Saturday, December 20, 2008

Late Night at Daycare!

Once a year, at Christmas-time, I pick one Friday night and offer to keep my daycare kiddos - and their siblings until 10:00pm! - as a gift to the parents. This gives them the chance to go to a holiday party, go out to dinner with friends, finish Christmas shopping or enjoy a quiet evening at home alone. It's something I've enjoyed doing, though every year when that day comes the thought of it kind of freaks me out - especially this year when last night's "late night" was coupled with the first snow day out of school for the year! But, it all worked out and actually turned out great!

Our house is small. Many days it feels too small for the normal daycare group size, but we make do. We stick to a routine, and have a nice set of rules and everyone does great. When we add in some excitement and extra kids with brothers & sisters, it doesn't work so well. This year, I decided to rent the community building up in the park. BIG room, BIG kitchen, not in my house with the small space and brand new carpet! Win-Win for all of us!
And it was great! They all had tons of room to run around and even play ball - they loved it!

We fed them pizza and apples and... pop, yep - I gave them carbonated sugar. But only 1 cup and only at dinner and they loved it!

We set up some craft centers -
We made chocolate-dipped pretzel rods,

(this group was waiting patiently while the chocolate was melting!)
wagon-wheel pasta wreaths,

did some coloring in Christmas coloring books,
and made "Magic Reindeer Food".

We played musical chairs - and they loved it and actually played following all the directions!

(a couple of the girls and I were boogying while working the radio for the musical chairs)

We snacked on cookies and fudge bars! (Sorry parents, I did give 'em sugar at 9:00pm!)
(Baby B was SO Tired but still wouldn't cave and loved that fudge bar!)

And the best thing I did - recruit my 13 year old daughter, T and a friend of hers! Four extra hands! Never again will I do this without the help of teenagers!

Or without the help of my bestest, goodest friend, Laura! She was a God-send. And her two oldest daughters she brought with her were good as gold!

There were a ton of kids there last night! We had 14 little ones all together, plus the 2 teenagers! After a little finagling, we got them (minus Miss G, Laura's oldest who wasn't too keen on being in the picture) all grouped together for a lovely picture!


sonflower said...

You are awesome!!!
Way to go T, and J for helping your mom out!!!
These really are times you, or your little ones that you are with all day long, will ever forget.
They are precious, and you are precious Mz. D for offering this to your parents!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dawn...the girls had a blast as usual and the best thing was getting to have dinner without...Mom, Mom, Mom. Thanks so much!!!!!


Anonymous said...

Best Christmas present by far! And the kids had so much fun.
Thanks D!

Tonya said...

Seriously, you put so many daycare "providers" to shame! It looks like everyone had a blast!

Laura Fluke said...

Hey, great picture of me...thanks!
The kids had a blast!