It’s that time of year to de-stress! You’ve managed, taught, and enabled students to learn and grow all day for months and now you get some time away from the stress. It’s time to enjoy that much-needed, and well-earned, break. You may have plans to lounge on the couch, binge watch your favorite show, or go on a trip somewhere warm. Whatever the case, these tips may offer you some new ideas. If not, they will at least remind you of what’s to come!
Do something you enjoy but never have time for during a regular week. Go to your favorite store during the middle of the week to avoid the long lines. Take your dog on a walk while it’s still light outside. Make yourself a cup of hot cocoa/coffee and enjoy it before it gets cold. Go skiing. Read your favorite book. It’s the little things.
Catch up on sleep. We’d bet that you’ve dreamed of taking naps or sleeping in on a Monday. Well, now is your chance to fully embrace these dreams and make them a reality!
Binge watch your favorite show. Netflix recently released their most watched TV shows of 2017. You could watch one of those or catch up on one of your favorites. Or go get your Hallmark Channel on! The movies can be prettyincredibly cheesy at times, but they’re great at spreading love and holiday cheer. There’s nothing quite like getting cozy on the couch or in your bed and watching TV to get your mind off of grading and lesson planning.
Visit somewhere new. A new place nearby to eat in. A mini-road trip to a park or a neighboring city. A flight to somewhere you’ve never been before. You don’t need to indulge on a lavish trip to Hawaii to enjoy the benefits of travel and experiencing a new place.
Spend time with family, but also remember to take some time for yourself. For most of us, holidays are about spending time with family and loved ones. While important, it can also drive you a bit crazy. Have a day or two marked in your calendar where you can block off the whole day. Maybe even turn off your phone that day. Make it a day for you and only you. Here are a few great ideas for how to spend those few days away from email and family.
Keep time spent on work to a minimum. If you feel like you need to get some lesson planning or project work done in order to start the new year fresh, please do — but remember that the second half of the year has fewer vacation days!
Keep some music going in the background. Who doesn’t like a little music in their life? Whether you are doing chores, cooking dinner, or reading, music can help create ambiance for any occasion. It is also a proven tool to help reduce stress and anxiety.
Don’t be afraid to say no. This is your time off. If you don’t want to do something, don’t feel obligated to say yes at every opportunity presented. Be selective with how you spend your time.
Get out of your comfort zone. Be playful. Try some laughing yoga. Laughing yoga might look cringeworthy to most of us, but it may be just the thing some of us need to get out of our comfort zone. At the very least you will have a VERY interesting story…
Create and share a gratitude list with your loved ones. How often do you share your appreciation for your family, friends, and loved ones? Tell them what they mean to you. It will make their day and help spread the holiday spirit of giving.
Volunteer. It may not sound relaxing, but volunteering, especially around the holidays, can make you feel more connected and more involved with the community. You gain perspective and a sense of accomplishment. Not only are you giving back to those less fortunate, you are in many ways showing them that when things aren’t going well, there are people who care.
There are many reservations when it comes to switching to a more technology-enabled childcare software. Here are a few common ones we hear:
“We have always done it this way.”
This is one of the most detrimental sentence any business, across any industry, could utter. Without innovation and tech adoption, you could be wasting days worth of time every year using an old system to perform tasks that could take mere minutes with new technology.
“I’m not tech savvy,” OR “I’m worried my staff isn’t as tech savvy.”
We have many customers who thought the same thing before using Kinderlime. We understand technology is not easy for everyone. However, that should not stop you from thinking about a childcare software as learning how to use one could make your work much, much easier. Because of this we create many help articles and YouTube videos to help walk you through our system and apps. We are also available for live training webinars for you and your staff if you should need additional help. Our aim is to create a system that is as easy and intuitive as possible.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!
“What if the parents don’t like it?”
Today, almost everyone has a smartphone. Everyone except my grandparents, who still use a rotary phone. There is an app for just about everything. Parents use their phones to pay bills, shop online, engage in social media, play games, and much more. You are simply asking parents to download an app tied to your program allowing them to engage in their child’s day.
Parents will be able to see when their child was signed in or out and by whom. They’ll know which classroom their child is in when coming to pick them up. Parents will also receive and pay their weekly/monthly bill directly from their phone. And, for those with younger children, parents will be able to actively engage in a child’s day through daily sheets, updates, and photos shared by the teacher. By using this app, you are simplifying their interactions with you. Here is a quick rundown of the Parent App.
“I don’t want to spend the money.”
This ties back to number 1. Yes, a new solution will cost money. Everything costs money, unfortunately. A small monthly or yearly fee could save you and your staff up to 10 hours every month. You, or your staff, could use that time to work on other projects or to jumpstart your social media channels. If a system reduces administrative work on billing and inputting sign in-out or daily sheet data, you need to ask yourself: Is that worth the trade-off?
Kinderlime offers a free 14-day trial so you can test the value of the solution before committing to it.
“We have a system. Why would we switch?”
Great! You are already ahead of most programs in this space. If you like the system, find it affordable, and believe it works well for your program, then there’s no need to switch! However, if you are experiencing some issues or would like to see a demo of our mobile-based solution, you can request one here.
“Paper is great! I love paper!”
I don’t think anyone is going to believe you…
Do you have any other common objections to childcare software or childcare apps? If so, please feel free to share with us! We will address them in a following blog article and would be happy to address any of your concerns directly.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday that can be sadly overshadowed by the gift-giving season. My foodie friends, fear not! We at Kinderlime have collected ten Thanksgiving-themed treats for your students. Click on the links to view the recipes, and enjoy!
If you thought the time for pumpkin spice was over, think again! One bite of these pretzels, and you’ll want this spice to stick around for a while yet. You can also try coating the pretzel bites with other flavors for more variety with your snacks.
If fruit salad isn’t your style, try some fluff. Cranberries can have a very tart flavor, but this recipe uses a not-too-sweet cream mixture to even out the tartness and make everyone want to come back for seconds.
These cookies have just a few ingredients and require almost no time to make. Try having your students make the recipe themselves by setting up a cookie-making table. I’m sure they’ll love both making and munching on the mini-cornucopias.
We hope you try out at least one of these recipes and see what your students think. If your childcare is part of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), you can also keep track of your students’ meals by using our CACFP meal tracking features. Use Kinderlime to generate an accurate and fully-compliant report so that you can receive the aid you need for giving your children these wonderful meals each day.
Enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with good food and loved ones!
Arts and crafts activities are a great way to get your children into the Halloween spirit. Kids can flex their creativity while also learning about measuring, hand-eye coordination, colors, sensory experiences, and more. While most of these craft ideas are meant for children (and for those of us who are children at heart!), several of these crafts are suitable for toddlers.
I’ve compiled a list of 66 total activities from various craft- and child-oriented blogs. Be sure to click on the links and see what other projects these awesome bloggers have in store for you!
8) Shaunna from Fantastic Fun and Learning describes an easy Leaf Sun Catcherproject for your toddlers and preschoolers.
Make sure you capture the fun using our Daily Sheets and Parent Communication app! Send parents messages and photos as the children bust open the glue and glitter. By the end of the day, parents will be super excited to see their children’s finished products. For a real showstopper, you could also keep the crafts for an extra day and decorate your childcare center for the children and parents to enjoy.
Who says kids get all the tricks and treats on Halloween? Try one of these costumes with some fellow teachers (or on your own) to give the kids a spine-tingling surprise!
1) Silent Movie Stars
2) Riley’s Emotions from Inside Out
3) A Windswept Pedestrian (no wind involved)
4) Your Favorite Disney Princess
5) Witches from Hocus Pocus
6) Your Favorite Candy
7) Classroom Supplies (if you couldn’t get enough of them!)
8) The Rainbow Fish
We hope these ideas get your cauldron bubbling! Allow parents to share in the fun by sending pictures and messages throughout the day using our parent communication app. All of the pictures can be saved in the photo gallery so you can preserve these memories or include the best moments in your seasonal newsletter.