staff use good hand washing practices especially after wiping or blowing noses; after contact with any nose, throat or eye secretions; and before preparing or eating food.
Do not allow food to be shared.
Clean and disinfect all mouthed toys and frequently used surfaces on a daily basis.
Wash eating utensils carefully in hot, soapy water; then disinfect and air dry. Use a dishwasher whenever possible. Use disposable cups whenever possible.
Make sure that the facility is well ventilated, children are not crowded together, especially during naps on floor mats or cots. Open the windows and play outside as much as possible even in the winter.
Teach children to cough and sneeze into their elbow, wipe noses using disposable tissues, throw the tissue into the wastebasket, and wash their hands.


When Should the Child Stay Home?

Exclusion policies should be based on your general illness policies, not merely the color of the mucus. For example, you might decide to exclude any child who is too sick to participate, no matter what the cause or color of the discharge.

Excluding children with runny noses and mild respiratory infections and colds is generally not recommended. As long as the child feels well, can participate comfortably and does not require a level of care that would jeopardize the health and safety of other children, she can be included. .

Exclusion is of little benefit since viruses are likely to be spread even before symptoms have appeared.

When Should the Child Be Sent Home or Seen by a Health Provider?

When a child looks sick, has a rash, has a fever over 102 degrees (oral), or has difficulty breathing or seems to be in pain
Earache and/or pulling at ears, which might be accompanied by fever and fussiness (sign of ear infection)
Redness, sores and crusting of the skin around the nose and mouth
Infants, especially under 4 months of age, not getting better in a couple of days or getting worse


References: Healthy Young Children, A Manual for Programs, 1995 Edition; Keeping Kids Healthy, Preventing and Managing Communicable Diseases in Child Care, Preliminary Edition; The ABCs of Safe and Healthy Child Care, A Handbook for Child Care Providers, published by CDC.

Rahman Zamani, MPH (8/19/1998)

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30 Healthier Snack Ideas for Kids

30 Healthier Snack Ideas for Kids

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It’s time for the kids to head back to school. When they come home each afternoon have healthier snacks waiting so that they don’t grab for potato chips or cookies. Our members shared their ideas for fun and tasty snacks that are much better than the prepackaged ones that are so easy to grab. A little forethought will get them eating better and they’ll thank you for it. We asked our members to share their ideas for healthier after school (or any time) snacks for kids.

    whole wheat crackers and toppings – try sliced cheese, cream cheese, egg salad, tuna salad, peanut butter, peanut butter and jelly, or pepperoni. Make your own Lunchables by layering ham or turkey and cheese!

    celery and/or carrots with dip – popular dips among kids may include ranch, hummus, creamy italian dressing, bean dip, cream cheese, and other soft cheeses. Try other raw vegetables too, like cucumbers, zucchini and bell pepper slices.

    fresh fruit – different varieties of melon cut into chunks, whole strawberries and pineapple wedges are fun and colorful. Use rounded toothpicks to let kids make their own kabobs or mix several fruits together to make a quick fruit salad; add a dollop of fat free whipped topping.

    apple slices and dip – use an apple slicer or cut into slices with a knife and sprinkle with a little lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. Serve with peanut butter, fat free whipped topping, yogurt, sugar free caramel dip, or other fruit dips.

    tortilla roll ups and pinwheels – spread with peanut butter or peanut butter and jelly, roll up then slice into 1″ pieces to make pinwheels. use a layer of cream cheese and a slice or two of turkey or ham, or layer with spreadable cheese and various vegetables, roll up and eat.

    trail mix – make your own by mixing together peanuts, raisins, chocolate chips, mini pretzels, granola, and other sweet and salty ingredients. Keep the high sugar sweets to a minimum.

    granola & yogurt – granola makes a great snack on its own, but it’s also very tasty when you stir it into a container of yogurt. Look for different flavors available at your local grocer.

    cheese sticks – String cheese is very popular with kids. You can also find colby sticks and cheddar sticks at the store. You can also cut your own from any of your favorite cheeses!

    pretzel sticks & cheese – cut your child’s favorite cheese(s) into cubes and give him pretzel sticks to pick them up with. Safer than toothpicks and edible too. You can also try dipping pretzels in cheese sauce or bean dip.

    popcorn – make the light butter or unbuttered kind and sprinkle with parmesan cheese while it’s still hot. Try season salt, cinnamon sugar, and anything else you can think of to spice it up.

    cheese quesadillas – sandwich shredded or packaged sliced cheese in between two tortillas. Heat in the microwave until cheese is melted. For younger kids with smaller appetites, use only one tortilla, layer half of it with cheese, fold over and heat.

    mini pizzas – spread tomato paste or spaghetti sauce onto a toasted english muffin, sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese and any other toppings you like. Heat in the broiler for a minute or two until cheese is bubbly.

    quick breads and muffins – best when made from scratch, these are wonderful when popped into the microwave for a few seconds and dotted with a little butter. Muffins and quick breads are easy to make and there are many varieties including zucchini, banana, blueberry, and more.

    smoothies – a great way to sneak in extra dairy and fruit. Pour 1 cup of milk into a blender, add enough frozen fruit to reach top of milk, add an 8 ounce container of yogurt, blend until smooth. Mix and match flavors, try frozen pineapple and vanilla yogurt, frozen strawberries and banana yogurt, or frozen cherries and cherry yogurt.

    bagels, toast, english muffins – spread bagels with different flavored cream cheese and cut into bite sized wedges. Make toast and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, cut into triangles. Toast an english muffin and spread with peanut butter and jelly or layer with a slice of cheese.

    cereal – toasted “O’s”, fruit circles, and other finger cereals and great as a snack. You don’t have to limit a bowl of cereal to breakfast, this makes a fun and different snack for hungry kids as well.

    yogurt – keep a variety of flavored yogurts, containers, squeezable and drinkable are all available.

    bananas and peanut butter – slice a banana lengthwise down the middle. Spread each slice with peanut butter. Cut into bite size pieces and serve with round toothpicks or pretzels.

    parfaits – layer fresh cut up fruit with yogurt and a little granola. Your kids will think they are getting dessert!

    sugar free gelatin and puddings – if you do need a quick to grab snack sugar free gelatins and puddings are much better than a handful of chocolate cookies. Keep a small supply on hand and out of reach.

    rice cakes – serve plain or spread with peanut butter or Nutella (chocolate and hazelnut spread). Rice cakes come in many varieties and flavors.

    pita wedges & hummus – cut a pita pocket into small wedges, warm in the microwave and spread with cream cheese or your favorite hummus.

    graham crackers – graham crackers are a tasty substitution for cookies. They are perfect for spreading peanut butter or dipping into applesauce.

    tortilla chips & salsa – serve unsalted tortilla chips with homemade salsa. Mix together chopped tomato, chopped green onion, a little garlic salt and chopped fresh cilantro.

    animal crackers – another great substitution for cookies

    dried fruit – everyone knows about raisins, but don’t forget all the other wonderful dried fruits available. Dried cranberries, plums, mangos and other tropical fruits are sweet like candy. Due to their natural sugar content they should be served in moderation but definitely in place of processed sweets.

    bread – bread sticks fresh from the oven are yummy, as are sliced pieces of french bread with cream cheese, or bread and butter cut into squares and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar or garlic salt.

    cereal & granola bars – another great option for quick grab and go snacks, cereal and granola bars come in a wide variety of flavors.

    applesauce – you’d be surprised at the different flavors available in applesauce these days!

    pita pocket stuffers – fill pita pockets with cheese and ham, turkey and lettuce, or even bananas and peanut butter

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Helping Your Child Adjust to Childcare

Helping Your Child Adjust to Childcare

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Depending upon your family situation, your child may have no trouble at all getting used to a new childcare situation. On the other hand?particularly if he or she is a certain age and has been home with you as the primary caregiver for the past few years?going to a new location or having a new caregiver in the home all day may prove to be a difficult transition. The good news is that most children do eventually make peace with the new order. If you did not ask the childcare provider during your inter­view how she handles children with separation anxiety, be sure to do so before the first day your child is in day care. In addition, there are steps that you can take to facilitate the change in routine and ensure your child is comfortable with the different setting.


Out-of-Home Care
Enrolling a child in a day care center or family day care presents a whole set of potential adjustment problems. Not only is the child with a new caregiver, he or she is in an entirely new environment. The more time he or she has to get used to the idea before going to day care for the first time, the smoother the transition is likely to be.


One of the best ways to put your child at ease prior to starting day care is to have him or her visit the facility or family day care home, preferably more than once, for short visits. He or she can interact with the primary caregiver at the facility, as well as with the other children that will be in his or her room, or not interact at all. It may take some time before your child is ready to participate with his or her classmates, and that is all right. Your job is to be supportive of your child and not push him or her into playing with or talking to others if he or she is not yet comfortable doing so.


Some experts suggest reading books with your child about going to day care before the first day arrives. One children’s book dealing with separation anxiety is Benjamin Comes Back, by Amy Brandt and Janice Lee Porter (Redleaf Press, 1999). Both before and after reading together, talk about your child’s feelings. Always be reassuring, explain why this arrangement is going to be good for him or her (he or she will make friends, get to play, etc.), and above all, remain positive. Your child is likely to adopt your outlook. If you have a bad attitude about the child­care situation or your return to work, chances are good that he or she will feel the same.

Another way to ease this big change in your child’s life is to get him or her on an adequate sleep schedule at least several days, if not weeks, before the first time at day care, if he or she is not already on one. Grade-school-aged children typically need at least 10 or 11 hours of sleep every night; toddlers and preschoolers need even more. Determine how much time you and your child will need to unhurriedly prepare to leave each morning, and make that your child’s wake-up time. Then count backwards from that time, 10, 11, or 12 hours, depending on your child’s age and sleep pattern, and make that bedtime. Then keep to that schedule. A regular bedtime every night will help give a sense of security to a child in transition.


Try to spend a few minutes with your child when putting him or her to bed. Sing to him or her, read a book, or just talk (or let him or her talk). Not only will these become cherished moments for both of you, but the dependability of the routine will help him or her deal with feelings of uncertainty about going to day care.


When packing up for day care either the night before or the morning of the first day, you could try having him or her pick out a special item to bring. Be sure to check with the day care director first, to see if there are items they will not allow. A good facility will have space to store this belonging, and should not have a problem with him or her bringing a blanket or a toy that does not pose a hazard to others. If there is a good reason for not letting him or her bring an item, let him or her pick out a picture?or better yet, help him or her make a small photo album or scrapbook?that he or she can look at during the day. Your child may even come up with his or her own ideas for making the first day more enjoyable.


The transition to the new childcare setting may go more smoothly if you can take it in small steps. If possible, consider bringing your child in for an hour or two the first time. Of course, if you are beginning a new job and cannot take time off, staying in the day care center or home with your child will not be an option. One way around this would be to go into the facility or home an hour earlier than you normally would for the first several days, to give your child time to become accustomed to the surroundings. If you do this, however, you will want to move bedtime up an hour as well, so that your child still gets the necessary amount of sleep.

On the big day, when it is time to leave your child with the caregiver and make your way to work, reassure him or her that you will return at a specific time (such as after lunch, after naptime, or some other time that your child will understand). Try, with the caregiver’s help, to get him or her interested in an activity. Then you should leave. He or she may show some distress, and it is perfectly all right to give your child a big hug, but it also may be necessary to be firm in explaining that you have to leave. If he or she remains resistant to your leaving, the caregiver should take over and allow you to go. Of course, you can and should contact the childcare provider at least once during the course of the day to see how your child is progressing.


A pattern of separation anxiety may repeat for more than a week or two. It is important not to react strongly to your child’s anxiety by becoming impatient with him or her, or by showing that his or her behavior is upsetting you. Keep communicating with the childcare provider to see if your child remains agitated for a good part of the day or if the tears dry up shortly after you leave. If the situation does not seem to resolve itself quickly, and the pattern continues for more than a couple of weeks, it will be necessary to examine the childcare setting to see if there is more than just separation anxiety.


In some cases, it is not your leaving the day care facility that is traumatic for your child, but simply arriving at the center or home with your child triggers the distress. Once a tantrum becomes a regular morning activity, it may be a difficult habit to break. If your child acts out in your presence but calms down once you leave, one possible answer might be to have someone else take your child to day care for several days. Most parents are familiar with the phenomenon of the child who is a little angel for everyone but his or her own mom or dad. Having an third party drop your child off (if you have a close friend or relative who can do this for you) may help to cut off the custom of throwing a fit at the day care door.


Even if your child is adjusting fantastically to the new childcare situation, your continued involvement in his or her day, whenever possible, will help to keep him or her happy and secure at the center or family care home. If your childcare is close to work, perhaps you can have lunch with him or her on the same day or days during the week. Even if it is hard to visit on a regular basis, visiting periodically to bring a special snack to your child or read a book to the class will reinforce that you have not forgotten about him or her just because you are apart.

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12 Parenting Resolutions for 2012

12 Parenting Resolutions for 2012
By Claire Marketos

As the New Year begins we naturally look forward to better times with our family, pledging to make changes to improve our life in some way. Our hopes and dreams for a better future motivates us to optimistically move forward, yet we soon find ourselves succumbing to old unwanted behaviours wondering why it is so difficult to make the changes we desire.


Determination alone doesn?t seem to help when it comes to parenting, and despite our best efforts, we find ourselves at odds with our children. How then do we have the happy successful family we dreamt of? The secret lies in how well we are able to meet the needs of our children. Here are 12 steps to start the connection.


Wake up every day and decide on a small thing you can do to show your children that they are your top priority. You may want to tell them, send them an SMS, phone them during the day, or help them with something that is important to them.

Set aside at least 10 minutes of one on one time with each of your children, where you make eye contact, and give them your undivided attention. Even with four children this is less than an hour of your time each day. Take their lead and engage in something fun they enjoy doing.

Have at least one meal a day with your children where you all sit down together and chat. Share your day with your children, focusing on positive experiences, and how you overcame negativity during the day.
Consciously listen to what your children are telling you, reflecting back what is important to them without criticising them. Know the names of their friends, teachers, favourite band, book, food and so on. Be excited about their dreams and hopes for the future, even if they are not the dreams you have for your children.

Notice what you do and say in front of your children. It may be necessary to change the way you deal with anger for your children to behave differently.

Exchange Discipline for Discussion. When you are tempted to punish, find ways of discussing what happened and how changes can be made. Avoid taking sides, but rather mediate, encouraging your children to express their feelings and acknowledge the feelings of others.

Choose to be a yes rather than no parent. When you are tempted to say no, find a way to say yes.? Yes, I will take you to the movies this weekend but I can?t take you right now. Yes you may have that toy/ gadget. Place it on your Christmas/ birthday list. Help me work out a plan to save the money to buy you what you want. Yes,I will make a plan to watch one of your sport’s matches/ballet performance this week.?

Decide to no longer act impulsively by smacking your children when you are angry, placing them in timeout or shouting at them. Remove yourself from the situation and calm down before discussing your feelings with your children. Every time you smack your children you change the connections in their brain and consequently the potential of who they could be.

Play with your children every day. Laugh, make jokes, teach them a new board game. Let them see the fun, childish side of you.
Teach them about life. Chat when driving in the car about morals and values. Show them how to problem solve and think creatively, and how perseverance in the face of failure leads to success.
Help your child know who he is by defining the qualities that are his essence. Kind, caring, a good friend, helpful, diligent and so on. Knowing who he is protects him from bullies.

Hugging your children daily not only shows them that you love them but releases feel good hormones protecting them against illness, reducing stress and making them feel secure.

The greatest gift you have are your children. The greatest challenge you have in life is maintaining a positive connection with them. The greatest rewards you will experience in life is fulfilling relationships with wonderful adults whom you nurtured and who reflect your love.

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Handy Coasters

Handy Coasters

A special handmade gift for a lucky someone on your child’s list

by Catherine Newman


These cleverly personalized coasters offer a fun, open-handed expression of your child’s generosity: “Here,” they seem to say. “I brought you a drink.” For extra appeal and versatility, we’ve applied different fabrics to the sides of the coasters.



Card stock
Pencil or chalk
2 coordinating or contrasting cotton fabrics (washed, dried, and ironed)
1 package double-sided stiff fusible interfacing


Trace your child’s hand on a piece of card stock and cut it out to make a template. Use a pencil or chalk to trace the desired number of coasters on one of the fabrics. Trim the fabric into a rectangle that contains all of your tracings, then trim the second fabric and the interfacing to match its size.

Following the interfacing package’s instructions, fuse it between the two fabrics with an iron (an adult’s job). Cut along the traced lines with scissors.


Beautiful Bottle Prints

2 years and up

With this simple technique, your little artist can put his own stamp on holiday gifts for family and friends.



Acrylic or fabric paint
Disposable plates
Small plastic bottles, partially filled with water, and the caps on
Scrap paper
Item to be stamped (see suggestions below)


To start, pour a thin layer of paint onto a plate; use a separate plate for each color. Smooth the paint with the paintbrush, then have your child press the bottom of a bottle into the paint and practice printing on a piece of scrap paper. You may need to help him press the bottle down to get a defined print.

Once he gets the hang of it, have him print designs on the object he wants to decorate (put a piece of cardboard or thick paper inside anything made of cloth to prevent the paint from bleeding through). Then with his fingertip or the top of a bottle cap, he can make the flower centers. Let the paint dry completely.


Wrapping Paper: Lay a long strip of craft paper on a table and have your child make prints with acrylic paint.

Canvas Tote: Use fabric paint to make your prints, then follow the manufacturer’s directions for setting the paint.

Lavender Sachets: With fabric paint, create designs on small cloth bags, such as tea or bouquet garni bags (available online and at kitchen or natural food stores). Set the paint according to the manufacturer’s directions, then fill each bag with a tablespoon of dried lavender.


For easier dipping and more defined prints, use a brush to smooth the paint on the plate after every few stamps.

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Chew on This! Healthy Eating and Studying

Chew on This! Healthy Eating and Studying

Chew on This! Healthy Eating and Studying

Article by

Hello Everyone,

Every parent knows that there is an unexplainable connection between study time and the amount of snacks consumed in the average home. It seems that the closer we creep to exam time, the more time the students in the house spend inventing new creations to feast on whilst preparing for exams.


The trouble is most students? regular study snacks include lots of sugar, preservatives and saturated fats. Not necessarily a recipe for success. We?re all familiar with the old saying “What you put in is what you get out.?, but maybe it?s time to explore exactly what this means when it comes to your body and what you eat.


According to the Society for Neuroscience, recent studies reveal that diets with high levels of saturated fats actually impair learning and memory. Sadly, many convenience foods that are both affordable and easy to fit onto a busy schedule fall into this category.


In addition to the saturated fat, many of these foods include white bread flour or other refined grains and are often fried or sugary- making them high in glucose. After such an over-refined, ?heavy? meal, the body sends all its energy to the digestive tract to process the food, causing the student to feel lethargic and having trouble concentrating in class or studying. No wonder studying feels like such a chore!


A study done by Prof. Fernando Gómez-Pinilla of UCLA found that junk food reduces brain performance while commonly known healthy foods have numerous benefits. Omega 3 fatty acids (found in salmon, walnuts and kiwi fruit), for instance, improves learning ability and memory as well as helps in the fight against certain mental disorders.


?Junk food? has little or no nutritional value (i.e. containing “empty calories”); and is made with ingredients that are considered unhealthy when regularly eaten or to ingredients considered unhealthy to consume at all. Junk foods are typically ready-to-eat convenience foods containing high levels of saturated fats, salt, or sugar, and little or no fruit, vegetables, or dietary fiber; and are considered to have little or no health benefits. Your body and brain need proper ?live? foods (such as fresh fruit and vegetables) in order to perform at their peak and allow you to take in important information when studying.


When the Snack Attack Strikes
Make sure that the study snacks you choose are healthy alternatives to the traditional sugary, high-fat options. Sweets, chips and soft drinks will make a students? blood sugar levels spike and drop very quickly (ever heard of a ?sugar high??) , meaning they will get tired quickly and have trouble concentrating. It will also speed up dehydration- and as we?ve learnt before, the brain needs water to function properly.


Instead of sweets and crisps, opt for fresh sandwiches or why not experiment with salads made with unusual veggies? What about trying your hand at baking homemade granola bars during a study break? Another option is wholegrain crisp bread with hummus or cottage cheese. And to satisfy the sweet tooth? Try cubed fresh fruit skewers, homemade smoothies or munch on a yoghurt (frozen yoghurt is also a good option!). Instead of sugary drinks, choose water, milk, tea or diluted fruit juice. Homemade lemonade is easy to make and tastes great too. Why not spend a few minutes online looking for healthy snack options- you?ll be amazed at how many tasty choices you have. Suddenly the sweets and crisps will look boring when compared with your new snack menu!


It?s true; a diet rich in essential fatty acids, fruits and vegetables will do wonders for your brain power, so next time you?re tempted to munch, remember ?what you put in, is what you get out!?

Wishing everyone the very best during exam season!


Warm regards,

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Preschool Arts and Crafts

Preschool Arts and Crafts

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Easy preschool arts and crafts that are enjoyable, help teach an idea or theme, and help with the development of fine and gross motor skills in young children. Children learn best with hands-on activities and with young children it is important to remember it is the process and not the end product that counts. Adult supervision required.


Preschool Fine Motor Skills


1.Scissors/Cutting Practice

On a blank piece of paper,draw a few straight lines right across the page for your preschooler to practice cutting. For further practice, draw a few zig zag lines or gently curving lines across another blank page. Some other ideas could be to draw simple shapes such as a circle or triangle for your child to cut out. Or your child may just enjoy cutting up a piece of paper into smaller peces. Remember to use safety scissors and supervise your child.


2.”Sewing Practice”

Cut a piece of thin cardboard into a shape(square, circle,star,etc.). Punch holes around the perimeter, each hole about one inch apart. With a piece of yarn, apply a piece of masking tape to one end of the yarn to give it a pointed end and tie the other end of the yarn to your cardboard. Have your child practise threading the yarn through the holes around your cardboard shape.



Playdough is a great sensory craft that kids love. It’s fun to squish, squash and create with. Scented playdough adds another enjoyable element to stimulate a child’s senses.



In addition to just coloring with one crayon try “bundle” crayon coloring. Tie a bundle( 5 or 6 ) crayons together with an elastic band and color or draw on paper using the crayon bundle.


Preschool Painting


1.Marble Painting

Arts and Craft Supplies Needed:

large ice cream pail or pan
tempera paints

On a piece of paper, trace around the ice cream pail or pan and cut out to fit inside the pail or pan. Add a blob or two of paint onto the paper and add a marble or two. Move the pail or pan around to swirl the marble through the paint and around the paper to make designs.


2.String Painting

Supplies Needed:

empty toilet paper tube or wood blocks
tempera paint

Tie a length of string around an empty toilet paper tube and secure in place with tape. Dip in paint and roll on paper to create stringed patterns.


3.Potato Prints

Adult to do the following: Slice a raw potato in half lengthwise. Place a cookie cutter on the cut side of one half of the potato. Push the cookie cutter into the potato while keeping the potato flat on the table. Break away the potato that’s around the outside of the cookie cutter. Push the shape out of the cookie cutter. Dry off any moisture from the potato with a paper towel. Dip in paint and let your child have fun stamping!


Preschool Craft Ideas


Ziplock Books: Put in pictures, letters, flowers or anything else you want in a book. Punch holes equidistant from the edges on each bag above the zipper part. Use whatever yarn or ribbon you like to thread the holes to bind the book. To make the pages “more firm” cut to size a piece of craft foam sheet or card stock and place in each bag.


Body Shape Outlines:

Kids love the idea of having life-sized pictures of themselves. Have your child lie down on a large piece of paper big enough to trace their outline with a crayon. Let your child decorate the picture of him/herself, drawing on a face, glueing on yarn etc. for hair, drawing clothes. This is always a favorite preschool art idea.


Decorated lunch/snack bags:

All you need is crayons and brown paper bags to let your kids get creative with decorating their lunch/snack bags. They could also cut out shapes from construction paper to glue on their bags. You could make it a weekend project to have a supply of lunch/snack bags ready for the week. Here are some lunch box note ideas to stick in your child’s lunch box to brighten his or her day. I also place them around the house for my children to find. Here are some more winter themed lunch box notes.


Pasta Crafts:Ideas for preschool kids

To give uncooked pasta bright beautiful colors, squeeze 1/3 to 1/2 of a small bottle of acrylic paint(found in craft stores) into a large plastic ziplock bag(resealable bag). Pour in some uncooked pasta, squeeze and shake the bag until all the pasta is coated with paint. Pour out the pasta on newspapers to dry. After drying for a few minutes, rub the pasta between your hands to keep the pieces from sticking together.

Print out or help your child print out their name with glue on a piece of paper. Have your child place colored pasta pieces on top of the glue to spell their name. Let dry and then tape on your fridge door. Or you could make a door hanger for your child’s bedroom using the same idea.


Gift wrap idea:Handprints with handprint tag

Have your child dip their hands in tempera paints and press their handprints over a large piece of paper. Trace around your child’s hand on a piece of construction paper or cardstock and cut out to use as a gift wrap tag to go with the handprint gift wrap.



Sprinkling confetti on glue always seems to be a favorite craft for little ones.

Arts and Craft Supplies Needed:

confetti or holes saved from paper hole punch
blank sheet of paper for sprinkling confetti on
white glue thinned with a little water in small cup

Brush some thinned glue onto the sheet of paper where you want to sprinkle the confetti. Shake excess dots or confetti onto a piece of newspaper. Repeat until your design is covered with the dots or confetti.


Shooting Stars

This star shoots through the air when your child blows on one end of the straw.

Supplies Needed:

Bendy straw
star shape cut out from construction paper
curling ribbon
1 to 1 1/2 inch wide strip of paper to roll up

Have or help your child cut out a star shape from colored construction paper. Roll up a strip of paper 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide and approximately 8 inches long(Don’t roll up the strip of paper too tight- the straw needs to fit into it). Dab some glue onto the back of the star cut out and stick one end of the rolled up strip of paper to the glue. Also tape the roll in place until the glue dries. Bend the straw at an angle and insert one end of the straw into the rolled up paper. Add some curling ribbon for decoration to the star. Just tape it to the back of the star. Add a positive little message onto the star if you like.

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Say Please & Thank You: Child Behavior Challenge

Say Please & Thank You: Child Behavior Challenge

Hello! Nanny Stella here, reporting for duty! If you’ve watched any episodes of Nanny 911, you know that we constantly deal with ill-mannered children and the parents who cater to them. So I’m here to nip that in the bud with you right now!

There’s no way around it: Politeness counts! For me, manners and empathy are part of the code of conduct for living in our world that we as parents must teach and our children must learn. Raising well-mannered children should be our number-one priority as parents. Manners are the basics of learning the difference between right and wrong. Teaching your children what behavior you expect from them is a daily parenting process?part of what can ensure that our world is going to be blessed with caring, polite, respectful kids instead of those who just don’t care about anything or anybody but themselves. Today, we can cover the basics, with those three magic words.

Your challenge: Say Please and Thank You

Here are the Nanny’s Tips for saying please and thank you:


Show by example. This is an exercise for you, as well as your kids! So say please and thank you for every little thing you can think of today. If your child hands you her bottle, say, “Thank you!” If are asking something of your partner, don’t forget to add a please at the end. Setting the tone of respect and politeness in the home is where it all starts. Do as I say, not as I do does not apply here!

Praise the pleases. Let your children know how happy it makes you when they are being kind and responsible. Praise your children when they use the words please and thank-you today.

Be a broken record. Keep on reminding your kids throughout the day to say please and thank you. If they ask for a glass of milk, wait for the magic word.


If they try to leave the dinner table, call them back and ask them to ask you to PLEASE to be excused. Write them into your House Rules.

So to repeat: Say please and thank you everyday. Praise your children liberally when they’re polite. Correct them when they’re not. Give constant reminders to say please and thank you.


Happy Pleasing & Thanking!

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Parental self esteem ……. how it affects your kids

Parental self esteem ……. how it affects your kids

Article by E-zine newsletter

Self-esteem is how we feel about ourselves. Very few people are one hundred percent secure about themselves at all times. We worry that we are not good enough parents, that we are not spending enough quality time with our children, that we are not always able to be calm and compassionate toward our kids.

Our self-esteem is formed by our life experi­ence, unmet childhood expectations, and past mistakes. It influences the way we think and act towards other people, including our chil­dren. A parent with low self-esteem may feel depressed and have a negative influence on our children?s self-esteem. A low self-esteem may also cause some parents trying to live vicari­ously through their children to fulfil some of their own unfulfilled childhood expectations.

If you generally feel positive about yourself and your children see you being upbeat and confident, then you probably don?t need to be concerned about how your self-esteem is affecting your children. However, if you are overly anxious, are often emotional or if you feel intimidated by people around you, then you may need to take some time to address your feelings of insecurity. Or if you see your children frequently sulking, having difficulties at school or with friendships, then you need to consider if your children may have an on-going problem with self-esteem and if that problem may be starting with you.

Working on Your Self-Esteem

Work on one thing at a time. For example, first eliminate negative self-talk. Make it a habit for a week to change your thinking so that every time you think of something negative of yourself, you replace it with a positive thing. Next, make a habit of spending some time each week on something you like to do, such as reading a good book, taking a long walk, or a hot bath?whatever is luxurious for you. This will help you fill up your energy reserves so you have more to draw on when you need to be there for your kids. Continue taking slow and deliberate steps toward making healthier habits in your life.

Transfering Positive Attitudes to Your Kids

Once you have started making some progress on yourself, then work on your relationship with your children:

1.     Reduce or eliminate negative remarks or messages you give your children. When you need to provide constructive criticism, make sure it is respectful and helpful rather than accusatory.

2.     Compliment your children specifically on what they doing that pleases you rather than giving a vague compliment. For example, ?I like the way you…,? as opposed to, ?I like you.?

3.     Help your children find a way they can achieve. Look for areas of strength for your children and give support that nurtures those abili­ties. This could include reading, math, music, little league, scouts, creative writing, sewing, or more. Don?t try to impose your interests on your children.

4.     Think of ways to help each one of your children feel like an impor­tant member of the family. Spend time with each child individually. Write notes and put them in their lunch boxes. Tell them that you love them and be affectionate towards them.

5.     Help your children find a space in your home they can call their own. Kids like to have a private place for personal possessions.

6.     Don?t get discouraged if you occasionally backslide into old habits.

When you feel that you have been too harsh on your children, remember that no one is perfect. Let them know that it has been a hard day and that are you sorry that you took it out on them. Ask them to forgive you. Your improved self-esteem and changed behaviours and attitudes will not go unnoticed by your children

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My toddler used to love baths, but now she screams when I try to put her in. What should I do?

My toddler used to love baths, but now she screams when I try to put her in. What should I do?

Penelope Leach answers:
You cannot stop a child being afraid by frightening her so give up trying to put her in a bath and just wash her instead.

You may never know what kind of fright put her off the baths she used to love, but whenever a child develops a fear, it’s crucial to accept it. It may not seem reasonable to you, but what has reason got to do with fear? You may not share it, but you are not the one who is feeling it. If you find yourself tempted to scoff, think over your own private fears and ask yourself whether they are all “reasonable” and how you would feel if you were not allowed to avoid them. Do you, for example, like large, harmless spiders?

It’s helpful to tell your toddler when there is (truthfully) nothing to fear, but it is not helpful to tell her not to be afraid. If you say, “It’s perfectly safe, but I can see it frightens you so let’s just use the sink”, your child will feel that you are on her side. If you say, “There’s nothing to be frightened of, you silly girl,” you offer neither reassurance nor support.

Most toddler fears pass as quickly as they arrive, especially if they are handled tactfully. You may be able to speed this one on its way with lots of water-fun that’s nothing to do with baths and bathrooms. If she still loves to go swimming or she can enjoy herself in a paddling pool she’ll soon come back to bathing. If she can’t face the paddling pool either, try a plastic washing-up bowl and cups to fill and empty.

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