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A day in the life of a family day care educator

I think people often wonder what I do all day now that I’m at home for most of the week running my family day care. So I thought I’d share a bit of insight on my typical daily working routine…6.45-7.15am Wake up, wash and get dressed for the day.7.00-7.30am My own kids start waking up. Get them dressed and fed.7.30-8.30am Day care kids start arriving. Free play (outdoor/indoor)8.30-9.00am Mat time and story time. First round of nappy changes.9.00-9.30am Morning tea.9.30-10.00am Put babies down for morning nap. Older kids have some TV time.10.00-10.30am Structured activity or learning experience for older kids.10.30-11.30am Babies wake up from morning nap. Free play (outdoor/indoor).11.30-12.15pm Second round of nappy changes. Lunch time.12.15-12.30pm Pack up toys together. Older kids have some TV time to wind down.12.30-1.00pm Story time. Get ready for afternoon nap/rest time.1.00-1.30pm Wash dishes and clean up table, kitchen and play area. Prepare afternoon tea for kids.1.30-2.00pm …
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Monthly play roundup: November

It’s November! That time of year when that holiday feeling is just around the corner. It’s been quite a busy and interesting month, packed with lots of fun activities. Here’s a glimpse into some of the things we’ve been up to this past month…
Moana month!
A number of children in my group have been very much into Disney’s Moana lately. I decided to extend on this current interest of theirs and we ended having quite a Moana month.We made…
‘Heart of Te Fiti’ necklaces with salt dough;
Shiny paper plate ‘Tamatoa’ crabs, which tied in perfectly with Eric Carle’s book ‘A House for Hermit Crab’;
Funny ‘Hei Hei’ chickens from paper roll tubes;
Fierce ‘Kakamora’ paper plate masks, which I used as a lead in to talk about managing angry feelings together with this book.I also extended on the sea turtle scene from Moana to do a little featurette on turtles. We learnt a new turtle song and I told them the classic Aesop’s fable of the turtle/tortoise and the hare, then we made some turtles with paper bow…

Sunshine and hurricane

It’s about time to turn back the spotlight on my baby girl.
I just realised I have only a couple of months left before she shoots off eagerly to school next year.Of course I’ll still have her home with me on her non-kindy days, but it somehow feels like the beginning of the end of another era. A beginning to yet another stage of that continued striving for independence out of my arms.For now, her strings, though they are beginning to stretch out, are still knotted tightly to mine.Here are a few funny anecdotes and conversations we’ve had lately…Grace had been reprimanded (quite mildly actually) by her daddy one afternoon for  some infraction. She’s an expert at turning on instant waterworks in cases like this. Immediately afterwards she hopped up to me and asked sweetly “Mummy, please can I have a lolly to sweeten my tears?”.One night during one of our usual bedtime talks, Grace was trying to string our talk out for as long as possible. I usually set a quota of how many topics they can…

Monthly play roundup: October

We’re halfway through spring. The past month of October has been busy with a couple of festivities. Here’s a quick roundup of what we’ve been up to this past month…
Moon Festival
The month of October kicked off with the Chinese Moon Festival (also known as the Mooncake Festival or Lantern Festival). I retold the favourite legend The Moon Goddess using my homemade felt story kit. This year’s paper lanterns craft activity were real bona-fide lanterns which had a tea light candle holder inside to facilitate a proper moonlight walk (link to paper bag lanterns tutorial).Here’s a snapshot of our own two kids taking their lanterns for spin around the neighbourhood. I have many fond childhood memories of lantern walks during the Moon Festival. So it was nice to be able to share this little tradition with the children.
Birdwatching
We’re back to our birdwatching routine around this time of year. We enjoyed taking weekly strolls to the small wetlands area nearby to say hello to the different variet…

Ham and cheese savoury muffins

It’s been a while since I shared  recipe here. I am often asked what on earth to I usually cook up to feed my little troops on a daily basis. So I thought I’d share one of my go-to recipes for a yummy and simple lunch I whip up for my kiddos. They are also perfect for lunchboxes and for an after-school snack.Ham & cheese muffins with corn/zucchini
(adapted from 4ingredients)Ingredients
2 cups self-raising flour
1 and a half cups milk
1 and a half cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped ham
1 cup grated zucchini (or corn kernels)Directions
Preheat the oven to 180 ̊C. Line a 12-cup muffin tray with paper cases (I use silicone cases). Place flour in a large bowl. Pour in milk, cheese, ham and grated zucchini or corn. Fold gently until combined. Spoon into muffin cases. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.Enjoy!

Monthly play roundup: September

Hooray! Spring is finally here. Really loving the warmer and sunnier days we’ve been enjoying. Time to get busy in the garden with a mega backyard project we have in the works. But I’ll save that story for another time. For now, here are some snapshots of some of our activities last month…
For the Super Dads
We kicked off the month of September with Father’s Day activities. This year, we treated the dads to a scrumptious chocolate bar. We dressed the bars up in superhero outfits in tribute to all the fantastic superdads in our group. I used some of the printouts for this activity from here.
‘B’ for Bee
We’ve been spotting a lot more bees buzzing around these days (I suppose that’s expected with the increasing number of flowers popping up in everyone’s gardens). A favourite book we’ve been reading this month is ‘The Bumblebear’ by Nadia Shireen. We practiced writing the letter ‘B’, made cute little egg carton bumblebees, and talked about other insects and bugs in the garden.
The Enormous Tu…

What else I’ve been reading, watching and listening to

I’ve quite enjoyed sharing these ‘what I’ve been reading lately’ posts. Mainly because it also serves as a space to look back and reflect on the stuff I’ve been reading (and listening to… and watching as well). I hope you’re finding it interesting as well, seeing what a big geek I am really…
The Brain
The Story of You
by David Eagleman(It was fascinating to read about what really in essence is the ‘stuff’ in our brains that make you, you. I found it especially insightful reading about dementia and the truth behind what ‘keeping the brain active’ means for reducing the risk of dementia).
Homo Deus
A Brief History of Tomorrow
by Yuval Noah Harari(I picked this one up after finishing Yuval Harrari’s first book, ‘Sapiens’. This one is just as good! Still halfway through this one but I’m simply devouring it in chunks. It delves deep into what it means to be human and how the deep longing for meaning and connection within all of us will potentially shape the next stage of human evolution).
Megatec…

Monthly play roundup: August

We’ve just come through the last month of winter. We had a really wet August with long stretches of rainy days and just a sliver of sunshine peeking through here and there. We rounded off the season with a rather nasty bug and I got very croaky right at the end. But I think we can finally expect to see more sunshiny days from hereon. So here’s a quick recap of what we got up to last month…
‘F’ for Fish
Some favourite books we were reading this month were somehow related to fish and ocean creatures. Particular this and this. We practiced writing the letter ‘F’ for fish, made some fishy themed fruit snacks for morning tea, played a fishing game, and made our own magnetic fishing game.
Number Sentences
We had a go at forming some basic number sentences. We used our hands and fingers as a starting point to practice adding and subtracting small numbers. From there, we made some paper hands with foldable fingers and cut out numbers to form more number sentences of our own.
The Big Bad Wolf
We’re …

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