APRIL 2022
Greetings!

NAEYC WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD 2022: CELEBRATING OUR YOUNGEST LEARNERS
April 4-8 is Week of the Young Child. This annual celebration is 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 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
WEEK OF THE YOUNG CHILD CELEBRATIONS!
Each classroom will plan their own activities around NAEYC’s daily themes:

MUSIC MONDAY
TASTY TUESDAY
WORK TOGETHER WEDNESDAY
ARTSY THURSDAY
FAMILY FRIDAY
 
As a center, we will work together to create a family mural for our hallway. We will send home a piece of paper for your family to decorate, and our artwork will create a visual village for all to enjoy. Your artwork is due Friday, April 8
DIAPER DONATION DRIVE
On Friday, April 8, we will also kick off our spring donation drive. This year, we are choosing to support the Minnesota Diaper Bank, whose mission is to provide diapers and diaper wipes for families in need. Both unopened and opened diaper bags are accepted. Our diaper drive will run through Friday, April 22, when we will donate the diapers to the Diaper Bank. More information will be available in early April.
ADVENTURE PEAK
On Tuesday, April 19, our Panda, Penguin & Polar Bear friends will go to Adventure Peak again! Koalas and Puppies will plan in the gym. Please see additional information in early April. 
TEACHER LUNCHEON
Our annual teacher appreciation luncheon will be held in early May, during Teacher Appreciation Week.  
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
3300 Edinborough Way 
Edina MN 55435 
(952) 835-0505 

Center Co-Directors
Anna Wilson and Samantha Baker
CONNECT WITH US