Welcome to Fall!
A new school year has begun and new schedules are being adjusted to. It’s a great time to talk about some tricks and tips that could help you in your day to day schedules!
Pool Noodles Come In Handy!! If you have doors that need to stay open to prevent smashing little fingers, cut off a section of pool noodle that will fit in the door opening between hinges. Then cut the section halfway through lengthways. Open it up and slip it on the door! The door cannot slam shut on those fingers and everyone is safe! Do you use expensive card holders to help little hands when playing card games? Instead, cut off a section of pool noodle about four inches thick. Cut a slit along the side (not the side with the hole). Now the cards will slip into the slit and the child can easily hold multiple cards!
Instead of spending a fortune on fancy paint cups with lids, use a clean cup and lid from a frozen slushie drink. The domed lid with an opening in the top is perfect for keeping the paint in and brushing some off of the brushes.
For additional help with those paint cups, line them with cheap plastic baggies and throw them out when you’re done!
Kiddos using too much hand soap or hand sanitizer? Put a rubber band or hair tie around the bottom of the pump so it can’t go down all the way. They can only squirt out a small amount!
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Another thing to think about in the fall is starting your portfolios for each child. These can be extremely simple or terribly complicated. It depends on you, your age group, how many are in your group, how many teachers are in the room, etc.
A simple way to keep them is to get a milk crate and put manila folders in it with the children’s names on the tabs. When you have something to go into it, you can just slip it in. Throughout the year, keep an occasional piece of their artwork (be sure to date it).
I also love doing a paint handprint of their left hand at the beginning of the year on the left side of a large piece of paper and holding onto it. Then, right before the end of the year, do a paint handprint of their right hand on the right side of the same piece of paper. It’s an adorable comparison.
For children that are old enough, have them write their name at the beginning of the year, even if it’s only a scribble. Then once a month or so, allow them to write their name again on the same paper (making sure to date each attempt). Throughout the year, point out the progress they are making and never let them compare how they are doing with how someone else does. Guide them to try to do better than their own attempt the month before.
You may choose to send the portfolios home on the last day of school. One thing I loved to do was make little books out of them by simply hole punching them and putting yarn through the holes. Then the children gave them to their mothers (or mother figures) for Mother’s Day. Families loved them and the children loved giving them.
I hope some of these fall ideas will work for you and make your days smoother and easier! Happy Fall and enjoy the children in your care.