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BIKE AND PARK DAYS
Starting in April, we will have random bike and park days (good-bye to winter sleds!) The dates are listed on your calendar. Bikes are optional, but if you bring them, please include a helmet. Bikes can be dropped off out back at the playground. On the park days, please have your child at the center by 10 a.m. to join in on the walk to the park.

SPRING INTO OUR NEW STAFF
Check out our classroom parent boards for information on all our staff working in each classroom! Bios and pictures about staff members are posted here. Our new staff are excited to get to know you and your children!
CENTER HAPPENINGS
WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD
Each April, NAEYC dedicates a week to celebrate young children through Week of the Young Child (learn more on the following page). We are celebrating this week with the following activities;
  • Monday, 4/16 - Music Monday, children will be parading around the building with instruments that they have made.
  • Tuesday, 4/17 - Staff Appreciation Luncheon. Please bring in a special dish to share with your child's teachers.
  • Wednesday, 4/18 - Wacky Hair Day and Twins Day. Please wear your favorite Twins gear and style up your hair!
  • Thursday, 4/19 - Artsy Thursday. The children will create a geometric garden to decorate our front windows using scrapbooking paper and other fun materials.                               
  • Friday, 4/20 - Family Friday. Please join us for a special snack in the afternoon created by your child's class.
CELEBRATING EARTH DAY
Please bring in a white t-shirt by Monday, April 9. We will be painting these shirts throughout the week to celebrate Earth Day. As part of our celebration we will be talking with the children about the difference between recycling, composting and trash. We will learn how each affects our Earth.
 
Earth Day falls on Sunday, April 22. We will be celebrating with an Earth Day Picnic on Monday, April 23.

PARENT REMINDERS

SPRING CONFERENCES
Parent Teacher conferences will begin April 30. Each class will have a sign-up sheet on the parent front desk.

OUTDOOR CLOTHING
If you haven't already, please take home all outdoor winter clothing by the end of April. We are hoping that there will be no more snow after that! We would prefer that your child come to school wearing some type of athletic shoes. We do many walks and sports activities beginning in the spring. Also, our playground consists of woodchips and sand, which tend to collect inside of sandals.

LOOKING AHEAD
Just a reminder, our center will be closed on Friday, May 26 , for staff in-service training and planning opportunities for our staff. We will be closed on Monday, May 29 , in observance of Memorial Day.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

NAEYC WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD 2018: CELEBRATING OUR YOUNGEST LEARNERS
April 16-20 is Week of the Young Child. This is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the nation's largest organization of early childhood professionals with more than 80,000 members and a network of 300 local, state and regional affiliates.
 
The purpose of the Week of the Young Child is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs/services that meet those needs.
 
NAEYC first established the Week of the Young Child in 1971, recognizing that the early childhood years (birth through age 8) lay the foundation for children's success in school and later life.
 
Check out https://www.naeyc.org/events/woyc/resources  for family resources and ways to celebrate Week of the Young Child with your family including:
ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
The 7 QI Skills
The following is an excerpt from the article Ready for Success: Quality Care, School-Readiness, and the Skills Young Children Need to Succeed published by Community Playthings. It discusses important school readiness skills that are a complement to the IQ skills traditionally used to measure school readiness.  You can read the full article here.
 
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When intentionally cultivated in the early childhood setting, the following seven skills define quality care and need to be added to our school-readiness checklists:
 
ME Skills: The first of the QI Skills are ME Skills, which are defined by self-awareness, self-control, and impulse control, along with focus and attention. One of the most important things to understand about ME Skills is that the ability to be in control of one's thoughts, feelings, and actions takes time to develop. While ME Skills such as impulse control can and should be encouraged during toddlerhood and can be practiced through such simple activities as playing games, taking turns, and reading aloud (all which require quite a bit of attention and self-control), keep in mind that young children don't typically start to show significant signs of progress until between the ages of 3 and 5 years.
 
WE Skills: WE Skills are the skills needed to play well with others. They include communication, collaboration, and teamwork, along with empathy and active listening. These skills are best learned through social interactions, both with adults and with other children. Everyday activities such as making a point to name and discuss the emotions of characters in books helps children develop an emotional vocabulary and learn the valuable skill of learning to read not just books, but other people.
 
WHY Skills: Curiosity and questioning serve to define the WHY Skills. While encouraging young children to ask lots of questions-not just why, but all sorts of questions-can admittedly be a bit challenging when you're busy or at the end of a long day, it helps to remember that WHY Skills are what help children figure out and understand how the world works.
 
WILL Skills: WILL Skills are those skills that involve self-motivation and drive, and are often described as having "stick-with-it" or "get-the-job-done" attitudes. When it comes to young children, helping develop WILL Skills in part involves giving them words of encouragement and adequate time to practice and ultimately master a skill before swooping in to help. It also involves realizing that motivating children to do something through the constant use of rewards, whether in the form of stickers or sweets and treats, is not the same thing as self-motivation and has been shown, in fact, to potentially backfire and actually impair WILL Skill development.
 
WIGGLE Skills: While you may not be accustomed to thinking of wiggling as a skill, the important thing to understand about it is that physical and intellectual restlessness go hand in hand. While we all learn about the world by physically interacting with it, this is especially true for infants and young children. While there are certainly times when it is appropriate to strap young children in (e.g. in a car seat while driving) or have them practice sitting still, expecting them to always look but don't touch is not only unrealistic, but stands to limit their learning. What young children really need is plenty of wiggle room in which they can safely explore, poke, touch, prod, and learn about the world.
 
WOBBLE Skills: Defined by adaptability, agility, and the ability to recover from failure, cultivating WOBBLE Skills involves creating safe settings and environments in which children are allowed to fail, and then are encouraged to brush themselves off, get right back up, and try again. From a practical standpoint, this amounts to such simple everyday approaches as allowing toddlers to topple, resisting the urge to say "don't run" simply for fear that a preschooler might fall, or helping young children problem solve when they run into obstacles rather than coming to their rescue by providing quick and easy solutions.
 
WHAT IF Skills: WHAT IF Skills are highly valued in today's world, and represent the culmination of all of the QI Skills. They include creativity, innovation, and imagination, as well as hope. There are lots of creative activities that help foster WHAT IF Skills, from reading books and telling stories to drawing pictures and make-believe play. That said, it's also worth remembering that young children naturally excel at being creative and imagining a world of possibilities. That means that our role in cultivating QI Skills doesn't just involve teaching them, but rather realizing that there's more than one way to do things and making sure we don't train the creativity and imagination out of them.
 
 
TWIN CITIES
FAMILY EVENTS
Now-4/30  Farm Babies, MN Zoo, Apple Valley
Now-5/13 Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit, MN Children's Museum, 
St. Paul 
4/8   Goldy's Gallop Kids Run , TCF Bank Stadium
4/17-6/10 Dr. Seuss's The Lorax, Children's Theatre Company
4/20-5/20 Whoever You Are, Stages Theatre, Hopkins
4/21  Earth Day Clean Up , multiple locations throughout Minneapolis
4/28 Get in Gear Half Marathon, 10k and 5k , Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis 

by Angie Williams

"...many children will require careful step-by step instruction from reading effective cues to acting on decisions."

Cora, our younger, very spirited daughter is approaching the age of 3, and my husband and I are bracing ourselves. We recall the joys and challenges of this age with Abby, our older daughter; many of these are already in full swing. What is new this time around is that we are not only trying to find parenting strategies that work for Cora, but we are also trying to help Abby relate to her sister in a productive way...
 
Especially for Children
2 H South Pine Dr.
Circle Pines MN 55014
(763) 786-9410

Center Director:
Linda Burck

Center Assistant Director:
Kris Steffens
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