2018-2019 School Year Preschool, Teacher, and Curriculum Awards!

Now a days, parents are looking for a lot more than just someone to watch their kids while they are at work. Parents are looking for someone to help educated their kid! So this year Ashlie’s Imagination Station will be giving out an award for the following categories:

Entry is 100% free, our hope is to reward daycares and teachers for providing a quality education for the kids in their care.

The top 10 will will receive a certification, an image to place on their website and the option to get a yard sign and banner for their center or home.

The winner will receive a free yearly membership to Ashlie’s Imagination Station, certification, an image to place on their website and the option to get a yard sign and banner for their center or home.

The Best Preschool Teacher and Curriculum Director will receive a free yearly membership to Ashlie’s Imagination Station Curriculum, certification and the option to get a yard sign and banner!

Winners for 2018-2019 school year will be announced in July, just in time for the new school year!

If you have any question email:

ashliesimaginationstation@gmail.com

Picky Eaters, No More!

            Does your kid struggle with eating a variety of food? Are they incredibly picky? Are you afraid they aren’t getting the nutrients they need?

            The first and most importing thing is DO NOT make something separate for your kid. They eat what you are eating. The second thing you need to have for every meal is options. It can be two items or more. Just give them something to choose from. No one likes to be forced to eat something they don’t want to. The third thing to remember is your kid will eat when they are hungry.

Start Young

            The best way is to start them young. When they first start eating, give them a variety of different vegetables and fruits. You can even puree meats and pastas. It may not be as yummy as your food, but it will introduce your child to a new flavor. My daughter really loved the cinnamon flavor so you can even trying to add small amounts of spices and see if they like that.

Options

            Give your child a bunch of options at meal time (5-10 options0. This gives your child the power to choose what they are in the mood for. Maybe there is something they always eat. It’s important to take that away occasionally, because it gives them the opportunity to try something new. If there is something they never eat5, keep giving it to them as an option and one day they will try it. This method is highly recommended for school time lunches. Kids will try much more around friends

Reward

  1. After Eating Reward
    1. The kid gets a reward for eating all their food or trying something new. Make this reward something small like dessert, reading books on their own before nap, 5 minutes extra T.V. or tablet time, etc.
  2. Reward Jar
    1. Find a small jar and some marbles. Every time your kid finishes a meal or tries something new, add a marble to the jar. When you fill the hard, they get a big reward like movie day, water park, sleepover, trampoline, inflatable park, new toy, day with mommy/daddy, etc. You can have multiple jars with multiple possible rewards. Kids love games!
  3. Reward Charts
    1. They work the same way as reward jars except you have a chart. The cool thing about the charts is that you can decorate them with things that your kids love (Frozen, cars, unicorns, etc.). The one other good thing about reward charts is that there is a set number of meals they must finish or foods they need to try.
  4. Money Jar
    1. These are ideal for older kids. Have a jar and a bunch of change. Every time your kid tries something new or finishes a meal, you put a coin (nickel, penny, dime) in the har. When the jar is full, they can have the money. Alternatively, the money can be spent toward a family vacation.

            These are very common for chores and behavior but a great way to help with eating is rewards.

Snack Time

            Snack time is a great time to try new things. Give them a choice of what they can eat (apples and bananas). If they don’t eat one then save it for next snack so it can be reintroduced to them.

Try it Game!

            Put a bunch of foods with a bunch of textures and have your kid lick them. Not eat them, lick them. It is less terrifying to lick something than to eat it. You can even take it to a new level and give them 1 pt for lick, 2 pts for taking a bite, 5 pts for eating it all. If you have multiple kids y’all can play a game. Whoever tries the most can pick dinner or something.

Cook

            Kids can make huge messes and mess up meals on accident. Letting them help you cook their food will make them more interested in the food and will make them more likely to try it. They made it after all, so how can it be bad?

            I hope these tricks help your kids eat more variety and relieves some of your stress regarding your kids’ eating habits.

Potty Training 101

Is it that time already? When do I start potty training? What is this experience like? Is it as hard as they say? My kid is 3 or 4 and not potty trained, is something wrong?

As a mom and preschool owner/teacher, I here these question all the time. They are very common for experienced or first time parents, so I wanted to touch on the subject a bit and share some of my knowledge from helping to potty train a bunch of kiddos. I have seen everything from the kid that potty trains overnight to the kids that do good and then bad and then good. I have also taken the first step for a couple of my preschoolers.

What to Expect

  1. A lot of effort from you!
  2. There will be days they will do great and there will be days they do horribly! Just don’t give up on the process no matter how frustrated you get. I know it is hard but if you give up so will they.
  3. Stay positive, they will get there!
  4. The potty schedule is annoying and inconvenient but you have to stick to it if you want success! Stick to the Potty Schedule!
  5. Accidents are going to happen and their will be plenty of them! Prepare to do lots of laundry and get all the cleaning materials to clean pee out of beds, carpet, couches, the floor and pretty much every surface.
  6. The time frame varies on the kid, It could be a

The first and most important thing to understand is that all kids go through this stage at different times!

Some kids are ready shortly after they start walking and some are ready when they are a bit older. Do NOT worry! They will be ready and they will get it down. There are some things that you can do to help them want to take that step.

How to Start Interest

  1. Introduce you kid to the potty: Show your kid the potty and tell them what the potty is for and why we have them. Show them how to use it (Ex: Toilet seat, flush ect.). A great way to do this is to use your kids favorite toy or stuffed animal to show them about the potty.
  2. Sing potty songs: Sing those potty songs a lot! The kids love them and it exposed them to the concept of the potty! This really helps.
  3. Talk about the potty: Your goal is to get  your kid comfortable with the potty and the concept of the potty so keep talking about it and exposing them to it as much as you possibly can.
  4. Read potty books: Just like the songs you are trying to introduce it to them to the potty and at this age songs and books are two of the best ways to do this.
  5. Undies: Start putting big kid underwear on over the kids’ diaper. It gets them used to underwear which can be a problem for a lot of kids.
  6. Make Potty Fun!!!! You want you kid to want to go potty so make it fun! Yes that means the happy voices, the clapping, the cheering and all those other happy indicators!

Potty Gear Advice

  1. Training Underwear: These are thicker then normal underwear and feel more like a diaper, this makes it a good transition to underwear. They are also a bit more absorbent for those small accidents. These are good if your kid is having issues transitioning to underwear otherwise I would say they are not needed.
  2. Potty Watch: These are great to teach the kid how to go potty on their own and help them not to forget. Personally I feel that a phone or smart device timer can do the same thing but if you kid isn’t interested in the potty or isn’t telling you when they need to go after they are doing pretty well for a couple of weeks then you might want to get one of these.
  3. Pull-ups: Very important! Pull ups make it easy for the kids to take their diaper off and on to go potty. Its also a step up from diapers and the kids think that is cool which will help the kids gain more interest in the potty. When picking out the right kind of pull up it is important to consider when and how you will be taking it on and off. I highly recommend getting one with straps that come on and off so you can put it on like a diaper if you don’t want to take their pants off every single time they have an accident. You will thank me for this advice the first couple of weeks.
  4. Kids Potty Seats and Potty: Cute but not needed. Get a stool and teach them on the big kid potty. Big kid potty excites them and when they go in public they wont have one of the kid toilets. Also cleaning them is yucky! If your kid is struggling to use the big kid potty just expose them to it more. Show them all the parts of a toilet and show them that it is totally safe and fun (very few kids have this issue, especially if you do the how to start interest steps first).
  5. Change of Clothes and Undies: Always have tons of these ready ! The more undies and pants you have the less laundry you must do!

Potty Training

                We have talked about what to expect, how to start and what gear you need and don’t need so now lets get into some good potty practices. We are going to start with the everyday potty schedule and then move into a bunch of tips.

Potty Schedule

Wake Up Potty

Every 30 minutes potty

Before nap potty

Wake up potty

Every 30 minutes potty

Before bed potty

  • If they have an accident ask them where they should go potty and take them to the potty to go potty. DO NOT GET MAD! They are still learning.
  • Keep pull ups during nap & night until they really have the hang of potty and aren’t peeing while sleeping. Start with nap then go to over night.
  • Have them try to pull up & down their pants every time they go potty. If they can’t do it help them but give them a chance to try first. This is also a good time to teach them to put their clothes on.
  • Teach them to wipe with the right amount of tissue from the beginning.
  • Wash hands afterwards
  • After dinner don’t give the kids drinks or an hour or 2 hrs before bed time.
  • When they start getting better and/or good at going potty still do not forget to remind them if they haven’t gone in awhile
  • Potty Reward Chart – Potty Parties
    • We do ours when you have a day without accidents you get a sticker. 5 stickers and you get a potty party with balloons. I fill the bath tub up with balloons and let them play!
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Potty Party Rewards Chart
  • Naked Method
    • If you are a stay at home mom you can try it. The only real con is that sometimes kids will have issues with undies and/or clothes afterwards. They also must wear clothes and undies in public so you might have a lot of issues when you take them out places. I have heard great success from this though.

Hang in their parents! No diapers is in your future!

Please comment below any questions or problems you have! I am here to help!

Make Learning Fun!

Do your kids think learning is boring? Do you feel like your kids aren’t learning much? Or do you just want to add a little fun into learning? Look at how your school is teaching your kids or at how your teaching your kids.

Would you want to learn this way?

Think about it. If you were your kids age, would you want to do worksheets and flashcards? Even now, do you want to be doing worksheets or flashcards or is just something you did to learn? Do you like sitting there having someone tell you that you have to learn all day? Would you want to do the same thing everyday or would you like a variety?

In my time working with kids, I have heard too many of them ask me “why learning can’t be fun?” Or “why isn’t learning fun like games?” Or “this is so boring!”. So at the younger ages why isn’t learning fun? Why isn’t it something we want to do?

Learning can be fun! Especially at the younger ages! If it’s not something your kids want to do they get bored and they don’t really pay attention or they act out. So why not make learning something your kids want to do. Make it something they chose to do instead of something they are forced to do. They will learn twice as quick and get more out of it!

Stop forcing your kids to learn and make it something they want to do. A good rule of thumb is if you don’t want to do it they probably don’t want to either.

There is always another way. If you are ever struggling to teach something to your kids send me a message and I will create a fun way for you to teach it to them.

These activities can be done in a preschool or school setting with more kids or in a home setting with just one kid. Either way you will see the kid(s) growth just from doing fun activities! These games are designed to be easy to play, fun for the kids and completely educational. They are short games that the kids can focus their attention on for a few minutes then move to the next thing. They are great for teaching young kids how to play board games, matching games and follow rules as well as learn and have fun!

  • Color Games: This game is ideal for your younger kids who are learning their colors and how to play beginning level games. Fun, easy and educational!
  • Letter Sounds Board Game: There are many ways to teach your kids the sounds each letters make. This game is designed to be a fun way to learn your letter sounds and be a perfect beginning board game for kids.
  • Alphabet Monster Game: This game is designed to make the children laugh and learn their letter sounds at the same time. The monster holders a letter and the kids have to feed the words that start with the right letter to the monster. If they get it right make chomp sound if they get it wrong make it sound like its gross.
  • Sounds Board Game: This board game is designed to help your kids learn the sounds that vowels together can make. It’s a fun way for them to see the sounds close to each other and learn the difference between each vowel combination.
  • Vowel Family Board Games: This set of vowel family board games teaches the kids to start putting letters together to make words easier to read. Before you start go over the family sounds and then throughout the game the kids practice using those sounds. After playing these games a couple of times your kids will start to get the hang of it and these words will be easy for them.
    1. Short A Family Board Game
    2. Short E Family Board Game
    3. Short I Family Board Game
    4. Short O Family Board Game
    5. Short U Family Board Game