My thoughts from the trenches

 

I have been in childcare for over 30 years. I started off my career in Brandon MB and after a few twists and turns through various programs and communities, I have landed in Portage la Prairie operating a group family child care program and Growing Wild Forest and Nature School program. When I think I have seen it all and got everything figured out, my children prove me wrong! There is never a dull moment when working with children.

I am always learning; from my kids, from my co-workers, from my peers and from the students at the college where I instruct part-time.

Join me in my adventures and pondering’s as I travel through the world as seen by the children.

I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas as well. Please feel free to comment and have a conversation.

(*open each blog post to see the whole post in format and pictures)

Building Fires with a Purpose.

Posted by on January 17, 2021 in Building community, Children Naturally News, Family Child Care, Multi Age Groups, Personal Growth, Professional Development | 1 comment

Building Fires with a Purpose.

The discussion about building fires in child care programs is growing as ECE’s are trying to spend more time outside as a way of dealing with Covid. The general idea is that a fire will give kids and adults a chance to warm up while being outside for long periods of time in the cold weather. I think we need to go further with this idea. I learned about fires in a child care program, not as a way to warm up, but as a skill and knowledge to expose kids to; how to build a fire, what the purpose of fire is, and how to respect and be safe...

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The Most Beautiful Christmas Tree!

Posted by on December 6, 2020 in Building community, Children Naturally News, Family Child Care, Multi Age Groups, Traditions | 0 comments

The Most Beautiful Christmas Tree!

I love December and all the traditions we have created in my child care program over the years. We all talk about how busy it is this time of year, but for me it is a busy I enjoy. I find myself making the ornaments the kids can paint, getting the Graham Cracker ‘gingerbread’ houses ready for decorating and  gathering the supplies for the Reindeer Munchies.  These are just a few of the activities that bring me joy. Some of the kids remembered what we have done in previous years and wanted to make some paper chains. One of the...

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Where did the ‘care’ go from child care?

Posted by on November 29, 2020 in Family Child Care, Multi Age Groups, Personal Growth, Professional Development | 2 comments

Where did the ‘care’ go from child care?

Child Care vs. Early Learning Education; this has been on my mind for awhile, especially with all the talk about essential workers lately. What is the difference? How do they fit together? Do they fit together? This internal fight began years ago. When I graduated first from Child Care Services (which is what Early Childhood Education was called 32 years ago), I began working in a daycare. I really struggled with the idea that what I was dong was not important. I felt that what I was doing was little more than… dare I say it…...

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Has Children’s play changed due to Covid-19?

Posted by on September 26, 2020 in Children Naturally News | 0 comments

Has Children’s play changed due to Covid-19?

Has children’s play changed during these (what I call) weird times called Coronavirus? Do they play differently? Has their play taken on a new ‘tone’ or manner of play? Some Background Early into this, around the end of March, the majority of the families attending my program decided to hunker down at home. We were being told to stay home, limit our exposure to people outside our bubble. As everyone well remembers schools were closed, many business were closed or greatly changing the way they did business, and people were...

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We have really been Growing Wild! (the story of our first Forest and Nature School Adventure)

Posted by on August 29, 2020 in Children Naturally News, Mentoring | 0 comments

We have really been Growing Wild! (the story of our first Forest and Nature School Adventure)

I have had a dream for a while now. My dream was to be able to run a forest and nature school program, to be able to completely embrace the pillars and principles. For ECE’s who are already child-led, inquiry based, this is a natural extension. The concepts are really a way of thinking, a mind set. In June 2019 I started my journey to become a Forest and Nature School Practitioner. I took the 1 week, hands on course with an ECE friend. We had such a good time and were inspired by 2 wonderful facilitators. From that week until this...

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I LOVE PVC Pipes?

Posted by on July 13, 2020 in Children Naturally News, Family Child Care, Mentoring, Multi Age Groups | 2 comments

I LOVE PVC Pipes?

For anyone who knows me, knows I LOVE all loose parts! Do I have a favourite? I really don’t want to pick just one… I have so many! Let’s start at defining what loose parts are? For those who may not know what loose parts are let’s start there. Simon Nicholson, the founder of the idea of Loose Parts in 1971 says: “As long as materials can be moved, redesigned, put together, and taken apart in a variety of ways, they are classified as loose parts.” A very basic explanation is loose parts are anything that can be...

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“She’s Capable!”

Posted by on June 22, 2020 in Children Naturally News, Family Child Care, Multi Age Groups | 2 comments

“She’s Capable!”

One of my greatest joys is to be able to sit back and observe, truly take in and watch what the kids are doing. I love to hear the laughter, the making up of games, the impromptu negotiations that happen when everyone is engaged. One particular day as I was observing a child of about 14 months old was playing. She was climbing in and out of a wagon and I heard one of the three year old kids say, “She’s capable!” My heart soared when I heard that. I think of the many times I have said that to not only adults but to the...

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When did we become a community?

Posted by on June 13, 2020 in Children Naturally News, Family Child Care, Multi Age Groups | 2 comments

When did we become a community?

As I reflect over my six and a half years as a family child care provider I wondered when we evolved into a community? A daycare family? This feeling of community really hit home this past week for me. In March, because of Covid-19, all my regular children stayed home with their families.  Now, after about two and a half months away, the children have started trickling back. One of the kids brought me an envelope her first week back. I happily opened it and found a picture she had created for me as well as a small toy the resembled a moose...

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Looking for the Bright Side of Covid-19

Posted by on May 28, 2020 in Children Naturally News, Family Child Care, Personal Growth, Professional Development | 0 comments

Looking for the Bright Side of Covid-19

There is a lot to complain about when it comes to our current situation; being stuck ( Oh I mean self-isolated) at home, our entire world being disrupted, missing events we were looking forward to, school being closed, lost income, I could go on… but just for a moment what if we looked for a few good things.   Meeting New People I have spent some time thinking about this. What good has come from my current situation? For me the first thing is the new people I have met. Yes!!! I have met many dedicated ECE’s through this pandemic. They...

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What was my favourite decade in childcare?

Posted by on May 23, 2020 in Children Naturally News, Family Child Care, Mentoring, Multi Age Groups, Professional Development | 2 comments

What was my favourite decade in childcare?

I always smile (and brace myself a little) when I get a message that starts out, “Please don’t take offence….” I received this from a past college student and now a respected peer. She wanted to know what my favourite decade in the child care field has been. This implies I have seen a few, and as much as I’d like to think I’m not that old I suppose I am and have seen a few decades go by. I wasn’t really sure what she was looking for so I shared the changes with her that I have seen over the past 30...

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