Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sensory Activities

I've been trying to find different activities for the child I'm currently taking care of to do. It's the middle of winter so not much time outside is done. I'm trying to break the monotonous of our day, plus he's old enough to start doing sensory activities with. Today I taped streamers on a table and put him under it to see what he'd do. He would only play with them if I wasn't looking right at him. If I did look at him or talked to him while he played with them he would look up and around like he couldn't hear me and completely ignore me.

I'll start doing other sensory activities with him too like having him play in applesauce, pudding, oats etc. These will give him the sensory activities he needs without having a sensory table to play in. When I work in child care centers each classroom has a sensory table that I put all kinds of different things in. I do colored sand, water with cups etc in it. This list is too long to name. I have the little boy I take care of do these activities in a plastic bowl while sitting on the kitchen floor so that any mess he makes can easily be cleaned up. Here is a list done by NAEYC of ten activities a teacher can do with their class in the sensory table. However, these activities can be done at home with children as well because they can easily be modified.

10 Ways to use the sensory table

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Back Talk

One of the things a child is sure to do at some point or another is to talk back to their parents or other adult. There are, in my opinion, two ways to prevent back talk. The first one is to listen to your child. Often children back talk because it's the only way they can get their opinion out there and listened to. The second way is to respect your child. Respect is a two-way street and if you show your child respect they will show it to you because you'll be modeling how to show respect.

 Back talk can also happen as the result of a power struggle. This is why I say listen to your child. Sometimes they have ideas that work and may work better than what your idea was. Pick your battles. Often back talk occurs because a parent has chosen to fight a battle that they need to let go. Consider whether or not you have a legitimate reason for telling your child no and not letting them do something a particular way. A parent doesn't need to control everything and shouldn't, so let go of control-empower your children and let them do something the way that makes sense to them instead of how you tell them to do it.

The website positive parenting solutions has an article on their site that gives five steps to put the brakes on back talk. Here is a link to it if anyone is interested.

5 steps to put the brakes on back talk

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Yesterday the child who I take care of had family come in. The Mom's sister is here so the Aunt gets to give good old fashioned Aunt love to the child-her nephew. When I was leaving yesterday I told the child to soak up all the love but not too much love. What I mean by this is: of course the Aunt will give her nephew lots of love and should. There is nothing like Aunt love just like there is nothing like Grandma love. In other words there is nothing like family love. I say not too much love though because I define too much love as- giving the child everything they want.

Sometimes when extended family comes for a visit or a family goes to see extended family all the rules seem to go out the door. Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts, Uncles seem to give the child everything they want and they hold the child all day long. This is harmful and frustrating to people who work in child care because when the child comes back the rules have to be relearned. The child goes from having every want given to them to an environment where it's not and that lesson has to be relearned and it's hard on the child, the parents, and the caregiver. Also the child goes from being held all the time to not being held all the time and.... Oh the drama!! There are many tears as the child has to relearn independent play and that they're all right even though no one is holding them and loving them. The lesson that every cry or tantrum will not get the child what they want also has to be relearned.

So love is great! Some spoiling can even occur and should. However, to cater to every whim, and to hand over every need and want isn't. When the family member is gone the rules still apply to the child. Independent play is still important to them and needs to occur, they still have to wait for a need or want to be taken care of, and where we caregivers love the child too we understand that to hold them all day can't and shouldn't happen because it prevents the child the room they need to grow and develop.

Please love your family. Just please don't spoil the children to the point where lessons that need and sometimes have already been learned have to be retaught.