JULY 2018
Greetings!

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
We are one month into our Minnesota for Mini-sotans summer adventures! We have learned so much about our great state already. We have had sensory exploration and discovery with pine cones and sticks, made “campfires”, went fishing in our home-made boat & made sure to wear our lifejackets. The children have been busy sorting and counting rocks. As you know, Minnesota is the “ land of 10,000 lakes” and we don’t get that name without water and land! We’ve observed the water cycle and how water evaporates, as well as identified the Mississippi River on maps. We have studied woodlands and prairies and the animals that inhabit those areas. It’s been fun to find and create animal tracks this month! We are excited for this month’s journey!
PARENT REMINDERS
LOOKING AHEAD
EFC will be closed on Wednesday, July 4, for the Independence Day holiday.
VACATIONS & VACATION CREDITS
Please let us know about any vacation time you plan on taking this summer, by marking your days off in the vacation calendar at the sign-in table. If you are gone for an entire week, have been with us for more than 6 months, then you are eligible for a half-week tuition credit. Vacation credits can be applied following the vacation.
EFC TREATS AND CELEBRATIONS POLICY
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!     

SUGGESTED CLASSROOM CELEBRATIONS
  • 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
OR
 
SUGGESTED CELEBRATION FOODS
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Hummus
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Whole grain crackers
  • 100% juice popsicles
 
picnic
LOOKING AHEAD
Mark your calendars for our EFC Family Potluck Picnic on Thursday, July 26. More details to follow.
PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
“ENCOURAGE A LOVE OF READING”
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.
ESPECIALLY FOR PARENTS
LET’S TALK!
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
TWIN CITIES
FAMILY EVENTS

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
5015 W. 70 Street
Edina MN 55439 
(952) 946-9971 

Center Directors:
Susan Wilson and Michelle Botz
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