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Arts & Crafts
Daycare Provider Tips
First Aid & Insects
Food & Cooking
Household & Household Cleaning
Kid Cleanup
Kitchen Cleanup
Kitchen Tips

Arts & Crafts

Puppets for Pennies--Discarded stuffed animals make great, inexpensive puppets. Open the seam at the bottom of the toy animal, empty old stuffing, and sew a hem around the open seam. By visiting a few yard sales & using my own boys' old stuffies, I have filled my puppet collection box to the top for a few pennies.

To make felt markers or high lighters always ready to use and last longer, store them with the tip down. Same for any kind of pen.

Save old shower curtain liners and use them to cover your craft table or floor. (you may have to cut them to the size you need)

Save crayons that have become nubs, place them in muffin tins, put them in the oven to melt them and then you have circle crayons.

~Submitted by Theresa P. Carneal, This Little Piggy Home Daycare Petroleum jelly (Vaseline) is an excellent coating for sticky substances. Apply a bit around the rim of your glue or paste container, so it's easy to open. Petroleum jelly placed on the end of a glue gun can prevent long glue strings from forming each time you use the hot gun.

~Submitted by Cheryl, Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

Daycare Provider Tips

I like water bottles when the dck's are here. If one of the little darlin's tips it over, there's only a trickle to cleanup, as opposed to a flood!!

~Submitted by Cheryl's Sweethearts ChildCare

When I call a parent to pick up a sick child, I say "I need someone to pick up *** ASAP, because...." If I have a parent who I know will dawdle, I give them a time limit instead of saying ASAP. At the day care center, I noticed that other teachers would just say "*** is sick " and hope that the parents will come. When you say this to someone this takes the pressure off of the person that you are calling and they tend to think~Hey maybe dad can go this time...(if I am talking to mom.)

~Submitted by Denise in MN

If you find that a particular toy is enjoyed by many, then it would be a good idea to purchase more than 1. (If the toy isn't too costly). That's just one less battle to deal with.

~Submitted by Erin P.

Make a notebook up for prospective customers: Put in report pages, your contract, certificates of learning, and don't forget pictures of the happy children at your daycare.

~Submitted by Theresa P. Carneal, This Little Piggy Home Daycare

When you have a preg mom sign up who is planning on breastfeeding, ask them to introduce the bottle at 2 weeks. Babies this age tend to not care where the milk is coming from. If she could offer 1 bottle at 2 & 3 weeks, and then 2 bottles the 4th week, then 4 bottles the 5th week and offer bottles as much as possible during the 6th week it would make your job much easier when they come into your care. She can also be pumping and freezing any extra that the baby doesn't eat for later when (if) her milk supply starts to dwindle. All of my babies have been transitioned this way and never wanted a bottle over me. I have suggested this to many parents and it is much easier. I didn't ask my dcb mom to do this and he NEVER drank very well from a bottle. I gave up when he was 10 months old and made sure that he got a cup of formula often.

~Submitted by Denise in MN

First Aid & Insects

Ants, ants, ants everywhere ... Well, they are said to never cross a chalk line. So get your chalk out and draw a line on the floor or wherever ants tend to march. See for yourself. For icy door steps in freezing temperatures: get warm water and put Dawn dishwashing liquid in it. Pour it all over the steps. They won't refreeze.

The cure for headaches: Take a lime, cut it in half and rub it on your forehead. The throbbing will go away.

Flies or bees bothering you? Spray them with hairspray and they will take a quick dive.

Make your own ice pack by mixing one part rubbing alcohol and two parts water. Fill a ziplock plastic bag with this, then freeze. The rubbing alcohol keeps it from freezing solid, so the pack will conform to any part of your body. Wrap in a cloth to use.

When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, then pull it off. Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily.

To get rid of itch from mosquito bites, try applying soap on the area and you will experience instant relief.

Rubbing alcohol works great to get rid of ants. Clean the surface where ants appear, allow it to dry, then spray rubbing alcohol but do not rinse. If you decide to spray rubbing alcohol on your counter, just buff the white residue off with a soft cloth or paper towel. A termite company gave me this tip several years ago, saying it is the only thing that "erases" the ant tracks, and it dehydrates and kills any ants that come in contact with it. I assure you that this works! I haven't had ants for at least 10 years now.

~Submitted by Annie in IN

Food & Cooking

Here's something we do... When we get to the end of a box of cereal - when there isn't quite enough left for a serving - I put it into a container. Eventually, we have enough left over cereals mixed up to have a cup for snack. The kids love this ~ They call it *stuff* LOL

Stuff a miniature marshmallow in the bottom of a sugar cone to prevent ice cream drips.

When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won't be any white mess on the outside of the cake.

If you accidentally over-salt a dish while it's still cooking, drop in a peeled potato and it will absorb the excess salt for an instant "fix me up."

Wrap celery in aluminum foil when putting in the refrigerator and it will keep for weeks.

Brush some beaten egg white over pie crust before baking to yield a beautiful glossy finish.

When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn's natural sweetness.

To determine whether an egg is fresh, immerse it in a pan of cool, salted water. If it sinks, it is fresh, but if it rises to the surface, throw it away.

Don't throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

Use a meat baster to "squeeze" your pancake batter onto the hot griddle and you'll get perfectly shaped pancakes every time.

To keep potatoes from budding, place an apple in the bag with the potatoes.

To prevent egg shells from cracking, add a pinch of salt to the water before hard-boiling.

When boiling corn on the cob, add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the corn's natural sweetness.

Run your hands under cold water before pressing Rice Krispies treats in the pan and the marshmallow won't stick to your fingers.

To get the most juice out of fresh lemons, bring them to room temperature and roll them under your palm against the kitchen counter before squeezing.

Don't throw out all that leftover wine: Freeze into ice cubes for future use in casseroles and sauces.

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