Classroom Management

6 Secrets to Help Toddlers Develop a Love for Reading

In an era of digital distractions, it is becoming more challenging for children to find time for what they consider an outdated practice-”reading”. According to a study done by Literacy Trust, children today read less often than any prior generation and enjoy reading less compared to past generations. Yet reading is a fundamental skill that children need to learn to be successful. Good reading skills benefit the child academically and are an essential skill for lifelong success.

The following tips will help you turn your toddler into an avid reader all through the different life stages:

Take advantage of reading technology.

Modern technology is changing the way we do things, including how your kid interacts with reading materials. Cutting edge technology, like tablet e-readers, can positively impact your kid and how they view reading. Importantly, their self-esteem and confidence tend to rise as they interact more and more with these modern reading platforms. Besides, E-readers allow for resizing the font size and can be adapted to meet each child’s specific reading needs and make reading such a fun-filled activity. They are also adaptive for children with learning disabilities and help level the playing ground for kids who learn differently.

Show a lot of interest in their reading.

Positive feedback and response will go a long way in turning your kid into an excellent reader. You must show a lot of interest in your child’s reading skills.

Make sure to give them genuine praises for every effort they make. Well-thought-out praises are positive reinforcements that make the kid do better in his reading journey. However, avoid some of the popular generic praise phrases that may have counterproductive. Research on ideal motivating phrases to use when praising your child’s efforts and achievements

Create a special reading place

The reading environment can impact your kid’s attitude towards reading. Create an ideal reading fort that boasts of interesting additions such as glowing lights, comfy pillows, and special decorations. There is a strong correlation between confidence and comfort, and when a kid is feeling comfortable, they will focus more and enjoy their reading tasks. Besides, when you create a special place for reading, you are helping the kid associate the activity of reading with being cozy and safe. The child will grow up with the knowledge that books need a private world and own time and pace.

Be a good role model.

You need to set a good example by reading together with your child. Rather than just telling your kid how reading will benefit them, walk the talk by engrossing yourself in a book each time they are around you. You should also develop a family reading ritual that guarantees you read from the day your child is born until they leave the house. The more the child is exposed to literature, the more reading will become part of their daily life. Find time to read before bed, snuggled in a chair, or sitting together on the couch with each of you reading your own book or from a shared copy. While you are reading, ask your child questions about the book they are reading to help them make connections and share their experiences.

Invest in books

Create a home with many books on a variety of exciting topics appropriate for the child’s age. You can also help the kids choose books on topics that interest them the most and spark a strong passion for reading. Let them accompany you to the library and book stores and show them various books on a range of topics. Importantly, show them how e-readers work to provide entire libraries of options with just a touch of the screen.

Practice shared reading

Sit down with your child and take turns reading. You can alternate pages, sentences, and chapters. Notably, you will ease a lot of pressure and create a deep interest just by being a child’s side reader. Besides, with this strategy, you will be in an excellent position to help the child when they encounter challenges, for example, if they don’t understand a word or context. That said, ensure you make the books come to life when you are reading with the child. Include some fun, hands-on activities that bring a practical aspect to the book. For example, if you read about how to bake bread, go ahead, and bake some. If a book talks about a real place, look it up on the map and, where practical, schedule a visit to that place.

What pre-reading skills do toddlers need to develop?

Before you can teach your child to read, there are critical pre-reading skills for lifelong learning and reading success. The following skills will help establish a healthy reading culture for your kid:

Motivation to read

Children have to be ready and have the right motivation to read books. A child who has the motivation to read shows interest in books and reading and will ask you to read aloud for them. You may also notice them pretend to read. As a parent, you can develop the skill by:

  • Allowing the kid to pick a book they love to read
  • Read to the child daily
  • Read with a lot of enthusiasm

Language skills

Children need to acquire essential language skills to describe things and share knowledge, experiences, and ideas. Children with adequate language skills will answer simple questions about a story. They will also retell a story using their own words. Develop the languages skills by:

  • Asking the child open-ended questions about the story they read
  • Have the child retell the story using a flannel or puppets
  • Encouraging the child to make up their own story

Concepts of print skills

Children need to understand how books work and the general concept of print to quickly learn how to read. A child with this skill will hold the book correctly, turn pages in the right direction, read from top to bottom. You can develop this skill by:

  • Using your finger to track words
  • Pointing specific parts of the book
  • Allowing the child to hold the book and point at word during reading sessions

 Letter knowledge skills

This skill helps the child understand the letters of alphabets in terms of sounds and forms. A child with this skill can name the letters of the alphabet, name each sound, and recognize lowercase and capital letters. You can help the child develop the skill by:

  • Reading alphabet books
  • Use his or her name to teach letters.

The Importance of Reading Aloud To Toddlers

Reading aloud to a child has been proven to improve their cognitive skills and help cognitive development. Reading aloud also provides your toddlers with background knowledge of their world. This helps them make sense of what they see, hear, and read.

12 Books to Read to Toddlers

  • First 100 Board Box Set
  • Brown Hare, What Do You See
  • The Feelings Book
  • The Pout Fish
  • Press Here
  • M Is For Me
  • The Snow Day
  • Mix It Up
  • Green Eggs and Ham
  • Pantone: Colors
  • No No Yes Yes

About Prime Digital Platform

Prime Child Care boasts of the Prime digital platform that facilitates infant and toddler care and ensures you stay connected about anything happening with your child – on any device, anytime and anywhere. It is an ideal tool for child care and early childhood education organizations of all sizes. Besides, child care professionals managing dozens of kids or hundreds of kids will enjoy this intuitive and cost-effective solution.

Key Takeaway

Reading helps the child develop vocabulary, increases their attention span, and promotes strong analytical skills. A recent study reveals that students who spend most of their childhood reading for pleasure did better with their vocabulary, spelling, and math.

If you need help with your daycare management, contact Prime Child Care. We feature easy cloud-based tools to make your Prime working hours more enjoyable and productive.

6 Easy-to-Implement Montessori Math Ideas

The world is built on mathematical principles. It is nearly impossible to accomplish tasks without applying a mathematical concept. Understanding, using, and teaching mathematics takes effort especially in children who do not understand mathematical concepts at once. The Math in the Montessori Curriculum is one of the richest subject areas for children. Invented by Maria Montessori, a renowned scientist, and mathematician in Italy, the Montessori learning system aims at creating a self-directed hands-on learning environment where children are given the opportunity to learn through their exploratory skills. 

Children thrive in an environment where they are active participants in their learning. If you run a daycare, it is important to help children acquire numerical skills through the Montessori system. While creating a similar classroom may not be scalable due to budget constraints, there are numerous ideas you can adopt to create a Montessori learning environment in your facility.

Montessori Math Ideas in Daycares

Montessori Math comprises of a nonlinear path where some lessons relating to Numeration and Place Value can be administered in order while Linear Counting and Math Facts can be practiced simultaneously. Below are six ideas that can foster Montessori Math among preschoolers in Daycare facilities.

 1.    Patterns and Relationships

Math can be integrated into every-day living activities that allow children to get real-life experiences about the problems. Through the Montessori system, children are taught to deal with numbers, shapes, and quantities as objects or symbols on papers. This helps them acquire problem-solving skills by making them exploit their imagination. In daycares, you can give children concrete materials such as pattern bears bearing different colors that are easily identifiable by the children. You can create AB or ABC color patterns then ask the preschoolers to set the colored bears on top of the matching color to create a pattern. If you are using an ABC pattern, you can leave the last circles on the card empty for the child to identify which color should fill the circle based on the pattern.

2. Counting

Counting is the basics of Montessori Math. Every child must commence with the basics of counting numbers to enable them to make sense of the numbers and the mathematical world. The best way to teach children how to count is presenting them with real-life objects such as pets, trees, or toys that are clearly visible to their eyes. For ease of demonstration, you can use the color bears that will be grouped and counted based on their colors on a sorting mat. You can use other creative material including colored tapes and pom-poms to help in the sorting and counting. You can add in some tweezers for extra motor practice.

3.    Fine Motor Skills with Math Games

One of the best methods to teach preschoolers mathematical skills is using games that require the application of numerical skills. There are numerous games available in the market that make it easier for children to learn math without making it boring and monotonous. “The Money Muncher” is a fun game that children in daycares can enjoy whilst acquiring fine motor skills. You can use tennis balls, which are inexpensive which you will cut to design the Money Muncher. The Money Muncher, who could be another child, will say whichever coins they are hungry for and the other child will feed the Muncher with the coin.

 4.    Understanding Measurements

One of the most common Montessori Math materials is the Pink Tower, where blocks are arranged visually in descending order from the smallest to the largest. The largest cube in the tower is 10 centimeters cubed and the order follows down to 1cm cubed. The tower helps children to use incremental measurements and units but the possibilities are endless. When children are able to use the pink tower, they are able to internalize the tactile and visual differences length and weight of objects.

The skill acquired from the pink tower allows children to use judgment to identify differences in objects much faster as compared to those who did not use similar material. At the day-care level, you can adopt the Pink Tower with simple beakers or tins of different sizes arranged from the largest to the smallest where they will pour out beads the differentiate the biggest from the smallest. Alternatively, you can adopt Unifix cubes, which are placed at different lengths of a poster board.


5.    Number Concepts with Dice  

The ability to recognize numbers without counting helps children sharpen their numerical skills. Dice Games are valuable in helping children, as they do not require skills beyond the ability to throw the dice and the ability to weigh the odds and make a strategic decision to stop when encountering a risk or just risk it all. You can use simple numbers between 1 and 10 and stars to make the game enticing. The child can roll the dice and have them pound then it with a toy hammer. If the number is already rolled, they will hit the star. This allows children to use real-life objects to recognize numbers. In later years, it helps them in evaluating risks.

 6.    Learning Spatial Perception

Spatial perception in Montessori Math is identified as the ability to imagine things from a three-dimension perspective. Children need to understand how to play with puzzles and blocks for them to understand how objects interact with space. Developing spatial awareness starts at an early stage when children start making their first reach for objects. Often times, they learn how to adjust their body position to reach the objects. Some of the easiest strategies that daycares can adopt to help children adopt neural connections include playing hide and seek. While children are out in the field, you can look for a perfect spot for them to play hide-and-seek. Alternatively, for the young children, you can make the game easier by hiding their favorite toys and asking them to find it.

Adopting the Montessori Classroom In Daycare Facilities

As Maria Montessori Identified, children are naturally gravitated towards learning numbers. Creating an environment that encourages children to learn different Mathematical concepts using every-day activities encourages learning, which makes mathematics an easy subject as the child grows older. Daycares can adopt the Montessori classroom model from design to the placement of materials in the classroom.

5 Fabulous Classroom Ideas for August

With the harsh heat of July slowly fading away, August promises sunny days, apple pies, and a few short weeks until the ever-beloved Fall time. We all love August! In fact, August marks the start of National Happiness Month. What better way to spread happiness than with a few in-class activities to boost morale, invoke play, and reduce stress?

With a little help from the authors of 365 Days of Classroom Fun, we’ve brainstormed some happy-spirited activities for students this summer. We’ve already covered June and July (tip: bookmark these for next year). So, grab a few vinyl records, a book, and some pet pics. Let’s create some magical moments.

Here are five fabulous classroom ideas for your childcare center this August.

1) August 9th: Book Lovers Day

Supplies needed: Some books!

Suggested Activities: Like a butterfly in the sky; your children can go twice as high with the power of books. Bring your favorite child-friendly books to class. Or, better yet, have the children bring their favorite books. You can either split children up into groups to read, or you can read out loud to the class. Get this: reading to children daily boosts language skills, literacy skills, numeracy, logic, and cognition. So this is a fun activity with a dash of good ol’ positive impact.

  • Make sure to read each book first. You can create voices for each character, come up with questions, and bring some props or toys that relate to the book. You want your children as invested in reading as possible. And the easiest way to make that happen is by making reading fun.
  • If you’re reading from a picture book, hold it up in front of the class. You want children to see the pictures, guess what’s happening, and use their imaginations. This also gives children who are still in the early stages of literacy a chance to join in on the activities.

2) August 12th: Vinyl Record Day

Supplies needed: Brand new or dusty old vinyl records.

Suggested Activities: Time to step back into the time machine. Back to the days when we dropped a needle on a big, flat, physical disc of music grooves to jam to our favorite bands. Chances are, none of your children have seen a vinyl record. So, what better way to teach them about vinyl than to bust out the records? This is a fun activity, sure. After all, who doesn’t love to listen to some “jams”? But music expands imaginations, breeds emotional maturity, and can lead to music creation — which has a host of benefits for early childhood development.

  • You don’t have to listen to music. There are plenty of story-based vinyl records for children on the market. If you don’t have a record player, that’s ok too! Vinyl records are highly visual, and simply discussing what they do will be interesting to children in a generation of digital streaming.
  • Discuss the history of vinyl records. This is a great time to add in some other history lessons in the process. Vinyl dates back to the 1930s, so there are plenty of opportunities to discuss famous figures, innovations, and events that happened in history.
  • August 12th is also International Youth Day and World Elephant Day. For the former, rent out a bouncy house, bring in a face painter, or throw a small party to celebrate your children. For the latter, bring in books about elephants and talk about how our massive gray friends eat and live.

3) August 16th: Tell a Joke Day

Supplies needed: A sense of humor!

Suggested Activities: What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh! Jokes and humor create positive relationships and emotional maturity. Who doesn’t love to laugh? On tell a joke day, bring out your knee-slappers (as long as they’re child-friendly!) This is a fun activity. Have children tell jokes (this can improve their storytelling abilities) amongst each other, and consider bringing a few child-oriented joke books to class.

  • Humor is associated with social competence, popularity, and adaptability. Telling jokes isn’t just fun; it’s a great way to develop early social skills. Try to break children into groups and have them tell jokes (out of a joke book) to each other.
  • Laughter is one of humanity’s most important bonding tools. Babies typically learn to laugh or smile by 10 weeks old. Encourage laughter, and try to get everyone to join in on the fun.

4) August 20th: World Mosquito Day

Supplies needed: Books or pictures of mosquitos

Suggested Activities: Here’s a secret about humanity’s most-hated insect: mosquitos serve an important role in our ecosystem. They clean plants, are a food source for many different animals, and help pollinate flowers. But, they’re also dangerous. Mosquitos are the world’s deadliest animal — and they’re responsible for over a million deaths each year. So, take time on Mosquito day to discuss the benefits of mosquitos as well as teaching children how to protect themselves from their nasty little bites.

  • There are over 3,000 different species of mosquitos. The average mosquito can drink 3x its body weight in human blood. And only female mosquitos bite. These are all fun tidbits to share with your class. Take time to learn about some interesting mosquito facts. They’re unique insects.
  • Make sure to cover mosquito safety. Again, mosquitos are dangerous. Wearing insect repellant, covering up, and avoiding mosquito-heavy areas are all good lessons for children.
  • This can also be a great time to discuss dinosaurs! There are 46 million-year-old preserved mosquitos in amber. Feel free to segue into other interesting topics related to mosquitos.

5) August 26th: Dog Day

Supplies needed: Books, photos, and figures of doggies

Suggested Activities: Fur-get about cats! August 26th is National Dog Day. Time to talk about one of our most beloved and pawsome household pets. Bring photos, books, and figures of doggies to share with the class. Discuss some of the different breeds of dogs, their traits, and think about discussing the long history of the human-canine bond. We’ve been keeping puppers around for over 15,000 years for a reason; they raise the woof with their cute faces and loveable tails.

  • Have children bring pictures of their dogs, cats, or other pets. Share the pictures with the class and discuss their names, behaviors, and eating habits.
  • The human-canine bond dates back thousands of years. In fact, children often have a stronger bond and relationship with their dogs than their siblings. Simply put, dogs make us happy. Even staring into their eyes releases oxytocin (i.e., the love chemical) into our brains.
  • Don’t orient the lesson entirely around dogs. Children may have other types of pets (e.g., cats, hamsters, rats, lizards, turtles, snakes, ferrets, etc.), and you don’t want to leave them out of the fun.

How to Keep Students Engaged Throughout the School Year

We know that coming up with activities is difficult for many teachers. Most spend up to 7 hours a week looking for classroom materials. Luckily, the writers of 365 Days of Classroom Fun took care of the legwork for you. This book is jam-packed with classroom activities for every day of the year (summer included!) Pick up your copy on Amazon to start engaging more and planning less.

Recent Articles from Prime:
Daycare class in session; classroom ideas for June.

6 Inspiring Classroom Ideas for June

Summer has arrived. What are your favorite classroom ideas for June? And, how important is playtime in early childhood education?

Undoubtedly, all children enjoy playtime. From poverty-stricken war zones to the streets of suburbia, the drive to play is so deeply ingrained in children that the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights considers “play” the fundamental human right of every child. In fact, a plethora of research shows how childhood play helps develop brain function, promotes mastery, improves motor skills, and increases happiness.

As we embrace the month of June, childcare centers may be struggling to find indoor activities that capture both the imagination and interest of young children. Still, there are many ways to incorporate the ever-important “play” factor into early childhood education.

Below, we share several fun playtime activities for June. You can use these activities to increase enrollment, bring in new leads on social media, and encourage engagement from parents and children.

June 6th: Yo-Yo Day

Suggested Activities: Life is filled with ups-and-downs. But, so are yo-yos! The beloved yo-yo dates back to 440 B.C. While yo-yos are certainly engaging toys, they also help teach critical hand-eye coordination skills and the basics of physics in a way that’s accessible to young children. There are multiple ways to approach Yo-Yo Day.

  • Provide your students with yo-yos or have them bring their own to class — we personally recommend the latter.

  • Yo-yos can teach children the basic idea of gravity. Ask children why the yo-yo falls when they let go of the base.

  • Teach children the basic “sleeper” trick. You can have a competition to see who can make the yo-yo “sleep” the longest, or just let children have free time to explore some of the unique tricks based on the “sleeper.”

  • June 6th is also Gardening Exercise Day and Drive-In Movie Day. For the former, teach your students the name of weeds and have them pull up a few. And, for the latter, have your students decorate boxes to look like “cars” they can sit in. Watch a short movie, and serve popcorn!

June 8th: Best Friend Day

Suggested Activities: There’s an old Irish proverb: “A good friend is like a four-leaf clover: hard to find and lucky to have.” On June 8th, celebrate Best Friend Day with your class. Being a best friend is about more than just wearing the same brand of shoes or clothing.

The positive power of friendship cuts across social and economic lines during early childhood development. Teaching children how to pick “best friends” can help them make smart relationship decisions later in life. In addition, teaching them how to develop the positive traits of a “best friend” can help them achieve lasting happiness and success.

  • Best Friend Day can be a little tricky. You don’t necessarily want to center the day around having a best friend, since many children may not have one. Instead, use this time to teach children what qualities a “best” friend should have.

  • Honesty, integrity, loyalty, compassion, and trustworthiness are all important traits that can be difficult to explain to young children. So, use stories and movies to teach these concepts.

June 12th: Superman Day

Suggested Activities: It’s a bird. No. It’s a plane. No. It’s Superman! June 12th is Superman Day and one of the most engaging classroom ideas for June. So, it’s time to have some fun with Superman-related activities. You can also make it Supergirl Day or even Wonder Woman Day.

  • Invite your students to dress up as Superman, Supergirl, or Wonder Woman before class. It’s time to save the world. While dressing up as a superhero may seem corny, it allows children to explore ethical dilemmas, develop personal identities, and even form friendships based on shared interests.

  • Take the opportunity to talk about the creator of Superman, the positive values of superheroes, and the traits that make a person “super.” Studies consistently show that imagination-fueled playtime is crucial for developing social and emotional skills. Young children often feel small and vulnerable. Superhero play offers opportunities to gain a sense of mastery and resilience, which are both critical skills children need to explore and internalize.

  • Encourage your students to make up their own superhero personas and come up with origin stories for their superheroes.

June 17th: Eat Your Veggies Day

Suggested Activities: Brussel sprouts…do we hear groans? Why should children eat them instead of piling more chicken nuggets on the plate? It’s time to take nutrition seriously on Eat Your Veggies Day.

  • On Eat Your Veggies Day, focus on teaching children the importance of a nutritious diet. Bring trays of diverse selections of veggies and let your students sample all of the unique, exotic, and delicious vegetables of the world.

  • Studies show that offering children a variety of vegetable options increases both the consumption and acceptance of veggies. You can also bring some of the more popular vegetable dips to class (Ranch dressing, hummus, Green Goddess dressing, to name a few). Remember to check dietary needs before serving all those delicious crudites and dips. If you’re using Prime Childcare Software, you’ll have access to the student nutrition and allergen database as well as digital dietary notes left by parents.

June 22nd: World Rainforest Day

Suggested Activities: Monkeys, lizards, and the gorgeous birds-of-paradise all come from one place: the rainforest. This plant-packed, diverse animal biome is one of planet Earth’s most incredible marvels. June 22nd is World Rainforest Day.

  • For a ton of free, virtual educational resources, The Rainforest Alliance has you covered. Have your students explore a virtual treehouse. Talk about the crops rainforests produce, and read stories about the rainforest. For a fun time, build a rainforest terrarium together or play rainforest bingo.

  • Watch an episode of Wild Kratts or Zaboomafoo. This is also the perfect opportunity to enjoy some arts and crafts. Print out rainforest pages for coloring, draw pictures of plants, or divide students into groups to design the perfect treehouse.

  • World Rainforest Day is a great time to talk about the basics of plant biology and discuss the consequences of rainforest deforestation. Undoubtedly, this special holiday is one of the most popular classroom ideas for June!

June 30th: Log Cabin Day

Suggested Activities: What do Abraham Lincoln, lumberjacks, and campers have in common? Answer: They all love log cabins!

  • It’s time to jump into the time machine. Have your students bring their favorite set of Lincoln logs from home. Be sure to provide a supply of logs for students who don’t have their own sets.

  • While Lincoln logs may seem like an “old fashioned” toy, studies show that playing with Lincoln logs and Legos can help children develop important organizational skills. On Log Cabin Day, teach children about the wonderful and diverse history of log cabins and have them make their own log cabin village from Lincoln logs.

How to Keep Students Engaged Throughout the School Year

As can be seen, these great classroom ideas for June can be used to teach a range of core values. If you’re looking for more kid-friendly activities for your daycare or childcare facility, check out 365 Days of Classroom Fun: Early Childhood Development Activities & Supply Lists for Every Day of the Year. To get this resource, order your copy from Amazon today.

365 Days of Classroom Fun

Recent Articles from Prime:

Infant & Toddler Daily Schedule Template

Enter Your Email to Get your free schedule templates

What's Inside

Time Saving

We designed this schedule template with you in mind. Just fill in the blanks for a daily schedule in no time!


Choose between our template with times pre-filled or completely customize with our blank template! 


Want to reuse this template over and over again? Print it out to whatever size fits your needs and laminate it. 

Preschool Daily Schedule Template

Enter Your Email to Get your free schedule templates

What's Inside

Time Saving

We designed this schedule template with you in mind. Just fill in the blanks for a daily schedule in no time!


Choose between our template with times pre-filled or completely customize with our blank template! 


Want to reuse this template over and over again? Print it out to whatever size fits your needs and laminate it. 

Daycare center management; maintaining optimum classroom ratios.

Meeting Quality Standards With Optimum Classroom Ratios

Childcare is about movement. Children gravitate from the classroom to the playground. Within the span of a day, they may alternate between shared spaces and individual workstations multiple times. Often, it can be a challenge to keep track of a child’s movements, let alone ratio counts. Yet, maintaining optimum classroom ratios is critical to complying with quality standards.

To do this, you need accurate records. Otherwise, your center may find it a challenge to comply with teacher-student ratio requirements. At a minimum, a compliance violation must be corrected within a specified timeframe. 

Individual states, not the federal government, oversee all compliance requirements and corrective measures. As a result, the consequences for failure to comply vary from state to state. In that light, a software solution that features scheduling and attendance tracking makes it easier to meet quality standards.

What are Classroom Ratios?

Classroom ratios refer to the number of children under the charge of a caregiver. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) publishes ratio guidelines; however, states can set their own ratio standards. In most instances, states allow more children per caregiver than the NAEYC. 

That said, every childcare center or school should check its state and local websites for more guidance about mandatory ratios. 

The following ratios for infants through high-school graduation are from the NAEYC guidelines.


Infants are babies from birth to 15 months.  A room of six infants should have two caregivers. That’s a ratio of one caregiver for every three babies (1:3). In addition, the maximum number of infants per room should not exceed eight with a maximum ratio of 1:4.


The recommended ratio for toddlers from one year to 28 months is 1:3. One caregiver should work with three toddlers in a group of six. In classes with eight to 12 toddlers, there should be at least one instructor for every four toddlers.

Twos and Threes

A room of two-year-olds should have one teacher for every four children.  For groups of 10, the minimum ratio should be 1:5, and for groups of 12, the ratio should be 1:6. 

Developmentally, there’s a significant difference between a two and a three-year-old. So, maintaining optimum classroom ratios is critical for this age range. Three-year-olds (30 to 48 months) are better at listening and following instructions. For three-year-olds, the instructor to children ratio should be 1:7. For groups of 16 or more, the ratio should be at least:

  • 1:8 for 16 children
  • 1:9 for 18 children
  • 1:10 for 20 children

Finally, the maximum number of children in a toddler class should not exceed 20.

Fours and Fives

Four and five-year-olds are more independent in nature, so the child to instructor ratio should be higher. Still, the recommended maximum number of children per classroom remains at 20. There should be one instructor for every eight children in this age group. For a group of 19, the ratio should be 1:9. And, for 20 children, the ratio should be at least 1:20.


For kindergartners, the recommended classroom size is 24, with a teacher to student ratio of at least 1:12. However, a ratio of 1:10 is preferred.

School-Age Children

Your facility may or may not provide care for school-age children. If you do, ratios for children from first through 12th grade will depend on the state.  The highest ratio is in Mississippi with 1:27. Meanwhile, several states recommend a classroom ratio of 1:16 or 1:15. For the right ratios, be sure to check with your state Department of Education.

Why Maintain Optimum Classroom Ratios?

Educators and administrators may argue about optimum class sizes or the validity of test results. However, studies have shown that reducing the class size has meaningful long-term effects on student academic performance. It is suggested that reduced class sizes also impacts non-cognitive outcomes.  The educational benefits are most noticeable in the early stages of childhood development. But, aside from academic improvement, why are classroom ratios used?

The Safety of Children

Classroom ratios were primarily established for the safety of the child.  Younger children require a lower teacher to child ratio. Obviously, an infant is not as self-sufficient as a kindergartner. Also, ensuring a child’s safety goes beyond the classroom. It is also about making sure children are out of harm’s way during a natural disaster such as tornadoes or flash floods. 

The Health of Teachers and Students

Smaller class sizes also reduce the occurrence of infectious diseases.  During the flu season, some facilities may close due to illness. Often, the lack of teachers forces the closure. Keeping caregivers healthy is another reason for lower ratios. In light of the COVID-19 crisis, daycare centers that remain open should follow CDC guidelines for school settings.

Finally, maintaining optimum classroom ratios is also an effective way to avoid burnout and decrease high staff turnover.

Parental Assessment

All things considered, many parents favor childcare facilities with the lowest teacher to child ratios. The following quote is an example of what appears in every guide to finding childcare.

In general, lower staff-to-child ratios are one indicator of a higher-quality program because a child care provider can be more sensitive and responsive to children’s needs if he/she is responsible for a smaller group of children. The lower the ratio, the better the program.  

Since parents are being told that low ratios are an indicator of quality, maintaining them is essential for business viability.  

Maintaining Optimum Classroom Ratios With the Right Technology

Maintaining a record of your ratios is necessary for compliance reporting.  If the state licensing agency decides to perform an unannounced inspection, you don’t want to be caught unawares. And, rushing to put together the necessary data while inspectors wait can reflect poorly on your daycare center. 

However, technology can substantially reduce the time and effort involved in tracking classroom ratios. With student attendance and scheduling modules, records can be kept up-to-date throughout the day. In addition, you can run reports to evaluate your classroom ratios and note areas for improvement. These reports can be used during compliance audits and open house days, when parents ask for the data. With less time spent on administrative duties, you’ll have more time for what you do best: interacting with parents and ensuring that the children under your care thrive.

Looking for a technology solution to help your center maintain optimum classroom ratios? Prime Child Care Software has attendance and scheduling modules that can be accessed from any device. If you’d like to learn more about our leading-edge solution, contact us today.

Recent Articles from Prime:
Sharing a hug; happy teacher with great classroom ideas for April.

7 Exciting Classroom Ideas for April

Whether you’re a veteran teacher or knee-deep in your first year of teaching, you know how important it is to keep your students interested and engaged in the learning process.

However, coming up with new lesson plan ideas isn’t always easy. Fortunately, the authors of 365 Days of Classroom Fun have outlined some educational activities that you and your students will love. Below are seven exciting classroom ideas for April.

1) April Fool’s Day – April 1st

Suggested Activities: Children absolutely love practical jokes! So, kick off April Fool’s Day with a couple of funny jokes of your own. Then, invite your class to come up with their own jokes or pranks to play after lunch. Close out the day by telling one more April Fool’s joke your students can share with their families when they get home. Teachers say this is one of their favorite classrooms ideas for April.

  • Teach students about the history of April Fool’s Day. They will be surprised to hear that it dates back over 400 years!
  • Invite your students to share their favorite jokes or pranks. Be sure to remind them to avoid jokes that may hurt another student’s feelings.
  • Celebrate April Fool’s Day by playing little tricks on your students. For instance, set the clock back an hour or rearrange your students’ desks.

2) World Autism Day – April 2nd

Suggested Activities: Autism is on the rise in America, with roughly 1 in 59 children carrying a diagnosis of autism or a related disorder. As a teacher, you can encourage your students to treat everyone — including peers who may have autism — with kindness.

  • Teach students what autism is. Using simple terms, explain the challenges autistic children face. Show your class how to be kind and patient.
  • Invite students to suggest things they can do to help autistic peers feel comfortable and welcome.
  • Celebrate World Autism Day by wearing blue. And, post interesting facts about autism on the classroom wall for students to read.

3) Caramel Popcorn Day – April 6th

Suggested Activities: Who doesn’t love a tasty snack at school? If you can bring a popcorn popper to class, then you can really make Caramel Popcorn Day special for your students! Make it a surprise by placing the popcorn popper front and center in the room — the kids will see it as they file into class.

You can start the day by asking if anyone knows why you brought a popcorn popper to class. Once you have peaked your students’ interest, let them know that everyone will be celebrating Caramel Popcorn Day at 1:30 p.m. (or the time of your choosing). 

If school regulations prevent you from popping corn in your classroom, bring individual bags of caramel popcorn for your students. Remember to inquire about allergies and make sure the hot popcorn cools a bit before you and your students tuck in. Celebrating Caramel Popcorn Day is one of our best classroom ideas for April!

4) Name Yourself Day – April 9th

Suggested Activities: Kick off Name Yourself Day by posing this simple question as soon as your class is seated: “Raise your hand if you have ever wished you could change your name to anything you want.” You will likely see many hands shoot up in the air! You can also get the ball rolling by sharing a time in your life when you wished you had a different name.

Give your class a few minutes to come up with unique names for themselves. While they’re thinking, pass out large self-adhesive name tags to each student. Ask everyone to write their “dream name” on their tag and wear it the rest of the day. Make a game out of the exercise by inviting your students to call each other by their “dream names” the rest of the day!

5) Thomas Jefferson Day – April 13th

Suggested Activities: Who was Thomas Jefferson? And, why should we honor his memory? These are questions your class will be able to answer with ease by the end of Thomas Jefferson Day! Here are some tips to make this day fun for your students:

  • Teach your students that Thomas Jefferson was our third President. Talk about the Declaration of Independence and why he wrote it.
  • Provide each student with a note card containing a fun fact about Thomas Jefferson to share with the classroom. 
  • Celebrate by hanging photos of Thomas Jefferson around your classroom. Also, remember to serve ice cream or another of Jefferson’s favorite snacks!

6) Save The Elephants Day – April 16th

Suggested Activities: Children have great affection for animals and often enjoy taking care of them. So, get ready for a rush of enthusiasm when you announce Save The Elephants Day! In fact, this is one of our most popular classroom ideas for April. To make this day memorable for your class:

  • Teach your students why elephants are endangered and what they can do to help keep elephants safe.
  • Invite students to wear their favorite elephant-themed clothing or jewelry. In addition, post images of elephants around your classroom.
  • Celebrate by adopting a baby elephant in Africa! You can do this for as little as $50 and your students will make a powerful difference in the life of an endangered animal. Plus, your students will love receiving monthly updates and stories about their adopted elephant’s progress.

7) International Dance Day – April 29th

Suggested Activities: Children love exercise routines, especially if they’re set to music. They are also curious about other cultures. By celebrating International Dance Day, you can transform your classroom into a vibrant, festive hippodrome! 

  • Teach your students how to perform a few international dances. Consider inviting a few international dancers to class to help teach your students the proper dance steps.
  • Invite students to practice mirroring the instructor’s dance movements.  
  • Celebrate by playing international dance music throughout the day. In addition, encourage students to dress like their favorite international dancers.

How to Keep Students Engaged Throughout the School Year

April is packed with great holidays you can use to make learning fun for your class. But, why stop with these classroom ideas for April? You can keep your classroom bustling with excitement throughout the school year by purchasing the book 365 Days of Classroom Fun.

With a book filled with enjoyable holiday-themed activities for students, you’ll never find yourself short on lesson plan ideas. Order your copy today through Amazon to make your classroom a learning haven for students!

365 Days of Classroom Fun

Recent Articles from Prime:
Smiling teacher in a daycare.

10 Fun March Classroom Ideas

Winter’s reign is ending. Spring is on its way, and you’re ready to share your feelings of positivity with your students. But, wait. You sigh as you think of the hours of lesson planning ahead. Suddenly, all your euphoria dissipates. And, no wonder. Studies show that teachers devote an average of seven hours per week to lesson planning. To ease your workload, the authors of 365 Days of Classroom Fun have provided exciting educational activities for every day of the year. To usher in spring, these March classroom ideas should do the trick.

1) Read Across America Day (March 2nd)

Supplies Needed: Books

Suggested Activities: Kick off the day with an interactive discussion about reading and its importance. After lunch, take your students to the library to select a book for taking home. And, don’t forget to close out the day by reading a passage from one of your favorite childhood books!

  • Teach your students about the importance of reading. Start by emphasizing: Reading is fun and helps us learn. Then, tell them a great story about how reading became one of your favorite activities.
  • Invite students to share their favorite books with the rest of the class. If some of your students are shy, ask leading questions and provide gentle hints along the way. Make it easy for your students to interact with you and their peers.
  • Celebrate by creating a banner highlighting your students’ favorite books. Ask your students to help decorate the banner with crayons and then hang it up in the classroom.

2) Unique Names Day (March 5th)

Supplies Needed: Books on origins of baby names

Suggested Activities: Modern parents are giving their children more interesting and unusual names than ever. In fact, some names are so unique that it may be a challenge to find them in a book of baby names. A few days in advance, give your students a special “homework assignment.” Ask them to find out how they got their names. Gather these details and combine them with other information in a book. Then start your day! 

  • Teach your students that some people are named for a family member, while others are named after events, nature, legends, and months.
  • Invite students to share with their classmates the details of how they were named.
  • Celebrate by creating a table tent for each student, with their names on one side of the tent and two or three facts about their names on the other side.

3) Dentist Appreciation Day (March 6th)

Suggested Activities: If you have a friend or family member who is a dentist, ask if they would be willing to give a 30-minute talk about how they help people care for their teeth. You can also kick off the presentation with some “tooth trivia” and serve healthy snacks during the presentation.

If you can’t provide a guest speaker, consider showing some video clips and reading fun books about dentistry. If you’re a daycare teacher, consider books like “Curious George Visits the Dentist” (H.A. Rey), “The Crocodile and the Dentist” (Taro Gomi), and “If I Were a Dentist” (Scholastic).

4) Napping Day (March 11th)

Supplies Needed: Nap mats or cots; blankets; pajamas

Suggested Activities: Begin promoting Napping Day about a week in advance. Send your students home with notices proclaiming that they have special permission to wear their pajamas to school on the 11th. Kick Napping Day off with some fun “sleep trivia” questions that motivate your students to think about their sleep habits. Here are some tips to help you make Napping Day a hit. In fact, celebrating this holiday may just be one of the most restful March classroom ideas you’ve ever implemented!

  • Teach your students about the importance of sleep and how many hours of sleep they need each night.
  • Invite students to share helpful tips with their classmates about how they get to sleep, even when they don’t feel tired.
  • Celebrate Napping Day by allowing students to wear their pajamas to school. Have an extra-long nap session after lunch.

5) Plant a Flower Day (March 12th)

Supplies Needed: Seeds or flowering plants; water

Suggested Activities: Kick off the day with a short discussion about flowers and the many ways they brighten our lives. Then, incorporate these tips into your daily activities:

  • Teach students about the different types of flowers in your region. Touch upon ways to care for flowers throughout their lifespan.
  • Invite your students to join you as you plant flowers or seeds in your school’s garden. 
  • Celebrate by having students color pictures of their favorite flowers and posting them on the wall.

6) St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th)

Supplies Needed: Green outfits and accessories

Suggested Activities: Everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day! While you can’t make a toast in class, you can still help your students enjoy this amazing holiday. Start off the day by sharing one of your favorite St. Patrick’s Day memories as a child. Then, encourage students to share their own memories or any plans they may have for the evening. Here are some creative ways to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day in the classroom: 

  • Teach your students about the origins of St. Patrick’s Day and why we celebrate it. 
  • Invite students to use their eyes to locate 10 small four-leaf clovers that you have positioned strategically across your classroom.
  • Celebrate by encouraging students to wear their favorite green clothing. Have green headbands and beads on hand for students to wear, as well. Make it as festive as possible. And, be sure to sashay into class with your favorite green outfit! To finish up, put on a St. Patrick’s Day song and have the children dance to it. Children learn best through movement, so dance on!

7) National Women’s Month (March 18th)

To celebrate National Women’s Month, reach out to local female celebrities, politicians, business owners, or influencers. Ask if they would be willing to join your classroom for 30 minutes to talk about their roles as daughters, mothers, sisters, and role models in the community. Plan to schedule four speakers to visit at different points throughout the day to keep students engaged. Here are some suggestions to consider:

  • A local doctor such as a pediatrician or family care provider
  • Your principal or vice-principal if the positions are held by women
  • A popular news anchor who your students may know as a semi-celebrity
  • A local singer who also performs at school events

8) Music In Our Schools Month (March 19th)

Celebrating Music In Our Schools Month is a great way to engage with students and parents. Plan a short music concert to showcase each student’s musical abilities. You can give students the option of singing a short song or playing an instrument for a minute or two. Ask each student to give one or two short statements about their “music” before they begin. Be sure to provide examples of what to say so they’ll know how to proceed:

  • “Hi. My name is Michael and I like to sing. I’m going to sing a song my dad taught me about taking a vacation.”
  • “Hi. My name is Sue and I’m going to play the triangle. Did you know that the triangle is one of the oldest musical instruments on earth?” 

Be sure to prompt students gently, especially if “stage-fright” grips them. Music is a great way to reach young students: research shows that music learning can boost memory and motivate learning. In all, celebrating Music In Our Schools Month may just be one of the best March classroom ideas you’ve ever implemented.

9) Purple Day (March 26th)

Purple is such a popular color that your students will certainly look forward to celebrating Purple Day! From purple clothing to purple decorations, there are many fun ways to celebrate this amazing color.

Supplies Needed: Plenty of purple objects, clothing, and snacks!

Suggested Activities:

  • Teach your students about the origin of purple and how you can make purple by mixing red and blue together. 
  • Invite students to wear their favorite purple shirts or accessories. Set the tone by dressing up to the nines in purple.
  • Celebrate Purple Day by putting up purple streamers and serving purple M & Ms during breaks.

10) National Crayon Day (March 31st)

Supplies Needed: Paper and a box of crayons

Suggested Activities: Crayons are loved by children across the globe. In fact, nearly 65% of children ages two to seven use crayons at least once a day. So, it only makes sense to end the month of March by celebrating National Crayon Day!

  • Teach your students that crayons are made of wax and tell them that children all over the world have been using them for over 100 years.
  • Create a beautiful springtime picture using crayons and paper.
  • Celebrate by hanging each student’s picture on the bulletin board for all to see!

Discover Other March Classroom Ideas in the Book

What are your go-to ideas for providing a great learning experience every day? As outlined above, March is full of holidays that can be used to create exciting learning opportunities for your classroom.

To discover how you can provide a great learning experience every day of the year, get your copy of 365 Days of Classroom Fun today. Written by industry experts, this user-friendly guide offers 365 cost-effective, fun lesson ideas that will engage children and delight their parents. Order your copy from Amazon to get classroom ideas for March and beyond.

365 Days of Classroom Fun

Recent Articles from Prime:

How To Kick Start Your Classroom & Inspire Creativity In Childcare

Who Says You Have To Color Inside The Lines?

Gone (and good riddance) are the days of desks aligned in rows and teaching to an answer. Gone are the days of ignoring the process or inventiveness of how someone arrived at an answer. That type of learning is going by the wayside (thank goodness), and we are forging ahead with imaginative play and problem solving activities while nurturing creativity!

With typically more than one correct way to arrive at most answers, today, more than ever before, we are embracing the process and creative thinking as much as we are the correct answer. Some educators are even intentionally teaching kids to be creative thinkers, and realistically, to be competitive moving forward, this is a skill we would be remiss not to teach.

While some educators may not see creative thinking as a pure skill, Miriam Clifford touts in her article “30 Ideas to Promote Creativity in Learning” that creativity is “less a trait and more a proficiency that can be taught.” If you are thinking that you’re not creative and this is not a skill you’ll easily pick up, don’t be fooled. We all have the potential to be creative.

So, let’s be part of this paradigm shift in not only how we teach but also in how we ourselves think. If you’re feeling anxious about stepping out of your comfort zone, Janelle Cox of the says that knowing the simple habits of other creative teachers can help you get there, including:

  • Taking Risks
  • Being Open-Minded
  • Using Resources Around You to Help Create New, Innovative Ideas
  • Talking to Other Teachers to Get Feedback on New Ideas
  • Embracing New Teaching & Learning Styles

So, while you’re working on your own creative skills and stretching yourself professionally, there are a few quick tips and tricks you can do in your classroom to inspire creativity:

Create A Fun Space

Remember the rows of desks & tables I mentioned above? Make your room anything but that! Provide lots of learning stations around the perimeter of the room. Be sure to include bright colors and comfortable/flexible seating. When a space is inviting, we tend to linger and engage more. So, think of what you would want to see in these centers.

Turn your “desks” into collaborative learning stations. When kids sit at a table and are able to learn and work 

collaboratively, they feed and build off of each other’s ideas. Can that go awry? Of course it can, but not if you are there guiding and nudging them through productive creative play.

Ultimately, you want to be able to keep your classroom flexible so that you can rearrange easily and often to keep everyone’s creative brains engaged. You will likely also be creatively inspired as you see their minds at work and identify new areas of study and opportunities for growth.

Keep It Hands On

Some of the best creative learning is done by hand. “The best way to engage kids’ brains is by having them move their hands,” according to Samantha Cleaver’s article “Hand-On Is Minds-On.” Many kids are hands-on (tactile) learners. Kids who are creatively and actively molding, moving and making with their hands while even listening to a lesson fare better cognitively than those who are exposed to concepts solely by traditional methods.

The Institute for Educational Advancement’s blog  “Hands-On Learning and Memory” cites a PBS article that states the “more avenues there are to receive data through the senses, the more connections the brain can make. The more connections that are made, the better a learner can understand a new idea. This holds not only for primary age learners, but through adulthood.” So, when we add the element of touch to our lessons, we are creating an additional sense to the traditional learning styles.

Our kids are no longer purely auditory learners. Most of them are some combination of auditory, visual and tactile. So, appealing to these common senses to keep them engaged, intrigued, and (even sometimes) entertained, really drives home the skill you are teaching and helps to lock it away in that longer-term memory.

In addition to the memory benefits, hands-on learning also promotes creativity by allowing teachers to more easily observe student progress around certain concepts or skills and thus fill in the gaps as needed during the process versus as a re-teaching activity.

Praise The Process


As students engage in creative learning through inquiries, problem solving, discovery, hands-on activities, or whatever you have designed to foster their creative side, consider the growth and adoption of this type of learning.
Praise that process. Recognize students who are thinking of various ways to solve the same problem through verbal praise, a creative thinker bulletin board in which you can highlight various students week to week, a special necklace or cap that celebrates their creative mind in the classroom. Doing this type of extrinsic motivation will hopefully encourage them to thinking critically and creatively more often.

Recognizing that it isn’t just those who color inside the lines that make our world go ‘round is important. You are teaching the designers, creators, developers, builders, discoverers of tomorrow. You are also giving them to the tools to think critically and problem solve. It’s a big task. Nurturing creativity as a part of that not only make it fun but makes it a game changer in your classroom!

Recent Articles from Prime:
Skip to content