Choosing a Preschool

 

 

Making the decision as to which preschool to choose can be a difficult one.

Several years ago, I compiled a list of questions to ask when choosing a preschool from several mom bloggers.

Want to know what they said?

 

top questions to ask when choosing a preschool

Here are the top 10 questions to ask when choosing a preschool.

 

  1. The price. (This can be a big issue; some places are outrageous!)
  2. The class size and/or student to teacher ratio.
  3. Is the program learning through play based?
  4. Do I need to volunteer time or fundraise?  (I had never thought of this one!)
  5. Do they go on field trips?
  6. What are the disciplinary actions?
  7. What  safety precautions are taken? (How secure is the building they are in, and is it easy for a stranger to walk in?)
  8. Are the teachers all certified through the state?
  9. The school’s worldview and what will be taught.
  10. What is the sick policy? (Are children to stay home for at least a day after having a fever?)

 

If you have a little one starting preschool this fall, I hope this list helps.

 

Are there questions you hadn’t thought of?

Do you have a question you’d add to the list?  Leave it in the comments below and help a fellow mom!

Squirt Gun Painting

 

My daughter loves painting.  My son loves squirt guns.  Put the two together and you have a fun outdoor summer activity: Squirt Gun Painting!

Squirt Gun Painting -- fun summer activity for kids

 

Materials needed for Squirt Gun Painting:

 

To prep for our colorful squirt gun fun, I filled each squirt gun half way with some of our liquid water colors.  Then I added regular water to completely fill them.

I used clothes pins to hang our paper up on the fence in the backyard.

Then it was time for fun!

squirt gun painting

 

 

I hadn’t told either of them what we were doing, so they were really surprised when they first shot at the paper.

They had a blast switching guns, mixing colors, and creating beautiful works of art.

summer art idea -- squirt gun painting

 

 

Tips:

  • Since so much water is involved, regular white paper (like printer paper) doesn’t work well.  It tends to tear easily.  That’s why a thicker paper, such as water color paper, works best.
  • Filling several squirt guns with a variety of different colors makes for lots more fun.
  • Don’t have liquid water colors?  Find out how we made our own liquid water colors here!
  • Swimsuits make clean up a breeze!  (They can run through the sprinkler when finished or you can just hose them down.)

 

 

Soap Carving

 

Looking for a fun, simple craft idea to do with the kids while camping?  Or maybe an activity for a Girl Scout or Boy Scout troop?

Teach them some basic whittling skills with soap carving!

 

Soap Carving:  A Simple Camp Craft Idea, perfect for Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts!

 

Materials needed for soap carving: 

  • New, full-sized bars of soap
  • Craft sticks (plastic knives are also good for older kids, of a pocket knife for tweens with adult supervision)

 

Using craft sticks allows even young children to try their hand at soap carving.  If you plan to use a craft stick for your carving, you will want to cut one end of it into a point.

 

To start your project, use the point of the craft stick to draw a basic shape on one side of your bar of soap.

Then, using the edge of the craft stick, slowly begin shaving pieces of soap away from the shape you drew.

We practiced knife skills when we did our soap carving, so we were careful to only cut away from ourselves.

As you get close to the shape you are aiming for, you can begin taking smaller shavings off and using the point of your craft stick to add details.

 

Ivory soap carving craft for kids

 

Tips:

  • A simple pattern is best.
  • Ivory soap works great for this craft.  It is soft, easy to carve, and doesn’t crumble like some soaps do.
  • There will be a lot of soap shavings when you are finished.  We worked outside over a plastic table cloth to make clean up easier.

soap carving -- perfect camping craft

 

 

If you’re heading off for a camping adventure, be sure to check out our DIY water bottle holder!

And, for more Ivory soap fun, check out how we made an Ivory soap cloud.

 

 

 

Learn with Play: 150+ Activities in a Fun New Book

 

I am so excited to finally be able to introduce to you a brand new book that I have co-authored:  Learn with Play — 150+ Activities for Year-Round Fun and Learning.

 

Learn with Play:  Great new book with 150+ kids activities

 

This book was written by 94 bloggers from the Kid Blogger Network, which is home to some of the best kid bloggers out there.  It is geared towards young children (from baby through kindergarten), and it includes a wide variety of crafts, sensory exploration idea, learning activities, and so much more!

 

Here’s a sneak peak of just a couple of the fun activities you’ll find inside:

Learn with Play: 150+ Activities for Year-Round Learning

 

See those colored circles on the sides?

They help guide you to age-appropriate activities to meet the needs of your children.

Each activity includes a complete list of supplies and easy to follow instructions.  Oh, and did I mention that  most of the activities use materials you already have on hand?  Love that!

And, since both the eBook and Kindle versions give you an additional 2 more links of activities found on each author’s blog, you will never run out of ideas.  (The print version gives you the URL for each author’s blog.)

 

Learn with Play would be a great resource for parents, care givers, and early education teachers.

Want to get a copy for yourself or a gift?  (Note: These links are my affiliate links.)

  • Printed book is available on Amazon for $29.95.
  • Kindle edition is available for $14.95.
  • The eBook is available for a special launch discounted price of $9.95 for this week only.  (Next week it will be $14.95.)

New Book:  Learn with Play!