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"The more you read, the more things you know.  The more you learn, the more places you'll go."  --Dr. Seuss
Read! Read! Read! is our unit for March. As we all  know, reading to our children at all ages is great  for their development in language as well as an  appreciation for learning new things through  books.
To go along with our reading focus this month,  we will be looking for volunteers to read aloud at  our center. Outside each classroom, we will have  posted times that parents and/or grandparents  can sign-up to read to their child's class. It is a  fun experience for everyone. Thank you for your  participation. We will start read alouds the week of March 5. In honor of our literary focus, we will also be hosting a storyteller on Tuesday, March 20 from 9:30-10:45 am. She will tell stories to the toddler and preschool age groups.

The Monkey preschool classroom will be heading to Orchestra Hall for the Kinder Konzert on Friday, March 16, with the bus leaving at 9:30 am. This is one of our favorite field trips! The preschoolers learn about various instruments of the orchestra and then get to listen to a mini concert designed for this age. The story focus this year is "Max Found Two Sticks". It is always a wonderful experience and enjoyed by all.

We are heading to the Lowry Nature Center on Friday, March 23, to look for signs of spring and learn a little bit about maple syrup tapping. Our Minnesota "winter" has been unpredictable so we will plan on boots and snowpants with jackets as our attire and plan according to the weather as the time gets closer. We will also have an indoor picnic lunch at the nature center. The bus will leave at 9:00 am and return after lunch. Parents are welcome to attend.


If you are heading out of town for a spring vacation, please "X" in the front attendance log if your child(ren) will not be here. Minnetonka schools' official spring break is from March 24-April 2.



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.Better communication skills. Children will be much more likely to express themselves and relate to others in a healthy way.
  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.
Great book lists

Are your children getting enough sleep? Many studies have shown that children who do not get good quality sleep on a regular basis can have a variety of significant side effects. One is that their cognitive performance suffers.
That is because while we are sleeping, our brains are very active. "While in deep sleep,  all the information children have learned gets selected, consolidated and stored in the long-term memory, so it can be put to good use at a later date," says sleep physiologist Dr. Guy Meadows. "A child has to be awake enough to be focused and attentive in the first place, and then well-rested to recall those memories and use them to solve problems in the future.  Poor sleep can affect every stage of the learning process."
You may ask, "How much sleep does my child need?" Everyone's needs are different, but health professionals recommend that each day, children ages 1-2 get 11-14 hours, 3-5 get 10-13 hours, and 6-13 get 9-11 hours.
Across the world, children are sleeping less. There are a number of reasons for this, chief among them is dependence on technology, a more child-centered style of parenting, poor diet, and the example set by an older generation who work longer hours, come home later, and constantly check their phones.
"Our benchmark of what is normal is changing," says Meadows. "For children and adults, waking up feeling tired is becoming the new normal. So people are just reaching for energy drinks, reaching for caffeine as ways of coping and seeing that as perfectly normal. Parents need to make their children aware of the importance of sleep." Parents can become role models for their children, showing them, "I don't stay up late, I have a regular bedtime, I don't stay on my smart phone before bed."
Tips for a child's good night
  • Avoid sugary snacks and caffeine; particularly at suppertime. Opt for alternatives like banana, oatmeal or whole wheat bread.
  • Think about the bedroom environment: is it calm and conducive to sleep?
  • Have a consistent routine that you follow every evening in the hour before bedtime.
  • Consider whether bathtime is relaxing. If it isn't, separate it from the bedtime routine. If it is, have the bath 30 minutes before bedtime to allow the body temperature to rise and then drop again - this helps us feel sleepy.
  • No screen activity in the hour before bed; no TVs, computers, phones or tablets.
  • Activities involving hand-eye coordination help the brain wind down before bed - things like puzzles or coloring.
  • Have a set wake-up time, even on the weekends.
  • Provide your child with a visual cue so they know when it is time to wake up, like a light on a timer.
Many of these tips can be used by adults too!
Information taken from:  Children of the World Sleeping Less, Child Care Exchange

Now-3/17  Tropical Beach Party , MN Zoo, Apple Valley
Now-3/18 The Wiz, Children's Theatre Company, Mpls
Now-5/13 Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit, MN Children's Museum,  St. Paul
3/3  First Free Saturday: Kids' Film Fair, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
3/9-3/25 The Nightingale, Stages Theatre, Hopkins
3/10 Irish Day Running Races, Various Locations
3/17 St. Patrick's Day Parade , St. Paul
3/17 & 3/18 Irish Dance Celebrations , Landmark Center, St. Paul
3/23-4/30 Farm Babies, MN Zoo, Apple Valley

"Play is the highest form of research."

- Albert Einstein

Especially for Children
6223 Dell Road
Eden Prairie MN 55346
(952) 934-1119

Center Directors:
Lynn Seltz and Cathie Underwood 
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