Bonnie Arnold of the Fairfax County Office for Children runs a six-week course for county residents interested in starting a family day-care home. Here are a few of her ideas, for day-care providers or anyone dealing with children: Art
Let each child express himself individually -- you don't want a whole row of look-alike paintings.
Don't emphasize the end result by asking "What is it?" Instead, say "Tell me about it."
Whenever possible, do long-term projects stretching over several days, to give the children a sense of continuity. Discipline
Watch the child closely until you determine the cause of the problem, and try to change either the situation or the child. Tell him "I am bothered by such-and-such," not "You are bugging me you're such a brat."
If you hear fussing or temper tantrums coming on, get the child to bed or involved in a quiet, isolated activity. Food
Tie food in with a good time: Feel the cantaloupe, smell the cinnamon, count the apple seeds. . . .
Go for healthy snacks like: oranges rolled until soft, with a straw inserted for sucking, bananas with peanut butter; carrot sticks the children have scraped themselves; homemade forzen yogurt pops.
Let the kids help as much as possible with the cooking and serving. Exercise
Get the children outside as much as possible. They need vigorous physical activity, and lots of it.
Join in the play -- kids need your example, and you need the exercise. Get the kids to jog with you, take turns jumping rope, walk to the park.
Alternate active and quiet play.
(To take Arnold's course, call 691-3175.)
Other courses: District
Catholic Charities, Rudolph Hutchison, 396-8100.
Family and Child Services, Roberta Polk, 232-6510.
Rosemont Day-Care Satellite Program, Sally Volkert, 265-9885.
United Planning Organization, 638-7300, ext. 401 or 402. Virginia
Alexandria, 549-7707, ask for child care.
Arlington Child Care Office, 558-2969.
Loudoun County, Paula Busse, 471-6050, ext. 360, or (703) 777-0360.
Those interested in placing children in family day care through the Northern Virginia Community College Child Care Center Satellite Program, or women interested in becoming satellite care providers, should call 321-9040 or 323-3026.