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Have participants say their names.
Distribute handout "TOYS MAY BE HAZARDOUS - CHOOSE WISELY." Review and continue discussion of different ages and appropriate toys.
Have each participant talk about their "BABYSITTER'S MAGIC BAG" - its contents and why they chose the items they did. Encourage group discussion especially regarding any items that might not be appropriate.
When appropriate, distribute and discuss: "PLAYTIME" & "ACTIVITIES WITH CHILDREN."
Have items ready to prepare for a few snacks (remember food safety!) chosen from the handouts.
Distribute and discuss "FEEDING CHILDREN."
Prepare snack, dividing up tasks so everyone is involved.
We'll be reviewing some of the areas covered these past 5 weeks plus addressing a few additional areas you need to be concerned about.
Under 1: Age of Awareness
Hazards: Avoid toxic, breakable toys . . . sharp edges that might cut or scratch . . . small attachments that might become loose and be put into ears, nose, or mouth.
Suggestions: Brightly colored objects hung in view . . . squeak toys . . . sturdy, washable stuffed dolls with embroidered eyes . . . colored balls . . . cups or smooth non breakable objects to chew on.
Age 1 - 2: Investigative Age
Hazards: Avoid small toys that could be swallowed. . .flammable objects. . .toys with small, removable parts. . .poisonous paint on any object. . .stuffed animals with glass or button eyes.
Suggestions: Rubber or washable squeak toys and soft stuffed dolls or animals. . .blocks with rounded corners. . .push and pull toys with strings or rounded handles. . .nest of blocks.
Age 2 - 3: Explorative Age
Hazards:Avoid anything with sharp or rough edges that will cut or scratch. . .objects with small removable parts. . .poisonous paint or decoration. . .marbles. . .beads. . .coins. . .flammable toys.
Suggestions: Sand box with bucket, shovel and spoon. . .large peg boards. . .wooden animals. . .cars and wagons to push around. . .tip-proof kiddie cars and tricycle. . .large crayons. . .low rocking horse. . .small chair and table. . .simple musical instruments.
Age 3 - 4: Initiative Age
Hazards: Avoid toys that are too heavy for a child's strength. . .poorly made objects that may come apart, break or splinter. . .sharp or cutting toys. . .highly flammable costumes. . . electrical toys.
Suggestions: Small broom and carpet sweeper. . .toy telephone. . .dolls with simple wrap-around clothing. . .doll buggies and furniture. . .dishes. . .miniature garden tools. . .trucks and tractors. . .nonelectric trains. . .drum. . .clothes, building blocks.
Age 4 - 6: Beginning of Creative Age
Hazards: Avoid shooting or target toys that will endanger eyes. . .ill-balanced mobile toys that may topple easily. . .poisonous painting sets. . .pinching or cutting objects.
Suggestions: Blackboard and dustless chalk. . .simple construction sets. . .paints and paint books. . .doll house and furniture. . .small sports equipment. . .skipping rope. . .wash tub and board. . .paper doll sets with blunt-end scissor. . .flame-retardant costumes. . .modeling clay.
What is play to a child? Play is a child's way of finding out about himself and the things around him. Play is learning. Play is the child's work.
A helpless newborn baby has much to learn. He learns to smile, laugh, and talk. He learns to hold up his head, sit up, walk, run, and skip. Play helps a child learn these things. Everything a child learns depends on two things:
1. the readiness of his body to learn,
2. the opportunities he has to learn.
No matter how hard you try, you can't teach a six-week-old baby to talk. When his brain, tongue, throat muscles, and hearing develop, he'll be ready to learn to talk. But if he isn't around people who talk, he won't.
We need to remember that the child is growing in many different ways. He is developing physically, mentally, socially, and emotionally. We need to provide toys and activities that aid in his development.
Since play is both work and learning, we should give careful thought to the tools he has to work with. The child's tools are toys.
You can do a good job of choosing toys if you study the characteristics and needs of babies and children. Remember that each child is an individual, growing and developing at his own rate with his own likes and dislikes. He may not like a toy the first time you offer it but will be quite interested in it several days or weeks later.
Don't force a child to play with any toy and don't insist that he play with it in a certain way. A good toy will stimulate a child's imagination and the child will play with it in many different ways. From University of Idaho - "Toys are Tools"
Some children have had much more experience with stories and music than others. For this reason, it is not possible to say that one book or song will always be preferred by a three-year-old, another by a five-year-old. Whenever you select a book for a child, you need to know something about the child and his interests. You should do your best to select a book or song that you think will interest the child for whom it is intended. The following suggestions may help you:
1. A child from one to two years old usually prefers a story that is told. He especially likes a story or song about himself. It takes only a few simple ideas accompanied by actions to make a "story" for him. The story might go something like this: "Johnny is a fine boy. He has blue eyes (point to them). He has curly brown hair (point). He likes to eat his cereal. . .etc." Dressing, eating, and playing all make good ideas around which to build a story that a very young child enjoys. The story may be spoken or it may be "sung."
2. Children from a year on like to look at picture books. The pictures should be large and there should be only one picture on a page. They should be good examples of what they are to represent: that is, a picture of a ball should look like a ball; one of a cat should look like a cat, etc.
3. Young children also like to turn the pages of a book. They sometimes like to tell stories that they make up about the pictures. Turning pages and talking are activities that the child enjoys and are an important part of "having a story" read to him.
4. As the child gets older he likes longer stories, but he still likes them to be about things with which he is familiar. . . mother, father, brothers and sisters, animals, playthings, food, etc. He likes to imagine some things for himself. The stories may either be read or told.
5. A child likes to see the pictures in a book that is being read. A single child usually likes to sit in the lap and help hold the book. If you are reading the story to a group of children, have them sit in front of you and hold the book in your left hand with it facing the children. You read the story by looking at it sideways. This is not difficult to do with simple stories that you know well.
6. A child often likes to talk about what is happening in the story before it is all read. It's a good idea to let him get some of his ideas out.
7. Sometimes a child has an idea that he doesn't like stories. One way to get a child interested is to do a few "action" stories with him. Then try other short, simple stories.
8. Whenever possible, let the child pick his own story from among two or three. You might say, "Here are two books. Which would you like me to read?" Then read the story he chooses.
9. Encourage a child to play out some of the things that he had heard from stories.
To children, music means activity. The young child likes to move his body and arms to music. If she is forced to sit still, she will not hear the music because she is giving all her attention to trying not to move.
Pre-school children like singing action games about familiar happenings. They usually like to play "Farmer in the Dell," "Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush," and "Duck, Duck, Goose." By five or six, children like singing games with more complicated actions, such as "In and Out the Window," and "Lobby Loo." You need to help the pre-school child choose actions that seem suited to the music. You can do this by saying, "This is marching music," or "This music is soft, so we tip-toe quietly." Sometimes you can say, "Listen to the music and do what it tells you to do." Children like to do different things with music. . . skip, walk, hop, beat rhythms.
When the child is four, five, or six years old, he can be introduced to music to which he can "just listen." Select short records or play only parts of long records at first. As the child becomes more interested he will want to listen for a longer time.
Children love to go for walks. While you're walking, make this a learning experience for them. Here are some ways you can do this:
Remember: The safety of the child is of utmost importance, so study up on your safety rules before going for your walk.
As a babysitter, you may be asked to serve meals or snacks. You can serve healthful, delicious foods keeping safety in mind. Young children cannot eat large amounts of food at one time. They need snacks throughout the day to provide them with the energy that they need. See some of the snack ideas enclosed. Keep good nutrition in mind when feeding children. Don't let children fill up on empty calorie foods, those that are high in sugars or fats. If they fill up on these foods they won't have room for foods that give them the nutrients they need.
Foods from the bread, cereal and pasta group like breads, crackers, macaroni and cereals without a lot of added sugar.
Foods from the vegetable group and the fruit group like apples, pears, potatoes, and carrots.
Foods from the milk and cheese group like yogurt, chocolate milk, and cheese cubes.
Foods from the meat, fish, dry beans, and nuts group like peanut butter, chicken, and baked beans.
Combination foods like pizza and macaroni and cheese.
If you are asked to serve a meal discuss this in detail with the parent(s) before he/she leaves. The food must be very simple to prepare since you need to have your attention focused on the children at all times to insure their safety.
If the child refuses to eat, don't try to force or punish him/her. This is not your job. Do let the parent(s) know this when they return home. After mealtime, a quiet activity like a board game, reading, or video is good.
Keep safety in mind at all times! Remember:
Here are some snack ideas. The children can help you prepare some of these items. Remember, safety first! Don't let the children near the stove or sharp knives.
In a pitcher, combine 1-1/2 cups pineapple juice, 1/4 cup slightly thawed orange juice concentrate, and 1 Tbsp. lemon juice. Stir in 1/2 cup seltzer or club soda and 6 ice cubes. Top each serving with 1/4 cup scoop rainbow or orange sherbet and a maraschino cherry, if desired.
POPCORN WITH CHEESE (for older children)
1/3 cup popcorn
2 Tablespoons margarine, melted
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Pour popcorn into a hot air popper. Pop all corn. Drizzle with melted margarine. Mix well. Sprinkle with cheese and stir. Serve immediately.
1. Select pasta (elbows, twists, wheels, etc.) and cook according to directions on package.
2. Drain pasta. Toss with a small amount of reduced fat mayonnaise or Italian style dressing.
3. Add vegetables, cut into small pieces. Suggestions: broccoli, celery, onion, carrot, red or green pepper, or tomato.
MINI PIZZA ON PITA or ENGLISH MUFFIN
Take a pita or 1/2 English muffin and spread with tomato or pizza sauce (this is optional). Top with grated or thin slice mozzarella cheese. If there is no mozzarella, you can substitute grated Parmesan. Add thin sliced vegetables such as green pepper, onion, mushroom or pepperoni.
Place in warm oven or toaster oven to warm pizza and melt cheese.
ORANGE SMOOTHIE Serves 6
1-6 ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cup reconstituted nonfat dry milk
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
10 ice cubes
Place all ingredients in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Serve immediately. (To make without using a blender: place ice cubes in a large plastic bag and tie bag closed. Pound ice cubes until crushed. Place crushed ice cubes and all other ingredients into a large jar with a tight fitting cover. Shake contents until well mixed and foamy.) Serve immediately.
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