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Archive for January, 2011

It’s inevitable: All kids experience boredom at some point in their little lives. Some children seem to be wired to declare that they’re bored every ten minutes. The boredom blues can strike at school, at the grocery store, or at home on a Saturday morning. What can you do to help world-weary kids?

Some researchers suggest that teachers and parents shouldn’t be so quick to offer activity choices. Rather, the idea is to allow children to recognize their boredom and find a solution on their own. While it may be hard to do at first, adults need to let kids find their own answers.

Why do experts think this is the best route? Boredom can spawn creativity. Just when kids think they’ve done it all or seen it all, if left to their own devices, they can really start to innovate. As they get older and mature, they’ll know exactly what engages them, and they’ll have plenty of interests to fall back on. And when they know what entertains them, they’ll be less likely to get in trouble when they’re alone and bored during their downtime.

That’s not to say that you should avoid providing appropriate resources for them. Toys, puzzles, and games all serve to excite and inspire children. It’s just that they should figure out on their own what it is they want to play with – you shouldn’t have to constantly remind them of their options.

If you don’t want to pay full price for items, you can always get your items secondhand. When you use an educational exchange auction, you can bid on new and used items. And when your kids or students have outgrown their toys and games, you can list the items at no charge with the right educational auction website. Kids can be entertained for less when you buy and sell your items online!

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Are you trained to provide aid in emergency situations or disasters? A great way for you to make extra cash is to help child care centers set up Emergency Preparedness Plans. All child care programs, no matter what kind or type, should have an emergency preparedness plan for their center. In addition, this plan should include provisions for children with disabilities and children who may require health related services not usually required by children.

However, not all child care personnel understand the potential risks, or how to develop a plan to prepare for them. Trained emergency personnel can help; whether you’re a nurse, first responder, emergency medical technician, doctor, policeman, or fireman. Each of these people received training in emergency preparedness which can be passed along to others.

Considering different emergencies is important. You can be without water, electricity, sewage, telephone access, refrigeration, air conditioning, or heat, not to mention fires and natural disasters like earthquakes and floods.

However, even specially trained emergency personnel may not have extensive knowledge regarding special needs children. Some tips from the National Center for Children with Special Needs follow.

1. Store enough medical supplies and medication for at least three days, and up to two weeks.

2. Store regular and special foods for children with allergies and other special needs.

3. Store different sizes of batteries for use in radios, flashlights, and assistive technologies.

4. Store all supplies in waterproof and pest proof containers placed where they can be easily reached in the event of an emergency.

5. Create an escape plan for your child care center, drawing it clearly and posting it. Practice the escape plan. Be sure there are clear paths for children with mobility devices.

6. Hire staff members that have First Aid and CPR certifications; or provide training.

7. Keep First Aid kits up to date.

8. Become familiar with emergency plans at schools close to your child care facility.

People with training in emergency preparedness, as well as those who can provide First Aid and CPR certification can earn extra money by consulting with child care centers that are required to maintain an emergency preparedness plan. All facilities, programs, schools, and centers who work with children are required to have such a plan, regardless of size, type, or location. A simple written plan that can be mailed will help many centers get their plans in place.

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As all school officials and educators are now aware, we are preparing children for jobs that don’t exist yet. This concept really helps put everything into perspective. It’s simply impossible to predict what technology and jobs will exist ten years out. What’s an educator to do? There’s no need to agonize over the situation. By teaching critical thinking skills, you’ll ensure that future generations have all the expertise they need to deal with whatever new developments come their way.

What can you do to inspire kids to think deeper? You know by now that it doesn’t help to tell kids what to think – you can only challenge them to think things through from beginning to end and back again. By giving them plenty of opportunities to develop their gifts and abilities, you can be confident that you’ve done your part to encourage their analytical and evaluation aptitude.

Kids are not just intellectual creatures – they’re also social creatures. How can you teach tolerance, equality, and understanding? Role playing, songs, and stories are all key components of any character curriculum. At the end of the day, acquiring a good job is not only about technical ability, but also about personality. No one wants to work with a jerk, especially when there are more suitable applicants to choose from.

Students of all ages can benefit from math manipulatives, books, music, games, diaries, props, and other objects that inspire and engage them. You never know what could make the difference, so it pays to have a variety of materials on hand.

One of the biggest hurdles for any educational institution is the cost of supplies. With the help of an educational auction network, you can acquire the supplies you need for much less than retail. The trick is to buy and use a range of materials so that every child can learn critical thinking skills in the style that’s most comfortable for him or her.

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More and more, society is expecting local businesses to go green. In the off chance you are unfamiliar with what that means, it simply means changes are made to be more eco-friendly.  Parents who have become eco-friendly at home often desire for the same values to be used at their children’s child care centers or preschools. Going green does not have to be overly expensive; in fact, the desired result is to save money.

Many centers are choosing endorsement from Eco-Healthy Child Care, a free, voluntary program available to child care centers. Licensed and non-licensed centers or family based child care centers are welcome to participate. The goal of EHCC is to educate and empower child care providers to reduce toxins in their facilities. Two steps that are mandatory for this endorsement include: using non-toxic pest control methods inside and outside; and forbidding people to smoke anywhere on the grounds or in sight of children.

Other steps which are considered to be eco-friendly include:

1. Use biodegradable, non-toxic cleaning and disinfecting products. These products have become readily available in grocery stores, discount stores, and online in recent years. You can also go online and find home recipes for making these products.

2. Use only low-VOC paints. You should also refrain from painting while children are on the premises.

3. Use only digital thermometers. The mercury in old thermometers is toxic.

4. Avoid toys made of soft plastic vinyl. Plastic vinyl, or PVC, contains toxins that can be dangerous to children, especially small children who will place toys in their mouths.

5. Recycle paper, glass, aluminum, and plastic. Most communities have recycle centers where these can be taken, if they don’t provide curbside pick-up.

6. Guard against leaks and other conditions that contribute to growth of mold and mildew. Keeping the structure and equipment in good working order should be sufficient.

7. Open windows when possible to allow fresh air into the room. One of the best ways to improve indoor air quality is to let the fresh air and sunshine in the room.

8. Provide eco-friendly, green areas outside for play and spend as much time as possible outside. Learning centers located outside are good, as well as learning about nature, in nature.

Resources, trainers, experts, and products which will aid in the success of your child care facility or preschool becoming eco-friendly are readily available on the Internet.

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Actors say that what they love the most about acting is how cathartic it is. It can be liberating to be someone else, even if it is just for fun. But there’s another overlooked component to dramatic play, and that’s the sympathy element. When children and teens try walking in someone else’s shoes, they learn compassion and consideration for others.

Most children are egocentric because they just haven’t developed the altruistic region of their brain. One way to speed up that development is through dramatic play, where kids can try on new roles in an unstructured way. There’s no need for them to memorize lines or parts, because it’s not a stage play. It’s simply a way to learn with the help of a few props or puppets.

Elementary age kids love costumes and the world of make-believe, but there’s a very important educational component to dramatic play. Not only does it require creativity, it also boosts their intellectual development.
Props and puppets that are age appropriate must be provided. What can you do if you don’t have a big budget? One option is to check online at an educational exchange website, where you can find new and used items from other schools and teachers. And if you no longer need some of your play items, you can always list them for free and wait for bids on the educational exchange. That way you’ll always keep your play props and objects updated.

Role playing is the perfect way to introduce new social concepts. Kids gradually learn that the world doesn’t revolve around them. While most kids are usually sad, mad, or glad when they’re young, role playing teaches them more elusive emotions, like humility, tolerance, forgiveness, and compassion. If everyone learned such character traits, the world would truly be a peaceful place.

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Establishing a preschool is a noble endeavor; but equipping a preschool can be a very costly process. Since few people have unlimited resources, it’s usually necessary to find creative ways to fund and equip a preschool. One of the most unique ways where both sides benefit is online auctions.

People often use online auctions because it represents a forum for expanding the buying and selling base globally. Due to the worldwide implications of online auctions, it’s possible to buy pretty much any preschool supplies you can possibly require. One thing to guard against is getting caught up in bidding and paying more for an item than what it is worth.

Buying online can provide opportunity for significant savings as long as careful bidding is conducted. Three important things to remember when buying from an online auction follow:

1. Make a list of what you need prior to getting online. Spending a little time making a list of the items you can likely find online at a reduced price will help you limit your purchases to only the things you need.

2. Set a price limit range within which you are willing to spend for each item. When bidding on an item ensure you include shipping costs in your limit. Bidding can become competitive, and if you become invested in an item, you could lose sight of the purpose of savings when purchasing, eventually spending entirely too much on an item just to win it.

3. Shipping and handling. Often the cost of shipping and handling is high on auction sites. In addition, not all items are easily shipped long distances, so carefully consider whether you should purchase items not capable of being easily shipped. Items such as refrigerators, large playground equipment, and already assembled furniture fall into this category.

Things that are easily purchased online include art supplies, curriculum materials, office supplies, small toys, books, unassembled furniture, swings, and other lightweight, easily packaged items. It’s common to save large amounts of money on higher priced items, but even small savings over several items will add up to large savings overall.

Online auction sites dedicated to child care centers, early education centers, and preschools are the best places to find things that will best meet the needs of your preschool. At the end of the day, the children you serve will be much better served by your dedication.

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Over the last decade, blogs have gone from being private little diaries for a handful of people, to being big business for many folks on the Web. Some educators and schools have seized the opportunity to start blogging, while other instructors and educational centers have failed to jump on the bandwagon, or are ignoring their blogs altogether.

In the world of blogging, your weblog is doomed to failure unless you constantly update it. It’s not enough to have a blog site – you’ve got to fill it with rich content. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find that it actually saves you time.

Educators can really raise their status by blogging. Some educational blogs are private and available only to parents, so there’s no danger of a predator looking for information. Some educators take extra precautions – they post photographs but don’t include the children’s names next to the photos.

Teachers can not only post pictures from the day’s activities, but also save tons of paper by providing all school information online. And parents will never be in the dark, because even if little Stevie loses information about an upcoming event, chances are, the info is available on the blog.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to your blog. Parents love the supplementary communication and enjoy being able to review the blog right from the comfort of their own home or office.

On your school or classroom blog, you can include a calendar of upcoming events, links to educational resources, homework info, and a list of classroom rules and regulations. You can include lots of fun widgets, and don’t forget to take advantage of free slideshow software that’s available online. If you want to be an affiliate and make some extra money, you can include a link to other websites, like a trustworthy educational exchange website. So get blogging and reap the rewards!

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