Thursday, December 4, 2014

Notes From A Daycare Provider: The Holidays

Holidays are tricky when it comes to daycare. I have a grand time scouring Pinterest for craft and activity ideas. Then we have a blast filling our days leading up to the holiday with those crafts and activities. Yet holidays are also very tough. Schedules are often turned upside down. There's more time than usual spent at home with mom and/or dad, which means the return to daycare can be horrid. Kids are overly tired, yet insanely energetic with excitement. It can make our days long and time outs become our bff's.

Here are five ways we deal with the holidays around here:

  • We talk, talk, talk, talk and read, read, read about the holidays. What happens during the holidays, what happens in each child house during the holidays, etc. Talking and reading about everything really helps children process what's happening and helps them deal with any schedule upsets. 
  • Maintaining a regular daycare schedule is crucial. Schedules are usually thrown for a loop during the holidays, with a lot of parents taking time off of work, the actual holiday day(s), holiday parties, etc. That's why the most important thing is to keep a regular schedule as much as possible. I work in time for extra long naps the week after a holiday. Kids are usually exhausted and need the time to catch up on sleep.
  • Any celebrating during daycare is worked in between naps, meals, snack times, activities, and kids arriving and leaving. Our usual parties consist of shoveling a cupcake or two in their mouths, play a game, and do a special craft. In other words, I don't mess with their typical daycare schedule just so we can celebrate.
  • The first of the year is always the toughest time during the year. I typically take some time off during the holidays and most of my daycare families take time off to spend with their families. Which means getting back into the regular routine can be rough for everyone. This is where the maintaining a regular daycare schedule becomes uber important and helps kids ease back into things.
  • As important as I think it is that we keep a good daycare schedule during the holidays, we also find plenty of ways to celebrate each holiday! After all, they're only kids once and I thoroughly enjoy indulging their excitement for the holidays.

As tough as holidays can be on the kids, it's also one of my favorite times as I see the kids anticipate each upcoming holiday. I love to hear their thoughts and interpretations of each holiday that comes. Plus, there's just too many fun crafts and activities to keep us busy!