We would like to continue a tradition started many years ago and we need your participation!! We would like parents to design a Valentine for their child(ren) to be hung in the hallway at Especially for Children. This is your opportunity to be creative and have fun!! Due to limited space, the size restriction of the Valentine will be letter size (9” X 13”). The above example is just an idea to get you started.
Valentine’s Day Parties will be held the week of February 10. Please check with classroom teachers on plans for individual classroom parties.
In honor of the parents and guardians here at Especially for Children, we will be offering breakfast snacks on Tuesday, February 12, at your morning drop-off. The treats will be available in the front foyer for these special people-–enjoy!!
February’s field trip will be at the MN Children’s Museum in St. Paul, MN. The bus will leave at 9:00 am and return after lunch. (We will be eating a picnic lunch at the museum.) The field trip will be on February 21, and parent volunteers are welcome to attend. The field trip is for both Dolphins and Monkeys. 
On Monday, February 25, and Tuesday, February 26. Lifetouch Preschool Portraits will be here to take just individual (and sibling portraits.) Pictures will be taken on these days and 2-3 weeks after picture day, packets will be sent to the center for parents to review. Parents pay for the pictures they wish to keep and return those that they do not want. Please watch for further details about picture day.
We are arranging for a dentist to visit our classrooms to teach us about our teeth and dental hygiene. Please watch classroom newsletters for further information.
Sundays are cooking days at our house. My husband loves to use the weekend as an excuse to simmer, roast or slow cook. With weeknight mealtimes often feeling a bit chaotic (serious understatement), we both relish the opportunity to slow down a bit. And mostly thanks to him, the results are usually pretty tasty.

But what I have come to love even more than the food is the opportunity to watch our 3-year-old in the kitchen. He is the ultimate helper. Loving to get involved, he is constantly asking me what jobs he can do. On busy weeknights, when there are onions to chop and tantrums to sooth, I sometimes find myself rushing through things on my own. My desire to include him butts up against my desire to get the food on the table before our 16-month-old implodes. But on the weekends, when things slow down, we make a point to find ways for him to help.

This often involves stirring, measuring, scooping, spilling (!) and pouring. And always, without fail, it involves several requests to taste each ingredient as it goes in. Even the baking soda - ew! That simple act of tasting is actually an incredibly important step in developing healthy eating habits. Tasting exposes kids to different flavors and textures, making them more likely to grow up as balanced eaters. For my son, there are times when he will taste something as we cook it, only to reject it once it is on his plate. But that’s ok with me, because I know that those little tastes build up to a lot of exposure over time. 
Last Sunday, I walked into the kitchen and saw his face beaming with pride. He and his dad were making pasta, and my littlest chef had chopped all the (soft) cheese on his own. With a butter knife. It was the most excited I have seen him in the kitchen. He felt a sense of accomplishment, knowing that he had done it all on his own. And when the time came to eat, he couldn’t wait to tell his cousins all about “his” pasta.

It was a good reminder to me that with just a little adjustment, kids can do many things alongside us in the kitchen. There are age appropriate ways to get all kids involved and help them grow their skills as they get older. The pride they feel in working alongside us helps them to develop confidence, coordination and patience – and as a bonus, the results are delicious.  
Allison Zomer
Director of Operations

Now-2/3   Winter Carnival , Saint Paul
Now-2/3   Wells Fargo Winter Skate , St. Paul
Now-mid-February   Centennial Lakes Ice Skating , Edina
Now-2/18 The Three Snow Bears , Stages Theatre, Hopkins
Now-2/23 Night Trains , Twin City Model Railroad Museum, St. Paul
Now-2/24 Mr. Popper’s Penguins , Children’s Theatre Company, Mpls
Now-5/12   Wild Kratt's Creature Power! The Exhibit , MN Children's Museum, St. Paul
2/2   TC Field House Kid's Run , U of MN, Mpls
2/9   Valentine's Day 5k , Lake Nokomis, Mpls


Today is the last day to vote for Best of SW Metro! Thank you to everyone who has voted for EFC in the Private Preschool/Child Care category. We appreciate your support!

If you would still like to vote, you can find the poll at:
Especially for Children
6223 Dell Road
Eden Prairie MN 55346 
(952) 934-1119 

Center Director:
Cathie Underwood 
Center Assistant Director:
Jamie Rocheford