The leaves are falling, and the temperature is dropping – fall must be here! Our teachers are planning lots of fun and festive activities to help us celebrate the coming of autumn. At home, a family walk to celebrate the season can turn into an outdoor adventure. Bring journals and crayons to make leave rubbings or bring a bag to collect treasures. Once home, kids can use their treasures to make a festive fall collage!
Halloween will be different this year! Each classroom will host a Halloween party on Friday, October 30 between 9 and 11:30 AM. Feel free to bring your child in his/her Halloween costume along with a change of clothes. We are happy to have children changed out of their costumes for playing outside! Please leave smaller accessories at home so they are not accidentally lost for your at-home festivities. 
We have scheduled our picture day for October 8. You will have to opportunity to choose your own background and poses through Clix Photography. You will also have the option to select one background for the entire order or choose different backgrounds with each photo selected!
EFC will be closed Thursday, November 26, and Friday, November 27, for the Thanksgiving Holiday.
1 quart strawberries
1 cup vanilla frozen yogurt
Mini chocolate chips

Line pie plate or small baking dish with parchment paper; set aside. Stir yogurt and, holding the cut end of the strawberry, dip into yogurt, turning to coat evenly. Carefully place onto prepared sheet, cut side down, and repeat with remaining berries. Freeze for one hour. Repeat to add a second layer of yogurt and place two mini chocolate chips for the eyes. Freeze for 1 additional hour and serve!

Many families may be wondering what Halloween will look like this year. The CDC has published guidelines and ideas for having a safe and fun Halloween during these unusual times.

You can check them out here:


Every child is, by nature, an intellectual being--a curious, sense-making person, who is continuously seeking to understand his or her physical and social environments. 
-             Peter Gray, Ph.D
We spent a recent September weekend exploring the woods. One of the highlights was discovering the large variety of mushrooms in the area. We observed the different textures, colors, patterns, sizes, and shapes. We saw that some mushrooms grew out of the ground while others grew out of fallen trees. We wondered why some mushrooms are safe to touch and eat while others are not, and why something living grows on something dead. These observations and open-ended questions support the intellectual mind.

An intellectual mind is one that seeks to understand meaning through questions, observation, and analysis. As children grow, their innate intellects develop—they are always trying to make sense of the world around them and their own place in it.

Academic skills are those geared toward a correct answer; they are learned through practice, memorization, and formulas. Academic skills can aid in intellectual pursuits, and they become necessary as children enter their school age years. But research shows that for young children, fostering the intellect through play-based learning curriculum first is vital to the development of lifelong skills in all areas.

Clancy Blair, Professor of Cognitive Psychology at NYU, has studied a neurobiological model of school readiness. He has found that “preschool programs are best when they focus on social, emotional and intellectual goals rather than narrow academic goals. On the basis of his model, an intellectually rather than academically focused approach is most likely to yield desirable ‘school readiness’ as well as longer term benefits.” (Lively Minds: Distinctions between academic versus intellectual goals for young children, Lilian G. Katz, PhD).  

Young children who are exposed to environments that stimulate their intellectual curiosity through play, investigation, and social interactions enjoy the learning process because it stems naturally from the way their minds work. And when children begin to attribute meaning to academic concepts, they will find more long-term success in mastering those concepts. For instance, they may think, Why does science matter, and what makes it interesting? It helps me to figure out what my mind is naturally curious about (e.g. Why is it cloudy today? Will it be cloudy or sunny tomorrow?)

Furthermore, learning environments that emphasize emotional and social development help children to acquire lifelong skills such as resilience, self-regulation and initiative that are tied to school and work success:

“In many studies, behavioral self-­‐regulation contributes to achievement even after controlling for initial achievement levels and other background variables such as child IQ, age, ethnicity, and parent education level.”*

At Especially for Children, our goal is to create learning environments that support intellectual, social and emotional development first. We then introduce academic concepts in a developmentally appropriate way so that intellectual and academic development can support one another.

Angie Williams
Marketing Director

For more information on this important topic, read:

Lively Minds: Distinctions between academic versus intellectual goals for young children, Lilian G. Katz, PhD
How Early Academic Training Retards Intellectual Development, Peter Gray, Ph.D.
*School Readiness: Integrating Cognition and Emotion in a Neurobiological Conceptualization of Children's Functioning at School Entry, Blair
Especially for Children
5133 W. 98th St. 
Bloomington, MN 55437  
(952) 831-1435 

Center Director:
Kathy Hane