Good morning!

I received the communication below from the Superintend of Darien Schools.  

Parts of it do apply to school age children but the meaning of the note is very helpful for everyone.

Dear parents with school aged children:

You might be inclined to create a minute by minute schedule for your kids. 
You have high hopes of hours of learning, including online activities, science  experiments, and book reports. You'll limit technology until everything is done!   But here's the thing...

Our kids are just as scared as we are right now. Our kids not only can hear  everything that is going on around them, but they feel our constant tension and anxiety.   They have never experienced anything like this before. Although the idea of   being off of school for 4 weeks sounds awesome, they are probably picturing a fun time like summer break, not the reality of being trapped at home and not seeing their friends.

Over the coming weeks, you will see an increase in behavior issues with your kids.   Whether it's anxiety, or anger, or protest that they can't do things normally - it will happen.   You'll see more meltdowns, tantrums, and oppositional behavior in the coming weeks.  This is normal and expected under these circumstances.

What kids need right now is to feel comforted and loved. To feel like it's all going to be ok.  And that might mean that you tear up your perfect schedule and love on your kids a  bit more. Play outside and go on walks. Bake cookies and paint pictures.   Play board games and watch movies. Do a science experiment together or find  virtual field trips of the zoo. Start a book and read together as a family. Snuggle  under warm blankets and do nothing.

Don't worry about them regressing in school. Every single kid is in this boat and  they all will be ok. When we are back in the classroom, we will all course correct  and meet them where they are. Teachers are experts at this! Don't pick fights with  your kids because they don't want to do math. Don't scream at your kids for not  following the schedule. Don't mandate 2 hours of learning time if they are resisting it.

If I can leave you with one thing, it's this: at the end of all of this, your kids' mental  health will be more important than their academic skills. And how they felt during  this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during those  4 weeks is long gone. So keep that in mind, every single day.

Ideas for today 

Visit the Sand  Diego Zoo! San Diego Zoo virtual tour

Math Ideas:
Materials: masking or painter's tape, measuring tape 
Rabbits aren't the only animals that are great jumpers-kangaroos, frogs, and grasshoppers are too!
Go to an open space (or move furniture out of the way) and make "animal jumping stations." Have your child help you use masking tape to mark a starting point and the distance that each animal can jump. Measure 5 feet for a grasshopper, 6 feet for a frog, and 15 feet for a kangaroo. 
At each jumping station, have your child count how many jumps it takes
to go the distance.  
Build math vocabulary as you talk about the activity. Your child will see that the longer the distance, the more jumps it takes.
Morris's Disappearing Bag by Rosemary Wells
Read the Book:
Rabbits by Hollie Endres

From how they grow to where they hop, bunnies are the best!

Stay well and I will be back with you on Wednesday!


Have story time! Pick a book today that you and your child can act out.  Select a book that you think would work well. Choose one with characters that have strong personalities and clear roles in the story.
You might want to choose a story  or even a nursery rhyme that the child already knows. Tell the child you'll be acting out  the story  or poem. Below is a link for books that are good for acting out.
This week you put tubs with toys in the freezer.
Take your ice blocks out of the freezer:
  • How do we get the toys free?
  • Work with your child to figure out what will work best! Use a spray bottle, pour water on the ice. Use salt to melt the ice or a small wooden mallet to break it!
Get outside! Yesterday was the first day of spring!
    1. Before you leave the house, have your child decorate a paper bag for treasures!
    2. Go on a Nature walk- take advantage of local spots that are not often visited- Selleck's Woods, the DCA bird sanctuary, behind the tennis courts at Weed Beach.
  Nature Scavenger Hunt:
● Look for 5 grey rocks: Put them in order of lightest to darkest
● Look for 10 sticks/twigs. Put them in height order. Sort them by width. Make shapes using the twigs you collected. Make letters using the twigs.
● Look for leaves on the ground: Sort them by size and/or shape
● Find an object in each color of the rainbow
● Look for shapes in nature: A square, a triangle, a circle, etc...
Make a Nature collage with objects found on your walk.
Find 5 signs of spring
What are 5 things you hear?
What are 5 things you smell?

Things to do in the house:
Set the Table!
How many forks do we need?
How many plates do we need?

And Parents- I haven't forgotten about you.  We want you to stay healthy and active during this time.  The Darien YMCA Members now have FREE access to 60-Days of On Demand Workouts thanks to a partnership with MOSSA MOVE!  Click here to sign up.

Be safe and stay healthy!  Have a great weekend. I will send anther email out on Monday!

The Darien YMCA | (203) 655-8228 |

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Sun. 12:00pm - 5:00pm
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Sat. 7:00am - 6:45pm 
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