Monday, April 7, 2014

Shout Out to All the Kiddos!: Week of the Young Child 2014 (April 6th - 12th)

Source of photo:

Yesterday, April 6, 2014, marked the beginning of The Week of the Young Child, which was founded by the National Association for the Education of Young Children in 1971. This celebration brings greater awareness to the needs of young children (birth to age 8), their families, and those who work within the field to care, inspire and educate them on a daily basis. 

Many centers and associations across the country celebrate this week by holding special events and developing public displays geared toward this most precious age group. 

Our center has decided to create a display of our budding artists' artwork at at local public library. The artwork, which was entirely made by the children, will show library patrons the purity and ingenuity of young children's developing skills and artistic levels. 

Everyone who sees the art will be blown away by the cute, whimsical and energetic spirit that only the young can produce. A little paint, buttons, pizazz, and ta-da!: a masterpiece! 

Please visit the website to learn more about the Week of the Young Child. 

* I am a proud member of NAEYC!*

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Zoo Cool to Be True: A Trip to the Cosley Zoo!

The Cosley Zoo is an adorable oasis nestled in a residential section of Wheaton, Illinois. Children and grown-ups alike clamor to this zoo for their incredible collection of domestic and exotic species including chickens, miniature donkeys, bobcats, bunnies, Nubian Goats and hedgies (hedgehogs) too!

To celebrate the Week of the Young Child (April 6th - 12th) and to enjoy this springtime weather, my mother and I took a car trip to see this lesser-known cousin of the Brookfield Zoo to area residents.

It was so refreshing to know that Wheaton residents are able to enter the park free and my entrance fee was a measly five dollars, which is unheard of in these trying economic times!

I was amazed at the beauty and cleanliness of both the animals and the park grounds. Ducks quacked happily on a grassy knoll, goats lazed on a wooden dais created for their enjoyment, and bobcats perused their habitat in a happy-go-lucky fashion.

The highlight of my trip, was when I was able to pet a very handsome and prickly young fellow in Cosley's education center. The African Pygmy Hedgehog was an absolutely quill-essential sight to any animal lover big or small and made my day!

As I meandered through the zoo, I found the laughter of the children, the chatter of the grown-ups and the sweetness of the animals become a symphony to my ears on a lazy springtime afternoon.

*The previous video was made before the bobcat exhibit opened. The bobcat exhibit is now open*

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Blazin' Boards: April Showers-themed Bulletin Board

Rain, Rain go away come back another day! No, it's okay rain stay!

Our wet and soggy April bulletin board is puddles of fun and is sure to keep the rainy day blues away. The comfort of dry umbrellas and winsome raindrops make "raindrops falling on your head" a total impossibility. Dont' forget the floral surprises that make their appearance known at the bottom of the board.

Remember it's the perfect time to put on your galoshes, shimmy into your raincoat, and sashay into the brilliance of a refreshing spring rain.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Need a Laugh?: A Little Preschool Humor (Written by me)

A new preschool teacher was searching the employment ads to see if she could find a job in early childhood education. As she perused the page, an ad caught her eye.

Wanted: Our school is looking for the qualified candidate whose passion and dedication to their position is exemplary. "Ok, you got me hooked what's next?" she said under her breath. The candidate must be vigilant and aware of the needs of students and their environment, be professional and punctual, be able to lift 45 lbs., have good judgement,  be prepared to perform daily cleaning and classroom upkeep and be willing to continue to stay up-to-date on trends within the field. "OMG, this job sounds perfect!" she exclaimed. Then she remembered she hadn't read the employment heading: School Custodian.

The moral of this story: Never skim a want ad and read it entirely through. Isn't it funny how so many jobs sound so amazingly similar?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Gym-bo-Whee!!!: Creating an Exercise Studio/Gym in the Dramatic Play Center

Since our next unit surrounds physical fitness, nutrition and topics ranging from the human body to healthy habits, my co-teacher and I created one pumped-up gym. From weights crafted from a pool toy and plastic party plates (designed by my fabulous mom) to tot-sized exercise bands, I think our little gym will be buzzing with activity.

Take a look at some of the "equipment" that was created for our gym. Instructions are included in the captions. No sweat! 

Many of the items were found at Dollar Tree Dollar Stores. These stores really save you a buck and makes a teacher's job a breeze. I don't know what I do without you Dollar Tree!

Old exercise bands cut into sections 
Is it hot in here? Make sure to wear your wristbands to soak up that sweat. 
Hoop-la! Create a hula hoop jumping, hopping etc. gross motor game in your gym by placing mini-hula hoops in your dramatic play area.  (Dollar Tree
Pumping Iron! Cut long, flexible pool toys in quarters and place a heavy duty glue (My mom used Aleene's Jewel-It Embellishing Glue) thickly on ends of pool toy. Press black plastic plates over the glue. Hold for a minute so the plates adhere to the pool toy. (All items for this project were bought from Dollar Tree). 
Having a ball! Use these as exercise balls! (Dollar Tree)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Time Out for Teacher: Best Salon in Illinois: Wesley James Salon

Spring break is in full swing this week at my daycare, so vacation time beckoned on my work schedule. What better way to put a "spring" in my step by removing the winter doldrums of dry, staticy and brassy hair then getting a new hair cut and style!

I skedaddled my way to a local salon with an elegant moniker, Wesley James Salon, and have to say I am overjoyed with their hair-roic results. Goodbye flat, lackluster color, Hello gorgeous!

Below you will find a review I posted on describing the glorious events which followed upon entering this upscale, low-brow salon with more charm than a dimpled smile.

This salon gives you knockout style without the pompous attitude of their downtown cousins! The staff gave me some of the most shear-ly phenomenal service I have ever had in my many, many, many hair -rowing encounters. 

My stylist, Kelly, is a hair genius who expertly applied subtle shades of natural blond highlights and erased some very coppery tones from my hair, to create a shimmering mane full of vanilla and carmel decadence! I also received a precision haircut that even the most persnickety client would be drooling over.

If Hollywood knew of her beauty talents, the stars would be breaking down the doors of this quaint and secluded salon located in the adorable town of Clarendon Hills. 

Another point I would like to make about the staff is their dedication to client satisfaction. Since Kelly had another client waiting, another stylist, Jaclyn, asked if she could blow-dry my hair so Kelly could attend to her next client. Talk about a teamwork! 

Jaclyn is a blow-dry goddess. I have thick, curly hair that sends most stylists into full blown panic attack mode, but Jaclyn wielded her mighty round brush and proclaimed victory over my unruly locks in no time flat! 

I left the salon glowing and feeling like I had just won the hair lottery! Thank you Wesley James Salon! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Teacher's Pet: On Your Mark(er), Get Ready Set, Create! Best Markers: Sargent Art 30 Classic Fine Tip Marker

Sargent Art 30 Classic Fine Tip Markers are some of the best markers a self-confessed adult colorer (Is that even a word?) has ever used.

 The vibrant marker inks illuminate even the most mundane preschool coloring projects I have created during lesson planning. The rich, bold and striking colors are artfully arranged in a palette of hues and tints ranging from navy to pastel pink and everything in between!

One note of caution, is to test the marker you are planning to use beforehand. Sometimes the marker doesn't exactly match the color stated in order to avoid the dreaded marker meltdown.

After years of using numerous brands of marker,  I have been won over by these artistic and crafty cuties.

Move over Van Gogh, there's a new artist in town!