As we enter our last month of our summer program “EFC Minnesota Summer” we like to reflect on all our good memories that were created over the past two months. The children loved their trips to the library and local park. Bike days were favorite days and we enjoyed our Spanish classes. Best of all were the stories of family adventures on the weekends and days off.
We will enjoy two fun field trips this month! 

On Thursday, August 16, we will visit Tamarack Nature Center. We love visiting this nature center. It has a full garden of fruits and vegetables that the children can water by using water pumps. It has a flowing “river” that the children can walk through and splash in. There is also walls of rocks that the children can climb through and explore.

On Tuesday, August 21, the preschoolers will visit Eagle’s Nest. We have so much fun running, climbing, and sliding there!

We will have a picnic lunch at both these trips before coming back to the center. 
We will have an end of summer celebration on Thursday, August 30 , from 4:30-5:30pm. Join us for activities and a cool summer treat!
EFC is committed to providing time and opportunities for our staff to grow professionally. Therefore, we will be closed on Friday, August 31, for Staff Development training and on closed on Monday, September 3, in observance of Labor Day.
Check out the progress on our summer gardens throughout EFC! 
Try this fun science experiment with your child to talk about the life cycle of a plant as well as what a plant needs to grow and flourish!
Materials needed:
  • 4 small plastic cups
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 4 different food-colors

  1. Add 10 drops of food coloring to each cup (1 color per cup), then add ¼ cup of water to each cup.
  2. Place 1 stalk of celery in each cup. Notice how the color begins to leak up the celery almost immediately!
  3. Let the celery soak overnight, then take a peak in the morning to see the changes!
Image from:
With only one month left of summer, I’m assessing whether or not we have taken full advantage of Minnesota summer at our house. We have done lots of swimming and biking. We eat as many meals as possible outdoors. And we interact with neighbors as we are out working on our lawns and playing with the children. That part I find especially fascinating as toddlers to teenagers to adults play games and mingle in front yards. It is such a relaxed and special time.

But during our hours inside we tend to gravitate to the same activities we do throughout the year. We play board games, do a little coloring, read stories, chat about our days and do household chores. Hey, why couldn’t we fold laundry on the patio instead of on the living room couch? And the spot for reading stories could move under a tree or on lawn chairs.

My goal for August is to bring the inside out. We started the other night when our grandson wanted to play Candyland after dinner. My husband said, “Let’s take it outside and play on the patio table.” What fun it was to enjoy the incredible weather while playing a favorite family game. After we finished, we stayed outside to play “I Spy with my Little Eye.” It was a whole different experience than playing the same game inside.

We then went over to one of our birch trees and examined what the Japanese Beetles are up to. We found a couple of toads hopping across the lawn. We picked a few weeds. It was a great evening outdoors.

During August I want to do some projects with materials from nature. We will collect items from around our neighborhood and sort them into categories. I read about a fun activity where you wrap tape around a child’s wrist with the tape inside out to create a sticky bracelet. Children can stick small treasures to their bracelets as they explore and then sort, play and do crafts with them later.
I remember doing sand art and leaf prints as a child. We may even create a bulletin board of nature art to see how many different creative projects we can come up with that use elements from the outdoors.

We each have special ways of enjoying summer. Look on our blog where we have listed a few projects. And add your own ideas to share!

Now-9/3   Kangaroo Crossing , MN Zoo, Apple Valley
Now-9/3 Towers of Tomorrow with Legos , Science Museum of MN, St. Paul
Now-9/9 Dinosaur Train , MN Children’s Museum, St. Paul
Now-10/21 Origami in the Garden , MN Landscape Arboretum,
8/3-8/5  Uptown Art Fair , Minneapolis
8/10-8/12  Irish Fair , Harriet Island, St. Paul
8/18-10/30  Minnesota Renaissance Festival , Shakopee, MN
8/19 Red Barn Pizza Farm , Northfield, MN
8/23-9/3  Minnesota State Fair , Saint Paul, MN

All Summer -  Music and Movies in the Park  - Various Minneapolis Parks  
We were interested in this Community Playthings article,  Giving Children a Natural Start , which discusses the reasons for and methods of giving children an environmental education. The concept of literacy (what you know, how you feel, and what skills you have) in the context of the natural environment is so important.  

Especially for Children
2 H South Pine Dr. 
Circle Pines MN 55014 
(763) 786-9410 

Center Director:
Linda Burck
Center Assistant Director:
Kris Steffens