New Resource Booklets!

New Resource Booklets!

New Staff Orientation Kit

Child Care Lounge is pleased to offer a New Staff Orientation Kit for directors…designed to meet many of the state requirements for orientation of new employees. Be sure to check with your state for SPECIFIC regulations. The kit is available in a PDF file that is downloadable after your purchase. Cost is $10. [Note: If you are hiring new staff, you may be interested in our Recruiting Child Care Staff online class.]
Included in the kit:

Characteristics of a Successful Orientation Process
New Employee Checklists
Printable Forms
Ways to Bond with New Staff
Licensing Games
Additional Resources

Art Recipes Booklet

Recipes for playdough, paint, bubbles, clay and preschool art materials. Available in a PDF file that is downloadable after your purchase. Cost is $10.


Counting Fingerplays Booklet

Fingerplays for many themes that will help you reinforce math and counting skills.Available in a PDF file that is downloadable after your purchase. Cost is $10.


Family Child Care Booklet

Information on starting your own family child care program.Available in a PDF file that is downloadable after your purchase. Cost is $10.
Included in the booklet:

Understanding regulations
Naming your program
Policies and contracts
Marketing and promotion
Additional Resources


Click Here to Purchase a Booklet

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Help With Staff Training

Are you worried that staff is not in compliance for annual training requirements? Are you having a hard time finding professional development that is both affordable and convenient? Are you seeking in-service training that you know is of high quality and will reflect the goals of your program?

Child Care Lounge can help!

We can help you develop a training plan for your staff that meets both individual needs as well as meets compliance for state regulations, quality assurance initiatives, and accreditation. There are multiple ways that we can meet your needs for training your staff!

1. Click here to find classes that you would like your staff to take; you can arrange a group discount and they can take independently at their own pace. You can enroll your staff in the same class or different classes. You can also review the class content together and submit work individually.
2. Email us at to schedule one of our popular webinars just for your staff: Every Child Is Unique Online Class or The Impact of Violence Online Class

 Still don’t see the course you want? We’ll create it for you!hands-holding-jigsaw

We are an experienced training provider: Each year we train over 7,000 employees from over 75 companies and programs. Go here to learn more about what makes us special!
We will work with you to build customized training that encompasses the dynamics of your organization and ensures that the specifics of both class content and scheduling are designed to meet your specific needs and objectives.
All our courses are interactive, incorporating adult learning principles and
are directly and immediately applicable to the participant’s workplace. We will even incorporate your company relevant examples into the scenarios, class content.
You will find that our training and customization process is affordable, convenient and designed specifically to meet your unique requirements.

“An investment in education always pays the highest returns.”
—Ben Franklin

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Contribute Ideas to Child Care Lounge

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Welcoming New Children in Your Child Care Program


Welcoming New Children in Your Child Care Program



Regardless of whether a child is new to the center, being moved to a new classroom, or is moved for part of a day, there are things we can do to make this transition easier.

Tips for welcoming children:

  • Be prepared in advance for a child new to your room. It says a great deal to a parent and to a child if there is a cubbie made and ready just for them! This will absolutely set the tone for this families’ experience with the center (and with you as a professional). Incorporate that child into your Birthday Board. Have a cot ready so you don’t have to do this at naptime his/her first day. I used to put up a welcome sign on my classroom door for new children (after I “got it”) and I actually had parents save them and put them in their child’s Baby Books as a remembrance of their child’s first day of “school”.
  • Welcome this child warmly, on his/her eye level. Think about how scary and intimidating this experience must be for some children. Spend some time with the child .
  • Walk the child around the classroom, showing them the different areas, while positively stating a few very simple rules and guidelines.
  • Introduce the child to the other children, and introduce the group to the new child. Simple and basic – yes, but often overlooked. You will probably need to do this more than once.
  • Make sure that you are pronouncing and spelling the child’s name correctly. This is a huge thing and it is understandably offensive to a parent when a teacher or center does not take the time to learn their child’s name.
  • Read through the Child Profile (developmental intake information.) There is often very important &/or insightful information in these, including crucial information on things such as allergies that you need to know. Gather information from the parent, and if possible, the child’s former teacher as well. (You may need a release for this.)
  • Pair the child up with a buddy. And we all know the children that serve as our welcoming committees and have the personalities for this!
  • Explain the routine and let the child know what will be happening next. Don’t assume that children will know this. Every classroom and teacher is a little different, so take the time to clarify your expectations. And remember, a child who has only stayed with Grandma will have no clue about what “walking feet” are, or using an easel.
  • Call the parent of a new child mid-morning to let them know that the child is doing okay. I can’t even tell you how many parents were so grateful for this small gesture, and stated to me that they were thinking about their child but didn’t want to call and bother us. Reiterate to the new parent that they can always call! Those first few days are rough, and this is very reassuring to parents. If you will not see this parent when they pick up their child, leave a detailed note for them every day that first week on things their child liked and had fun doing. If possible, take a picture of the child enjoying an activity for the parent.
    Continue with making your “What We Did Today” notes detailed and interesting, (posted in a highly visible location) to maintain and build upon parent/teacher communication.
  • Prior to a move, introduce a child to whoever is going to be his/her “new” Teacher a few times. It is obviously ideal to walk a child through the new classroom several times before the big day. Having the child spend small amounts of time in that room is sometimes helpful as well (with the parent being informed prior.) Be very clear ahead of time with the child as to what is going on, and where he/she will be at different times during that day.
  • Talk about an upcoming move with the child in advance, and encourage parents to do the same. This assists in the mental preparation process. For the child new to child care, there are several excellent books on this. (“Mr. Rogers Goes to Day Care” by Fred Rogers, “Debbie Does Day Care” etc.)
  • Make efforts to include this child. Many children do not have the social skills to interject themselves into play experiences with other children and will need assistance, with an adult facilitating this process.

As you can see, many of these tips have an underlying common theme – communication. Don’t we all just want to know what’s going on and what is expected of us in a new situation or environment? If you have ever lost your Daytimer calendar/planner, you know how unsettling it is to not know what you are supposed to be doing next. Think about how much better you feel about something when you feel prepared for it. Respect children and their feelings enough to let them know what will be happening to them. A child’s first experience in a new classroom can be frightening and traumatic, or it can be relatively seamless, calm, and fun. With a great deal of communication, and some effort and sensitivity, we can make transitions positive experiences for children and families, and relieve some of the stress and craziness we associate with new enrollment(s).

© 2005 Cathy Abraham]


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Christmas in July

by Janine Christmas only comes once a year, it is something that many children think about year round.  Here are a few ideas to celebrate Christmas in July…giving the children in your care a sneak peak at December!

Set the mood.  Decorate a Christmas Tree…or even a Palm Tree.  String some lights and have children decorate the tree, either making homemade ornaments or ones purchased from the store.

Christmas Palm Trees2 Christmas Palm Tree   Decorating For The Holidays


Play some Christmas Carols.  Watch a holiday special.  Read a Christmas book during story time.  Children will be excited to see these crowd-pleasing favorites that are usually reserved for December.

Bake or decorate Christmas cookies.  This is a great way to include math and science with measuring and mixing ingredients.

Have a snowball fight using white balloons.  You can also fill them with water for added excitement.

Do shaving cream art and have the children pretend they are playing in the snow.

Make a snow globe using a baby food jar and glitter.  Remember to choose a toy or figurine that will not dissolve in the water as well as to hot glue the lid on so the children can’t open them.

Host a Jingle Bell Hop dance party for the children.  Encourage them to wear red or green and even a Santa Hat.

Decorate flip flops to make a Christmas decoration.  Be creative.  Use red and green paint.  Add jingle bells, ribbons, pine cones, poinsettias, glitter and more.

Make a melted snowman craft.  All you need is white, black, brown and orange construction paper, scissors and glue.  Cut the white paper into a squiggle shape to resemble a puddle.  Use the black paper to make circles for the eyes and mouth, the orange to make a carrot shaped nose and the brown for two twig-like arms.

Encourage the children to draw a picture of what they think Santa does while on vacation.

This can be a really fun theme filled day or even week of activities for the children.  Let your holiday magic do its work and inspire creativity and wonder.

Merry Christmas in July!




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Ocean and Beach Theme and Activities

Ocean and Beach Theme and Activities 


Ocean and Beach Songs

Take Me Out to the Ocean tune: Take me out to the Ballgame
Take me out to the ocean,Take me out to the sea,
There goes a starfish and sand dollar,
I’m having such fun,
I’ve just got to holler
Oh, it’s swim, swim, swim, underwater
Catch a ride on a whale,
Don’t fear, For the sea animals are our friends
Let’s give a great big cheer!

Take me out to the ocean,
Take me out there right now.
Show me the sand and some sea shells, too.
I hear a seagull and boat that goes toot.
There are surfers riding the big waves.
And, I’m glad that I came.
Oh, it’s one, two, three; build a castle
At the ocean today.

Take me out to the ocean
Take me out to the sea
Show me the foamy waves rolling there
As I breathe in the salty sea air
Let me swim, swim, swim in the ocean
See the sea and explore
Cause its so much fun from the sun
To the ocean floor!

Take me out to the ocean.
Take me out to the sea.
Show me the foamy waves rolling there,
As I breathe in the salty sea air!
Let me look, look, look at the ocean,
See the sea and explore,
For it’s fun to dive from the top
To the ocean floor!

Take me out to the ocean,
Take me out to the sea.
Show me the currents and ocean tides!
Let me see where the seaweed resides!
When you look, look, look at the ocean,
Look at all it is worth!
For the ocean covers three-fourths
Of the entire earth!

Sing a Song of Seashells tune:sing a song of sixpence
Sing a song of seashells,
There’s clams and oysters, too.
Some of them are shiny,
Some are white and blue.

When you pick a shell up,
Hold it to your ear.
If you’re very quiet,
What do you think you’ll hear?

I’m a Big Whale Tune:Clementine
I am swimming, I am swimming,
I am swimming in the sea.
I’m a big whale and I’m swimming
I am swimming in the sea.

I am singing , I am singing,
I am singing in the sea.
I’m a big whale and I’m singing,
I am singing in the sea.

I am spouting, I am spouting,
I am spouting in the sea.
I’m a big whale and I’m spouting,
I am spouting in the sea.

Five Little Sea Creatures
Five little sea creatures
On the ocean floor;
The lobster walked away
Now there are four.

Four little sea creatures
Living in the sea;
The octopus crept away
Now there are three.

Three little sea creatures
Wondering what to do;
“Good-bye,” said the starfish
Now there are two.

Two little sea creatures
Not having much fun;
Off swam the sea horse
Now there is one.

One little hermit crab
Sad and all alone,
Back came the starfish,
Back came the sea horse,
Back came the octopus,
Back came the lobster,
Then all five went home.

Five Cranky Crabs
Five cranky crabs were digging on the shore.
One swam into a net and then there were four.
Four cranky crabs were floating in the sea.
One got tangled up in seaweed then there were three.
Three Cranky crabs were wondering what to do.
One dug a deep, deep hole. Then there were two.
Two cranky crabs were warming in the sun.
One got scooped up in a cup. Then there was one.
One cranky crab was smarter than his friends.
He hid between the jagged rocks.
That’s how the story ends.

Ocean and Beach Crafts

Children glue streamers to the edge of a paper plate. Attach a second plate on top of it with glue or staples. Children decorate the plates as the Jelly fish body.

Sand Art
Have children use glue to draw a picture on construction paper. Top with colored sand of their choice and shake excess sand off.

Wave Bottles
Fill a plastic soda bottle half way with water that has been tinted with blue food coloring. Then add vegetable oil. Secure the bottle’s cap tightly. Just tip the bottle to make waves!


Ocean and Beach Math and Science Activities

Sand Table
Put random seashells in your sand table. Have children dig for shells. Include magnifying glasses so children can explore and look closely at the shells and sand.

Salt water vs. Fresh Water
Talk about the differences between salt water and fresh water. Have kids taste a little bit of each type of water. Test out floating items in both types of water. Have children guess if the object will sink or float. Salt water is heavier than fresh water, so very light things will float in both. Things that are heavy will sink in both. Some items to try:

  • Eggs – Eggs will sink in fresh water, but float in salt water.
  • Soap – Soap will sink in fresh water, but float in salt water.

Sorting Shells
Give children a variety of shells. Ask them to sort the shells by size, shape, color, etc.

Beach Ball Numbers
Write a different numeral (using a permanent marker) on each section of an inflated beach ball. Toss or roll ball to a child. Have him name & show one of the numbers. Give an activity – such as clapping, jumping, etc… for the group to do that number of times.

Ocean and Beach Theme Snacks

Sea in a Cup
Make blueberry jello in clear cups. When jello is just partially set add gummy fish.

Fishing For a Snack
For each child, fill a small cup with goldfish crackers. Supply pretzel rods for fishing poles and peanutbutter to put on the ends to use as bait to snag the fish.

More Ocean and Beach Fun

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Even More New Classes

These new classes are different! We have reduced the interactive instructor feedback portion to allow for a faster review time. This means that you can get your certificate even faster. (Usually less than 48 hrs!!)

Growing Young Gardeners (1 clock hours -$5.50)

Description What could be more appealing for young children than an opportunity to play in the dirt, to be creative and to watch things grow? Gardening with young children can be both fun and educational. Learn the value of gardening activities and find some cool ideas!

Mentoring Methods (1 clock hours -$5.50)

Mentoring is a powerful and popular way for people to learn a variety of personal and professional skills. Learn more about the process and how to be an effective mentor.

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Check Out Our Newest Online Classes!!

  JJL2- Gather ‘Round for Circle Time (1 clock hours -$5.5)

Description This is an online class that will help providers improve their curriculum. You will learn how to plan for a developmentally appropriate circle time that has value and interest for all children in your program

  KJL2- About Adult Learners (2 clock hours -$9)

This training is designed for trainers, adult educators and child care directors. Adult learners are very different from children. Therefore, it is important that training is geared towards their particular needs and dispositions. This class reviews basic principles and practices for teaching adults.

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Preschool Graduation

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooytttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttthers aDoes your preschool graduation program look like the Ziegfried Follies or maybe a production from Cecil B. Demille? After years of planning and staging elaborate graduation shows and preschool pageants, I have learned some valuable lessons I would like to share with you.

#1 Reconsider Your Focus.

Most preschool pageants, ceremonies and graduations are put on to entertain and impress the parents. Sadly this often comes at the expense of the children. All year long you worked to have a preschool program that was developmentally appropriate, why should the last day be any different? This means involving the children as much as possible while keeping in mind both their capabilities and interests. Let the children choose the theme and help select performance numbers. Children can also participate in designing a set or backdrop, creating costumes, sending invitations and more. Also remember to let their age and abilities determine program length and complexity.

#2 Keep It Simple

I have found that a good rule of thumb for performance time is twice the average age of the group. This would mean that a group of four-year-olds would perform for approximately 8-10 minutes. This is plenty of time for a short skit or two or three songs. When you add on time for announcements or awards you will have a full program that does not tax the attention span of either the audience or participants. Elaborate costumes are often poorly tolerated by preschool children and quickly forgotten by parents. Simple hats or props designed by the children usually work well and serve the same purpose.

#3 Reduce Stress

Graduation is a time for transitions and good-byes. You will go a long way in reducing stress by preparing the children will in advance for this big day. Set aside a time before the show to take care of business issues, pack up belongings and say tearful good-byes. Performing in front of audience can be stressful for young children as much as it is for adults. You may wish to have a simple practice or dress rehearsal. Be flexible, the world will not end if Kyle refuses to wear his wings or Angie forgets the words. And most of all remember-preschool graduation is a time of celebration. Have fun!



Kindergarten Here We Come
(tune: Twinkle Twinkle)
Kindergarten here we come, We know we’ll have lots of fun.
Lots of things to make and do. Reading, writing, counting too.
Kindergarten here we come, We know we’ll have lots of fun.

The I Know Rhyme
I know letters, I know shapes. Know that purple stands for grapes.
I know red and white and blue. I know green and yellow, too.
I’ve made friends and know how to share. What is wrong and what is fair.
Know what policemen and mailmen do. Firemen and nurses too.
I’m an artist, I can paint. I try hard not say ain’t.
I have rhythm, I know sounds. I’ve had ups and I’ve downs.
I’ve been quiet, I have wiggled. …..worked all year as you can see.
There now , aren’t you proud of me.

Ten tiny little fingers
That always want to play,
They never stop exploring
The wonders of today.
Ten Tiny Little Fingers
I knew right from the start,
Would reach out for tomorrow
Yet always hold my heart.

I’ve Been Going to My Preschool
(tune: I’ve Been Working on the Railroad)
I’ve been going to my preschool, All the whole year long.
I’ve been going to my preschool, And I’ve learned a lot of songs.
I can count and say the letters, I know my colors too.
I’ve been going to my preschool, All the whole year through.
Graduation day, graduation day, Graduation day is finally here.
Graduation day, graduation day, Graduation day is here.
Kindergarten, here I come. Kindergarten, I am on my way.

Copyright 2004 ~Joni Levine

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Insects and Bugs Theme and Activities

bugsInsects and Bugs Songs and Fingerplays

The Insects Outside (Tune: The Wheels on the Bus)
The fireflies at night go blink, blink, blink
Blink, blink, blink, blink, blink, blink
The fireflies at night go blink, blink, blink
Out in the garden.

The bees in the flowers go buzz, buzz, buzz
Buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz, buzz
The bees in the flowers go buzz, buzz, buzz
Out in the garden.

Other verses:
caterpillars/on the leaves/munch
spiders/in the bush/ spin their webs
worms/in the ground/ wiggle and squirm

The Fuzzy Caterpillar (Tune: Itsy Bitsy Spider)
The fuzzy caterpillar
Curled up on a leaf,
Spun her little chrysalis
And then fell fast asleep.
While she was sleeping
She dreamed that she could fly,
And later when she woke up
She was a butterfly!

Butterfly Song (Tune: Up on the Housetop)
First comes a butterfly and lays an egg.
Out comes a caterpillar with many legs.
Oh see the caterpillar spin and spin,
A little chrysalis to sleep in.

Oh, oh ,oh wait and see!
Oh, oh, oh wait and see!
Out of the chrysalis, my oh my,
Out comes a beautiful butterfly!

Speedy Spider Song (Tune: Oh, Susanna)
I was sitting in my room one day
When it came right through the door.
A big spider sped right by me-
Went racing ‘cross the floor.

Oh, that spider! Oh how it scared me so.
But spiders can be good friends. And so I let it go.
I watched it crawl up the wall,
To find a spot just right.
It spun a web so beautiful.
And then went out of sight.

(Repeat chorus)
Now bugs and flies do not scare me,
For I know that it’s true-
That a spiderweb is good to have,
Bugs stick to it like glue.
(Repeat chorus)

Lightning Bug (Tune: You are my Sunshine)
I’m like a “lite brite”
I have a night light.
I fly in circles, up in the sky.
Some call me “lightning”.
When my light’s blinking.
But to my friends, I’m just “firefly.”

While others sleep tight,
flash my night light,
fill the dark sky with light so bright.
Look out your window,
You’ll see me flashing,
And then I’ll turn off and tell you
“good night

Five Busy Bees Fingerplay
Five little busy bees on a day so sunny
Number one said, “I’d like to make some honey”
Number two said, “Tell me, where shall it be?”
Number three said, “In the old honey tree”
Number four said, “Let’s gather pollen sweet”
Number five said, “Let’s take it on our feet”.
Humming their busy little honey bee song.

Five Little Flies Fingerplay
Five little flies buzzing through a hive,
One snuck some honey, and took a deep dive.
Four little flies buzzing through a door,
One slipped and fell, Crash! on the floor.
Three little flies buzzing through the trees,
One bumped the bark and bloodied his knees.
Two little flies buzzing through a shoe,
One held his nose and said, PEE YOO!
One little fly buzzing through a bun,
The swatter goes SPLAT! Now there are none

Insects and Bugs Art Activities

Fingerprint Bugs
Have each child dip their thumb in washable paint and print their thumb print on paper. They can decorate the body by coloring in legs and antennae.

Butterfly Feet
Paint the bottom of children’s feet with non-toxic tempera paint. Have the child step onto a piece of paper with their feet and heels together. When dry, they can add antennae with markers or crayons or yarn.

Worm Tracks
Children dip different sizes of yarn through brown paint. Then they drag the wet yarn in various patterns across their paper.

Egg Carton Ants
Cut an egg carton into sections of three. Give each child a 3-piece egg carton. Have them paint and decorate with wiggly eyes and pipe cleaner antennae and legs.

Spider Web Marble Painting
Paint a heavy paper plate with black paint (may need two coats). When dry, place a few drops of white around the plate. Place the marble in the plate and have the child roll the marble around. You can also put a circle piece of black construction paper in a pie pan and do the same thing.

Fly Swatter Painting
Place a long roll of butcher or craft paper on the ground outside. Have children Ppress a fly swatter in paint, gently lift out, and slap against the paper to make prints. Keep swatting until the prints begin to fade, then re-dip and make more prints.


Insects and Bugs Math and Science

Spider Ring Counting
Get spider rings (save these at Halloween time!). Place a pile of spider rings in the center of a table. Children take turn rolling a die and place that amount of spider rings on their fingers. See who can get all ten fingers with spider rings first.

Bug Investigations
Take some jars or Learning Resources Big View Bug Jars with magnifying glasses outside. Let children look for bugs to investigate.

Sensory Table Bugs
Add plastic bugs and insects into your sensory table hidden in the sand with spoons and cups to catch them!

But Sorting and Patterning
Use Bug Counter Manipulatives to sort bugs. Sort by color, sort by type of bug, sort by whether they have wings or not, etc.

Lady Bug Spot Counting
Practice writing the number of spots on each ladybug on our Ladybug Math printable.

Insects and Bugs Motor Skills and Movement

Bug Waltz
Dance like bugs to classical music. Talk with the students about how bugs look when they fly around and land on things.

Bumblebee Dance
Bees dance to communicate. Have the children dance to communicate (either commnicate feelings like happy, sad, excited or communicate an action, like directions to the table for snack).

Insects and Bugs Snacks

Bugs on a Log
celery cut into 4″ lengths
peanut butter
Spread peanut butter in celery and arrange raisins on top. You can substitute cream cheese for peanutbutter

Butterfly Salad (Serves one)
2 Pineapple rings
Cottage cheese
Green olives sliced in 1/2
Food coloring
Celery stick
Slice pineapple rings in 1/2 to use a an outline of the butterfly’s wings Use celery stick as the body Place cottage cheese inside of pineapple ring Decorate the cottage cheese with food coloring, you can also add carrot sticks for antennae.

Slice an apple in half lengthwise, and lay with cut side down on a plate. Use raisins as the ladybug’s spots, put on with a dot of peanut butter. Attach a grape, as the head of the ladybug, with a toothpick.

Bug Juice
To create a bright green “bug juice”, mix lemonade with a blue Kool-aid drink.

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