What Brings You Joy?

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Ask Melinda is a Playvolution HQ column offering thoughtful answers to family child care questions written by Melinda Marshall.

Your questions, comments, and answers are welcome in the comment section at the end of the post.

This week’s question:

What Brings You Joy?


Here are my top 20 things that bring me joy every week:

20. A pocket full of buttons, polly pocket shoes, wad of playdough, a marble, red gems, a beetle (poor thing), a broken popsicle stick, and a few other assorted items I pick up off of the floor throughout the day.

19. Chalk hearts and flowers on my sidewalk

18. Two extra loads of laundry…one beach towels, and one mud covered clothes

17. Buckets of toads I must set free at the end of each night

16. Painted handprints on my faucets.

15. An older boy running to help a toddler after she fell

14. Three school age boys dressed up in fairy and princess outfits, trying to conquer the world

13. My big boy helper, refilling soap dispensers

12. Dirty little toes dangling from the picnic table

11. The mound of perfectly rolled little clay balls I found under the art table

10. Listening to a “big” kid read Toad on the Road to a “little” kid in the cozy area, for the third time

9. Sprinklers and watermelon on a hot day

8. Having a child who’s just putting sentences together say “Bless you again” after I sneezed a second time.

7. Seeing two children in conflict come to a solution without me interjecting. Rock-paper-scissors always works for me too!

6. The baby doll I found snuggled up in MY bed under the covers.

5. Listening to a normally very quiet and shy little girl rock out to “I love rock ‘n roll” on the pretend microphone

4. The baby looking like an angel when he is sleeping, his hands tucked up under his cheek

3. Hearing “I wuv you Minna” for the hundredth time…it never gets old!

2. Kisses blown goodbye

1. Turning around after closing the door on Friday afternoon, completely exhausted, to see the tornado that blew through my house this week, and the mess I still have to clean up, but realizing how lucky I am to have such wonderful children in my life, how much I love this job, and that I get to do it all over again on Monday.

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Owner at Mountaintop Family Child Care

Melinda lives in Upstate New York and is owner of her home based program, Mountaintop Family Childcare.

She has been a family child care provider for over 18 years and worked with children for over 27 years. Her program offers relationship based care that includes many aspects of farm life and nature/forest school with PLAY at the center of all they do. She firmly believes in slowing down childhood and allowing children to develop at their own pace.

Melinda believes family childcare programs offer unique settings that have much to offer to the early learning world. She strongly supports family providers in keeping a home like atmosphere in their programs. Backed by research, she continuously advocates for children's right to play.