JULY 2021
Greetings!
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!
As a reminder, Especially for Children will be closed on Monday, July 5, for Independence Day. If you plan on keeping your child(ren) home additional days this week, please mark an “X” on those days on the attendance sheets in the front entry. We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday weekend!
CENTER HAPPENINGS
FAMILY PROJECT OF THE MONTH
Decorate your summer beach ball—we will leave a scrap box with construction paper and large circles cut and ready to go. Feel free to take home what you need to decorate your beach ball—we look forward to some fun designs. Just a hint: the younger kiddos can just color their beach with crayons or markers…
PARENT REMINDERS
SUMMER REMINDERS
We understand that summer is great time to have different schedules for you and your child. Please keep in mind that you should contact the center if your child is going to be absent for the day or if they are arriving later than usual. Teachers will contact parents if children have not arrived by 10:00 am to check in. 
 
Breakfast is being served between 8:00-8:30 am if you wish to join us for that. Please contact the office if you have schedule changes for the summer that will change your typical drop off/pickup times. 
DO WE HAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS?
We send e-newsletters and announcements through Constant Contact and daily notes through Baby/Daily Connect. If you or a family member are not receiving our communications, please let your director know so that we can update your email address.
 
Monthly Newsletter: We will no longer distribute a monthly newsletter paper copy so if you wish to have a copy—we will place a few on the front counter. If you are not receiving the newsletter to the email of your liking, please let us know so we can update your email information. 
STAR WELLNESS
star wellness
STAR WELLNESS FOOD, FITNESS & FUN
Here are some fun outdoor activities and patriotic recipe that you may try at home…

ACTIVITY: Scoop Ball
AGE LEVEL: Preschool
EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Empty and washed plastic milk or “Tide” bottles with handles, a tennis ball, nylon stocking ball, yarn ball, or Nerf ball
SKILL DEVELOPMENT: The child gains gross motor skills by throwing with control.
DIRECTIONS: Make a scoop out of the plastic bottle by cutting it off at an angle, starting below the handle. Try different angles. Tape edges with duct tape. Start by having the children move the ball in the scoop, without dropping the ball. Then let them throw the ball into the air using the scoop and catch it again in the scoop. Next, let them toss the ball back and forth to each other using the scoops. As the children gain success, they may move further back. Have fun!  
 
ACTIVITY: Water Transfer
AGE LEVEL: Toddlers
EQUIPMENT NEEDED: 2 buckets, sponges, water
SKILL DEVELOPMENT: Fine motor, hand strength
DIRECTIONS: Have the child help you put water in 1 bucket. Show the child how to squeeze the sponge to deposit water into the other bucket, let the child continue to transfer the water from one bucket to the other.


FRUIT SPARKLERS HOW TO:
  1. Cut watermelon vertically into 1-inch-thick slices. 
  2. Use a small star cookie cutter to cut out star shapes from the flesh of each watermelon round.
  3. Thread 7-10 blueberries into the center of each bamboo skewer, leaving enough space at the end for someone to be able to comfortably hold it, and a space at the top for the watermelon star.
  4. Place the watermelon star on top and set the fruit sparklers on a serving tray. Cover and refrigerate until ready to enjoy. 
ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
MUSIC IS BACK
By Angie Williams
Covid times changed or paused so many of our shared experiences, one of which was in-person music performances. With the improvement in the public health situation and the summer weather, it’s exciting to see live music events returning to the community. Our family attended a Music in the Park event in June at the Lake Harriet band shell, and it was a true celebration of being back together and enjoying talented and energized artists. We loved watching our daughters dance with their friends and get mesmerized by the strong voices of the singers.
Music in the Parks

Music has many benefits for all of us, not least of which is that it brings people together. A recent Community Playthings blog post describes some of the myriad benefits of music for young children:
 
Early childhood musical experiences are far more important than we imagine. Music is not just entertainment or recreation for young children. It can serve as a catalyst for learning. It aids in the development of cognitive skills or the core skills the brain uses to think, learn, read, remember, reason, and concentrate.
 
Research affirms the many benefits of music that extend beyond the craftsmanship and art of music itself. Music helps develop self-esteem, body awareness, balance, compassion and respect, sharing skills, gross motor control, fine motor control, problem solving, work ethics, and the ability to think creatively.
 
Our 3rd grader is at camp this week and we’ve noticed that she brings home a new song every night. Typically, these involve a repetitive chorus as well as accompanying hand movements. I like to imagine her learning these songs with her new camp friends, giggling at their silliness, and working to memorize each line. Quite an improvement over Zoom music class!
 
At EFC, teachers incorporate music in their daily routines for children of all ages. Children have access to musical instruments in the classroom (or make their own music with less traditional instruments!). Teachers often use familiar songs to help children during daily transition periods and routinely play recorded music during rest time to create an environment of calm. Teachers also use music during daily group time; they teach new songs that apply to something children are learning and also sing familiar songs. There is so much children gain through music--what a happy way to express yourself and learn!
 
Music is a gift, and we hope that your family is able to re-engage with it in new (or old) ways this summer. 
 
https://www.communityplaythings.com/resources/articles/2021/Music-as-a-Multisensory-Approach-to-Learning
Angie Williams
EFC Marketing Director
TWIN CITIES
FAMILY EVENTS

7/9-8/8 Charlie Brown The Musical, Stages Theatre, Hopkins
7/3 Edina Parade, Edina
7/3 Walker Free First Saturday: Move to the Music, Walker Sculpture Garden
7/4 July 4th FunFest, Eagan
7/4 July 4th Family Activities, various Minneapolis parks
7/8-7/11 Whiz Bang Days, Robbinsdale
7/21-7/24 Minneapolis Aquatennial, Downtown Minneapolis
7/24 Women Run the Cities, St. Paul
7/24 ArtCar & ArtBike Parade, Lake Harriet, Mpls
 
 
All Summer - Music and Movies in the Park - Various Minneapolis Parks  
Especially for Children
6223 Dell Road
Eden Prairie MN 55346 
(952) 934-1119 

Center Director:
Cathie Underwood 
Center Assistant Director:
Jamie Kittleson
SHARE YOUR PASSION
We’d love for you to Share Your Passion with us as we celebrate our 45th Anniversary! See current submissions here:

You can email your entry to angiew@especiallyforchildren.com
CONNECT WITH US