We are thankful for books, here are a few good reads for thanksgiving.

  •  Feast for 10 by Cathryn Falwell
  • We are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell
  • ‘Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving by Dave Pilkey
  • Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet
Throughout the month we will be holding parent teacher conferences. With Covid they will be done differently, google meet or phone calls, instead of in person. We hope you will take advantage of the chance talk to your child's teacher on a one-to-one basis.

We are excited to explain our curriculum and talk about the goals and objectives for your child. Sign-up sheets will posted by your child's classroom.  

November 26 and 27: Thanksgiving
December 24: Christmas Eve
December 25: Christmas Day
January 1: New Year’s Day

Please let us know using the absents forms on the front desk any days that your child may be gone these weeks.  
Sharing meals on a regular basis helps to build connections and a sense of family identity and purpose-key components of positive mental health. Regular family meals give children structure and a sense of security.
A family meal is when all or most family members who live in the same household sit down anywhere together to eat a meal-breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Family meals provide a regular opportunity for family members to talk and share, listen and learn. They also tend to be healthier and include more fruits and vegetables. (Kids are less likely to graze and eat snacks and meals in front of the T.V.)
Research shows that children who often eat meals with their parents say that their parents know what is really going on in their lives and make them feel important and loved.
Here are some tips for making family meals work for you:
  • Make family mealtimes a priority.
  • Any meal can be a family meal-breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
  • Keep the meal simple and use shortcuts such as frozen vegetables, rotisserie chicken, etc. Make one meal but include something that each person will eat.
  • Have the kids help plan, make meals and clean-up afterwards.
  • During the meal, turn off the T.V., computer, and video games. Ignore the phone.
  • Establish a routine to start or end each meal. 
  • Keep conversations positive-don't use mealtime as a time of discipline or correction. Talk about your favorite part of the day!

Occasionally invite friends and extended family members to join.

Other resources available on this topic are:
The information from this article was taken from "Building Connections Through Family Meals". Enjoy your time with your child.
By Alli Zomer

These days it is hard to escape the flood of political news all around us. And unfortunately, it can often feel chaotic and divisive. But what if we acknowledged this moment in time not by thinking about politics, but by thinking about democracy? And specifically, reflecting on some of the core values of democracy and what it might mean to explore those at home, with our own families. There is no single list of those values, but here are a few ideas for how children (and adults!) might be able to connect to some of our nation’s founding principles this November.

E Pluribus Unum
The national motto of the United States is E Pluribus Unum, “Out of many — one.” The idea that many different people come together to create a united whole applies to our families as well. So why not take some time to think about the special contributions of each person that, when put together, make your family extraordinary? Each person in your family could have a special day, when they get to choose favorite activities, books or foods for the whole family. Or it could be a way to learn more about extended family members – what stories, experiences and contributions have they made? Children could come up with a list of questions to ask grandparents, aunts/uncles or cousins and interview them (a great use for video chat!). Finally, your family could develop its own motto: what are your words to live by?

Life (liberty, and the pursuit of happiness)
Children are naturally curious, and have a wonderful ability look at things adults may take as a given and genuinely ask, Why? Imagine how many questions could be explored through the single concept of life! What things are alive (plants, animals, people)? What do living things need and how do they get them (food, water, sunlight/energy)? What don’t we understand about life (so many things!)? How can we respect the life around us, whether a person, a plant or a pesky bug?

Ok, this one might veer into the actual political realm for just a moment. But participating in the democratic process is an invaluable lesson we can pass on to our children. Whatever your political views, we hope that you will vote and make your voice heard. And when you do, talk to your children about it. A great way to help them understand is to create voting activities at home. A shoe box and some scratch paper can easily be transformed into a ballot box and a heated contest for which vegetable to make that evening! Children who can’t write yet could use a green mark for green beans or an orange mark for carrots. Experiences like that help children to see that their perspective matters, and it also teaches them to respect the views of those around them whether they win or lose.  
Especially for Children
6125 Cahill Ave.  
Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076 
(651) 450-1994  

Center Director:
Kristine Berg