Friday, August 1, 2014

Getting Creative at Childcare

In raising kids alone, I find it very helpful to be creative at childcare. Playing is kids’ nature. Mostly, it gives them fun and pain but they learn from both of them. Above all, playtime is the most essential time for kids. Or shall I say, most of the things they do always involves playing. As in, every minute is a play time to them! They are naturally hyperactive and to enable us to cope with them, sometimes we need to act like a kid too! Be creative as they get easily bored of the usual things in childcare. Even if I’m busy at my home-based job, I make sure I spend quality time with my kids. Read further to know some of my creative ways at childcare.

Some kids happily eat their food and other throw it back or play with it. It happens a lot. Many kids see and smell the food first before he’ll taste it, and even if he eats it, he may spit it right back out. Be patient and try it again another day. Don’t turn mealtime into a battle, make it fun and do some little creative tricks to encourage your kids to better eating.

Before meal, get them hungry. Do not serve milk or snack before the mealtime. I let them play all they want in between meals and afterwards they would ask for something to eat. Timing is right too. They should eat during meal times: breakfast at 7am, lunch at 12nn and dinner at 7pm. Let them help prepare the meal like washing the vegetables. My kids help me with the malunggay leaves and pick them out of the branch individually. Slow but they are pleasured doing it. With that kind of involvement, kids will be excited to eat the food they made.

During meal, do not offer them the usual as you know they get easily bored of that. Do not offer the same food you fed them in the last meal for the sake of saving leftovers. Aside from the common ways like doing an airplane move with the spoon before thrusting the food into the kid’s mouth, be creative and do some food presentation to make the meal enticing:

Cut food into fun shapes. When I was a kid, I remember my father’s creative way of feeding us. He made rice balls or just the rice formed into a ball and the viand is inside it. He put them in a plate and my siblings and I just picked them and ate them by ourselves. No need for our father to spoon-feed us. That’s what I’m also doing now if my kids are hard to please.

Go for a change of scenery like doing a picnic inside the house. Laying the food over a picnic blanket serves another purpose too. It helps me clean the mess easily after they are finished eating.

Set the food in a mini table with his robot or her doll like they were eating together. Kids are great imitator. Their doll or robot will act as their kids and they will act as the mother as if they were feeding them. They will also have to eat so their “kids” will eat too. 

Arranging food creatively on colorful utensils and sticking in some toothpicks. Make sure you watch them over for safety as they tend to play with toothpicks. Picking the food with sticks make them enjoy the meal. I put one kind of food in each colored plate. I will say, “eat the food from green plate” and so on, then they will pick and eat from it. It helps them identify colors too.

Before bedtime is playtime or story-telling. I prefer a combination of the 2. Then the next day, they will memorize the story and no need for me to telling it again. They will narrate the story to themselves while doing or acting it. My kids like superheroes. They do the story-telling to their own and “fly” using their capes made of lengthy wash clothes. They love jumping on the bed too! To keep them from falling and stay on one place only, I place an extra foam bed on the floor. One time I put up a tent with the foam bed inside. There, they jump and play all they can inside. You will know when they gets tired, so if I sensed that they were about to have a real “fight”, I separate them immediately and put them to bed.

Another playtime is taking the kids to bath. My kids don’t like taking a bath through shower heads, they think it’s raining. LOL! I always tell them not to go outside when raining to avoid getting sick so that’s what they keep in mind. What I do is bathe them inside an inflated pool. It is small to fit in the bathroom. It also serves as protecting them from slipping off the wet floor. I wash the kids first with soap and water, then during the rinse, I fill the pool with clean water then they do the rest.

Sometimes, kids will remind me on what to do next or I’ll be just surprised when I see them behind me, naked and said, “Ma, let’s take a bath!” or get a plate and spoon and informing me it’s eating time. Kids have good memory and remembers everything you said and do. They follow them. To keep them in track, create a routine. They don’t know how to read the clock yet, only their own body clock. If they’re hungry, time to eat. If they’re tired, time to sleep. If they’re bored, time to play. Life is like this!

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