Do-It-Yourself
for Parents and Providers!



Sensory Table Instructions Homemade Baby Wipes Daycare Diaper Reminder
Preserve Outdoor Equipment
Homemade Sticker Books
Recycle Old Calendars
Puzzle Perfect Wall Hangings
Homemade Flannel Characters
Homemade Flannel Board
Need Props & Costumes?
Terry Cloth Towel Bibs
Lunchbox Stories



Sensory Table
Learn how to make your own portable sensory table for home or daycare. For materials and complete instructions click on picture!
Click Here to See Full Instructions!


Homemade Baby Wipes - submitted by Linda (lindafh)
These wipes are gentle, moist and will not leave a sticky residue. They are easy to make..and smell good, too! You will need:

1 paper towel roll (a quality towel like Bounty works best)
{can be regular sized (cut roll in half) or select-a-size type}
1 heaping tblsp. baby bath
1 heaping tblsp. baby lotion
2 cups hot water

Mix together hot water, baby bath and lotion.

For the "cut roll" method using a regular sized paper towel, place a half roll on end inside an
airtight container (save your old "dispenser" type containers!!) and pour mixture over one end, especially soaking the middle. Remove the cardboard core (if thoroughly saturated, it will come out easily). Seal container. If you do not have a "dispenser" type container, then tear off each paper section and place in another container (folding as necessary).

If you are using the select-a-size towels, tear off each section and place flat (folding as necessary) in your airtight container (save your old containers with the lids from Huggies wipes, etc!!) until container is full (leave about half an inch at top). Pour mixture over and seal container.

After awhile, check the containers and make sure that all wipes are completely saturated
through...if not, mix up a quarter or half recipe of the liquid and re-soak. You will find that different brands of towels (I prefer Bounty) will require more or less of the liquid -- adjust as required.


Preservation of Outdoor Equipment submitted by Linda (lindafh)

To avoid sun faded outdoor toys, rub your equipment with car wax. The toys will resist dirt and the colors will stay bright and new!

Are the kids peeling off the decals or the edges of the decals collecting dirt? To keep the equipment looking new and clean ~~ opt not to put the decals on in the first place! To clean up or remove old decals ~~ apply a compound like "goo gone" (these products are dangerous around the children ~~ so do this when they are not around!) and let sit until decal is easily removed.

No time to wash the outdoor equipment? Give the kids some rags, a bucket of soapy water and the garden hose.....let them have fun!


Homemade Sticker Books submitted by Linda (lindafh)

Fold a piece of construction paper (8.5 X 11) in half for the book cover. (Children can decorate the front cover, and you could apply clear contact paper to preserve the cover, if you wish!) Cut several microwaveable waxed paper sheets the same size(8.5 X 11) as the construction paper, fold in half, and sandwich between the halves of the cover and staple. Stickers can be applied to waxed paper sheets and easily removed for trading or repositioning!

Homemade Picture Books from Calendars submitted by Linda (lindafh)

Finally, an idea to use up all those old calendars...RECYCLE THEM INTO PICTURE BOOKS!

When you purchase your new calendars for the upcoming new year...look for ones that have interesting pictures on them. Save all your calendars from this year and ask your family and friends to donate their old calendars, too!

Simply cut off the pictures from the calendar. Put two pics back to back - and continue until you have 6 double sided pages. Make sure that both pictures are the right side up when you "turn" them to read! Sandwich each set of pages between two sheets of clear contact paper. Cut around the edge leaving about a quarter of an inch of clear contact paper intact. Make sure that all pages are the same size....you can vary the shape of each book to make it more interesting to a child! Be careful when you are shape cutting that you do not cut away too much of the picture! Make your own front and back "covers" from stiff cardboard (I use card stock that I purchase at a local dept. store) cut to fit the shape of the book. Assemble the book, and punch holes down the left hand side with a 3 hole punch. "Tie" book together with colored ribbons. (you could also staple the pages together, but I find the staples scratch the little ones - so I avoid using on these books)

You could add words to the pages before applying contact paper or write a short story to go with it! Choose a title for your new book....and print on the front cover!

Some of the books I have created are: Antique Cars; Teddy Bears; Unicorns; Baby Animals; Kittens; Puppies; Flowers; Polar Bears; Penguins......and from my 1999 calendars I will make: Famous Gardens Around the World; Anne Geddes babies; More Antique Cars; plus whatever is donated by friends and my family members!


Puzzle Perfect Wall Hangings submitted by Linda (lindafh)

Another recycling project! For an inexpensive way to decorate a child's room...the rec room...a daycare play area...or wherever your little puzzled heart desires!

Do you have old puzzles, or perhaps a friend, relative, or even flea markets, yard sales.....round them up and put them to good use. If edge pieces are missing - just make a rough edged puzzle without the edge pieces! If pieces are missing from the middle - then recycle that puzzle into your craft supply cupboard for making crafts with. Assemble puzzle and apply a puzzle glue to the puzzle with a brush. (found in most department stores - near the puzzles - read directions on container carefully before applying) Allow to dry completely (sometimes you need two coats). You may want to apply a piece of the heavy cardboard to the back once the glue is dry - for more stability. I have one on my wall in the hallway leading to the daycare room....and I did it over 10 years ago..and it is still all together!


Homemade Flannel Board submitted by Linda (lindafh)

You will need: sign board
large piece of felt (color or your choice; cut same size as sign board)
white glue
trim (of your choice; enough to go around the all edges of the board)

Cut the sign board to the size and shape you want for the finished board. (My board is 24" height X 48" wide). Also cut a piece of sign board 8" wide x 16" height (stand should be at least 3/4 of the finished height of the board) - this is the stand. For the stand: Measure 2" in along the long side of the stand. Fold along this line. Apply glue to the 2" fold and apply to the center back of the board - with bottom edges even. You may wish to also staple or apply rivets for extra security. Stand the board up....trim the bottom edge of the "stand" on an angle that is pleasing to you to allow the finished board to rest on an angle. To finish the board, glue the felt to the front of the board. Add trim around the edges (optional - but it looks nice!).

If you wish, this flannel board could also be attached to a wall with wall mirror fasteners at a perfect height for the kids.


Homemade Flannel Board Characters submitted by Linda (lindafh)

Do your kids have a favorite story that they like read over and over? Make a flannel story to go with it so that they can reenact the story on their own or along with the story as you read! Decide what characters and scenery you want to include in the flannel story. Photocopy each one on a color copier. Enlarge, if necessary. Cut around each piece leaving about 1/4 inch around the edge. Apply a piece of clear contact paper to the front of each piece. Apply a piece of felt to the back. Trim each piece close to the outline of each character/scenery piece. It's now ready for your story! I find it helps to print the name of the story on the back of each piece...just in case the felt stories are accidentally mixed up! I keep the felt pieces in zip lock bags marked with the name of the book/story, and store in a large tote box. OR IF YOU HAVE A STORY YOU WANT TO TELL DRAW YOUR OWN PICTURES TO GO ALONG WITH IT!!

Looking for inexpensive props & costumes? submitted by Linda (lindafh)

During the Halloween season, check your local department stores and novelty shops for props and costumes for dramatic play at a reasonable price (and well within the budget of most family child care providers or parents!). If used only to supplement themes or for special occasions, they will last quite awhile.

Daycare Diaper Reminder submitted by Linda (lindafh)

Do you have a hard time remembering to remind parents when their child is almost out of diapers? Or the parents forget to bring them even though reminded? On the last diaper change of the day, write directly on the child's diaper, "More diapers, please!" with a colorful marker. Parents will have a cute reminder to grab that extra bag of diapers and set by the door for morning ~~ if they forget, simply repeat the next day!

Lunchbox Stories submitted by Fran (FRANNIE3)

Another provider gave me this hint and I use it for everyone, but the little ones just love it. We call them lunch box stories. I found several old metal and/or plastic square lunch boxes. I photocopied the front of a book that would fit into the box. I laminated it to the lunch box. I then found all the characters that go with the book and store them in the lunch box. I keep them stacked up, but they can easily see what story is in them. I have them from Pooh's ABC's - found little pooh characters and cut the alphabet with my Sissix die cut machine out of self-stick felt and stuck them onto wooden circles I bought in the craft store and painted all primary colors. The little ones have such fun with them. I've done Brown Bear, Polar Bear, Three little kittens, animal books, number books, Thomas the Tank Engine. You can do it with just about any book. Marshall's usually has the best buy on board books in small sizes and I keep an on-going list in my purse of things.

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