On August 30, we will bid farewell to the children who will be starting Kindergarten. We have loved getting to know you and being part of your early childhood years. We know you have a lot of fun memories of our school and we look forward to hearing about your continued adventures in Kindergarten. Best of luck to all of you! We hope you will stop by and visit us!!   

If you haven’t had an opportunity to introduce yourself to Kristine yet, please stop in and say hello. She is looking forward to getting to know our families.
We are really looking forward to our family picnic on Thursday, August 2. We are excited to see you all there. Thank you to all those who signed up in advance and are bringing a dish to pass. It will be a great time to get to know one another, enjoy some great food and play some games.
EFC will be closed on Friday, August 31, for staff professional development and Monday, September 3, for Labor Day. Please have a safe and fun holiday weekend.
Dakota County Fair: August 6-12 
National Night Out: August 7
Pioneer Day (Newport): August 9
IndiaFest (St. Paul): August 18
Minnesota State Fair: Aug. 23-Sept. 3 
The Summer Spectacular (Farmington): August 25

For more information about these events, please visit under fairs and festivals.

LITERACY: enhances vocabulary and language by talking with them as they play with toys and games, introduce new descriptive words like shiny, dull, pointed, curved, etc.; helps learn about letters and words by talking with them as they manipulate magnetic letters, letter blocks or letter tiles; strengthens children’s knowledge of print by encouraging them to draw and write about designs and constructions they make.

MATH: helps develop problem solving skills as they construct, design and assemble materials. Encourage putting puzzles together, making designs with pattern blocks, sort and classify objects; develops number concepts as they count beads, blocks and teddy bear counters, use terminology such as more than, less than, the same as; explores patterns and relationships by providing collectibles such as keys, buttons to create own patterns; teaches about geometry while working with two and three dimensional shapes; develops spatial sense by describing how the needle is going in and out as they work with a sewing card, include board games to help teach about directionality and use terms like forward, backward, beginning and end ; develops an understanding of data collection, organization, and representation. Show children how to create graphs by organizing collections of rocks, leaves or toys cars.

SCIENCE: teaches concepts about physical science, such as balance, strength and gravity by encouraging them to build with Legos or other small construction toys; teaches about life science by using puzzles and games that feature plants and animals.

SOCIAL STUDIES: teaches about people and how they live by encouraging them to work cooperatively and solve problems together; teaches about spaces and geography when board games like “Candyland” or “Chutes and Ladders” are offered.

ART: encourages development in visual arts by including open-ended construction toys so children represent their thoughts, ideas and feelings in a concrete way.

TECHNOLOGY: promotes awareness of technology by including toys with moving parts such as gears, hinges or wheels.

*The Creative Curriculum by Diane Trister Dodge
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
6125 Cahill Ave.  
Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076 
(651) 450-1994  

Center Directors:
Fle Jensen, Kristine Berg, and Roxie King