|Me and my friends goofing around.|
What could I share, from my 20 years of child care experience, that would really impact someone's after school program.
My best advice is for you to CONNECT with your kids. If you truly connect, truly show that you are there FOR THEM you will have an easier and more enjoyable time. Kids respond better to you, they are more open with you, discipline issues are less (They never go away.) and the kids feel more comfortable. Those things are a big deal for most kids. They need to know that they can trust you and that you won't lie to or dismiss their feelings.
|My friends making monsters. Sewing felt and|
YES, I let the kids use a glue gun and needles.
Connecting isn't always easy. If we try too hard it's obvious. For me, the best way has always been to just play. Board games, card games, puzzles, dress up, Frisbee, or whatever. Having fun with them. Sometimes it's so hard to make the time to play. We all know that there is just so much to do, and I sometimes realize I haven't played a game or done a craft with the kids in days or even weeks. I have to remind myself that making those connections is a part of my job, and it helps my job to go more smoothly. And I have more fun as well, so it's a win-win for everyone.
You never know when your attention is exactly what that child needs, at that time. And isn't that why we are here doing what we're doing?