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WELCOME TO 2018!!!
We had an exciting and very busy December. The enthusiasm of the staff, children, and parents made the month fly by. We hope each of you had a safe and happy holiday season. We wish to express a special thank you to all families here at EFC for making the holiday season so special for us. We all greatly appreciate the holiday cards, gift cards and special treats!
Thank you to all of you who donated new pajamas for the Sweet Dreams for Kids organization! These pajamas will be making their way to Children's hospitals in Minnesota and around the country. 


During the week of January 22, things will be getting a little "CRAZY" around here! Each day we will have a different theme along with many fun activities planned throughout the "crazy" week. The themes are as follows:

Monday, January 22: Hat Day
Tuesday, January 23: Pajama Day
Wednesday, January 24: Stripes/Polka Dot Day
Thursday, January 25: Wear Your Favorite Color Day
Friday, January 26: Beach Day

On Tuesday, January 23, the Wonder Weavers story tellers will be here to tell the children their favorite winter tales. The preschool and toddler classrooms will be together for this event, which starts at 10:00. 

If Especially for Children cannot open due to inclement weather, the center's closing will be announced on WCCO (830 AM radio, Channel 4 television, and If conditions during the day (weather or emergency) make it necessary to close before our regularly scheduled time, we will need to reach each of you at your work places. If at any time you are aware of changes that should be made on your child's emergency card, please request a new card. This also includes changes with emergency contacts and authorized to pick up persons. 
During the winter, we all tend to hunker down and hibernate. Here is a list of fun activities to get you and your children out to enjoy some winter fun.
*      Build a snowman!
*      Build a snow fort!
*      Have a snowball fight!
*      Go ice skating
*      Go sledding
*      Go on a nature hike (Woodlake or Richardson Nature Center)
If you are looking for something fun to do this winter season, St. Paul's Winter Carnival starts on Thursday, January 25. Activities include, but are not limited to:

*      Ice Palace Display
*      Ice Carvings
*      Moon Glow Pedestrian Parade
*      Winter Wonderland in Rice Park
*      Music in Rice Park
For more information, go to their website at:


Centennial Lakes Skating Rink is typically open mid-December until mid-February, depending on the weather. The rink is open between 4-9:30 Monday through Friday, 10-9:30 Saturdays and 12-9:30 Sundays. Skates & ice sleds may be rented, and there is a warming house  with cozy fire places, concession stand and restrooms nearby. There is no admission charge for the skating rink. For more information call 952-833-9586. 


Winter Fete: One Coooool Week in January! Join Bloomington Parks and Recreation and area sponsors in welcoming the 14th annual Winter Fete January 20 - January 28. Kick off Winter Fete by attending Fat Tire Bike in the Minnesota River Valley. Be sure to check out the many other family fun activities at the City of Bloomington website. 

The U.S. has become a nation of "non-tinkerers" and it has harmed the way we live and work. In a poll of 1,000 U.S. adults, nearly 6 in 10 said they had never made or built a toy. The majority said they avoid doing household repairs themselves. The problem is that tinkering is the process that leads to discovery and innovation - brainstorming with your hands. We want to encourage tinkering in our children!
A further concern is that girls are encouraged to tinker even less often than are boys; and when it comes to higher education, women are vastly underrepresented in many STEM fields. Though male and female students perform equally well in mathematics and science on standardized tests in high school, by the time they reach college, disparities begin to emerge. Women receive only 17.9% of computer science degrees, 19.3% of engineering degrees, 39% of physical science degrees, and 43.1% of mathematics degrees. (National Science Board, Science and Engineering Indicators, 2016.)
For the past decade, there has been a concerted effort to change this. Many of you have heard of STEM curriculum, which has been changed to STEAM. 


Schools across the nation are creating STEAM curriculums. Early Childhood Education has long been focused on hands-on learning. On a daily basis, children are given opportunities to experiment in science, art, and math. In recent years at Especially for Children, we are consciously working to give children more experiences in tinkering, which develops skills needed for both engineering and technology. We want our students to be prepared for the challenges of the future.
We let children touch things, make things, and solve problems on their own. We know that by allowing children time to tinker and struggle with answering questions, we are showing them that we have high expectations for them. We pose age-appropriate challenges and then send the message, "I know you can get it if I give you the chance."
At home, you can help your child understand the value of hands-on skills. Let them see you handle a necessary household repair or tackle a hobby for pleasure. Show them your pride when you fix or create something.  Let them help you when you are tinkering. Have a set of tools your child can "use" when you are repairing a faucet or tightening a loose screw. Even a set of plastic tools will help your son or daughter understand the concept of taking things apart and putting them back together again.

Over the New Year's weekend, we will be with all of our grandchildren. I think I will throw in my suitcase some items that encourage tinkering. I hope your 2018 is wonderful - tinkering times with your child may provide some special joy!
1/1  Polar Dash , Minneapolis
Now-1/5  Tinkertoy, Build Your Imagination, Children's Museum, Saint Paul
Now-1/7  How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Children's Theatre, Minneapolis
Now-1/7 Gingerbread Wonderland, Houses of Norway, Minneapolis
Now-2/11   Wells Fargo Winter Skate, St. Paul
Now-mid-February  Centennial Lakes Ice Skating, Edina
1/14 Winter Ice Festival , Edina
1/19-2/19 Leo Lionni's Frederick, Stages Theatre, Hopkins
1/23-3/18 The Wiz, Children's Theatre Company, Mpls
1/25-2/10 Winter Carnival , Saint Paul

After the busyness of the holiday season, it can be a transition for both parents and children to get back to the regular routine. As parents, we may need to re-establish certain boundaries and expectations that were eased over the last month. But this can be challenging work, and according to child development expert Dr. David Walsh, many of us fall into some common pitfalls when it comes to limits and consequences.

Especially for Children
5133 W. 98th St.
Bloomington, MN 55437 
(952) 831-1435

Center Director:
Kathy Hane
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