June 2017
Director's Corner
Dear Families,

I recently came across a quote from Hodding Carter that reads "There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings".
Children of all ages need to feel a constant sense of security and sense of belonging. They also need the confidence to take risks and soar to other places. Balancing those two things for babies, toddlers and preschoolers can pose challenges and create many moments of extreme wonder and joy. As young children grow and develop they experience success with some areas of development and challenges in others that they are striving for. The excitement of seeing children be successful and overcome barriers often overshadows the stress associated with "getting there". The challenging issue at times is the fact that even though children "get there" they can often experience moments of sliding back or regressing into former habits or inabilities at being consistently successful in managing the accomplishment. Think of it as two steps forward and one step back. This can be frustrating for children and parents. I often have conversations with parents about children who have mastered certain things and suddenly out of nowhere, they are unable or unwilling to do those things when asked. Sometimes the pressure of having "arrived" is overwhelming and hard to handle. In order to feel better about themselves, children may regress or revert back to a safer place where there is less frustration or expectation.   Sometimes, even though a child has turned three, acting like a "toddler" who gets lots of help is a little easier than being a "preschooler" who can do a lot of new things, with less help. Often times, children just need reassurance that a trusted adult is there for support and guidance and will help them during these conflicting times. Remember that with each new milestone or transition, whether large or small, comes unique challenges and emotions. With your consistent support (roots) patience and guidance, children will see you as a model and example and will work through the challenges in order to achieve success. Take time to appreciate where children actually are in their development, knowing that when the time is right and children are ready, they will move into the next phase of their childhood and new and exciting moments await you both.(wings)

Have a wonderful and joyful day,
Mary Beth

Curriculum in the Classroom
Toddler Four

A few weeks back when winter was coming to an end and spring was in full bloom, our toddlers were noticing the changes around them. When we were on walks, they were very interested in all the different types of flowers and trees that were blooming. 

Toddler 4 teachers capitalized on this interest. One way that we fostered their interest was to help them learn the names of the types of flowers that we saw during our walks around the block. We would stop to observe and smell these colorful flowers as well.  Another way that we built on this interest was to create open-ended flower art. We created many different types of art projects related to flowers.

We encourage toddlers not only to create art, but also to discover art in the world around them. Our class is very observant and they noticed the tulips popping up all over in neighboring yards. Something that stood out to them was the various arrays of colors. Just like the changing of the seasons, we decided to change some of the art work in our classroom. Many students noticed that we were seeing more green, yellow, red and pink things outside. So we decided to make a variety of artwork with those colors. While creating the art, we were able to discuss the names of flowers, colors and the season of spring in a very natural way. 

Another way that the children expressed their artistic side was by taking pictures of the flowers on our walk. Every toddler got a turn to stop and take a few pictures of all the different flowers that we encountered on our walk. They had fun being able to use the camera on their own, aiming and then pressing the button to snap a pic!

Toddlers are very observant and our toddlers have really been interested in the changing of the season. They have gained vocabulary, expressed themselves artistically and became more connected with the world around them through this natural study of flowers in Toddler Four!
Good Eats

This recipe was chosen by Shelley Martin, our Infant/Toddler Team Leader and Infant Three's Head Teacher. It looks so refreshing and it sounds like it would make an easy summer treat!

Recipe Ingredients:
3 ripe bananas, cut in coins and frozen
1/2 cup strawberries, frozen
1/2 cup milk of choice
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cut bananas into coins and place in freezer in a seal-able bag. 
Freeze overnight or until solid. 
Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. 
Pour contents into a loaf or small pan. 
Freeze one hour or until solid. 
Scoop it out and serve it like ice cream.

UCDC Art Gallery

Record Player Marker Art
Oil and Watercolor Painting
Footprint Painting
Contact Paper Art

Welcome to UCDC!

This past month, we welcomed Marcela Belin to our Infant Two teaching team here at UCDC. We are so happy to welcome here to our UCDC family! Please read on to learn more about our newest teacher.

Oi! I'm Marcela and I'm the new Assistant Teacher in Infant 2. I am from Brazil and I have lived in Pittsburgh for five lovely years. I am also a doula and a Lamaze Childbirth Educator and I have supported many families around Pittsburgh during birth and the perinatal period. I am proud to be an advocate for breastfeeding and culturally sensitive support for every mother and baby. Portuguese is my native language and I also speak Spanish. During my free time I like to play an Afro-Brazilian musical instrument called a berimbau. 
  • UCDC will be closed on Tuesday, July 4th. Enjoy your time spent with family!
  • Congratulations to Heidi Kalsani, Infant One's Head Teacher on the birth of her third child. Kalsani, Heidi, Anjali and Jayden are happy to announce the arrival of baby Noah this past month. We are so happy for all of them!
Preschool Wisdoms

Summer is here! Summer days always bring joy to little ones in many different ways. Here's what the preschoolers in Preschool One love about summer...

Anna:  I like when we make snowcones.
Aurora: Running around and playing in the sun
Ari: I like the blue sky with the sun shining.
Mia: I like looking at the clouds and seeing rain and rainbows.
Mila: I like clouds and rainbows, it has many colors.
Sylvia: I like  huge, big water play and water dripping.
Stephen : The wind blowing
Zachary: I like to listen to the leaves crunching
Juliet: I llike the sun and sunsets
Justin I like the sun- its bright
Shiloh: To go on long walks with my dogs
Cheryl: I like sitting outside and watching the sunset. 

Our Philosophy

Markers on Hands 7.11
UCDC utilizes a child centered, extended family approach that is fostered by supporting the developmental needs of all children. We foster children's self esteem, creative abilities, sense of belonging and success by implementing a developmentally appropriate curriculum based on NAEYC and Keystone STARS standards, through a play-based approach to learning. We support families and partner with them to provide an environment that welcomes their collaboration and supports both cultural and family preferences.

University Child Development Center | University of Pittsburgh
412.383.2100 | www.ucdc.pitt.edu