We had an exciting and very busy December. The enthusiasm of the staff, children, and parents made the month fly by. We hope each of you had a safe and happy holiday season. We wish to express a special thank you to all families here at EFC for making the holiday season so special for us. We all greatly appreciate the holiday cards, gift cards and special treats!
During the week of January 21, things will be getting a little “CRAZY” around here! Each day we will have a different theme along with many fun activities planned throughout the “crazy” week. The themes are as follows:
Monday, January 21: Hat Day
Tuesday, January 22: Pajama Day
Wednesday, January 23: Stripes/Polka Dot Day
Thursday, January 24: Wear Your Favorite Color Day
Friday, January 25: Beach Day
If Especially for Children cannot open due to inclement weather, the center’s closing will be announced on WCCO (830 AM radio, Channel 4 television, and WCCO.com.) If conditions during the day (weather or emergency) make it necessary to close before our regularly scheduled time, we will reach out to you by email or Baby Connect. If at any time you are aware of changes that should be made on your child’s emergency card, please request a new card. This also includes changes with emergency contacts and authorized to pick up persons. 
During the winter, we all tend to hunker down and hibernate. Here is a list of fun activities to get you and your children out to enjoy some winter fun:
  • Build a snowman!
  • Build a snow fort!
  • Have a snowball fight!
  • Go ice skating
  • Go sledding
  • Go on a nature hike (Woodlake or Richardson Nature Center)
Also, Bloomington winter fete activities will take place throughout the city from Saturday, January 20-January 28 . Activities include Fat Tire Bike races, winter kite flying, ice fishing, and more!
You may have noticed that our newsletter for EFC teaching staff accidentally hit your Inbox recently—oops! :) Within the newsletter was an article from Community Playthings entitled, “In Defense of Active Learning”. The article described how physical movement supports learning in all areas of development. Children are better able to understand new vocabulary words that they can act out through movement. They learn scientific and mathematical concepts by using their bodies to balance, jump, add, and subtract. It’s important to note that studies show children learn more effectively as physically active learners because they are able to put these concepts into a meaningful context. 

Another area being studied is the correlation between movement and mental health in young children. With academic learning being pushed into the early elementary years of schooling and less time dedicated to play and physical activity, teachers are seeing more incidents of behavioral disorders. At EFC, we believe that policymakers need to rethink how the daily schedule is affecting young children and ensure that physical activity is still an important component of the learning experience. As a recent article in ChildCareExchange notes, 

“The best results occur when physical activity takes place every day in an outdoor environment, as these have the strongest correlations with positive mental health outcomes.”

For the first time, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a statement in November regarding children ages 3-5, recommending that they should be “active throughout the day.”

And while adult-directed physical activities are beneficial, “unscripted or solo free-play is also important. When they’re not responding to outward stimuli and instructions from their coaches or friends, kids are better able to tune in to their own imaginations. And according to recent studies , daydreaming is both a marker of intelligence and a conduit to greater creativity.” ( How the Outdoors Makes Your Kids Smarter, Outside Magazine).

It is clear that children require and benefit from physical movement for their growth and development in all areas. As caregivers and parents, we need to consider how we make room within the structure of our lives and environments for extended periods during which children can run, jump, roll, climb, spin, and move. 
Angie Williams
Director of Finance and Marketing

Additional Resources:

Mental Health Benefits of Exercise in Children, Psychiatric Times

In Defense of Active Learning
( http://www.communityplaythings.com/resources/articles/2018/in-defense-of-active-learning ).

Now-1/6  XOXO, An Exhibit About Love and Forgiveness , Children's Museum, Saint Paul
Now-1/6  How the Grinch Stole Christmas , Children's Theatre, Minneapolis
Now-1/7 Gingerbread Wonderland , Houses of Norway, Minneapolis
Now-1/27 Skate the Star at MOA , Mall of America
Now-2/3   Wells Fargo Winter Skate , St. Paul
Now-2/23 Night Trains , Twin City Model Railroad Museum, St. Paul
1/5 Polar Dash , Saint Paul
1/13 Winter Ice Festival , Centennial Lakes, Edina
1/15-2/24 Mr. Popper’s Penguins , Children’s Theatre Company, Mpls
1/18-2/18 The Three Snow Bears , Stages Theatre, Hopkins
1/19-1/27 Winter Fete , Bloomington
1/24-2/3   Winter Carnival , Saint Paul


With the new year nearly upon us, we thought it would be a good time to remind you of the center's contact information so that you can save it in your device.
(952) 831-1435
5133 W. 98th St. 
Bloomington, MN 55437 
In addition to Baby/Daily Connect, your child's classroom also has an email address that you can use to reach the teachers. Please inquire with your child's classroom if you do not have that email address. Thank you!
Especially for Children
5133 W. 98th St. 
Bloomington, MN 55437  
(952) 831-1435 

Center Director:
Kathy Hane