Tara's Toyland Home Daycare
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.
My Last 16 Months
|Posted by tarastoyland on 11 February, 2022 at 0:35|
It's so hard to believe that after 22 years I am looking at the end of my home daycare career soon. Next school year will be my last one. I am excited about moving in 2 years and fixing up all sorts of house things and painting, and about the next chapter in my life but I am so sad that each time I use theme materials is my last time doing so. I know in spring 2023 I will be crying often as I say goodbye to my daycare children, my loft, my stuff that I've lovingly collected for al...Read Full Post »
Covid illness policy- a pile of complications
|Posted by tarastoyland on 9 August, 2020 at 0:40|
Letter to Parents from July 12, 2020 --- The illness policy has to be super strict this year. I don't have a choice. The rules I have to follow are to keep all kids and my family safe, and I'm sure they will be a hassle but it's a no win situation. I will be giving each family a Kinsa smart thermometer. It's an ear one. You download an app to your phone and the thermometer uses blue tooth to record the temperature in the app. You can do each person in the house and it will keep track of t...Read Full Post »
|Posted by tarastoyland on 7 August, 2020 at 0:40|
Tara's Toyland Home Daycare COVID19 re-opening plan
*The daycare will re-open on August 20th. Maximum 8 children will be on site at any time.
*signs about handwashing, covid symptom list, and proper ways to prevent the spread of the virus will be displayed on the entry door, the bathroom and in the daycare by the calendar area
*All families, including provider's, will take daily temperatures of all members in the house prior to the start of each care day. Each family will ge...Read Full Post »
Uncertainty - a virus confuses everything
|Posted by tarastoyland on 5 August, 2020 at 0:20|
I had such plans for this upcoming school year. I knew all my kids were returning, two of them were in their last year before kindergarten and I was looking forward to all the fun that brings. I would only have 2 really young ones that needed two naps a day, the rest were old enough to do lessons every day. I was planning out my themes in my mind, I knew I wanted to do super heroes and winter/ice, I was thinknig transportation maybe too. Spring of 2020 I started the colors u...Read Full Post »
How to Plan a Curriculum
|Posted by tarastoyland on 17 December, 2019 at 18:50|
I love planning curriculum. I think in college I should have gone into that as a field of study but I had no idea it was even an option. I did an independent study on why thematic teaching is the best method and developed my own theme as a college Senior. Coming up with creative ways to make all the spokes of learning connect together makes me so excited. Often I think of a theme I want to do and start collecting items to go with it so that when I have enough I can dive into a new...Read Full Post »
Jack Be Nimble
|Posted by tarastoyland on 7 September, 2019 at 18:20|
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 ...Read Full Post »
|Posted by tarastoyland on 7 September, 2019 at 16:55|
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...Read Full Post »
HOW do you go about getting them to sleep or stay asleep?
|Posted by tarastoyland on 3 September, 2019 at 13:10|
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...Read Full Post »
Recommended Sleep Times
|Posted by tarastoyland on 31 August, 2019 at 13:00|
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...Read Full Post »
Using Memory Game to scaffold learning
|Posted by tarastoyland on 22 August, 2019 at 15:15|
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 bu...Read Full Post »
A Sick Policy that makes sense
|Posted by tarastoyland on 7 July, 2016 at 20:00|
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...Read Full Post »
Art - process or product or both?
|Posted by tarastoyland on 1 August, 2015 at 23:40|
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...Read Full Post »
|Posted by tarastoyland on 9 June, 2015 at 15:45|
*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...Read Full Post »
|Posted by tarastoyland on 7 June, 2015 at 15:15|
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...Read Full Post »
|Posted by tarastoyland on 22 May, 2015 at 14:00|
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...Read Full Post »
Potty Training Articles (NOT mine)
|Posted by tarastoyland on 20 May, 2015 at 14:05|
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 ...Read Full Post »
|Posted by tarastoyland on 20 May, 2015 at 9:55|
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....Read Full Post »
|Posted by tarastoyland on 22 April, 2015 at 9:50|
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...Read Full Post »
This Day in History
|Posted by tarastoyland on 21 April, 2015 at 9:45|
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...Read Full Post »
|Posted by tarastoyland on 13 April, 2015 at 16:40|
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.
Read Full Post »