The boys have been in daycare for a year now. It has been a learning experience for us all.
We chose a community run daycare center for several reasons - location, cost and food. Yes food - our daycare center serves breakfast, lunch and 2 snacks a day - and usually the breakfast and lunch are hot meals. What our center lacks is extras like the "special programs", music & sports offered at the pricey daycares (which don't serve meals or charge mucho extra for that convenience).
Since then, I've been a mom with a mission! I have music experience! I have experience teaching music to young folks, I enjoy being goofy...my only obstical is WORK. Last year when I first thought up the idea of going to the daycare and offering special music days I was still working for Atilla the Hun, but I was in the midst of a transfer. And yes now I work for better folk, but it is still Corporate America and asking for a few hours off once a month (which was my original thought) is like asking for the keys to the corporate bank accounts. (Not that they have any problems asking you to work extra hours on a weekly basis). So, I haven't quite gotten up the gumption to ask....yet.
What I have done is to do it on my own time. The first one was last Halloween. I used some vacation days to have a long weekend over Halloween - with the intent of doing some extra things for the holiday with the kids and doing some extra fall housecleaning. I also offered the daycare a special music program for the kids ....
I figured I'd bring my violin and do the usual nursery rhymes etc - then the director asked me what my "Program" was going to be - which forced me to really think about it. Thank goodness! I went in with a plan.
At the time, my boys had been listening to one of my chant cd's in the car and LOVED the song Grandmother Moon. They would call to Grandma Moon during full moon nights and sing along with the chant. So...since at Halloween the dark hours are growing - I decided to do Moon and Stars - Our friends as the theme.
I had Twinkle little Star, Grandmother Moon and a couple of other songs, a book "The Moon Comes Home", and in a couple of the rooms I used Elaine Silver's "Half Moon Rising" . Beyond that I did Happy Birthday where appropriate, and kids favorites. I played in the rooms for each age group - and had a different wonderful experience in each room. One thing that did stay the same - from 12 mos up - each kid had the opportunity to help me play the fiddle.
My next opportunity came on MLK day. Miraculously my company gives this as a holiday, but daycare is open. This time I went without a theme - and it was OK. Having lived through the experience once - I knew what to expect from the age groups. I must say, that the pre-school teacher is one of my best friends when I do this. She would really LOVE it if I could do this REGULARLY and build on what I'm doing. She has repeatedly offered to do prep lessons or followup lessons with the kids.
I guess I just have to get up the gumption to ask for a few hours once a month from my boss...it really wouldn't cost him anything. I already work overtime....