About Soil

For this week, I’m taking Free Tip Friday to a new realm. This advice donation is about helping parents with¬†potty training tips from a 25-year veteran childcare provider. I’ve held onto this draft for a few years, waiting for the correct moment. I currently care for ‘potty-trainee’s’ who are blessed with parents who are doing a wonderful job in this child-rearing arena. I could not ask for better cooperation and so in no way is this article for them ūüôā But I can tell you we all have made mistakes in raising our children so take my¬†wisdom¬†at face value. I have no ulterior motive in sharing these tidbits. I hope you enjoy!

  • Please don’t leave your child alone during pottying. They can give you some of the most insightful moments of your child’s life. There’s something about bathrooms and conversations. Girls, just ask your sister. Besides, they shouldn’t be left alone anyway. What if the dreaded worst happened??
  • Do not give your child¬†Polyethylene Glycol¬†(petroleum based laxative) if you want them to have success ‘holding it’ til they can tell you they need to go. Click here (or look it up yourself) on the risks of using these from pretty reputable sources. I can testify first hand that there is a link to behavior and the use of these products. Before I go on and on, just do your homework. Your children are worth it! NONE of them can be replaced.
  • Children don’t Have to have a bm every day. Ask your health professional if you don’t believe me.
  • It certainly helps if they will tell you they need to go. Language skills or even hand signals are a good sign they are ready to work on potty training.
  • Its not mandatory tho. Just try actually watching them. Novel idea for certain parents with attachment to gadgets
  • Incentives help. Sometimes whatever works in desperation. Just wash hands before rewarding treats, please. Yours And Theirs.
  • Rushing can backfire. Once you commit to trying to potty train, don’t back down. Be patient and celebrates small victories
  • It takes everyone involved to work on it. Not just during the day at the child’s daycare even tho they are often there 10 hours of the day.
  • Alert!!They are onto you if you’re not really trying
  • Keep it light hearted and not too serious. In the words of mothers and grandmothers everywhere,You get further with sugar than with vinegar.¬†

Just a few points to ponder for one of the most frustrating times for young parents.

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We gather lots of broken crayons around here.

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And they get stored in these extra large ice cream containers. When it gets about half full, I turn to ways to upcycle them.

The hubby is pretty good at discovering bargains on ebay and found this Crayola Melt & Mold Factory at a decent price. It comes with a couple mold styles and looked like it would be a good way to occupy school-agers this summer.

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Here is where I insert the facts. If you have only a few broken crayons, this is the way to go because this is how many (I’m being Very generous)¬†you can melt in one sitting. And in one sitting I mean 45 minutes from beginning to end. I wasn’t very impressed with the results as there were air gaps in the molds in the end so you ended up with half-baked crayons. Not very sturdy for those with a firm grip.

Time to move on obviously.

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My tried and true method that I have had a lot of success with are these little silicone bakers. They are great for practicing color sorting or color mixing that All ages greatly enjoy. I’m sure you can find many shapes in silicone bakeware or candy molds, but I just use the ones I already have.

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My round crayons give new shape, color, and variety to the crayon bin.

Did I mention they are stackable? Quite the item to take outdoors as well. It’s pretty hard to lose these bright round disks, and even harder for them to get choked on. They make great paper weights when the wind is blowing (so you can never have too many).I have a few other ideas I’m planning with these gems for the future. I’ll have to let you know how they work out.

Hope this “Free Tip Friday” brightens the start to your weekend!

Sweet Stripes/WPC/Sunday Sampler

Sweet

To begin with, I like to provide pillows to the children in my home daycare. Soft spots to lay your head when you aren’t really ready to be awake yet. Getting here at 6:30 a.m. is not always on the agenda of a child under age 5. Getting up from nap can have the same outcome. They often let everyone know. Pillows offer something to clutch, hug, squeeze, sit on or even punch. There are days you don’t know what you’ll get in the realm of childhood emotions. I present an option to keep those pillows neat as a button and the children Sweet on this Sunday Sampler.IMG_0937

Now lately, some pillows have been coming undone from their protective cases. This is with the help of little hands. This new discovery of “I can pull out the pillow” is a great dexterity skill but, as the whole country knows, flu season has been relentless and not keeping pillows sanitary is not an option. So to keep pillows safeguarded, I am putting my snap tool to use. Why?

  1. Because I don’t have time to make feel like making¬†15 more pillow cases with envelope closures.
  2. Snaps are more secure because…..
  3. They would soon figure out the envelope opens up.
  4. Never, ever underestimate the ingenuity of a 2 year old.
  5. Or even a 1 year old.
  6. Trust me on this!
  7. I’ve even had the pleasure of seeing a child stick feet into 2 separate pillows to walk around pretending they had Big feet this winter. Who’dathunk?! (but it was cute).

Now that I’ve made my case, here’s a little slide show of my tool and the finished result.

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Have a wonderful rest of your Sunday!!

 

Pint-sized Scraps/Sunday Sampler

Sunday Sampler

Gardening has slowed down at last and none too soon. The first craft show of the season is next Saturday. Piles of scraps from over the years are crammed into my XXL Space Bag (aka giant ziplock bag). There are also several small storage tubs with more organized scraps. But for the purpose of trying to use up this ginormous stash, I’m sticking with the bag until my supply diminishes significantly.

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Speaking of bags, pictured above is my portion of an order I split with my dear mother. She’s also in a sewing, frenzy mode. Her church sewing group is making cloth diapers for children in need in another country. Forgive me for not remembering which country. Note to self:¬†Future post on this topic needed.¬†

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Snaps and Press (top left) Snaps inserted (top right) ¬†Yesterday’s haul and a back view (bottom left to right)

Scrap project #1 is these bibs that I use on a day to day basis in my own daycare. I can testify for their durability. I have, in the past, used sew-on metal snaps. They can leave irritation on some infants and toddlers. I also have used velcro. Same issue as well. Velcro tends to wear out with many washings. It attracts lint, strings from fabric, as well as hair. Le yuck!  I definitely find the plastic snaps are my preference! The scrappy appearance of these String-quilt-style bibs give a child visual contrast. Early childhood professionals know that this visual stimulation is a positive way to engage brain development.

For the back, no stone is left unturned. I have a stockpile of worn out jeans and work pants from over the years that simply come from this family of 4. Some black will be used this season as that is what’s on top of the pile. Plus, I like a little change from the blue denim.

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Note: Bibs should never be left on an infant or child during napping.

Personally speaking, I’d like to send prayers for my dear family and friends in the path of Hurricane Harvey. May you be kept safe!

 

Sharing Effects/Thursday Doors

Quick and painless is my motto this week for Thursday Doors. Canning and freezing (and canning) and working are leaving me a bit weary. The garden is having a bumper crop year. So thanks to suggestions from Google Effects, I think I have a beauty to get me through.

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This is the back porch door to Grandma’s house. Mother, mother-in-law-, grandmother, Nancy’s house, neighbor……… but never, ever Granny. It’s just the rule. But whatever you call yours, everyone knows the kids are always welcome there.

Thursday Doors finds its beginnings over at Norm 2.0. Please visit and find more door posts there by clicking the blue frog at the bottom of his post. You won’t be disappointed.

 

Jack & Jill(and Ben)/WPC

Evanescent

means lasting or staying only a short time

A real treat to these boys is getting to roll down the hill. These moments make a heart full.

Sharing with you this week a fleeting moment in the life of a childcare provider.

Evanescent

 

Tiny Stitches/WPC

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This crochet needle is for thread work. Tiny stitches make for pretty lace.

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For the Weekly Photo Challenge, I decided to go with the current project. It was finished Sunday evening on a special request order. It’s for an 18-month old little girl who I feel would also fit in the tiny category. I’m happy to say the customer was very pleased!

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Think I’ll make another!

Pass It On/Sunday Sampler

Yesterday was Green Ridge Park Day. Annually held, this event brings out local crafters to assemble their booths and wares along the edges of the city park. To put this in perspective, Green Ridge has a population of 476 according to the 2015 Census. But the folks here turn out to support the volunteer fire department, public school that serves grades K thru 12, and other local groups with silent auctions, ticket raffles, grilled burgers and hot dogs and plenty of fun and games for all ages. A real family event.

This morning, I’m sharing with you a few items that sold from my Etsy store listings.

But before I do that, I want to tell you about the fair number of little girls who were interested in crochet, sewing, and beading for jewelry. I must take this moment to stress to readers in all walks of life the importance of passing on these traditions of creating handmade items.

Pass. It. On.

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Sunday Sampler