Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Some of my outdoor area ideas! These are ideas/toys that are used on the concrete driveway...

Our outdoor book nook...It is also used for dramatic play!

Our cart of game supplies...Balls, Hoola Hoops, Frisbees, Horseshoes, Badminton and more.

Dramatic Play Masks...These are made with large popsicle sticks (you could use dontated paint stirrer sticks) and the animal shaped paper plates (purchased at Walmart) with the animal eyes cut out...The kids love them

This is my shelves of obstacle course supplies

Rough and Rugged Trikes

Block Play and Outdoor Vehicles

Baby Doll Strollers, Baby Dolls and Baby Doll Bed/Highchairs/Bathtub...These items were too big and bulky for my indoor environment and work perfectly outside.

Our workbench fully supplied with tools, tape measures and other fun stuff

A little table used for quiet time, breaks, etc.  I also have a plastic little tykes picnic table available.

This is actually a little tykes bed converted into an outdoor play toy.  Just removed the matress and it has worked great (Thanks so much to a fellow daycare provider, who gave me this great idea...Thanks, Carol!)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Homemade Light Box

Step 1:  Gather your supplies...You will need 2 12X12 scrapbook paper storage totes (found at your local craft supply store), aluminum foil, parchment paper, clear packing tape, duct tape
You will start with only using one tote...cover the inside bottom of the tote completely with aluminum foil (covering completely the bottom and sides of the tote.  I used clear packing tape to adhere the aluminum foil (you want to make sure the light has nowhere to go but up).  Then on the underside of the lid of the tote, cut a piece of parchment paper big enough to cover it and I once again used the packing tape to adhere it.  The purpose of this is so that you can't see what light source you use to light up your table, but it is thin enough to let the light escape through it.
So you have the bottom of your first tote covered with aluminum foil and the underside of the lid is covered with parchment paper.  This picture shows using a battery operated light (Plus side to this is there is not cords to deal with, Con is that batteries are expensive).  I would suggest using more than one battery operated light or a bigger one, so that it lets off more light.
This shows using a rope light coiled inside.  I cut a hole in the back of the tote to run the cord through so it could plug in and adhered the rope light with packing tape so it wouldn't move.  This gives off alot more light.
Then I used duct tape to tape the second 12X12 tote on top of the finished product. This allowed me to have a lid that I could use to store materials in and so items would have a "lip" so they won't slide off during play. There is nothing done with the 2nd tote except for having it taped to the other finished tote. You could eliminate the 2nd tote and still use only one for a light box.

Then you add items to explore with light.  I found these plastic fruit slices (oranges, lemons and limes) at a local craft store.  Other items than can be used, plastic colored shot glasses, colored flat marbles (I found square ones in a wedding aisle in the local craft store), anything transparent and that has color will work.  I will post pictures of the different items we use to give you more ideas.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Full View of my Daycare Play Space

Library Center

Display and Storage Ideas

                                                                       Cubby for the Kids's Shoes

                                                                           Parent Informational Center (WIC Info, Child Subsidy Info, Sex Offender List, Food Program Info, DCFS License, Credential Certificates and Accreditation Certificate, Tornado and Fire Drill Log, CPR/First Aid Cards, and other miscallaneous info     

                                                                               Our Daily Job Chart  (I change their names weekly)

                                                                                          Daily Schedule (I provide a picture and the written explanation of our daily activities.  I do not include times, because our days are based on the interests and activities of the kids.

                                                                                             File Folder Games (these are changed out weekly - See the picture below to see where I store them)

                                                                                      Children's Cubbies, Art Supplies, and 6 totes of File Folder Games

                                                                                           This area is located in the hallway bewteen two bedrooms.  The wire system and totes fit perfectly on the unused wall.

                                                                                              How I store my blankets, pillows, and cots.  The children have individualized places so their blankets and pillows do not touch for sanitary reasons and the cots are stacked so the sheets do not touch one another.  This is located in a closet next to my bathroom.

                                                                        Coat hooks with children's coats hanging.  For sanitary purposes, the children's articles of clothing should not touch.

                                                                       Bags I use to keep their coats from touching.  They place their coats, hats, etc in the bag.

                                                                                        Another view of the blankets and pillows being stored.

Puzzles, Infant Totes, Magentic Letters, and Magnets for Magnet Play

                                                                            Drawer for Older Children's Puzzles

                                                                           Drawer for Toddler Puzzles

                                                                    Infant Tote #1

                                                                            Infant Tote #2

                                                                     Musical Instrument Tote #1

                                                                         Musical Instrument Tote #2

                                                                      Magnet Tote (It is located by my front door which is magnetic)
Manetic Letters to help kids with pre-writing skills.