Tips and Tricks/Letter T

Letter T

Welcome to this year’s A to Z Challenge! This year I’m talking Child Care. I’ll be blogging topics related to my many years in the family home daycare profession. I hope you can find a tidbit of information that is useful in caring for children whether you’re a parent, grand or another important person in a child’s life. And to end each post, I’ll share a bit of my creative side/relaxation time. Taking time for yourself is good for your health–both yours and your family’s 😉

Today’s post is just a collection of ideas for you in the event you find you need a different solution. Not all are to do with discipline. Just everyday tidbits I’ve accumulated over the years.

Instead of putting kids in time out, try putting the toy there.

Trouble sharing? Set a timer. It takes them less than 30 minutes for even the youngest child to learn the ropes with this tactic. Just use your phone’s timer and you’ll be glad for the peace it brings.

Can’t find sloppy joe in the can at the store (written pre-pandemic)? Use 1/4 cup ketchup to 1/2 cup BBQ sauce and add to 1 – 1 1/2 lb. of cooked ground beef. You’ll have a hit, trust me!

Everyone talking at once? Hand them a microphone, play cell phone or walkie talkie. As long as they hold the ‘scepter’ they get the floor.

Need a frame for art work? Pull out a sheet of wallpaper sample or scrapbook paper. Then glue or use sticky tape to attach art work to the deco paper. Gives their special artwork a framed appearance with little expense.

Can’t get participation? DARE them to beat someone. Set a timer and see them pick up the pace. Works with picky eaters too. Just tell them “Don’t you eat my carrots!!” They’ll be giggling and eating at least one bite. Sometimes that’s all it takes to learn they actually like a food.

Need paper for free/open-ended drawing time? Ask for donations from friends, family, or daycare parents. I’m blessed with donations of old flyers (thanks to my aunt and uncle) and they are all so appreciated. I’ve even been gifted folders, pretty card stock and envelope extras. Everyone wants to save good stuff from the landfills. Just ask!

Be sure to send thank you’s for even the smallest gestures. They don’t have to be handwritten notes. Make them something or remember them at birthdays or Christmas.

Treat yourself to a little TLC. Use that favorite coffee mug, ask for help with vacuuming, turn on your favorite tunes, step outdoors for some fresh air and embrace your creative side. Nothing wrong with coloring along with the little people. Mainly take care of You.

When our daughters were little, we had a little tradition on Friday nights when their dad was lucky to be home. (Law enforcement days–I need say nothing more.) We’d turn off all the lamps, light some candles or oil lamps, and eat dinner. It was just something we all loved. Your life after work/daycare is so important. Turn off the timeclock and leave the work til morning. Make traditions and special times.

Need a way to play ‘pin the tail on the donkey’? Take masking tape to kid sized glasses and cover the lenses. No fear of blind folds with this method. They’ll all want a turn wearning them.

We’ve been known to save corn dog sticks for many things. One to share here is to write names on each one to draw for taking turns at activities when everyone can’t do them at once.

I hope you can find something of value in my share today. Who knows?! I may need to refresh my own memory on what works when I reopen my daycare doors. hehe Definitely feeling out of practice.

Fat Cat Progress

Still working little bit at a time on the Fat Cat project. The stitch markers will tell me when I’ve crocheted the required 4 inches. They’re not exagerating when they call this a fat cat. I chose to use a ‘pound of yarn’ and so far it’s holding out. I’ll decide on pink, blue or yellow for the color change. We’ll see which one wins out.

Hope you’ll take time to check out other A to Z blogs in the month on April. Click here to find the list. Click here for the Official A to Z blog. Have a great day and stay safe!!



  1. I am imagining the scene in your day care as you use these tips and tricks… such fun and creative ways to engage meaningfully with the kids. you are doing such a fabulous work in your chosen field, Stephanie! ♥

    Liked by 1 person

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