APRIL 2022
Greetings!

NAEYC WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD 2022: CELEBRATING EARLY LEARNING, YOUNG CHILDREN, THEIR TEACHERS, FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES
April 2-8 is Week of the Young Child. This is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the nation’s largest organization of early childhood professionals with more than 80,000 members and a network of 300 local, state, and regional affiliates.
 
The purpose of the Week of the Young Child is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs/services that meet those needs.
 
NAEYC first established the Week of the Young Child in 1971, recognizing that the early childhood years (birth through age 8) lay the foundation for children’s success in school and later life.
CENTER HAPPENINGS
FUN DAYS IN APRIL
Because April is such a great month to celebrate children and early childhood professionals, we thought it would be fun to have some special dress up days to start the month. Here they are…

Monday, April 4 – Fun Sock Day  
Tuesday, April 5 – Stripes /Polka Dots Day
Wednesday, April 6 – Pajama Day   
Thursday, April 7 – Sports Attire Day  
Friday, April 8 – Hat Day 
EFC MAIL IS COMING BACK…
During the week of April 18-22, we will have EFC mail once again. This was so enjoyable in past years & the children were very excited when they received their own mail! Cards will be available at the parent reception (outside the office) where you can write your child and your child’s teaching staff a special note. Place your cards in the green mailbox or email us a note instead if that is easier! Michelle and Susan will deliver new mail each day to the children and teaching staff. 
EARTH DAY IS FRIDAY, APRIL 22!
Whether you’re planning to participate a group clean-up or something smaller with just your family, every effort helps care for our Earth. We look forward to planning some fun Earth Day activities and hope you find something exciting to do this Earth Day with your child as well!
 
We’d love to recognize our teaching staff and children for the extra focus and efforts with composting and recycling at EFC! 
 
We are also grateful EFC’s administration desires to seek out innovative methods. We can truly see what a difference this has made for our world.
PARENT REMINDERS
SUMMER SCHEDULES
With summer right around the corner, please take a moment to update this form: https://especiallyforchildren.com/summer-form/ if your child’s schedule will be changing over the summer, or if you know of any vacations you have planned. Thank you!
ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
LOOSE PARTS NATURE PLAY
By Angie Williams
Dr. Carla Gull, an expert on outdoor classrooms and nature play, hosts a podcast called Loose Parts Nature Play (https://loosepartsnatureplay.libsyn.com/) in which she discusses how loose parts play fosters creativity, curiosity, and fun! With spring upon us and April being the month of Earth Day, it is a great time to dig into how we can enhance nature play and help children more fully engage with the natural world around them.
 
Loose Parts Theory
The theory of loose parts was developed by Simon Nicholson, who wrote:
 
“In any environment, both the degree of inventiveness and creativity, and the possibility of discovery, are directly proportional to the number and kind of variables in it.”
 
In this context, variables are open-ended materials but also include, for example:  phenomena such as electricity, magnetism, and gravity; sounds, music, and motion; chemical interactions and cooking. In addition, embedded in Nicholson’s theory is the notion that children should be involved in designing their own environments—contributing to the planning and building, choosing materials, and playing with concepts. If adults have complete control of planning the environment, they have taken all the fun—and inventiveness—out of that process for children.
 
Loose Parts and Outdoor Play
Children can create their own environments outside when we provide them with materials such as crates, large fabrics, blocks, planks, and stumps, and then allow them the freedom to experiment with and rearrange them. They can then add objects from nature and spend time exploring their properties and testing out different ways to use them.
 
Last week I had the chance to break open a coconut with my daughters and nephew. We first had to figure out the best tools—at various points in the process we discovered the need for a chisel, a hammer, and our bare hands. We weren’t sure what we would find on the inside—would it be fresh, or had it withered? The hammer made different sounds on different parts of the fruit; the hollow noise gave us a clue that we were not likely to be drinking juice from this particular coconut. Indeed, when we reached the center, we found brown instead of green. While we would not be able to quench our thirst, it was a successful engagement in loose parts play that included investigation, sensory experience, and fun. 
As the weather warms, we hope your child has many opportunities for loose parts nature play. Read more about this theory in the articles below:
 
 
 
TWIN CITIES
FAMILY EVENTS

Now-5/1 Spring Flower Show, Como Park Conservatory, St. Paul
Now-5/8 Thomas & Friends, MN Children’s Museum
4/3 Goldy's Gallop Kids Run, TCF Bank Stadium
4/8-5/8 What Do You Do With An Idea?, Stages Theatre, Hopkins
4/9&4/16 Easter Egg Hunts, various locations and dates
4/10 Scheels Family Fun Day, Scheels, Eden Prairie
4/15 Family Friday Easter Event, Midtown Global Market, Mpls
4/16 Kids at the Castle: Spring Chicks, Swedish Institute, Mpls
4/22-6/18 Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Musical, Children’s Theatre, Mpls               
4/23 Earth Day Clean Up, multiple locations throughout Minneapolis
4/30 Get in Gear Half Marathon, 10k and 5k, Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis 
4/30 Walk for Animals, Fair Grounds, St. Paul


Especially for Children
5015 W. 70 Street
Edina MN 55439 
(952) 946-9971 

Center Directors:
Susan Wilson and Michelle Botz
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