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The theme for March at EFC is "Read, Read, Read!!" We are excited to kick off the month with Dr. Seuss' birthday on Monday, March 2!
Dr. Seuss was born Theodor Seuss Geisel on March 2, 1904 in Springfield, MA. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1925, and started out drawing cartoons for Standard Oil. His cartoon creatures would later appear in his children's books. In 1936, while on vacation in Europe, he came up with his first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, which was rejected by the first 43 publishers he approached. Then in 1937, a friend published it under the name Dr. Seuss. He used Dr. because his father always wanted him to be a doctor. The rest is history.
Dr. Seuss' books are timeless and have been read by many generations.
We celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday early with "The Magic of Dr. Seuss" Magic Show. The kids enjoyed the show and got to meet some fun creatures!


Friday, March 3: "Hats off to reading" (Hat Day)
Wednesday, March 8: "We go wild for books" (Wild Hair Day)
Friday, March 17: "Wear GREEN for St. Patrick's Day!"
Thursday, March 23: "Cozy up with a good book" (Pajama Day)
Tuesday, March 28: "Socks off to reading" (Funky Socks Day)
We all know reading to our kids is a good thing - but are you familiar with the specific advantages your toddler or preschool-age child can receive by being exposed to the merits of reading? Below are some benefits that highlight the importance of reading to your child between the ages of two and five.
1. A stronger relationship with you. As children get older they are more on the go. Reading a book together allows time to slow down and snuggle.
2. Academic excellence. One of the primary benefits of reading is higher aptitude of learning in general. Studies show that children exposed to reading before preschool are more likely to do well in all facets of formal education.
3. Basic speech skills. Throughout toddlerhood and preschool, your child is learning critical language and enunciation skills. By listening to you read One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, your child is reinforcing the basic sounds that form language.
4. The basics of how to read a book. Children are not born with the innate knowledge that text is read from left to right or that words are separate from images. Essential pre-reading skills like these are among the major benefits of early reading.
5. Better communication skills. Children will be much more likely to express themselves and relate to others in a healthy way.
6. Mastery of language. Early reading for toddlers has been linked to a better grasp of the fundamentals of language as they approach school age.
7. More logical thinking skills. Helps children to grasp abstract concepts, apply logic to various scenarios, recognize cause and effect and utilize good judgment.
8. Acclamation of new experiences. When reaching developmental milestones or potentially stressful experiences, reading relevant stories can help ease the transition.
9. Enhanced concentration and discipline. Your child will learn self-discipline, gain a longer attention span and better memory retention.
10. The knowledge that reading is fun! Early reading for toddlers helps them view books as indulgence, not a chore. Kids exposed to reading are much more likely to choose books over video games and television.
Some days everything clicks, and other days it feels as if whatever you plan to do turns into a disaster. This can be at work, at home, at school or even on a vacation.
And when you put your child or children in the mix, layers of additional challenges appear. How do we develop strategies to cope with times like this?
How can you turn a bad day into a good day? Or better yet, how can you minimize the number of bad days (or moments) you actually have? The answers could be:
  1.          Create balance in your life
  2.          Think ahead - be prepared
  3.          Don't let small matters stress you
  4.          Be responsible
  5.          Play more
The list could go on and on. But I want to talk about number 5 - Play more. We have written many articles on the importance of play in your child's life. But we haven't written about the importance of play in your life as an adult. Play could be the key to creating the balance that most of us are looking for.
I recently reread a book I had purchased over a decade ago called The Playful Adult: 500 Ways to Lighten Your Spirit and Tickle Your Soul by Sue Baldwin. It reminded me that "We can't feel stressed and relaxed at the same time. So, given all the intensities in life, it is vital to our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being that we find ways to compensate for the pressures we face. When we become adults, many people find that they can't easily play. Or they decide that they can play only on the weekends. But in reality, we need to try to achieve balance on a daily basis."
The great thing about being parents of young children is that, if we have the right mindset, we can integrate play into our own lives as we interact with our children. After all, play is thing children most like to do. And their play can definitely become our play if we let it. "Consider it a great honor when your child wants to play with you. And in return, give your child the gift of being your playful, childlike self!" wrote Sue Baldwin.
But, in addition to playing with your child, carve out playtime for yourself. You will be better at everything you do if you take some time to play in the way that brings you joy. Here are a few examples of play from Sue Baldwin's book.
  • Turn on certain music that makes you happy
  • On a rainy day, curl up under a favorite blanket and read until you get sleepy, and then take a nap
  • Sit next to a stream or lake and skip rocks
  • Turn a somersault on your bed
  • Soak your washcloth in hot water and give yourself a facial
  • Play the game "remember when" to relive funny memories
  • Go bowling, fishing or golfing
Most of all, create time for yourself and  recognize it as play! You need it and deserve it!!
Now-3/12 Tropical Beach Party, MN Zoo, Apple Valley
Now-3/26  Dr. Seuss' The Sneetches , Children's Theatre, Mpls
3/4 First Free Saturday: Kids' Film Festival, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
3/10-3/26 The Velveteen Rabbit, Stages Theatre, Hopkins
3/11 Irish Day Running Races, Various Locations
3/17 St. Patrick's Day Parade, St. Paul
3/17-3/19 Irish Dance Celebrations, Landmark Center, St. Paul

Anna Wilson, co-director at Especially for Children Edina/Edinborough, was recently featured in  MN Parent  magazine's "The art of the daycare drop-off" article.  Read her tips  on how to have a successful school drop-off with your child.

Especially for Children
3370 Coachman Rd.
Eagan, MN 55121
(651) 452-0043

Center Director:
Jessica Nunn
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