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Tara's Toyland Home Daycare

Where Learning is Fun and Friendships Flourish

Blog

Blog

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.

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Inside of Me Theme Unit

Posted by tarastoyland on 7 April, 2015 at 15:05

We had a super time learning about the things inside of our body like blood, muscles, bones, tendons and organs.  There were lots of science experiments during this unit.  

Here are two kids exploring blood, well, not real blood, but a model of blood.  The red water beads represent the red blood cells that carry oxygen to our body parts.  The white ping pong balls represent the white blood cells that attack germs.  The pieces of red craft foam are the platelets ...

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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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Picky Eater Plan

Posted by tarastoyland on 28 March, 2015 at 9:30

There is a great book by William G Wilkoff, MD called Coping with a Picky Eater that every parent or provider of kids should read and have a copy of. http://www.amazon.com/Coping-Picky-Eater-Perplexed-Parent/dp/B000C4SUO2/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1207157772&sr=8-1

 

 

This book has what I call the Picky Eater Plan. I have used this plan with kids that literally threw up at the sight of food and within 2 weeks they were eating norma...

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5 S's and EASY - under 12 mos old sleep help

Posted by tarastoyland on 27 March, 2015 at 9:30

Here's my reccomendation for sound sleep in under a year old:

using the Baby Whisperer's EASY method for a schedule, and the Happiest Baby on the Block 5 s's method. Those two combined will make cio not be a needed thing (at that age)

 

EASY - when the baby wakes up it Eats. After you feed it, then it has Activity - bouncy seat, tummy time, sitting up and playing with toys, swing, exersaucer, etc. When the baby gets fussy check the B's - boredom, butt or burp. ...

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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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Kids sleep deprived

Posted by tarastoyland on 25 March, 2015 at 9:25

February 14, 2012

 

Study: Kids have been sleep-deprived for more than 100 years

 

Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times

 

LOS ANGELES -- Worried that your children aren't getting enough sleep? You're not alone. As one prominent educational psychologist put it, "Physicians and writers on school hygiene agree that children are likely to receive less sleep than is needful to them."

 

 

That assessment was off...

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Sometimes it's NOT a disorder disorder

Posted by tarastoyland on 24 March, 2015 at 9:10

October 13, 2012 at 10:12am

 

DISCLAIMER - I am not going to respond to comments on this. You the reader can decide if I am off base and have never dealt with what you are dealing with, or spot on. I will not argue my point any further then what is stated below. You can leave comments if you want, you can unfriend me if you must. But I do hope you read with an open mind and consider that perhaps I may be right.

 

*****************************************...

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The value of Mean Based Standardized testing in Early Child Education

Posted by tarastoyland on 23 March, 2015 at 9:05

originally written in December 2012

Recently on a forum a mother asked how to improve her child's fine motor skills. All sorts of good (and a few not so good) suggestions were given. The mother was saying the child could do everything that we suggested. This didn't seem right. From what she reported as the teacher's comments I thought perhaps the mom had blinders on. I offered to evaluate the child to see where he really was skill wise and give the mom some sense of what to ...

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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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Being Proactive

Posted by tarastoyland on 12 March, 2015 at 20:00

"J has been saying your name lately at home now too (he says it so cute). He even just went to the door and said "Miss Nora". I said "no J, she's at her house, not here". He then said (what sounded like) "go see Miss Nora"

I know it's been a long time coming, but he sure does love his Miss Nora! "


This is a facebook message I got this past weekend...

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