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Tara's Toyland Home Daycare

Where Learning is Fun and Friendships Flourish

Blog

Blog

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...

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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 ...

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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...

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When the provider is sick

Posted by tarastoyland on 2 April, 2015 at 10:45

It's spring break week and I have been meaning to get so much done. I started out really great, well, kinda.  I had set up for a cleaning lady to come in and do some cleaning.  This was a first for me, never have had someone else do my cleaning and I am so glad I did.  She got tons done.  But only upstairs.  I ran a ton of errands and did straigtening and laundry that day.  But I was not at 100%.  I have a super bad cough that started last Thursday.

On...

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My true calling

Posted by tarastoyland on 26 March, 2015 at 20:00

December 1, 2011 originally published

 

This week has been a GREAT week with the daycare kids. On Wednesday I listened to the 16 month old have deep belly laughs as the 4 year olds danced for him. He tried to imitate their moves and soon we were all just laughing. The day was a perfect mix of group and individual activity. The kids improved their fine motor skills and creativity with an art project. It was too cold to go outside but we worked up a sweat using the pa...

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Bucket list for a child under 24 months old

Posted by tarastoyland on 22 March, 2015 at 9:20

originally written April 2012


Below is my bucket list for a child under 24 months old. This was written out to the parents of Avery who had a terminal genetic disease and didn't  live to her second birthday. http://www.facebook.com/AverysBucketList They were asking for a bucket list of things for her to do while she is still alive. Lots of the things on the list were not aimed to an infant and toddler. Yes we may like to go white water rafting some day, but no...

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Why I am glad I sent my kids to kindergaretn at 5

Posted by tarastoyland on 22 March, 2015 at 8:55

this was originally written July 2014

When I first started daycare in this house Elise was 4 months old. She couldn't sit up yet, let alone crawl, walk or talk. One of my first daycare girls was Kelsey who was 15 months old. She was talking, walking and doing toddler things. Five and a half years later Kelsey and Elise started kindergarten on the same day. Elise had just turned 5, that day, Kelsey was a month away from turning 6. Both started by the legal cut off start date for th...

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Outer Space Theme Activities

Posted by tarastoyland on 19 March, 2015 at 15:35

We had so much fun learning about outer space.  Here are some pictures from our unit.

Very blurry picture of the solar system mobile we made.  We talked about the size relationships of the planets and the sun, it was hard to imagine so we found some youtube videos that showed how big the sun is compared to our planet.

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Home Daycare Benefits

Posted by tarastoyland on 16 March, 2015 at 8:00

I've been working with children professionally since 1987.  I started babysitting way before that.  Over the years I have worked as a nanny, in multiple corporate centers, as a babysitter, as a substitute teacher, a regular teacher, and aide in a classroom.  After I had my daughter, Tara, I went back to working in a daycare center.  While I was working there a co-worker was talking about doing daycare in her home.  I never had even considered that as an...

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Outer Space Theme

Posted by tarastoyland on 15 March, 2015 at 19:25


I had so much fun getting ready for the Outer Space Theme!  I got the loft all spaceship looking by covering it in foil, putting up black garbage bags to make it more enclosed and dark and covering the things up there in foil too.  On the play kitchen I duct taped a light up ABC toy to be their control panels, put a circuit board inside the oven so they could "fix" the rocket and attached another circuit board to the outside.  I also hung LED light st...

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