JULY 2020
How You and Your Kids Can De-Stress During Coronovirus

If you are feeling stress about the COVID-19 pandemic, your brain isn’t misfiring! Stress is is a response that gets us ready to act—to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

Thankfully, we have good tools for calming this stress response when it not helping us—tools that can be used in this or any other situation. This is something parents and children can do together.

When we are anxious or upset, our heart rate increases and our breath becomes more shallow. When we take deep breaths, we send a message back to our brain: It’s okay to calm down. 

With your child, try pretending your fingers are birthday candles and blow them out one by one.

Turn Down the FireHOSE
Here are four questions we can ask ourselves when we feel our mood dip or their anxiety rise—four questions that help us turn down the hose.
H: Am I hungry?
Hunger affects mood and when we haven’t eaten for a while, our blood sugar dips, and this triggers a stress response. At EFC we are serving breakfast at 8:00 am, lunch between 11:00-12:00 pm and a snack at 3:00/3:30 pm. We are keeping a routine so children know what to expect next.
O : Am I overstimulated?
There’s only so much our brains and bodies can take in, and we all need downtime to recharge. Play is a great way to relieve stress and build connections. At EFC we are offering children free choice time in interest areas for large periods of time. You may find that they are a little extra tired after attending preschool since it has been several months since they have been used to this routine but this will pass as they become used to it again.
S:   Do I need sleep ?
Sleep is the glue that holds human beings together. Keeping routine sleep times is very important for us all year. At EFC we have a daily nap time/rest time for your child to be able to settle for a while to recharge.
E Do I need exercise?
Little bodies and big bodies need to move. Exercise boosts mood and improves focus and cognition. It helps us to be responsive instead of reactive. At EFC we offer several outdoor playground times each day and the preschool classrooms are attending soccer each week. We plan on offering bike day and water days this summer as well to encourage fun movement. 

Yes, our routines are being disrupted…however this is an opportunity for us to take a deep breath and turn down the fireHOSE. We are here to help face this challenge together with your family. 
(This information has been taken from pbs.org/parents.)
Please let us know about any vacation time you plan on taking this month by letting the office know. You are welcome to email this as well. We will have the next week’s attendance logs on the front desk—you can mark days not attending with an “X”. If you are on vacation for five weekdays in a row and have been with us for more than 6 months, you are eligible for a half-week tuition credit. 
In accordance with state requirements, all workplaces are required to have a Covid-19 Preparedness Plan that outlines current health and safety procedures. If you would like to view EFC’s plan, please ask your center director.

Just a reminder to fill out the U.S. census if you have not already done so! The census is a hugely important tool that helps the government determine representation, funding, and infrastructure planning.

To learn more, visit: https://mn.gov/admin/2020-census/

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.
  This month we are offering a mental break from some of the heavier topics we have covered in recent months. Enjoy this throwback article from 2014 below! 

While playing outside with your child this summer, don’t forget the value of the stick. Children find sticks an endless source of make-believe fun. In 2008 the stick, which may be the world’s oldest toy, was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame. Here are some of the attributes cited:

“Sticks can turn into magic wands, majorette batons and fishing poles. When children pretend with sticks, they cultivate their creativity and develop their imaginations.”

This made me smile when I realized that one of my favorite childhood photos is of my older sister and me sitting on a log. She was teaching me to whittle.

When hiking in the woods, I still love to find a sturdy stick to accompany me. Not only does it help me stabilize, it also makes me feel like a voyager on a real adventure. And part of the fun is exploring the area to find just the right stick!

Of the 53 toys that have made it into the National Toy Hall of Fame, the stick is the only one that is found in nature all ready to be played with. Sticks are all around us: they are natural and free.

After this past windy weekend our yard was filled with sticks of various sizes. Without any prompting our two-year-old grandson gathered several together to touch and examine.

Pretty soon I looked and saw that he found one still covered with leaves. Over a period of a few minutes that stick was a lawn mower and then evolved into a leaf blower. Later that day Steve and I had him help us pick up sticks and put them in a trash can.
What a fun afternoon! Now I want to find sticks to use to draw in the sand, make a campfire and then roast marshmallows!
Especially for Children
6223 Dell Road
Eden Prairie MN 55346 
(952) 934-1119 

Center Director:
Cathie Underwood 
Center Assistant Director:
Jamie Rocheford