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The entire staff at EFC wishes you good health and happiness for 2018! Thank you for your continued support and for allowing us to be a part of your child's life!
We also want to thank everyone who thought of us this holiday season. The holiday cards, gift cards and presents were very much appreciated. We hope you had a wonderful holiday with your family!!

A big Thank You for the many donations this holiday season. As you can see, we donated many hats, mittens and gloves, as well as 117 pounds of food. The hats and mittens were collected for 'Sharing & Caring Hands' and the food was donated to VEAP. The teaching staff and children were proud to help collect items for such great causes. We appreciate everyone's generosity!  

During the week of January 15, 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 15: Hat Day
Tuesday, January 16: Stripes/Polka Dots Day
Wednesday, January 17: Pajama Day
Thursday, January 18: Wear Your Favorite Color Day
Friday, January 19: Beach Day

On Wednesday, January 10, we will have Merla Jean here for a special puppet show! You are welcome to join your child during the show.  The preschool show will begin at 3:30pm and the toddler show will begin at 4:00pm.

Your new tuition rates are in effect January 1Make sure to save your January statement as it will have your 2017 tax information.

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 your emergency contacts and authorized to pick up persons.

star wellness
This is such a fun idea to get children moving indoors on those chilly winter days! All you need is a couple of paper plates and have fun sliding around the house - this works on either hard or carpeted floors.   
Centennial Lakes Park Winter Ice Festival
Sunday, January 14, 2018 from 1:00-5:00 PM
In celebration of the winter season, Centennial Lakes Park will host the 28th annual Winter Ice Festival. Visitors to the park will be able to have their faces painted and ride on a horse-drawn wagon. Ice skates and kick-sleds are available to rent at the Hughes Pavilion, which serves as a warming house and concessions stand during the winter months. Behind Hughes Pavilion on the terrace overlooking the lake, ice-sculpting demonstrations will be given.
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. Science Technology Engineering Art Math 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
5015 W. 70 St
Edina MN 55439
(952) 946-9971

Center Directors:
Susan Wilson and Michelle Botz
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