AUGUST 2022
Greetings!

LOOKING AHEAD… 
Especially for Children will be closed on Friday, September 2, for our staff professional development day and Monday, September 5, for Labor Day.
PARENT REMINDERS
ALLERGY AWARE CENTER
Please remember to have your children wash their hands and face upon entering the classroom, especially if they have eaten breakfast or a snack in the car on the way to school. Clean hands keep them healthy and our friends safe. 
FOOD FROM HOME
Please remember that breakfast is from 8:00-8:30. Our menus are aligned with the requirements of the USDA, and feature an array of fruits, vegetables, proteins and grains. If a child has a food allergy or other medical or religious dietary restriction, a parent should bring his/her meals and snacks that follow the USDA guidelines. However, because it is important to us that children are served with their peers, allowing them to try new foods in a supportive environment, respond to their own hunger cues and practice social skills and cooperation, we ask that outside food (unless noted above) is not brought in and children are not eating outside of scheduled meal times. Thank you for your cooperation with this!
STAR WELLNESS
star wellness
STAR WELLNESS RECIPE: ZUCCHINI "PASTA"

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 pounds zucchini (or a combination of yellow and green zucchini)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¾ cup Fresh Tomato Sauce (optional)
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan, for serving (more to taste)

PREPARATION
Using a vegetable peeler, cut the zucchini into lengthwise ribbons. Peel off several ribbons from one side, then turn the zucchini and peel off more ribbons. Continue to turn and peel off ribbons until you get to the seeds at the core of the zucchini. Discard the core. You can also do this on a mandolin, adjusted to a very thin slice.
 
Cook the zucchini strips in 2 batches. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and when it is hot, add the zucchini ribbons and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook, tossing and stirring the zucchini, for 2 to 3 minutes only, just until softened and beginning to be translucent. Adjust salt and add freshly ground pepper to taste, and transfer to a serving dish. Repeat with the remaining olive oil and zucchini. Serve, topping with tomato sauce and freshly grated Parmesan if desired.
 
From NY Times Cooking
STAR WELLNESS OUTDOOR GAME

FUNS SPINS ON DISC GOLF
Hang a hoop from a branch or clothesline, then grab a Frisbee and try these fun spins on the game of Disc Golf at home!

BASEBALL: Set out four bases (cardboard squares work well) with a home plate near the hoop. Players start at home and work around the diamond, shooting the frisbee from each base. Three “strikes” (misses) and you are out; complete the circuit to earn a run and another turn (with three strikes).

OBSTACLE GOLF: Starting and ending with the frisbee shot through the hoop, players race to complete a course of challenges (crawl through a tunnel, kick a soccer ball into a net, swerve in and out of cones or other objects, and so on). Keep time, the fastest player wins.

D-I-S-C: For the spellers out there: The game is the same as H-O-R-S-E in basketball. One player throws a frisbee through a hoop, then the other players need to match the shot or earn a letter; the last one to spell D-I-S-C wins.

*And, for extra fun, you can even add a little science lesson on flight physics while you are playing!

ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
BEST PRACTICES FOR SUPPORTING LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT
We have written in the past (https://especiallyforchildren.com/2018/06/28/especially-for-parents/) about how families and caregivers can support language development in very young children. Recent studies have suggested that children born during the pandemic are at higher risk of communication or social development delays, so it is a good time to revisit the many ways we can help children develop their language skills. Below is post from NAEYC, which is the accreditation organization for our centers:

12 Ways to Support Language Development for Infants and Toddlers
When you talk to your child, you support her language development. Think about what you are saying from your infant or toddler’s point of view. If she could talk, she might ask you...
 
1. When I point to something, tell me what it is. While you are telling me, look at it and point to it too.

2.  Use a gesture along with the word you say, so that I can say it too. If you tell me it is time to eat, tap you lips. I can imitate the gesture and tell you when I’m hungry.

3. Talk to me about what you are doing. Tell me what will happen next, so I will know what to expect.

4. Talk to me about what I am doing. Using words to describe my actions and feelings helps me learn those words too.

5. Take turns chatting back and forth with me. Listen to what I am saying –then imitate my coos or babbles. If I’m older, you can reply to my questions and ask your own. I like open-ended questions that don’t have right or wrong answers.

6. Model bigger and better sentences. If I say, “Two cat,” you can say, “You have two cats on your shirt!” I learn a lot from you.

7. Sing with me. It’s easier to learn words in songs. I can learn about rhymes, the ABC song, the colors of my clothing, and the names of my friends.

8. Take me to the library. Read me a book, let me decide how you do it and when we are done. Let me mouth board books, handle them and decide which to explore. Check out the thrift store and buy me a few board books (wipe them with a damp cloth). At home, attach felt tabs to them, and I will be able to turn the pages more easily, all by myself.

9. Make books about me. When I see myself in a book, I will learn that books can be about things in my life.

10. Show me the words on things. When you point out words in books and on containers, I begin to understand how printed and spoken words are connected.

11. Be playful while I learn: I like to ask you what shape the cookie cutter alphabet has made. You can say, "You made the letter L," or ask, "I wonder what letter you made?" It’s less fun to be asked, “What’s this?”

12. Give me time to learn and explore. There’s no rush to learn the names of colors, letters, and things. I will learn them in my own time.

 
Find more information on this topic at the following links:
TWIN CITIES
FAMILY EVENTS

Now-8/7 Disney's The Little Mermaid, Jr., Stages Theatre, Hopkins
8/2 National Night Out, Twin Cities Metro
8/5-8/7 Uptown Art Fair, Mpls
8/6 Walker Free First Saturday: Plant Power, Walker Sculpture Garden
8/6-8/27 (Saturdays 10-11am) Story Time w/ Chidlren's Theatre, 50th&France, Edina
8/8-8/14 Dakota County Fair, Farmington
8/13-8/14 Mpls Street Art Festival, Downtown Mpls
8/13 IndiaFest, Saint Paul Capitol
8/20-10/2 (weekends) Renaissance Festival, Shakopee
8/25-9/5 MN State Fair, Saint Paul

All Summer - Music and Movies in the Park - Various Minneapolis Parks  

Especially for Children
3370 Coachman Rd. 
Eagan, MN 55121 
(651) 452-0043 

Center Directors:
Kate Beck and Kari Kogler
CONNECT WITH US