5 Ideas to Help Turn your little Grumpy Dwarf into Happy Dwarf

grumpy dwarf

We have some big changes happening at my home daycare this month with children transitioning to school for the first time and other kids going through bumpy life stages.  Many of you home daycare providers understand the emotional highs and lows involved with trying to help young ones navigate turbulent events.

One day last week was especially challenging for my group. These are the five things I did to help steer the group away from confrontational grumpiness back into a state of harmonious play.


1- Essential Oil

My newest trick is to change the overall mood in the house by changing the air.  I bought this essential oil diffuser at a health store and I love it because it takes a minute to fill with water, add some drops of oil and plug in.  The essential oil I use is a grounding blend called Balance by doTerra.  If you are interested in aromatherapy you can google ‘essential oils and how they work’ to learn more.


I grabbed the vase of wildflowers we had on the picnic table outside and brought them inside to the kitchen counter.  I invited the children to come and smell the flowers and also smell the beautiful air coming out of the diffuser. They all stood by the counter and sniffed and sniffed as I prepared snack.


2- Music

A good friend of mine gave me a beautiful uplifting mix of inspirational songs.  I always put music on at snack time if I need some help focusing the children so that they can eat calmly.  Children so easily get carried along with the music so I often use these songs to calm them and then lift their spirits to a positive light.


3- Homemade Comfort Food

I had some hearty homemade zucchini muffins in the freezer that didn’t take long to defrost in the toaster oven on low.  I find giving my daycare children hearty homemade food that is warm helps to re-shift them when they are getting wound up.  Have you ever tried cutting up an apple and stewing it on the stove with some cinnamon?  Add a few raisins and nuts and it is delicious.  Stewed apples with cinnamon taste like a warm hug.


4- Go Outside

After the children had filled their bellies it was time to get some fresh air.  We walked to the park and I purposefully took the scenic nature route so that they would have time to look at the trees and listen to the birds.  I find physical activity in nature an easy fix to help a child out of an irritable mood.  If you have a hill nearby, a good roll down the hill will get them laughing.


5- Sensory Play

We brought sand toys with us to the park so the children could dig and build in the sand.  Water play is also a wonderful therapeutic activity.  You can always just fill up the kitchen sink and give the child some cups and spoons for scooping and pouring.  Remember; if you have a crab, put him near water.

Play dough, clay, or a bin full of rice are other popular sensory play activities.


So on the outside it might have looked to a visitor in my house that I simply plugged in an air freshener, put on some music, gave the kids snack and then took them to the park to play in the sand.  Once they arrived at the park they were a completely different group of children.  The previous pack of grumpy pants had been transformed to a happy cohesive group.

May all your days end in smiles.