December News
Greetings from the Director’s Corner

Dear Acorn Community,

I am just returning from decorating Acorn’s tree for Festival of Trees – what a wonderful way to jump into the holiday season. It always amazes me that alumni families continue to give back long after they have left Acorn. This is a shout out to Mark Whiting who strung 650 lights on our tree this morning so it would be ready for the child made ornaments this afternoon.

I know from photos that some of you ventured out to Santa at the Farm at the Vernon Family Farm this past weekend. A HUGE thank you for all that made this event such a success – the trees, ornaments, lighting and signage were truly amazing and created a festive atmosphere.

I would also like to say thank you to the alumni families and friends that donated to Acorn on Giving Tuesday. The money is very much appreciated but your comments are even better. It is heartwarming to know that Acorn has created so many wonderful memories. It helps me reflect and appreciate the saying “A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove… but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.” The “I” being “Acorn” as it is a village filled with loving families, a supportive Board, dedicated teachers and the best children in the Seacoast.

I wish you all the best that this upcoming month has to offer and once you are done with your Christmas tree think about bringing it to Acorn to be used in our outdoor learning spaces as a loose part. You will be surprised what your children will be inspired to create, imagine and explore.

Happy Holidays,
Sue Bendroth
Acorn School Director
Acorn School’s Holiday Traditions
Exeter Festival of Trees
A special annual tradition at Acorn School is to participate in Exeter’s Festival of Trees. Acorn's tree theme this year is "Peace, Love, and Kindness". Each class made ornaments for the tree! Come visit the tree at Exeter Town Hall December 1st and 2nd, or check it out online (look for Acorn's tree #21)! Santa's Block Party is happening on December 2nd right outside the Town Hall (4-8pm, with Santa arriving at 5pm), there are so many fun festivities!

You can take this special tree home with you by bidding for it online today or tomorrow! All proceeds from the festival go to the Community Children's Fund providing warm clothing and bedding vouchers to the Seacoast area children in need.
Mr. Bingle
Mr. Bingle is one of Acorn’s magical traditions geared towards the Woolly Bear, Tadpole, Chickadee, and Mighty Oak families. This year, he will visit each of these classes at Acorn School on Friday, December 10th during the regular school day. 
Mr. Bingle is the caretaker of the reindeer and comes to report to all of us about the happenings at the North Pole. We sing songs, he reads us a story and picks up any gifts we have collected for him. 
This year Acorn School will be supporting two different organizations: Seacoast Family Promise to help 3 families (see the Acorn Community Giving Tree in the carpool circle) and we’ll be collecting food for End 68 Hours of Hunger up until December 10th. If you are able, please help us support these organizations. You can choose either one or dabble in both. If there are some Chipmunk families who wish to participate, please do. 
Acorn School at
Seacoast Moms Santa at the Farm Event
Acorn School has been so busy starting off the holiday season! Acorn families celebrated the start of the season by decorating ornaments and setting up for the Acorn School light display at the Seacoast Moms' Santa at the Farm event. The Acorn light display was last weekend and the display was better than even imagined! If you didn't get a chance to see it in person, you should stop over to the school facebook (@acornschool) and instagram (@acorn.schoolNH) to check it out!
Huge thank you to all the wonderful families who donated to the event and helped setup. Thank you to the Merrill family for making the amazing wooden trees and to the Daigle family for making the stunning light arch! Also thank you to Walmart (Epping) and Lowes (Stratham) for donating some lights and Exeter Lumber (Exeter) for donating all the wood for the wooden trees. It truly takes a village and the Acorn community has a wonderful one!
The 2021 TimberNook National Conference
Miss Sue and Miss Shelly attended the TimberNook national conference this month! They learned a lot and are excited to weave the ideas and approaches into the curriculum at Acorn School. Acorn was honored to be invited to present on how Acorn School incorporates TimberNook, and Miss Sue and Miss Shelly did an amazing job! We are so lucky to have such amazing teachers. Keep up the great work!
Sue presenting how Timbernook came to Acorn School.
Learning wilderness first aid scenarios 
Playing Giants, Wizards and Elves
Cold Weather Checklist:
Winter is coming! Make sure your kiddo stays warm while exploring and learning in the outdoors by layering! Don't forget to label everything!
First Layer: Base Layer Long Underwear (wool, silk or polypropylene)- No cotton
Mid-Layer: Long sleeve wool or fleece sweater; fleece pants; wool mittens
Outer Layer: Winter Waterproof Coat with Hood; Insulated Waterproof Snow Pants; Wool Socks; Waterproof Mittens
  • Slippers for inside
  • An extra pair of gloves in backpack
  • Two masks in their backpack in case their first one gets wet
Classrooms Without Walls
November Highlights
"Time, space, and outdoor play are essential to children's health. In fact, they need this more than ever before."
-Angela Hanscom, TimberNook
Chipmunks initiated and enjoyed the sensory experience of the different sounds and feelings in the leaf pile- and what a big one it was! They used their imaginations to spark pretend play together and make leaf angels!
The Chipmunks created yummy pumpkin soup! Our favorite!
The Mighty Oaks are scientist! They trialed different experiments with pumpkins.
There is so much to be grateful for!
1000 Hours Outside
Have you heard of 1000 Hours Outside?! The purpose of 1000 Hours Outside is to inspire people to match nature time with screen time. Their website has lots of free downloads and activity ideas for the whole family to enjoy!
Here are some super fun outdoor ideas for the month of December! Choose from activity cards listed below or download a copy from the website and cut out the individual squares. Have your kiddo draw a new card each day. Our personal favorite- the Lantern Hike!
Give The Gift of Acorn School
Acorn School opened its doors in 1972 and has been committed to being A School For Childhood ever since. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Acorn School depends on generous donations and sponsorships, as tuition alone does not cover its annual operating expenses along with the additional COVID19 expenses incurred.
Your tax-deductible gift, no matter the size, will have a direct impact on our school and will help reduce the gap between tuition and operational costs.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for supporting Acorn School.
About the History of Acorn School
When You Use Amazon, You Can Give Back to Acorn School at NO Cost
A great way to support our school is by selecting Acorn School (Stratham, NH) as your selected charity when shop on Amazon. Did you know it even works when you use the Amazon App on your smartphone? Prices for your items stay the same. The only difference is when you shop a portion of the money Amazon donates to Acorn School!
How to Setup: (two options)
(1) Select Acorn School in the upper left corner where it says “supporting”
(2) You can also type "Amazon Smile" into the Amazon search box.
Recipes from Acorn School's Kitchen
These are some holiday favorites that we love to use and cherish! We hope these recipes bring joy to you and your loved ones. If you want to share, please post and tag Acorn School on social media - we'd love to see families enjoying these recipes together! Happy Holidays!

2 1/2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled
1 medium yellow onion, grated
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 to 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil for frying
apple sauce
sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Using a grater, coarsely grate the potatoes
  3. Place the potatoes in a colander lined with a clean towel and let the potatoes sit for at least 15 minutes to release their liquid.
  4. Place potatoes in a mixing bowl and add the grated onion, beaten eggs, flour, salt, pepper, and baking powder. Stir.
  5. In large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1/4 cup of the oil to the pan. When the oil is hot, spoon the potato mixture, 2 tablespoons at a time, into the skillet to form individual cakes. Use the back of the spoon to flatten each latke. Cook until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip latke over and cook the second side until golden brown.
  6. Remove from pan and let drain on paper towel-lined baking sheet.
  7. Keep them warm in the warm oven.
  8. Add more oil as needed.
  9. To serve, place a dollop of applesauce and/or sour cream in the center of each latke.
  10. Serve warm.
Cinnamon Ornaments

1 (4 oz.) can cinnamon (approximately 1 cup
1 tablespoon cloves
1 tablespoon nutmeg
3/4 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons white glue
1 drinking straw or toothpick
Approximately 2-inch cookie cutters

  1. In a medium bow, combine cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg
  2. Add applesauce and glue; stir to combine.
  3. Work mixture with hands for 2 to 3 minutes or until dough is smooth and ingredients are thoroughly mixed.
  4. Divide dough into 4 portions.
  5. Roll out each portion to 1/4-inch thickness.
  6. Cut dough with 2-inch cookie cutters of desired shapes.
  7. Using drinking straw or toothpick, make small hole in top of each ornament. Place cutouts on wire racks; allow to dry at room temperature for several days. For more uniform drying, turn ornaments over once each day.
  8. Insert ribbon through hole in each ornament, tie with knot or bow.
Gingerbread Houses

Graham crackers
Sugar cones
Green food coloring
Decorations: licorice string, nonpareils, M&M's, Necco wafters, frosted shredded wheat, gumdrops, marshmallows, tootsie rolls, sprinkles, etc.

  1. Form gingerbread house using graham crackers and frosting
  2. Spread frosting over the formed house
  3. Decorate as you wish
  4. Color some frosting green and spread on sugar cone. Sprinkle and place on plate inverted - instant tree!
Important Dates:
Scholastic Orders Due (activation code: NKD9B)
Wednesday, December 15th
*Please note Scholastic is experiencing production and shipping delays. Estimated time is 6-8 weeks+

School Vacation
Dec. 22 - Dec. 31

School Resumes
Mon., Jan. 3

NO SCHOOL- MLK Civil Rights Day
Mon., Jan. 17
Thank You To Acorn's Pumpkin Fun Run Sponsors!
Platinum Oak Sponsors
Dunkin' locations in the area have been locally owned and operated by the Salema family for over 40 years. We are thrilled to be part of the Acorn family and have the Acorn School Run on Dunkin'!
East Coast HVAC is a family-owned and operated company specializing in the sales, service and installation of residential and commercial heating and air conditioning systems. Don’t pay more than necessary for your heating and cooling needs, call East Coast and Pay Fairly!
Exeter Land Contractors has provided landscape design and construction services in the Northeast since 1980. We are a family owned and operated business. As experienced landscape contractors we provide the experience and expertise to ensure the integrity of your design while providing the quality of work our clients expect. Exeter Land Contractors, Inc. is a full service landscape construction company that handles both residential and commercial properties. Let our skilled landscape design team pave the way to a beautiful environment for you, your family and friends to enjoy. Contact (603) 778-0005 for all of your landscaping needs!
 Seacoast United is YOUR home for soccer this winter. We will be offering a number of indoor youth programs this year at our Epping, Hampton, York, Concord and Kingston facilities. Our popular Grassroots, Skills & Scrimmage and Youth Leagues are the perfect options for those looking to learn and play soccer. We provide a wide range of options for players of all ages and abilities to ensure that your child stays active throughout the winter months. For more information on these programs including registration, please visit
Gold Oak Sponsors
DARCI Creative is a full service marketing agency located in downtown Portsmouth. Our marketing solutions increase bottom lines, while we have fun and contribute to our community. Learn more by visiting our website!
H.O.P.E. is a clinic-based Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) company in Dover, NH that provides services designed to positively change social and cognitive skills in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We are committed to improving the quality of life of each child and their families.
Portsmouth Ford has been a true One-Price Dealer for over 30 years. We strive to provide the highest level of service to our customers, employees, and community. We are proud to sponsor the Acorn School!
Wondering what’s in your water? Water Guy specializes in on-site water testing; water treatment system installations; drinking water systems; maintenance & sanitation for water treatment; well-tank installations; maintenance & replacements; and water-pressure booster installations. Water Guy serves residential and commercial properties across New England, and is proud to sponsor Acorn School!
Silver Oak Sponsors
Junior Gym is a children’s play gym that inspires and motivates children to move their bodies. Our classes are based on structured lesson plans that build children’s motor skills through equipment, play and musical activities. Visit our website for more information on how to sign up.
Miracle Farm Speech Therapy is a private pediatric speech therapy practice, specializing in treating infants, toddlers, and school-aged children. Services are based on a child-centered and play based approach. Our talented therapists use their expertise and creativity to make every therapy session fun, while addressing the individual goals for each child. Visit our website to learn more!
We Fill Good is a low waste refill store and lifestyle boutique in Kittery, ME. We are here to help the community live more sustainably by reducing your plastic waste. No need to keep buying those plastic bottles that end up in the land fill for hundreds of years, just come in and fill up on non toxic affordably priced cleaning products for your home and body. In addition to refilling you hand soap, laundry liquid, shampoo, dishwasher pods, cleaning scrub, face cream etc we have " Easy Swaps" to reduce the plastic in your home. Some of our customer favorites are bamboo toothbrushes, compostable toothpaste, washable sponges that will last for years, to go gear, silicone bags, plastic free make up and so much more.
Well Told is a personalized gifts company. We enable people to express the stories that define their unique life experiences on the canvas of their everyday products. Our mission is to meaningfully enhance the value of the products you use, not only through their style and functionality, but in their ability to turn an everyday moment into an inspired one by conveying a story of personal significance. Our product offering includes glassware, barware, insulated drinkware, mugs, blankets and we are expanding our collection every year.
Friends of Acorn
At Ambra Dental Care, we treat you like family.
Coppal House Farm is located in Lee, NH and has a family tradition for every season! Come check our their sunflowers at the end of July, get lost in their corn maze during the fall and get a horse drawn sleigh ride during the winter! Coppal House Farm has a year-round farm stand where you can get lamb, pork, sunflower oil, and eggs! 
Seacoast Kids Calendar is a family and locally owned business of 12+ years that has helped keep boredom at bay by sharing a comprehensive calendar of daily family friendly events. SKC is a trusted Parents' Help Desk resource for finding all things fun happening around the Seacoast + beyond. Your next kid approved adventure awaits! So you always know where to go and what to do, be sure to Bookmark the Calendar, Follow Seacoast Kids Calendar on Facebook & Instagram, and sign up for the weekly newsletter! Do you have an upcoming event or offering you'd like to share with the SKC community of local families? Post an event or contact us today!
Seacoast Science Center, located in beautiful Odiorne Point State Park in Rye, is a must-see for anyone wishing to explore the natural treasures of the coastal region. The Center features live animals of the Gulf of Maine, live coral reef habitat tanks, indoor touch tanks, and hands-on exhibits about life in and around the ocean. Programs, offered in-person and virtually, are offered year-round.
136 Winnicutt Rd.
Stratham, NH 03885
Office: 603-778-8285
Fax: 603-658-8338