During the month of March, we would like to offer you an opportunity to read a book to your child’s classroom. You can bring in your child’s favorite story, or pick one from the classroom library. Please see your child’s classroom sign up to arrange a time if you would like to participate. If you know a community worker (police/wo/man, firefighter, doctor, pilot or other professional) who would donate some of their time, we would love for them to come and read for our children as well. Reach out to Anna in the office to arrange!
MARCH IS WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH & NATIONAL READING MONTH
At EFC, we want to instill a love for books. From infants through preschoolers, children are read to often and there is also time for independent reading.
We know that reading to children is such an important part of a child’s development. A fantastic way to promote reading at home is to make sure the whole family reads together. This doesn’t mean always reading aloud but reading together can help foster feelings of love and security, increase imagination and vocabulary, and expand future success in reading and writing.
Throughout the month there will be many fun activities to engage the children in the world of books, and with March also being Women’s History Month, we have two great reasons to read about and recognize the accomplishments of women!
Here are a few tips to for an enjoyable reading time:
- Chose a book with repetition.
- Choose a story that is not too long.
- Read with expression.
- Allow your child to ask questions.
- Ensure books are diverse and provide accurate representation for self-worth and deeper connection, as well as promoting awareness and embracing other cultures’ differences.
- Set aside a special reading time, such as right before bedtime.
- Read books that your child likes repeatedly.
Here are some wonderful book suggestions if you are looking to add to your libraries or book selections this month:
Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed
Think Big, Little One by Vashti Harrison
The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin by Julia Finley Mosca
A is For Awesome!: 23 Iconic Women Who Changed the World by Eva Chen
Shark Lady by Jess Keating
Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa by Veronica Chambers
INFANT HAPPY HOUR
We are excited to host an Infant Happy Hour on Tuesday, March 14, between 4 and 5:30 PM. Join us for some lovely “mom-osas” and baby friendly hors d’oeuvres and stop by after you pick up your baby. We’re excited for this opportunity for you to form relationships with your fellow EFC infant parents, and we hope this is the beginning of beautiful friendships as you grow through our program together! The event will be held in the Edinborough Office complex training room.
COSTUME KIM VISIT
On Thursday, March 16, Costume Kim will visit our program as Pete the Cat, and tell our toddlers and preschoolers fun stories! Please be here by 9 AM so you don’t miss out!
Mud, slush, and water… oh my. The first day of
spring is March 20 and with that comes the thaw. With this thaw, comes lots of puddles and wet snow. The children will get wet all the way through their snow pants and sometimes through boots too! Please make sure your child has at least two changes of clothing at school, including extra socks, and mittens. We want to make sure that the children can play outside every day and still come in and be able to learn and play in comfort. This is also a great time to double check your child’s extra clothes to ensure they have the proper sizes! Thank you!
One of the great gifts we can give our children as they grow is the gift of language. While technology has changed many aspects of communication in our society, children’s experiences are enriched when they deepen their understanding of language and expand the breadth of their vocabularies. Given the pervasive nature of technology, it is perhaps more important now than ever to ensure children have exposure to new vocabulary and different ways of interacting with language. Below is an article from NAEYC that offers tips for supporting your child’s language development:
8 CREATIVE IDEAS TO HELP YOUR CHILD LEARN NEW WORDS
Language development happens very rapidly in early childhood -- it’s especially amazing to watch in the first two years of a child’s life (Galinksy 2010). This means that infants’ and toddlers’ home and family play a critical role in language and vocabulary growth. Children learn new words mainly by hearing them in a meaningful context (which often includes a story’s illustrations or a speaker’s gestures).
Reading to and with children, and engaging them in conversations, are great ways to build their vocabularies. However, if they are exposed to interesting words only once, or a limited number of times, they may only have a partial understanding of the word meaning (Christ & Wang 2010). Children must be exposed to new words multiple times and in different contexts to fully understand their meaning.
How can you expose your child to new words?
1. One of the best things you can do is talk with your child—talk about their day, what you are doing together (e.g., making breakfast or folding clothes), or where you are going.
2. Establish family literacy routines. Read to your child daily and choose books with illustrations that provide clues as to what the words mean. Read books as many times as your child wants--the repetition helps with understanding and learning new words.
3. Designate a special place for reading that is comfortable and quiet.
4. Have conversations during story reading.
- Ask your child questions about the story and illustrations.
- Help your child use the illustrations to make predictions about what will happen next.
- Explain the meaning of unfamiliar or interesting words.
- Draw connections to your family life, community, or experiences.
5. Make your home a print-rich environment filled with fun ways to play with letters and words.
Have storybooks in each room.
- Label items throughout your home so that your child can connect a word with its meaning. Write the word on an index card with large, clear letters.
- Place magnetic letters on the refrigerator that are accessible to your child so she can play with letters and writing.
- Bring take-out menus home from restaurants and help your child find foods that he likes. Encourage your child to draw a picture of the foods and then help him write the foods name on a whiteboard or build the word with plastic letters.
- Ask your child to help you write grocery lists or create a menu for the week.
- Have conversations with your child about pictures that you find in magazines, books, or online.
- Write the letters of the alphabet on index cards, and then tape them to a wall. Have your child help you find pictures with the beginning sounds of the letters, and tape the pictures underneath the letters. To get started, just make one index card with the first letter of your child’s name.
- Let your child play with food boxes—point out the words and explain what the food is. Talk about their favorite food, and then help them write the word or build the word with plastic letters.
- Label photos of people in your home with the person’s name.
- Take your child on a “word hunt.”
6. Visit the library.
7. Sing songs and teach your child nursery rhymes.
8. Make art projects that connect with the stories you read.
We hope some of these ideas are helpful to you as you celebrate National Reading Month this March!
Now-4/2 Corduroy, Children's Theatre, Mpls
In case you missed it! EFC is opening a new location in SW Minneapolis this May
. See the latest pictures here
. If you know anyone who may be interested in this location, we always appreciate your referrals!