Terrific Time Saver for Teaching Preschool – An Interview with Preschool Powol Packets

One of the best time savers for home daycare providers, homeschoolers, and preschool teachers is to find a blog with quality lesson plans.  That is why I’m excited to welcome Carla from Preschool Powol Packets blog.

Preschool Powol Packets is a fantastic blog that provides preschool kits, crafts, and great ideas for anyone teaching preschoolers.  Carla is a public school teacher turned homeschooling mom who runs a small home daycare.  She has just released her new Ebook called, “Bears and Butterflies: 41 + Hibernation Activities”.

Bears & Butterflies cover

Anyone who has taught preschoolers knows that it takes time to create lesson plans, gather resources and prepare crafts.  Preschoolers require a lot of time and energy.  One fantastic way to save yourself time is to purchase a pre-made unit.  These units take hours upon hours to create.  The trick is to find units that have quality content at good prices.

My daycare children and I were lucky to get a sneak preview of “Bears and Butterflies: 41+ Hibernation Activities” from Preschool Powol Packets.  The kids enjoyed the activities and we all learned a ton.  As a teacher, who has spent years buying resources, I can confidently say this preschool Hibernation unit is made up of quality content at a very reasonable price.  This is a fantastic example of one way to save yourself many hours of preparation time.  Preschool Powol Packets is filled with free preschool units that will save you time and energy.

Carla provides a rich preschool program for her home daycare children and I had the chance to ask her to share some of her best home daycare advice.

Here is the interview:

Jana: How long have you been running your home daycare?
Carla: About 3 ½ years.

Jana: What are the ages of the children you care for?
Carla: Right now they are between two and five years old, though I’ve cared for children as young as infants and as old as eight.

Jana: What was your biggest struggle when you first opened your home daycare and how did you solve that problem?
Carla: I am seriously germophobic!  My biggest challenge was easily getting over the fact that our little friends will sneeze on my children, that toddlers will stick toys in their mouths, and that even preschoolers need to be reminded to wash their hands after using the bathroom.  I cannot disinfect everything before anyone touches it, and that’s okay.  Children get colds, and that’s okay too!

Jana: What part of your daily routine is key in providing you with the energy you need to juggle a blog, homeschooling and a home daycare?
Carla: Nap time…and snacks!  (I bet you could have guessed that!)  Nap time is quiet time.  If the children aren’t sleeping, they are being quiet.  It gives me a chance to re-focus my thoughts, blog and email, and gather more energy.  Food is important for my energy levels too!

Jana: When do you find time in your busy day to do educational activities with your daycare children?
Carla: After breakfast we clean up and then have “School Time.”  Everyone expects it!

Jana: How do you balance the different ages when you teach your preschool program?
Carla: We start out with circle activities, songs, and then group lessons/activities/experiments/art that everyone can participate in.  After 20-30 minutes, the younger children’s attention spans are used up, and they drift over to a play area I have set up next to our school space.  I then spend about 25 more minutes with my oldest while the younger ones play and bounce back and forth to check on me.  My kindergartener gets a few more lessons during naps and in the evening.

Even though everyone loves School Time, I think it’s important to point out that the children learn a ton from playing with me.  We talk about colors and patterns when we build with blocks, we learn story-telling and drama with dolls and dress-up, and we count when we play hide-n-seek or store/cashier.

Jana: Can you describe how a provider could adjust an activity from Bears and Butterflies for a younger or older child?
Carla: Sure!  Almost every activity could be adapted for 3-7 year old children.  The first activity, for example, is a Memory game where the cards are animals that hibernate.  Older children can easily play with all 15 sets while younger children can play with only 3-4 sets.  My 2-year old loves playing Memory, but he would be very frustrated if we used more than 6 cards.  This game is also a great way to introduce new animals to your children.  Toddlers can learn the names of animals while you talk about habitats or other details with older children as you play.

Jana: What is the organizational strategy that saves you the most time?
Carla: A schedule.  When children—even very young children—know what to expect, you save so much time that would otherwise be lost explaining or dealing with meltdowns.

Jana: What is your best piece of advice for a home daycare provider who wants to deliver educational preschool activities but doesn’t know how to stay consistent?
Carla: Create a schedule.  Everyone should know when to expect School Time or Snack Time or Play Time.  If the schedule is new (or you’re making major changes to it), have a little debriefing during breakfast where you explain the changes.  You can even make a little picture chart showing the order of the day’s activities.  Give your kids a 5-minute (or 1-minute!) reminder before your new activity begins, and then begin it!  Kids pick up on routines very quickly, and they will help you be consistent!

Thank you Carla for sharing your experience and insights from your own home daycare.  I am happy to inform my readers about your fabulous blog resources because we are always looking for ways to save time.  Check out Bears and Butterflies: 41+ Hibernation Activities from Preschool Powol Packets today!

Preschool Powol Packets Blog Tour Details:

1 – To celebrate the release of my new Ebook, Bears & Butterflies: 41+ Hibernation ActivitiesI will be visiting eight blogs during the next two weeks.  Each blog tour “stop” will include a freebie or flash giveaway AND a chance to enter a drawing for the Amazon Gift Card!

2- All readers of How To Run A Home Daycare can download the mazes free!!  They tie in perfectly to a hibernation unit and are also fun on their own!

turtle maze

3- To enter the drawing for the $10.00 Amazon Gift Card, just leave a relevant comment to this post!  (If your email isn’t in your public profile, include that in your comment too.)  Everyone who leaves a comment at a post on the blog tour will be entered in the drawing.  Since there will be eight stops, you will have eight chances to enter.  Visit Preschool Powol Packets for a schedule and more details.  A winner will be drawn on Saturday, February 9th.

Jana, Thank you so much for having me over!!  Your site has tons of useful information, and I’m honored to be visiting today!!


  1. Great interview with Carla. Really fun to hear her perspective on running a daycare!

  2. Thanks so much for having me over!!

  3. Great interview! I’m anxious to purchase this book!