EduKids Early Childhood Education Centers

Archive for March 2011

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

My youngest daughter and her husband are about to have their first baby in a few weeks.  We are thrilled.  While final planning is in process and all of the wonderful baby “things” are getting set, I am listening to and loving being part of the discussions on the parenting “style” prep.

I’d like to share some excerpts from a wonderful Parenting Magazine article titled “The Best-Laid Plans” by H. Robinson.  It seems so fitting.  I laugh every time I read it…Because it is just so true!

I hope you will enjoy!


  • Before Kids: “We shouldn’t add to the destruction of the environment by buying disposable diapers.  I will buy cloth diapers and wash and dry them each day myself.”
  • After Kids: “They were having a sale on economy-size diapers, so I bought out the store!”


  • Before Kids: “If you introduce kids to junk food, they will crave it and demand it for their sweet tooth.  I’ll be giving my children only fruit for dessert.”
  • After Kids: “Okay, okay.  You can have some of mommy’s Milky Way.  But only a tiny bit. “ 


  • Before Kids: “Once you give into whining, it becomes a tough habit to break. You just can’t give into that sort of thing. Ever.”
  • After Kids: “Okay, okay.  You can have some of mommy’s Milky Way.  But only a tiny bit.”


  • Before Kids: “When you don’t tell your children the truth, it sends the wrong message.”
  • After Kids: “I’m sorry, sweetie, but McDonald’s is closed again today.”


  •  Before Kids: “Children are overwhelmed by the fancy toys these days.  I’m going to buy my children solid wooden blocks and “open ended” toys that will stretch their cognitive and motor skills.”
  • After Kids: “Happy Birthday, sweetie!  Here’s your Titanic Barbie!”


  • Before Kids:  “The best disciplinary tactics are calm responses – anger should never be a factor.”    
  • After Kids:  “That’s it!  You are grounded for life!”


  • Before Kids: “Bribing kids to behave starts a cycle of misbehavior that’s hard to escape.  It’s better to make clear rules and let them know that they are expected to obey them.”
  • After Kids:  “If you’re patient for a little while longer, sweetie, you can have all of mommy’s Milky Way.”


“Change is inevitable – except from a vending machine.”  ~Robert C. Gallagher

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director


Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Welcome Spring! 

Children will start to blossom now that spring is in the air.  There is an unquestionable difference in attitude and disposition when winter’s grey skies become spring’s bright blue ones!  Sunshine brings life to air and ground.  Sunshine also brings new life to our children.

Little ones love simple cleaning tools like spray bottles, brooms (their size), dust pans and they especially love to help when they can use the DustBuster!  Older children are strong and raring to get outside – let them help with welcoming spring through the “age-old” tradition of…

Spring cleaning!

  • Sweep sidewalks outside and while you’re at it, pick up sticks.  There are dry days ahead that will be great for this project. 
  • Sweep out garage floors and while you’re at it organize the boots and sneakers (doesn’t it seem like you have a million pairs?).   A new broom and dustpan in the kitchen and a sneaker rack or clean tray in the garage will be inspiring to all!
  • Wash windows with a partner.  Bright, sunny days will be here soon and winter’s grime will block those beautiful golden rays!   Use a safe, homemade window cleaning solution: mix ½ c. white vinegar to 1 gallon water.  Mix desired amount.  Pour into spray bottles.  One partner wipes outside, one inside.  Use crumpled newspapers to wipe windows (fewer streaks).  One washer washes up & down, the other washer washes side to side (you can tell what side has dirty spots left).
  • Move the furniture around.  Just one table, switch chairs around in the kitchen, reassign the lamps in the house, a different throw rug in the hallway, new frames on pictures… children love to have a “say” in this new look.  And, by the way, you won’t believe the amount of energy they will spend just straightening up, reorganizing, polishing and fussing with the house during this great project!
  • Walk off a garden and put stakes up for boundaries. Decide what to plant. 
  • Clean off porches with your children and decide where winter things belong (older children can move and carry them) and where spring and summer furniture will go (older children can check on this and clean them to get ready).
  • Organize and clean bedrooms.  Inexpensive dresser scarves, new curtains or valances, a new bedroom garbage can or pillow covers, switching quilts or bedspreads with a sibling, displaying favorite toys, washing windowsills, polishing dressers, vacuuming, cleaning mirrors and just straightening dressers and closets (weed them out!) makes everyone feel better.

Enough hibernating!  Shake the winter blues & blahs off and honor the tradition of spring cleaning or start one of your own – you’ll be glad you did when that beautiful sun shines through the windows!

Spring Fever, It’s that time of year again when I get the energy to clean. I look through shining, sparking windows at the most beautiful house I’ve ever seen! (Do I really live here?!)


-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

In the beginning of March you can literally hear a collective sigh of relief that winter is on its way out and spring is on its way in.  So get your children marching!  Let’s go!

  • Color or paint two white paper plates, hole punch around the rim and string them together with yarn or bright ribbon.  Before the last holes are being put together funnel in some Cheerios or large, dry pasta.  Close the last holes, tie a big bow on the end. March with your tambourines!
  • Cut a paper bag to fit as a coffee can cover.  Color, paint or cut & paste fancy shapes on the paper.  Now glue to the coffee can, put the plastic lid back on and get a spoon.  March with those drums! 
  • Feeling creative?  Blow up a balloon and cover it with paper mache. You will need water and flour.   Instructions: To make paper mache paste, simply mix together 1 part flour to 2 parts water. You will want it to be the consistency of thick glue, but you also want it to be runny and not thick like paste. Add more water or flour as necessary. Mix well to remove any lumps.  Tear newspaper into strips and “paste” it on the balloon.  Let dry completely.  Paint the newspaper.  Pop the balloon.  Cut a small hole in the balloon and funnel in dry cereal.  Seal the hole with paper mache (following directions).  March with your hand-held maracas!

Now that you’ve got instruments for your marching band, let’s get those lions and lambs on the move!

Little lions are roaring to get started.  How should they look?  Like the king of the jungle of course!

  • White or yellow paper plates make great lion masks, cut out the inside circle of the plate.
  • Let your little one cut out yellow squares and glue them to the border rim of the plate. 
  • Cut out yellow paper strips and roll them. 
  • Glue or staple the yellow rolls to the outside of the paper plate circle so that they look like the curly mane of the lion.
  • Punch a hole in each side of the plate and attach yarn. 
  • Tie the yarn around your child so your child’s face is now framed with a lion’s mane….. rrroooarrr!

Little lambs want to be in the marching band too!  How should they look? Soft and sweet.                           

  • White paper plates are perfect for little lambs: cut out the inside circle of a paper plate. 
  • Let your little one glue cotton balls to the border rim of the plate. 
  • Cut out two black rectangles that are rounded on one short side and glue one to the cotton balls on each side of the plate (these are little lamb ears). 
  • Pick out some big ribbon or a strip of cloth and make a bow. 
  • Glue or staple the bow to the bottom of the plate. 
  • Punch a hole in each side of the plate and attach yarn. 
  • Tie the yarn around your child so your child’s face is now framed as a soft little lamb….. bbbaaahhh.

Grab your instruments and spring masks and be a springtime marching band!

“The weather roars like a lion and calms like a lamb. All in one day of spring.”


-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director



Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director

While Kate is on vacation this week, we are posting an old favorite – enjoy!

The Toddler’s Creed

“If I want it, it’s mine.
If I give it to you & I change my mind later, it’s mine.
If I can take it away from you, it’s mine.
If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.
If it’s mine, it will never belong to anybody else, no matter what.
If we are building something together, all the pieces are mine.
If it looks like mine, it is mine.”   Anon

No truer words have ever been spoken.

The Toddler’s Creed is a long standing “poem” used in working with toddler teachers. It’s also a resource given to parents once their beautiful, bouncing baby learns to toddle and walk, starts to see the world in a whole new way and discovers they have the incredible power to grab and hold on to whatever they see and want!

Toddlerhood is the “Me!” stage – the “I want!” stage – the “I can!” stage and it is highlighted by the toddler mantra: “NO!” This is healthy development!

If you have lived through the toddler stage at your home and both you and your toddler have come out of it as stronger individuals, congratulations! If you are in it now, smile and put away the china! If you have a lovely little bundle still in a crib and buggy, get ready! Toddler time is right around the corner! Hurray!

I love toddlers! They are smart, funny and full of life! Research tells us that from birth to 3 years old, we grow the quickest, our brains develop the detailed wiring that is needed in every aspect of life, our sense of self is established and we truly understand the power of communication. Those totally dependent infants can now run, talk, and take your hand. They want a book read, make choices, look for friends, float boats in the tub and literally grow before our eyes. It’s astonishing!


When toddlers are egocentric — be patient.

When toddlers want to dress themselves — give them time.

When toddlers are curious and want everything they see — be sure it is safe.

When toddlers are running all over the place — run with them.

When toddlers are defiant — don’t take it personally.

When toddlers want only you — hold on to them and enjoy each moment!

-Kate Dust, EduKids Education Director


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