JULY 2018

Especially for Children will be closed on Wednesday, July 4, in honor of our Independence Day. We wish all our families a safe and fun-filled holiday! If your family is planning any extra days off around this holiday, please mark them on the vacation sheet on the parent table.
Wherever your vacations my take you this summer, please share with us any camping or exploring stories you have gathered with your family. Postcards of places visited are also appreciated. You can turn them in to your child’s teacher to create a display of everyone’s journeys!
The preschool will be having two field trips this month.

On Tuesday, July 10, we will be going to Waldoch Farm in Lino Lakes. The children will be taking a horse drawn hayride through the fields to check out the crops. We will also tour the greenhouses and choose a flowering plant to bring home. We will cap off the morning with a picnic lunch before returning to the center.

On Thursday, July 26, we will be going to Tamarack Nature Center. The children will have the opportunity to play in the nature building area, the garden area, the sand and water area and the climbing wall. The children love crossing back and forth through the stream, so we highly encourage water shoes for this field trip! We will also complete this trip with a picnic lunch before returning to the center.
For our last field trip of the summer, we will be going to The Kelley Farm on Thursday, August 17, at 9:30am. It is a historical working farm dating back to the 1800’s. The children will have fun exploring the garden, going into the farmhouse kitchen to help to prepare a lunch for the farm workers and going to the animal barns to learn about caring for the animals.
EFC strives to create a healthy environment at our centers. We are also happy to celebrate special occasions with children, staff and families. We believe occasional treats, when enjoyed in moderation, contribute to a spirit of celebration. We know, however, that at times it can be difficult to limit the number of sugary treats children consume. In addition, we are eager to ensure that children with food allergies are safe and feel included in classroom celebrations. Finally, we recognize that bringing food to class is taxing for many families – in both time and money.  

For those reasons, our policy is to promote healthy and/or non-food celebrations in the classroom. Our classrooms have many traditions in place to ensure that each child feels honored on his/her special day. Please note that there is no expectation that families bring in something to celebrate . If families would like to help celebrate a child’s birthday or other special occasion in the classroom, we request that you consider one of the ideas below.

If you would like to bring food to celebrate your child’s birthday or other special occasion, we ask that you bring in a healthy choice. All food brought to EFC for the purposes of sharing with the class must be commercially packaged and labeled with the ingredients (i.e. not homemade).
EFC Parties and Celebrations
EFC does not provide treats to children on a regular basis. We will continue to offer treats (i.e. cake) in moderation for special events such as graduation, family parties or center-wide celebrations. 

Thank you for your cooperation!     

  • Decorate a banner or hat for your child to wear
  • Join your child for breakfast or lunch
  • Come to class and read your child’s favorite story
  • Send a special game or craft for your child’s class
  • Bring photos or a special object for your child to share in class
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Hummus
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Whole grain crackers
  • 100% juice popsicles
As our summer theme is ending, we are looking forward to the beginning of our fall program on Tuesday, September 5. Our unit for the month of September will be My World and Me. In celebration of Grandparents Day, we will have a grandparent event on Thursday, September 7.
Here is a host of creative suggestions and tips from readers of the Family Fun magazine.

  • Hook them on the story. A good yarn can reel in even the most reluctant reader.

  • Keep it fun. Present reading as a game, and kids will be clamoring to play.

  • Make it social. Everything is more fun with friends or classmates.

  • Offer books as treats. Make reading a reward, and kids will pick up on the excitement.

  • Think outside the book. If your kids go for information, there are lots of ways to get it. Some kids have an interest in animals where others may look for laughs.

  • Bring books to life. Get the kids interacting with the story, and they’ll stay engaged to the end.
Child development research shows that talking to infants and young children on a very frequent basis provides a myriad of cognitive and social/emotional benefits. The number of words a child is exposed to and the regularity of conversation is a predictor of school readiness. While verbal interactions help children understand and develop speech sounds and build vocabulary, nonverbal cues during conversations—even with infants—are extremely important too.

A recent article in Parenting Science states that nonverbal cues “help children forge even more fundamental skills: How to tune into another person. How to understand his or her intentions. How to empathize and predict what someone is likely to do next.”

The article describes studies on how eye contact and nonverbal connection during conversation lead babies and their caregivers to mirror one another’s brain waves, which, in other experiments, is shown to produce better comprehension.
Image from Leong lab by Cambridge University

This resonates with me as I think about my interactions with our 3- and 6-year-old. From an emotional standpoint, our communication is always more effective when I get down to their levels, look them in the eyes, nod, and generally show them that I am listening.

In addition, when I am engaged in a nonverbal way versus being distracted by a thought or task, I am more likely to extend a conversation based on their interests, ask questions, and explore an idea or issue further, thus helping them learn new vocabulary and/or thought processes.

As children grow, it is important that we don’t limit ourselves to simple sentences. According to Professor Erika Hoff of Florida Atlantic University “…parents should not restrict their conversations to simplistic baby talk. Rich and complex language, with adjectives and subordinate clauses, helped them to learn the complex structure of language…Children cannot learn what they don't hear.”

The benefits of talking to our children on a frequent basis are immense, and both the content of those conversations as well as the nonverbal cues attached to them make a difference. For more on this topic, visit the sources used for this article:

Angie Williams
EFC Finance and Marketing Director

Now-8/5 DreamWorks Madagascar - A Musical Adventure , Stages, Theatre, Hopkins
Now-9/3   Kangaroo Crossing , MN Zoo, Apple Valley
Now-9/3 Towers of Tomorrow with Legos , Science Museum of MN, St. Paul
Now-9/9 Dinosaur Train , MN Children’s Museum, St. Paul
7/4   Red, White and Boom , Minneapolis
7/4   Edina Parade , Edina
7/12-7/15   Whiz Bang Days , Robbinsdale
7/18-7/21   Minneapolis Aquatennial , Downtown Minneapolis
7/21   ArtCar & ArtBike Parade , Lake Harriet, Mpls

All Summer -  Music and Movies in the Park  - Various Minneapolis Parks  

After reading our Parent Article, are you interested in learning more about language development in infants? Check out this TedTalk by Patricia Kuhl on the linguistic genius of babies. It will fill you with wonder about how amazing the smallest among us really are!
Especially for Children
2 H South Pine Dr. 
Circle Pines MN 55014 
(763) 786-9410 

Center Director:
Linda Burck
Center Assistant Director:
Kris Steffens