Not Halloween: An Introduction to Dia de los Muertos

by Teresa Narey

Introduction and Background:

In the U.S., the end of October is traditionally marked by the celebration of Halloween. In greater America, however, another holiday emphasizing fun, food, and costumes calls attention to the passing of time. Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is celebrated in Mexico and throughout Latin America on November 1 and 2, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, respectively (click here for help pronouncing Spanish words). On the surface, Dia de los Muertos and Halloween appear to have much in common, but a closer look at customs tells us otherwise.

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Shana Tova: Bringing Rosh Hashanah into the Early Childhood Classroom

by Teresa Narey

The beginning of the school year signals the beginning of many things: meeting new children and families, observing children becoming friends, setting rules and expectations, implementing new ideas and activities—the list goes on. It’s fitting, then, that Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, occurs during September. Rosh Hashanah literally translates to “Head of the Year.” (For help pronouncing Jewish holidays and Hebrew words, search here.) In addition to praying and attending services, Rosh Hashanah is a time when Jewish people reflect on their feelings and actions and consider how they may enter the new year with the best of intentions.

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Celebrate Grandparents!

by Cora Miller

Grandma and Grandpa, Nana and Papa, or whichever names your family uses for grandparents, are very special people. Warm hugs, sweet treats, and lots of love are just a few of the great things grandparents offer to us. Some of my fondest memories as a child include being spoiled by my grandparents. My siblings and I had sleepovers at their house, received new toys, had candy and ice cream treats (probably not approved by Mom and Dad), and we were always laughing and smiling!

Visit with children about the role their grandparents play in their lives. Keep in mind each child’s situation; some children may not have grandparents, or may not have regular contact with them. In that case, adapt these ideas to celebrate any other special adults in the child’s life. Here are some fun ways to honor and celebrate Grandparents Day:

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Mother’s Day

by Judy Mullican

Happy Mother’s Day! If you are a mother, this may be a time you reflect on what it means to be a mother. Every mother is different! Some mothers love to cook gourmet meals for their children, and others prefer to pick up take-out on the way home from work so they will have more time for togetherness. Some mothers love to sing and play instruments, and others are more likely to turn on the radio and dance with their children. Some mothers enjoy gardening, and others prefer their produce from the store. There are as many different styles of mothering as there are mothers. As mothers, it’s important for us to respect and support each other, even if we have different styles. The important thing is that we all love our children dearly.

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Creating Policies and Procedures for Your Child Care

by Katie Brazerol

Having clear, concise policies and procedures for your child care setting will support your business and help you avoid many potential problems and conflicts. Offering a handbook will help parents understand what to expect while their children are in your care. Having set policies and procedures in place will also make it easier for you to stand by your decisions.

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Traveling with Young Children

by Kelley Jilek

Man and woman by son and daughter in carWould you like to take your family to see out-of-town relatives this holiday season? Do you shudder at the thought of spending hours in a car with your active, young children? While traveling with little ones can be challenging, it is not necessary to avoid it altogether. With a little planning and reasonable expectations, taking a trip can be a pleasant experience that is worth the effort.

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What You Do Matters…Make Sure Parents See It!

by Katie Brazerol

Have you ever felt like you work your tail off singing songs, building blocks, pretending to be community helpers, implementing art projects…

What you do-teacher with kids what you do- kids doing art

…only to have parents assume you don’t do much during the day? When I was a child care provider, I strived to provide the children in my setting with a well-rounded preschool education. This included the FunShine Express curriculum, along with several self-created activities during the day.

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