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The leaves are falling and the temperature is dropping - fall must be here! Our teachers are planning lots of fun and festive activities to help us celebrate the coming of autumn.

fall leaves At home, a family walk to celebrate the season can turn into an outdoor adventure.  Bring journals and crayons to make leave rubbings or bring a bag to collect treasures. Once home, kids can use their treasures to make a festive fall collage!
Fire truck visit with the Bloomington Fire Department on Wednesday, October 4, at 10:00. Children will learn about fire safety and will be able to tour the fire truck.

On Friday, October 13, Lifetouch Photography will be here to take our fall pictures. We will begin taking the children's pictures at 8:00, with class pictures last. If Friday is a day your child does not attend, we encourage you to come for pictures if you are able. We would love to have everyone be a part of their class pictures. 

On Thursday, October 25, Magicians Robert and Lynn Halbrook will be here at 10:00 to perform their "Halloween Safety Magic Show". The children will truly enjoy this special event.
The fall fun will continue with our family Halloween party the same evening on October 25. Please bring your child's Halloween costume and teachers will help get children ready for the spooktacular fun. Our party will be 4:00-6:30.
  • Citywide Halloween Party on October 31 from 6:00-8:00 at the Bloomington Ice Garden. Children will enjoy trick or treat alley, open skating, games, prizes and much more. Admission is free but they will be accepting non-perishable food donations for the VEAP food shelf.
  • Wood Lake Nature Center: Half Haunted Halloween with the theme of "Natures Superheroes". This is a family friendly, non-scary event full of activities including a trick or treat trail, magic show, games and much, much more. This event is Saturday, October 21, from 2:00-7:30. 
  • Pumpkin festival - Held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on October 21 at 50th & France. Trick-or-treating at area businesses, games and more. 
star wellness
  • ¼ cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseeds
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup real maple syrup (or honey)
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp pumpkin spice
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract 
Preheat oven to 325. Spread oats and quinoa on parchment paper  lined baking pan. Toast in the oven 10 minutes, stirring once. Remove from oven and place in a medium bowl, adding flaxseeds, pecans and dried fruit. Reduce oven to 300. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over the oats, and mixing well. Spread back on baking sheet and back an additional 20 minutes. 

Recipe taken from
On Friday, September 1, the teaching staff from all eight of our Especially for Children centers gathered at Normandale Community College for a series of workshops. It was a productive day of getting new ideas and preparing ourselves for the start of the "school year". We split into groups so that the trainings could be age-specific.
The teaching staff who work with infants or young toddlers attended one session on math and science and another on how movement and play build the brain. We participated in hands-on activities, and teachers were given some new resource materials to enhance their classrooms and facilitate their lesson planning.
The teaching staff who work with older toddlers or preschoolers also had sessions on interactive math and science. It is amazing how even the simplest activities can be designed to help children understand concepts such as patterning, geometry, estimation, volume, and the physical aspects of the environment.
Back to School Dramatic Play area
Also leading a workshop were two of our own employees. Carolyn and Samantha from our Edina/Edinborough center led a session on Creative Dramatic Play. They presented great ideas on how we can embellish our dramatic play areas to be even more fun and educational for children.

Then, all employees attended sessions on how to prepare for their accreditation visits that will be coming up soon. The workshop was entitled "Through the Assessor's Eyes" and gave very practical information to help teaching staff prepare for the observations that NAEYC validators will conduct. Our accreditation renews every five years. Although we work very hard to uphold the accreditation standards each and every day, there is always a bit of stress connected to having an outside observer spend an hour in your classroom during which time he/she assesses whether or not hundreds of standards are being met. Think good thoughts as our teachers prepare for these visits.
The last component of our day was honoring long-term employees. This year 51 people were recognized for having worked for Especially for Children over 5 years. Of those, 19 people have been with the company 20 years or more. A special thank you to our longest-term employee, Kathy Brotten, of the Circle Pines center for her 37 years of service!!! See our Parent Blog for photos of our long-term employees.

Now-10/29  Spookley the Square Pumpkin , Stages Theatre, Hopkins
Now-10/29  Shafer Corn Maze, Shafer 
Now-10/31 Scarecrows, MN Landscape Arboretum, Chanhassen
10/14-10/15 Farmer Ken & Jan's Pumpkin Patch Trolley Ride, Lake Harriet Trolley, Mpls
10/21  Pumpkin Night in the ParkSpringbrook Nature Center, Coon Rapids
10/21  Pumpkin Fest , 50th & France, Edina
10/21-10/29 (weekends) ZooBoo, Como Zoo, Saint Paul
10/28   Terror Trot 5k, 10k & KidsK Family Run, Lake Harriet, Mpls
10/29 Trick 'r Trolley , Lake Harriet Trolley, Mpls 

Apple Orchards & Pumpkin Patches
Aamodt's, Stillwater
Applewood, Lakeville
Deer Lake, Buffalo
Emma Krumbee's, Belle Plain
Minnetonka, Minnetrista

At our Professional Development Day in early September, we recognized all EFC teaching staff and directors who have been with the organization for 5 years or more. That includes 51 dedicated early childhood educators across all of our centers! We appreciate their many contributions to EFC. The individuals pictured below have been with Especially for Children for 26 years or more!

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

Center Director:
Kathy Hane
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