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There Is No Such Things As Cute Germs

As an Early Childhood Consultant and Trainer, I have the wonderful and amazing opportunity to work with children from infancy up to school aged. While I have loads of fun working with my students and teachers one thing was not fun, getting colds.  When I began working in childcare centers I could not believe I often I got colds. It is no fun trying to do your job sneezing and hacking all over the place. You feel miserable, your head is pounding or you’re all stopped up, it’s terrible. You also don’t want to spread germs to the children and other staff members. The babies and children were cute and adorable but the germs weren’t. In a child care setting there are steps you can take to keep the spread of germs down.


One easy place to start is with hand washing. This might seem obvious and you might do it and teach your children to do it, but are you doing it correctly. There are 9 steps to correct hand washing. Nine steps you say you’ve got to be kidding. No I am not, I was very surprised too, but after reviewing them it all made sense.  In a child care center there is a lot of sharing and touching going on. Also because there is not a lot of space per person and children and adults are in close proximity to one another it is very easy to spread germs.

It is recommended that a hand washing poster be posted in bathrooms to remind children and staff the correct way to wash hands and avoid germs. This is also a great practice when you’re out and using public restrooms. Since children spend much of their time in school, this is a great place to start.

1. Check and make sure you have all of your supplies. like paper towels and soap. If possible avoid those air dryers. Paper towels are much more useful.

2. Turn on the water, it should be between 60-120 degrees.

3. Moisten hands and apply liquid soap.

4. Rub hands together and all over out of the stream of water, making sure to get in between the fingers and both the inside and outside of the hands. You should rub vigorously for at least 20 seconds or the time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song. In some of my schools they have a Hand Washing Song. It is sung in the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”.

Scrub, scrub, scrub your hands .

Get them nice and clean.

Scrub all over, in between.

Get them nice and clean.

5. Rinse under running water and leave water running.

6. Dry hands with a paper towel.

7. Turn off the water using paper towel.

8. Throw away the paper towel in a lined garbage can.

9. Use hand lotion as needed. I didn’t think this was such a big deal at first until the instructor who is a nurse, explained how you didn’t want your skin to get cracked from dryness because that was an opportunity for germs to get in.

Since most germs are spread by hand, keeping your hands and your children’s hands clean and moisturized will do a lot in helping to cut down on the amount of germs. How do you help to prevent the spread of germs? Please share them with us, we’d love to hear from you. Please share this post with your friends and family and also comment below.


A Fun Way To Help Your Preschooler With Counting

Who Built The Ark Video On You Tube

This is a great video to help your preschooler with counting. I find that boys really love animals. When given a choice to jump, or leap over blocks or animals, the boys in my class always choose the animals. So your boys will really get a kick out of counting all of the animals.

This would be a great art project also. Don’t just jump in and say “We’re going to make the ark out of a milk cartoon! Ask your child “What should we use for the ark?” Let it be their idea and creation. The more children are invested in the process the more cooperation you will get from them. They will even take your suggestions(sometimes) because they feel that they are in control.

In our area we have stores that sell items for a dollar or under or just a little bit over. You can get the animals from here or use paper ones. Either way it’s a great project for fine motor skills for your child.

For the paper ones help your child with cutting them out. Make sure to remind them to keep their thumb up, this will help them a lot with trying to cut. If they are under 3 it will present a challenge so be patient. Holding the animals between their fingers will help to develop their pincer muscles in their index finger and thumb. This also applies if they are holding actual animals that they are going to march on the ark.

Doing this all while singing provides a multi-sensory learning experience that provides not only cognitive development in the way of learning numbers and counting,but also physical development as well. This is a great activity for all types of learners, auditory, kinesthetic and visual. You can try this with one child or a group.

Try it and come back and  share your experiences with us. I’d love to hear from you. If you feel that this post is useful please feel free to share it with your family, friends, or colleagues. Please also feel free to leave a comment or question.

Positive Parenting and Teaching: Helping Children To Feel Good About Themselves

I love seeing the smile of success on my children’s faces when they accomplish something big in their eyes or get the correct answer. It is a priceless perk which I wouldn’t trade for all the money in the world. Seriously,  when my students succeed I feel it too. I love seeing them beam with pride. I had the pleasure of this experience this afternoon.

As a positive incentive to insure good behavior in my classes I reward children with stamps done with non toxic ink. The stamps have pictures on them as well as words. The pictures are of things that children really like, a cat, dinosaur, frog, teddy bear, a school bus filled with a boy and girl and a rabbit and teddy bear are just a few of the pictures on the stamps.

The words are “Terrific”, “Great Job”, “Very Good”, “Parent Signature”, to name a few. Why would a kid want a stamp that says “Parent Signature” you ask. Since 90 percent of my students are under the age of 5 most of them haven’t started reading yet. They really don’t care about the words as much as they care about the pictures on the stamp. The “Parent Signature” one in particular happens to have a star on it. So the kids really love it because of the star.

I have found this technique to be a successful one. It rewards good behavior and at the same time discourages undesirable behavior. I say undesirable as opposed to “bad” behavior because often times children are just being children and just need guidance and correction. They need to have opportunities to get it right, when we give them these opportunities, this is how they learn.

Today, Noah was standing in line waiting for his stamp. Another benefit of this technique is that it teaches the students patience. As he was standing in line, he noticed a partial picture of one of the stamps on the ink pad, which is in a white case. He asked me if this was one of the stamps that I had. I turned it around and asked him to tell me if this was the case. I turned the stamp pad case right side up and placed it next to the stamps.

He looked from the pad to the stamps, when he finally matched the two I saw the most beautiful smile spreading across his face. He’d done it. He succeeded at finding out if the ink picture on Ms. D’TaRelle’s stamp pad was the same as one of the stamps in the collection. You are so smart! I said to him. His smile grew bigger, his eyes twinkled, he had a happy face from the inside out. He felt great about himself and it showed.

When he left and went back to class I wondered to myself what I would have done had he not got it correct. Normally I would have said try again. This time something different came up. The words”You’re learning!” came to mind. I loved it! Children get to feel good about themselves whether they get an answer right or not. They get to understand that learning  can be a positive experience. That part of learning is not getting it right all of the time and that’s okay.

When we as parents and teachers present mistakes and not getting the right answer as just feedback, not anything that’s good or bad, we help to preserve and build  our children’s esteem and confidence as well as emotional resilience. We help them to look at it as an opportunity to do it better and get it right. It is not a reflection of them personally, like a hair out of place or the needle on the gas tank, there is something we can do and continue on.

So try this the next time with your kids. Help your children to feel good about the learning experience and themselves. If this has been helpful to you please leave a comment and share this with you family and friends. Until next time, have an amazing day! :-) D’TaRelle

Making Time For Mommy Tip 4: Scheduling Time For You When Your Schedule Is Packed

You know that it is really important to make time for yourself. You really, really wish that you were able to do it, but your schedule is crazy and jammed packed as it is. With work, the kids’ schedules and your household responsibilities, you cannot see how you can even think about squeezing another thing in. Listed below are some suggestions that will help you find that time you need just for you. Read more »

Making Time For Mommy Tip 3: How To Schedule Time

One of the biggest obstacles we as mommies run into is how we schedule our time. We think about how long something should take and don’t consider interruptions or delays. When this happens we are up against it, pressed for time and stressed out of our minds. Because of the added amount of stress we are not able to tolerate too much change or when things don’t go our way. Impatience and frustration run rampant, having a party at our expense.

Additional obstacles come in the form of not allowing enough time for other people in our household to get ready and be ready to walk out of the door when we are. In the past this used to drive me crazy, Read more »