Helping you Work Smarter, Not Harder

Hello my fellow CDA Educators! This month’s installment reminds me that we need to remember to work smarter, not harder. By this I mean, the grinds of daily daycare/childcare can put a strain on our happiness and enjoyment in working with young children. As professionals in the early childhood field pursuing your National Child Development Associate Credential, there are high demands on quality care AND on teaching. But these high demands do not have to lead to high stress (or high expenses for those of you who spend your own money on your own classroom supplies!).

Here are a few classroom “hacks” I have come across in my time. I hope they can one day help you too!

Laminate Card Stock paper and have it used over and over again as a dry-erase board for your children. Think of all the paper you will save!

In order to avoid wasting tissues as erasers for said dry-erase board, attach pom-poms to the caps of the markers. Viola!

Running out of space in your classroom library, or need to organize your books? Cut old cereal boxes diagonally (start at the top but leave about 4 inches from the opposite bottom corner).

An inexpensive hanging shoe rack can be used to save a lot more space and organize all of your little things, such as water color paints, sponges, pom-poms, play-doh tools, etc.

Have a child who needs frequent time-outs or is too eager to move onto the next things? Create a “Calm Down Jar” for next to nothing. Take any old jar of your choosing, fill it with water, glue and glitter (and maybe add a little toy, like a Lego figure). Shake it all up and tell your student he has to sit and read until all the glitter falls to the bottom. Or, they have to sit in time-out until all the glitter falls to the bottom. Typically takes about 2-5 minutes.

Finally, I want to remind you how much the young ones LOVE to help! Use them to assist with tedious tasks, mostly to keep them busy, but also so they get their jitters out while saving you the hassle. Little ones can help erase all of the those dry-erase boards and wipe them down. They can reorganize your shoe rack pockets when all the supplies get mixed up. They can help with more tasks than you probably realize. They can help you work smarter, not harder.