Potty Training Series: 8 Ways to Know When It’s the Right Time

There is no perfect time or magic age for parents to start potty training. Every child matures at his own pace, and it’s important to keep this in mind as you begin thinking about potty training yours. Before you begin on the potty training journey, you should first be sure that your child is both physically and emotionally ready. For many children, this occurs sometime around the age of two, either when they are in daycare or about to begin preschool. If the child is not showing signs of readiness, potty training may lead to more frustration than success.

Here are some tell-tale signs that your child may be ready to be potty trained.

Signs That Your Child Is Ready for Potty Training

  1. Pulling or picking at diapers. This is a behavioral sign that indicates your child doesn’t like the feeling of a wet or dirty diaper.
  2. Ability to pull pants up and down. This is necessary if you want your child to be able to use the potty on his own.
  3. Diapers remain dry for a longer than usual amount of time. This is a sign that bladder muscles are developed enough to hold urine. For example, if she takes a nap and wakes up with a dry diaper, it is a clear sign that her bladder muscles are ready for potty training.
  4. Showing interest in others’ bathroom usage. He may watch you go to the bathroom, or even try copying you.
  5. Has her own words that she uses when she talks about urine and stool.
  6. Has his own way of telling you that he’s about to go, or even telling you that he has just gone in his diaper. These may be verbal or physical signals.
  7. Understands the concept of putting things where they belong. For instance, that urine and stool belong in the toilet.
  8. Indicates an eagerness for independence. This is a very important sign that shows your child is emotionally ready to begin the potty training journey.

At Carpe Diem Private Preschool, we work closely with parents to help each child achieve this important milestone. Unlike many other daycares and preschools, we prefer to base potty training on individual signs of readiness. When children ask to go to the potty, or begin to exhibit signs of readiness such as staying dry, motioning or telling a teacher before or after they’ve soiled their diaper, it is often the best time to encourage the potty training process. Often, this occurs around 24-26 months.

During this period, our teachers frequently ask the children if they need or want to go potty – sometimes they say yes and sometimes they may still say no. If the child has been exhibiting signs of readiness, they may be encouraged to sit on the potty for a few minutes just to be sure. As the child becomes more comfortable using the potty, the teachers will encourage them to go more often. Once the child is using the bathroom regularly, teachers will communicate with parents and encourage them to have their child begin wearing underwear to school.

Parents may have to try more than once, but should not lose hope. It’s not uncommon for a child who resists potty training one month to more easily transition to using the toilet the next month. With patience and persistence, and the help of your daycare or preschool, your child will successfully make the transition!

More in this series: The Basics of Potty Training, How to Make Potty Training Fun

5 Tips to Developing Manners During Childhood

Manners may seem like they have become a thing of the past in many places, but guiding your children to be polite and courteous should not lose priority in a family household. Manners are almost always appreciated in social circumstances, despite them being so often neglected in today’s society. Due to the uncommon nature of manners during childhood today, a child who displays social grace will immediately make a good impression.

Learning how to mind manners now will not only help your child in their social development during childhood but will also positively impact them in social settings during their teen years and young adulthood.

Here are a few ways in which you can help your little one mind their manners during childhood:

  1. “Please” and “Thank you.”

    This is the oldest courtesy in the book and probably the first one your toddler should learn too. Teach him that the proper way to ask for something should always include a “please” and that the proper way to accept a gift or treat should include a thank you. Practice this with your child until it becomes a natural habit.

  2. Sharing is caring.

    You’ve heard this saying time and time again, and yes – there is truth to it! Make sure your child follows this rule of thumb by giving her two toys that are similar and encouraging her to offer one to her friend during playtime.

  3. Apologizing.

    Teach your child that apologizing is absolutely necessary if he does something that hurts another person, either physically or emotionally. Explain to him how the action he took hurt that person and tell him that he can make the situation better by apologizing to the person he hurt.

  4. Making eye contact.

    One of the most important parts of making polite conversation involves making eye contact. A good way to remind your child to make eye contact during conversation is by asking her to notice the color of a person’s eyes and to report it to you later after the conversation has ended.

  5. Handshaking.

    Instruct your child to shake a person’s hand when he meets them for the first time. You can use a little trick to help him remember how to shake hands properly: show him the web of your hand (the area between your thumb and pointer finger) and explain to him that when he shakes a person’s hand, he should touch the web of his hand to web of the other person’s hand. Practice this with him a few times until he has it mastered.

At Carpe Diem Private Preschools, we believe that manners help children build gratitude rather than a sense of entitlement, which is what many children are naturally inclined to feel during childhood. By practicing manners and gracious behavior with your children, you can help foster their character development and support them in their growth as well-rounded individuals. We make it a priority to include character education as part of our curriculum here at Carpe Diem and we believe that by working together with parents we can nurture life-long values and social skills.

7 Technology Tips for Preschool Parents

In today’s society, kids are often seen reaching for a smartphone long before they’ve even started preschool. This early and constant exposure to technology makes it critical to understand how your children are using their devices. On the upside, the advent of the digital age has brought with it many possibilities that can be used to educate your children. However, it’s still very important to monitor your child’s technological use to prevent contact with inappropriate and harmful web content.

By setting a goal to help your child use technology appropriately, you can harness the unlimited potential it has to enhance your child’s cognitive learning abilities.

Here are a few tips that are meant to help you guide your child through their technological journey:

Get involved:

Monitoring your child’s use of the computer or tablet is of utmost importance. One way you can do this is to pick an area in the house where your child is allowed to use their device. This will make it easy for you to watch them or help them if need be.

Be approachable:

Make sure your child knows that they can go to you if they see anything on the Internet that disturbs them. Encourage them to go to you if they have any questions or need help.

Lay down the law:

As tempting as it may be to let your kids spend their free-time after school on their gadgets, it’s important that you don’t let them sit there on them for hours on end. Set a time limit for how long they can spend on their computer or tablet and make sure they stick to these rules.

Teach them about privacy:

Make sure that your child knows they should never ever give out their personal information online. When they get a little older teach them to ask for your permission before they give out their name, phone number, e-mail address, password, postal address, school or picture to anyone online. You should also emphasize the privacy of passwords, and how they should never give them out to anyone, not even their friends.

Use your ISP:

Learn how your Internet service provider can be used to set up parental controls for free. You can then use these controls to block or limit access to certain websites, apps, communication features, and content that you don’t want your child seeing online.

Teach them about links:

Teach your child the basic concept of links, and explain to them which links are safe and which links may be suspicious, such as pop-ads.

Have regular checkups:

You should be checking your child’s browsing history regularly to see where your child has been going online. Familiarize yourself with the types of apps and websites that your child normally uses and visits.

At Carpe Diem Private Preschool, we believe that technology can be used to benefit your children. In our Kindergarten classrooms, we teach computer skills as part of our curriculum. We also use technology to make sure that all of our children feel safe and secure. Only staff, parents and authorized adults are permitted to enter the school’s main quarters with proper “fingerprint scan” verification. We also use technology to help us stay connected. Our advanced Web-cam technology also allows you to “sit in on the preschool classroom” and observe your child at a moment’s notice, with just a click.


How to Build Gratitude and Avoid Spoiling During the Holiday Season

It can be easy to get all caught up with material objects during the holiday season when the wish lists keep getting longer by the day. We all want our kids to feel special and that’s probably why we spend countless hours buying and wrapping presents during the holidays. But sometimes we can get wrapped up in the wrong way. We tend to forget that too many material gifts can lead to spoiling and many parents of preschool children begin to worry about this when they start getting those ungrateful “gimmes.”

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to give your child valuable gifts that don’t need lead to spoiling. Here are some ways you can give your child precious gifts without spoiling or overindulging them.

Share Traditions.

Remember, holidays aren’t just about the newest toys on the shelf. You can remind your family of this too by passing on traditions from your childhood or even creating your own “no gift related” traditions. For instance, you could have the whole family participate in holiday-themed arts and crafts together, drive through your community to see all the houses decorated and lit up, or you could even bake and decorate a delicious holiday treat!

Build Gratitude.

A child who learns to appreciate things will act grateful, rather than spoiled, whenever they are given a gift. Children usually become more aware of gratitude when they observe their parents being thankful. By regularly expressing your appreciation for the people and things you have in your life, you can set a good example for your child to follow.

Give Back.

One of the most meaningful gifts you can give your child this year is one of service. Take the time to explain to your child the importance of generosity. Teach them that some families aren’t as fortunate as yours, so it would be nice if your family got together to give them a little extra help during the holiday season.

You can show your children how to serve others by going to the store with them and having them choose the toys or clothes that they think the other kids would like to have for the holidays. Ask them to help you wrap the gifts and then deliver them to a family in need or a trusted local charity. This is also the perfect time for you to show them how to look through their closets and toy chests for things that they may not use anymore, which you can also donate to families in need.

Set Limits.

A simple way to avoid spoiling our children this year with an overabundance of gifts is to set a realistic budget. By putting a cap on how much you are willing to spend on each child, you’ll be less likely to go overboard this year.

Another good way to set a limit is by making a specific list of things you are going to buy your child. If they are old enough, you could even have your children write their own lists and ask them to put their most wanted items at the top. You can then cross off any items that you know won’t fit into your pre-set budget.

At Carpe Diem Private Preschool, we believe in developing character and good values. Sharing time and values or creating traditions are great ways to replace material gifts in a meaningful way that can still make each child feel special. We can take this opportunity during the holidays to teach our children lessons in gratitude, setting limits, and giving back to the community.

Teaching Your Preschoolers the Value of Money

Being able to manage money is one of the most important life skills that anyone can acquire – even at a young age. Attitudes and habits towards money can be developed early-on in life. This is why it’s a good idea to start teaching your preschoolers good financial habits as early as possible. Here are some tips to help teach your child about the purpose and value of money.

Money as a Currency

Young children can learn that money is something you exchange for something else. To demonstrate this, you can give your child a dollar or two and allow them to select a piece of candy or fruit from the store. This will help them understand the role of money in everyday life.

Preschoolers and young children also love to play “store” using play money, so help your child set up a small “store” and allow “customers” to purchase items using play money. Your child will learn that money is used to acquire different items, and that valuable items cost more money.

Counting Coins

When your child learns how to count, you can begin explaining to them the value of different coins and their relationships with each other. Help them understand that five pennies are worth as much as one nickel, and two nickels are worth as much as one dime. This will help them comprehend that all coins are valuable, but some are worth more than others.

Giving your child a piggybank is also a good way to help them understand the value of coins. Allow them to collect coins in their piggybank and pick a time to empty it out and count the coins inside. They will enjoy sorting the different coins into piles and adding up the value of each pile.

Using Coupons

Coupons are a practical way to save a little extra money on an item. Instead of recycling the newspapers and magazines that arrive in the mail full of coupons, use them as learning tools for your child. Since most coupons include pictures of the items, go through a coupon book with your child and have them help you select which coupons will be useful for your family. Clip these coupons and put them in an envelope.

The next time you go to the store, allow your child to carry the coupon envelope. If he is old enough, he can help you locate the items on the coupons. This is a good lesson on the importance of discounts and choosing the best deals.

The Importance of Saving Money

Perhaps the most important habit for a child to learn is how important it is to save money. A good way to reinforce this is by setting up a savings account for your child. Children will be very excited and feel like responsible adults once they have their own bank account. If your child receives an allowance, encourage your child to deposit a percentage of their allowance into their savings account.

When they get a little older, explain to them that when they put money into a savings account, the bank pays them interest every month, so they are earning even more money. To further reinforce the importance of saving money, consider matching whatever amount your child puts into their account. This will inspire them to use their savings account even more frequently.


At Carpe Diem Private Preschool, our programs are based on the best knowledge of education theory and research. We believe that preschoolers learn number concepts best, for example, by manipulating and counting real objects, not by completing workbook pages. We also teach self-control, cooperation, and responsibility, which are all great qualities to have when learning the value of and managing money.

Caring for a Sick Child During Flu Season

With flu season in full swing, there’s a pretty good chance that your children might come down with something – even if you’re trying your best to shield them from it. Although we can’t prevent the inevitable spread of sicknesses, we can prepare ourselves for it.

Here are a few tips that can help you care for your little ones when they’re not feeling the best this flu season.

Check for a fever.

This should be the first step you take if your children tell you they aren’t feeling well. If the thermometer shows a high-grade fever for a prolonged period of time, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. If the thermometer shows a low-grade fever, you can give them ibuprofen or acetaminophen and make sure they get plenty of rest.

Keep them hydrated.

Make sure that your children get plenty of fluids when they’re sick. This is especially important if they are suffering from diarrhea or vomiting, as these ailments can dehydrate them.

Use a humidifier.

The steam from the humidifier is a great way to clear up congestion, ease coughing, and help with a sore throat.

Give them a warm bath.

The warm water from the bath is a good way to soothe any aches or pains your children may have. Make sure you dry your children off well after you take them out of the tub so they don’t get the chills.

Let them rest, a lot.

One of the keys to a quick recovery is getting plenty of rest. create a quiet and comfortable environment for your children to get as much sleep as possible.

Elevate their head.

To help them breathe more easily, keep their head slightly elevated with pillows.

Feed them easily digestible foods.

Foods like Saltine crackers, toast, bananas, and applesauce are safe options. Classic chicken noodle soup is also a great food for relieving cold and flu symptoms.

Know the signs of serious illness.

Changes in breathing patterns, severe headache, changes in skin color, unresponsiveness, and pain or pressure in the chest or stomach are all signs of serious illness. If you notice that your child is exhibiting one or multiple of these symptoms, then they should be seen by a medical professional right away.

At Carpe Diem Private Preschool, we try to keep our students as healthy as possible, especially during flu season. Our dedicated staff works hard on a daily basis to ensure a clean and sanitary environment in each classroom and play area to prevent the spread of sicknesses. We also emphasize the importance of personal hygiene by encouraging students to wash their hands before eating and after using the restroom.


3 Ways to Deal with Sibling Rivalry

Sibling rivalry can be stressful, but it’s a natural part of growing up with brothers and sisters. Parents may feel helpless, but there are ways to ease tension between siblings. Here are some techniques you can use to help minimize sibling rivalry:

  1. Keep Some Things Personal – Not everything needs to be shared by siblings. Ensure that each child has a few toys that only belong to him. Make sure your children know that the rest of the toys are communal and are expected to be shared. The same applies to space. Set aside areas for each child as their personal space where they can keep their own belongings.
  2. Avoid Comparisons – Try to avoid comparing your children to each other, or pointing out their differences in front of them. Sibling rivalry is a type of competition. Children can interpret comparisons as criticism and begin to feel that they are not as good as their siblings. This can breed jealousy and resentment. Instead of comparing your children, each child should be given individual goals and a level of expectation that relates only to him or her personally.
  3. Let Them Work It Out – Most of the time its best to let siblings settle their own differences. However, if one or both siblings is a toddler or preschooler, and the argument is unequal, you might have to step in and mediate. An example of an unequal argument is when an older sibling uses bigger words or physical strength to unfairly fight with their younger sibling. In this case, you should protect the younger sibling.

While at preschool, classmates often relate to each other more like siblings, and similar rivalries can ensue. At Carpe Diem Private Preschool, we strive to create a nurturing environment where children build healthy friendships and learn to interact and solve problems together.  And we are thrilled that many parents trust the care of multiple siblings to us!  Parents and teachers can try these simple techniques to help siblings and friends develop stronger relationships.  As they often say, friends may come and go, but siblings are forever!

How to Know if Your Child Has a Food Allergy

Food allergies are a dangerous immune system reaction that can threaten your child’s life if you don’t identify them right away.  To keep your child safe and healthy, it’s important to know what the signs and symptoms of a food allergy reaction look like.  Symptoms can happen rapidly, even within a few minutes to a couple of hours after eating.  They can also range from mild to severe, including:

Mild Symptoms

  • An itchy, runny nose and sneezing
  • A few hives and/or mild itchy skin
  • Mild nausea and/or stomach discomfort
  • An itchy mouth
  • A combination of mild symptoms on different areas of the body is considered severe

Severe Symptoms

  • Shortness of breath, wheezing, and/or a repetitive cough
  • A pale or blue color, fainting, weak pulse, and dizziness
  • A tightness in throat, hoarseness, trouble breathing or swallowing
  • A lot of swelling of the tongue/and or lips
  • Itchy skin rash (hives) over the body, a lot of redness
  • Vomiting, abdominal pain, or diarrhea

How Your Child Might Describe It

A young child with a limited vocabulary may not describe the symptoms of an allergic reaction the same way that an adult would. Additionally, their voices may change. For example they may become hoarse or squeaky and they may slur their words. Here are some phrases that a child may say to describe a food allergy reaction:

  • “My tongue itches,” “It (my tongue) feels like there is hair on it,” or “It feels like something’s poking my tongue.”
  • “My mouth feels funny,” or “My mouth is tingling.”
  • “There’s something stuck in my throat,” “It (my throat) feels thick,” “It feels like a bump is on the back of my throat.”
  • “My lips feel tight.”
  • “It feels like there are bugs in there,” (to describe itchy ears).

Common Food Allergies

People can experience an allergic reaction to any food, but the following foods are responsible for most allergic reactions:

  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Shellfish
  • Fish
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Soy
  • Wheat

At Carpe Diem Private Preschool, we care about the health, safety and well-being of each child. It’s important to share your child’s allergies with us, so that we know how to prevent allergic reactions from occurring.  This will also ensure that we are prepared to properly care for each child if a reaction does occur. With our commitment to safety and open communication, we work together with parents and caregivers to best protect and care for all our students.

Get Creative When Painting With Your Preschooler

Get ready to ditch those crusty old paintbrushes and replace them with something that your preschooler will love even more! Say goodbye to the struggles of dried up paint and frayed bristles, and hello to some unique ways to paint. Here are just a few ideas to help you get creative with your preschooler without picking up a paintbrush:

Sponge Painting

  1. Make a palette of paint in rainbow colors and swipe each color onto a sponge in the order of a rainbow.
  2. Say the colors aloud as you swipe each one onto the sponge and have your preschooler repeat them.
  3. Give the sponge to your preschooler and watch as they make their colorful masterpiece!

Bubble Wrap

  1. Use a sponge to paint the bubble wrap in any colors your preschooler chooses.
  2. Once the bubble wrap is covered in a decent coat of paint, flip it over onto a piece of scrapbook paper.
  3. Have your preschooler press down on it so that the paint sticks onto the paper and leaves a cool textured effect.

Fingers and Hands

  1. Finger painting is a great sensory activity for preschoolers which allows them to creatively express themselves in a hands-on way.
  2. Let your child dip his fingers in a container of washable paint and use his fingers as brushes to paint away.
  3. You could also paint your child’s hand and let her make a beautiful handprint design.


  1. Make water colored paint by adding a few drops of food coloring into a small bowl of water.
  2. Use a dropper/syringe to squirt some of the water-based paint onto a piece of paper.
  3. Give your child a straw so he can blow the paint across the paper into any direction he wants.

Cotton Swabs

  1. To make a rainbow painting, line up six cotton swabs in a row and tape them together until they are really secure.
  2. Dip each tip of the cotton swab into a different color of paint in the order of a rainbow.
  3. Give the cotton swabs to your child and have them press all of the tips onto one side of the paper and slide them across in a curved motion to create the shape of a rainbow. They might have to do this a few times so that the colors show up thick enough on both sides.

At Carpe Diem Private Preschool, we believe in letting children express themselves and allowing their imaginations to shine through on paper. Although we do many activities right here in school, it’s important for the fun to continue at home as well. These painting activities are just one way that you can spark your child’s creativity while adding to the growing gallery of artwork on your refrigerator.

Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten

The first day of Kindergarten can be an emotional experience, for both you and your child. You might be riddled with worry about how well your child will do in this new learning environment. Your little one might be scared to walk into a classroom full of other children he doesn’t know and adults he hasn’t met before. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to make your baby’s transition into Kindergarten as painless as possible.

Prepare socially                    

  • Set up play dates with children of various ages so that your child can get used to interacting with other kids. Observe your child’s behavior and notice if he struggles with concepts such as sharing or taking turns. These are social behaviors that you can easily teach your child before they start Kindergarten.
  • Leave your child with other trusted adults, such as an extended family member or a highly recommended babysitter, for a few hours at a time. If your child is not used to being in the care of someone other than mommy and daddy, this is a good way for her to adjust to being under the care of a teacher that she has never met prior to walking in on the first day of Kindergarten.

Prepare verbally

  • Give your child simple and specific directions and encourage him to complete the tasks. It’s important for your child to be able to listen attentively and follow through with what is requested of him before he goes into a classroom environment where this will be expected of him.
  • Read to your child daily and pause occasionally to ask questions. This will ensure that she stays engaged while you read to her. Here are some ways to make story time a more interactive experience.

Prepare cognitively

  • Teach your child his numbers. You can practice with him by counting aloud during car rides or helping him count objects in your home. Make sure he is able to identify the numbers 1-10 before beginning Kindergarten.
  • Talk about concepts with your child. It’s usually a good idea to start with an easy concept like opposites. Some common opposites include big/little, empty/full, and slow/fast. Positional and directional concepts are also important to go over with your child. Make sure they know the basics like up/down, over/under, in/out, behind/in front of, top/bottom, beside/between, off/on, and stop/go.

Prepare physically

  • Go outside and let your child run wild (under your supervision, of course)! Things like running, jumping, and climbing allow your child to naturally develop you his gross motor skills. Playing catch and skipping around are also great ways to do this.
  • Practice name writing. Not only will your child most likely need to know how to write her name on the first day of school, but name writing exercises are also one of the best ways to develop her fine motor skills.

At Carpe Diem Private Preschools, we believe that the best early childhood education starts with a good foundation. We believe that where a child learns has a direct impact on how well a child learns. This is why our preschool classrooms and teachers are so well-equipped to prepare the little ones for their big transition into our Kindergarten classroom. We have put careful thought into creating the perfect learning atmosphere for all of our students.