124 Newsletter


DONATIONS: If you could please bring in old paper towel or toilet paper rolls we would really appreciate it! We will be making binoculars next week and need rolls for the project. Thank you!


Join us on Friday, April 15th from 7:30am-9am for our annual family breakfast in honor of Week of the Young Child




The Problem-Solving Parent: Those Terrific Twos

By Eleanor Reynolds

Susy, would you like some cereal? NO!

Do you want to play? NO!

Share your toys, O.K? NO!

Do you need to go potty? NO!

Ready for your bath? NO!

Can you get ready for bed? NO!

We're going now, O.K? NO!

No biting, understand? NO!

If your child is somewhere between the ages of one and three, these conversations may sound all too familiar. We expect toddlers to be belligerent and have tantrums, but do they really deserve their bad reputation? What really goes on during the "terrible twos?"

Every toddler strives for autonomy, the sense of having control over his own body, mind, and emotions. A toddler must test his own power in order to become a separate person. During this stage, you have your first real glimpse of the person your child will become. Until now, your child was a helpless, easy-to-control infant. You loved him unconditionally, and he made no demands. Now you're trying to wean him, get him to use the potty, share his toys, and behave in socially acceptable ways. No wonder there is often a clash of wills!

The key to making this stage of development positive is to avoid the "them against us" attitude. Become your child's partner in the adventure of learning about the wonder and complexity of life. As you spend time with your child, you will find that behind every behavior there is a need waiting to be met. In fact, most problems can be solved by identifying the need and looking for appropriate ways to meet that need. This is called setting limits. Help your toddler get her needs met by listening to her and asking yourself, "What is the need behind this behavior? What are the alternatives? Can she learn from this? Is this for her benefit or mine?"

Are the terrible twos inevitable? No, but so much depends on your attitude. Every child is born with an individual temperament. As a parent, you need to help your child find positive and appropriate ways to express her unique temperament. By using the problem-solving approach you can help your child get through the autonomy stage while preserving a strong, close bond and eliminating negative patterns that can last a lifetime. Remember the most enduring reward of "those terrific twos" is the relationship between you and your child.

Problem-Solving Solutions for Negotiating With Toddlers
Tantrums. It's bewildering and embarrassing to see your toddler kicking and screaming, often in public. During a tantrum, a child is overwhelmed and frightened by his own strong feelings. He needs understanding, not punishment. Tell him gently but firmly, "I see how frustrated you are, but I can't let you _________. If you want to kick and scream, I'll stay close until you're finished." Never argue or try to reason during a tantrum. If tantrums become a habit say, "I'm going to leave the room, but when you're finished you can come and talk to me about it." Teach your child the words he needs to express his strong emotions authentically.

Sharing. Imagine a neighbor coming to your house and demanding to borrow your new car. Can we expect children to be more generous and altruistic than we are? Toddlers can't understand the concept of sharing until they've experienced the concept of ownership. When playmates visit, ask your toddler ahead of time which toys she wants to put away in the closet and which ones she is willing to share. Let her know that she's in control of her toys. When you respect her rights, she'll learn to respect the rights of others, and eventually she will learn to share.

Toilet Learning. This is the battleground where many ongoing power struggles begin. You may have a deadline in mind but your child simply is not ready. Some toddlers won't even try until they are sure they can do it perfectly. Leave this decision up to your child and you will avoid unnecessary resentment. Show him how to do it, ask if he wants to, but avoid forcing or pressuring him. Most kids are ready some time after age three. Even if your friends' children start earlier, control yourself. Every child learns to use the toilet and yours will, too.

Eleanor Reynolds is the editor of The Best of the Problem-Solver: Articles for Parents and Teachers and the author of Guiding Young Children: A Problem-Solving Approach. She can be reached by email at problem@blarg.com.




Stop That Pickle

This week we did a book study on Stop That Pickle. This book begins when Mrs. Elmira Deeds waddles into Mr. Adolph’s deli and asks for a pickle, and chaos erupts! The pickle escapes from the jar, and a cast of zany characters, including a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and seventeen toasted almonds, joins in the chase to stop the pickle as it attempts to run away. Can anyone stop that pickle?

This book is a favorite because there’s a popular line in the book that continues to repeat, “Stop that pickle!” All the children chime in when this part reoccurs in the story.

A favorite sensory activity this week was spreading jelly on bread to make sandwiches. One of the foods in the book is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich chasing the pickle so the children got the opportunity to make their own and practice their fine motor skills.

Another sensory activity that seemed to be a hit was digging for pickles in jar. This activity was easy and fun, as we filled up plastic jars with water, put in some green food coloring, added our cucumber manipulatives, gave the children some spoons and tongs, and they fished out the pickles. 

To end our week, we made our own pretzels with pretzel dough. The children formed their pretzel in the shape they desired, then we baked them in the oven. Not only did the children eat pretzels, but we had a tasting party in which they tasted the majority of the food from the book including grape juice, vanilla ice cream, apple, raisins, doughnut, and jelly sandwiches.



124 Lesson Plan Birds

Toddler 2 Lesson Plan

Topic: Birds


  • There are many different kinds of birds. Some common birds we see where we live are cardinals, blue jays, robins, geese, pigeons, owls,  and sparrows.
  • More exotic birds are are hummingbirds, eagles, ostriches , peacocks, toucans, penguins, parrots and more.
  • Birds live in nests that they build in trees with sticks, branches and leaves.
  • Birds eat a variety of foods which include seeds, plants and worms.
  • The majority of birds can fly, and they use their wings to do so.


Group Time:

o       Read Puffin Peter by Petr Horacek. Discuss the different types of birds- what are their differences and similarities?

o       Go through the homemade book we created of various types of birds. Discuss where they live, what they eat, and their physical characteristics.

o       Do the magnet board “There was a hole.” Talk about where birds live and the fact that birds come from eggs rather than their mommy’s belly.

o       Read Will You Be My Friend? By Nancy Tafuri. Talk about how both characters, bird and bunny, live in the same tree and become friends.

o       Ask the children “If you were a bird, where would you fly to?” Record answers.



o       Paint bird houses

o       Make bird nests with cupcake wrappers, shredded paper and bird seed.

o       Glue feathers on to small paper plates

o       Paint with peacock feathers

o       Paint toilet paper rolls then glue together to make binoculars for bird watching.




  • Cooked noodles to resemble worms.
  • Dirt and bugs.
  • Feathers, boxes and tongs
  • Paint cotton balls in sensory table, then bake to create bird eggs.



Special Activity

Visit our arboretum in the front of the school and bird watch.

Newsletter 4-8-16

April 8th, 2016
 Room Announcements

  •  Themed days: Monday: Band Day, Tuesday: Dress like a teacher (children) dress like a toddler (teachers), Wednesday: Painted tee-shirt day, Thursday: Favorite Season Day, Friday: College day (parents included family breakfast day).
  • Anna is turning 2 on Saturday, April 2nd 2016. Happy birthday Anna.
  • Cheryl Dimer will be on vacation Wednesday April 13th-April 15th. We will have all school floaters in those 3 day
  • Homework
  •  Themed days everyday next week!
  • Bring in your child’s favorite toy!  School Announcements
  • Family Breakfast on Friday April 15 from 7:30-9:00. 

 Topic of the Week    My Five Senses                This week the children learned all about their five senses.  The teachers identified throughout the week how they were using each sense.  For example, at mealtimes the teachers would say they were using their sense of taste as they tried new foods. The children enjoyed many new snacks this week as we discussed new vocabulary to describe the sense, taste, ex. Savory, sour, sweet, salty, and spicy.                During art, the children explored their five senses in a variety of creative ways. The children used their sense of touch to finger-paint on bubble wrap. Some older children would pop the bubble wrap and say, “Did you hear that?”                In the sensory table the children enjoyed dancing on contact paper to music. The children also enjoyed exploring our light cube with translucent shapes. The older children would identify the colors they saw.                The highlight of the week was the scented glue and tissue paper on poster board. The children loved smelling different items as they explored glue. Tip of the WeekHealthy SnacksYoungsters are more likely to eat nutritious snacks if they choose and prepare them. For example, let your child top yogurt with blueberries or spread almond butter on whole grain crackers. Bonus: Eating a healthy diet helps her feel better and learn better.  Quotes “Laughter is an instant vacation.” Milton Berle “Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.” A.A.Milne Did you know?We have an extensive teachers resource library that is available for our teachers to further their knowledge about early childhood care and education.  Next Week: Week of the young childHave a great weekend! Toddler I Staff



Toddler I Lesson Plan April 8, 2016



Toddler One Lesson Plan

Week Of The Young Child

Group Time: (Literacy)

  • Read I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More By Karen Beaumont

  • Read The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, And The Big Hungry Bear By Don and Audrey Wood

  • Read I Like Myself By Karen Beaumont

  • Read Please Baby Please By Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee

  •  Magnet board “Wheels On The Bus”

  • Sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"


Creative Art: (Creative/Motor)

  • Toddler Mural on poster board

  •  Stickers on paper

  •   Painting in ziplock bags

  •  Painting with natural paintbrushes outside

  •  Painting with hammers on bubble wrap

  •   Painting with toilet paper rolls on construction paper

Sensory: (Fine/Gross Motor)

  • Goop and sticks
  •  Flour, vegetable oil, and cups

  •  Nature college on contact paper outside

  • Oats and strainers

  •  Water and whisk


  • Babies and strollers

  •  See through blocks

  • Gear pieces on cookie sheets


Special Group Projects

  • Monday: Band Day, Tuesday: Dress Like a Teacher Day, Wednesday: Painted Tee Shirt Day Thursday: Favorite Season Day, Friday: College Day



    Parent Involvement:

  • Family Breakfast Friday April 15th, 2016 from 7:30-9:00.

    Technology, Health and Safety are incorporated throughout the curriculum through daily interaction and planned activity

Room 122 Red Newsletter: April 8, 2016


Did You Know?

Throughout the year we celebrate with families at festivals and events in the classrooms and school-wide.



Save the Date! The Week of the Young Child Family Breakfast for Infants and Toddlers will be Friday, April 15th from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m.  Preschool/Kindergarten will be hosting their own breakfast on Thursday, April 14th.  If you have children in both Toddlers and Preschool/Kindergarten, please plan on attending both days to eat with each child individually.  If you have any questions please speak with your child’s lead teacher or Reagan Miller our Toddler Coordinator/Assistant Director.


Room Announcements

Dance Class: We will have dance class Thursday at 10:15 with Ms. Cheryl.

Homework: Next week we will be talking about the sense of sound! If your child has a favorite item that makes noise, they are welcome to it them in! We will be listening to them at group time.

Clothing: With the weather being typical Chicago weather and going through all four seasons each day, please make sure that your children are prepared for all weather.



Community Happenings

Music for Kids with Wendy Morgan: April 16, 2016, Morton Grove Public Library

http://www.chicagoparent.com/resources/going-places/destinations/libraries-1/morton-grove-public-library/events/music-for-kids-with-wendy-morgan http://mgpl.evanced.info/signup/EventDetails.aspx?EventId=1430&lib=0




Tip of the Week

Toddlers, Tantrums and Time-In’s, Oh My!

From The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline by L.R. Knost

 When a little person feels frustrated, overwhelmed, or just plain old out-of-sorts (read: tantrum time!) it’s tempting for parents to focus on correction rather than connection. But when children are intensely stressed, the prefrontal cortex of the brain, which in early childhood is an underdeveloped, mushy grey sponge waiting to be formed, is flooded with cortisol, the ‘stress hormone.’ The result is what is known as the fight-freeze-or-flight syndrome in which higher brain functions (learning, reason, self-control) are markedly hampered and lower brain functions (instinct, physical reactions) take over. This is an in-built survival mechanism that gradually comes under conscious control through years of growth in a safe and supportive environment. Interestingly, it is theorized that this underdeveloped ‘sponginess’ is why small children are able to learn new languages more quickly than older children and adults. They are, in a very literal way, absorbing information raw, unhampered by the processing and reason of a more mature brain.

Expecting young children to have the maturity and self-control to overcome this God-given survival instinct is unrealistic. Threatening, punishing, or even reasoning with them while their higher brain functions are suppressed is futile and actually just adds more stress to the situation (more stress = fuel on the tantrum-fire!).

What they really need is help…

·                     First, help coping with their big emotions

·                     Then, help reconnecting with their source of safety and security (you!)

·                     And last, help processing the problem that sent them into a maelstrom of emotion in the first place.

Punishing them, yelling at them, sending them to their room, or putting them in time-out disconnects them even further from their source of security and not only delays a resolution of the issue, but misses an opportunity to equip them with the tools they need to handle future problems.

This is where the Three C’s of gentle discipline come into play.


·                     Remaining present and supportive until they are able to calm down enough to accept your help

·                     Drawing them close when they’re ready (time-in)


·                     Validating their emotions by labeling them and empathizing (i.e. “You’re sad because we have to leave the park. I’m sad, too. The park is fun!”)

·                     Offering words to help them express their frustrations using reflective language (i.e. “It’s hard to do things we don’t like, isn’t it?”)


·                     Helping them move on by redirecting their attention to the future (i.e. “When we get home we’re going to make a snack. Would you like grapes or bananas today?”)

·                     Modeling coping skills and self-control by calming your own reaction to their meltdown and helping them process their big emotions

These are all ways of reconnecting with your toddler or preschooler to help them successfully navigate their present difficulty as well as to cope with difficulties they’re confronted with in the future.

One effective tool for use in helping little ones cope with big emotions is a Calm-Me-Jar made from small, round, plastic bottles such as AquapodTM water bottles. They are perfect for small hands to shake and manhandle to their heart’s content.

To make your own Calm-Me-Jar, fill up a plastic water bottle with warm water and basic craft glitter glue in whatever color you like. You can add some extra glitter and a drop of food coloring to customize your glitter jar to your child’s tastes, and then when you have the look you want, be sure to hot glue the top on to prevent spills.

When my little ones have meltdowns, or, if I can catch it, before they reach that point, I pull out one of the Calm-Me-Jars and shake it up and just let them hold it while I hold them (when they are ready to be held) and talk or sing quietly. When I feel their body relaxing and their breathing slow down, I might say something like, “It’s sad when we can’t have a toy, isn’t it?” or whatever else will reflect what they seem to be unable to express.

When an older preschooler or early elementary-aged child has a meltdown, or, again, before if I can catch it, I first connect, “I’m here. I can see you’re upset. How can I help?” and listen as they try to verbalize their feelings. If they’re having trouble with the words, instead of immediately supplying the words for them, I’ll offer them a Calm-Me-Jar and ask if they’d like to show me how they’re feeling. They will often shake the Calm-Me-Jar vigorously while jumping up and down and twisting all around, which is a great physical outlet for their intense feelings. I watch until I see their movements slowing and their breathing evening out, and when they’ve calmed just enough to hear me, I quietly talk them through the calming process, “Look at all that fairy dust bouncing around like crazy! I bet that’s how it feels inside when you’re so upset. Look at how it’s starting to slow down and settle to the bottom. If we breathe really slowly, we can feel ourselves settling like the fairy dust. Want to try it with me?” Then, if there are any behavior issues we need to address, we’ll work through those afterward when they’re calm, connected, and capable of interacting and understanding.

Here’s an example of how Calm-Me-Jars are helpful in ‘listening between the lines’ to my children’s behavior so I can meet them where they are and help them process their big feelings:

My five-year-old is a tiny girl with BIG emotions, and she really likes using Calm-Me-Jars to work through her feelings. We’ve put several together such as a silvery one she named Goodnight Moon, a light blue one she named Nemo Under the Sea, a pink one she named Hello Kitty Princess Ballerina, and a dark blue one she named Starry, Starry Night. When she is mad at one of her siblings, she’ll often bring me one of her Calm-Me-Jars (Goodnight Moon is a favorite in the evening!) and work out some of her upset physically by shaking the jar like crazy while she jumps up and down and tells me how mad she is. When she’s a bit calmer, we’ll have a little cuddle and watch the glitter settle while saying goodnight to the moon, all the furniture, and whatever other silliness we come up with until she’s calm. If there’s a discipline issue or she needs some help working things out with a sibling, we’ll work through it at that point because I know that’s when she can hear me and really process what I’m saying. If she chooses Starry, Starry Night we might sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star or step outside and see if there are any stars out yet. If she decides on Hello Kitty Princess Ballerina she’ll often dance her frustrations away while shaking her Calm-Me-Jar. And if she picks out Nemo Under the Sea we’ll ‘speak whale’ like Dory from Finding Nemo or we’ll make fishy faces at each other until we’re both giggling.

As you can see, my feisty little girl’s choice of Calm-Me-Jar shows me what she needs to do to work through her emotions of the moment, whether it’s to act things out physically in acceptable ways or to connect through song or through silliness.

The key is being in tune with your little one enough to understand their personality and work with it instead of against it. My five-year-old is spunky and silly, so having a long, serious talk would drive her crazy and accomplish nothing. We quickly decide together how she’ll approach whatever the problem was the next time she encounters it, and then she’s ready to move on, whereas when some of my older ones were little they really liked to talk things through (and still do!). My toddler, on the other hand, doesn’t have tantrums because that simply isn’t part of her own unique personality, but she’s still fascinated by her Calm-Me-Jar and loves to sit with me and watch the “pintess faywe dut” (“princess fairy dust”) glitter settle when she’s feeling a bit cranky or out-of-sorts.

Remember, there is no cure for tantrums because they are simply a normal result of a normal developmental stage of childhood. Trying to avoid tantrum triggers (tiredness, hunger, overstimulation, etc.) is always a good first step, along with remaining in-tune, responsive, and available, but when all else fails and a tantrum does occur, reacting with an adult tantrum is tantamount to throwing fuel on a toddler-tantrum-fire. So instead of losing it when your little one loses it, take an adult time-out, breathe deeply to gain control of your own emotions, and then grab the Three C’s of gentle discipline from your parenting toolbox and work with your child, not against them.

“Reactors react to a crisis with a meltdown. Responders respond to a crisis with help. To raise a mature, stable adult, be a first responder, not a nuclear reactor!” ~ L.R.Knost

Curriculum Update:

The Five Senses: Smell

            The children’s noses were on high alert this week! We made goop that smelled like cinnamon that the children made “pancakes” with. The children glued all different spices such as nutmeg, oregano, cinnamon, onion powder, and basil to paper. Next the children made cloud dough (cornstarch and conditioner) for the sensory table, they have been making “cupcakes” and all sorts of food with the scented dough. The children became little chefs when we made playdough and added pinches of different teas and spices, the children then kneaded the dough and mixed in all the spices. The children also painted with flowers. The noses were on full overload this week! Ask your child about all the fun smells they liked and disliked!

Next Week: The Five Senses: Sound  

Have a great weekend!

Deb, Mariellen, Margaret

Room 124red Lesson Plan

Toddler II Lesson Plan

Topic: Stop That Pickle by Peter Armour



  • o       Stop That Pickle is a Toddler II favorite.  It is a silly story about a pickle that does not want to get eaten and how he escapes his pursuers.  By introducing a cast of may different foods it touches on the science of taste.



Group Time Objectives (Integrated Content Area):

  • o       Read Stop That Pickle. Discuss with the children which of the foods they would eat if they were the little boy.  Record their responses.

  • o       Discuss with the children that there are four different types of taste; sweet, sour, salty and bitter.  Chart the foods in this book into the category the children think they fit into.

  • o       Read The Gingerbread Man.  Did the same thing happen to the gingerbread man as the pickle?


    Art Appreciation/Art:

  • o       Paint with edible paint and ice cream cones on wax paper

  • o       Paint with powder paint on contact paper using our feet

  • o       Purple paint with straws on bubble wrap

  • o       Decorate boxes


    Creative Expression/Sensory:

  • o       Hair gel and liquid color in Ziploc bags

  • o       Spread jelly on toasted bread

  • o       Cut apple or pickles slices with butter knife

  • o       Tongs and ping pong balls floating in water and containers


    Manipulative Table (Physical Development):

  • o       Green play dough with plastic knives and plates

  • o       Purple water with scoops and containers

  • o       Ice cream toy with plates



Technology, Health and Safety are incorporated throughout the curriculum through daily interactions and planned activity.

Room 122Red Newsletter: April 1, 2016

Did You Know?

Our school has a beautiful, inviting environment that respects our sense of order and provides a refreshing, cheerful place to spend our days.


 Save the Date! The Week of the Young Child Family Breakfast for Infants and Toddlers will be Friday, April 15th from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m.  Preschool/Kindergarten will be hosting their own breakfast on Thursday, April 14th.  If you have children in both Toddlers and Preschool/Kindergarten, please plan on attending both days to eat with each child individually.  If you have any questions please speak with your child’s lead teacher or Reagan Miller our Toddler Coordinator/Assistant Director.

Room Announcements

Dance Class: We will have dance class Thursday at 10:15 with Ms. Cheryl.

Homework: Next week we will be talking about the sense of smell! If your child has a favorite scent or smell , they are welcome tobring them in! We will be smelling them at group time.


Community Happenings

Family Day Jam: April 9, 2016, Museum of Contemporary Art.  https://mcachicago.org/Calendar/2016/04/Family-Day-Jam


Tip of the Week

MUD IS GOOD! Ten Easy Ways to Connect Your Family to the Joy of Nature

by Richard Louv

Short on Vitamin N? Here’s a brief list of nature activities to help you connect your kids, and yourself, to the health, cognitive and creative benefits of nature time — benefits that will help your child succeed in school and throughout life.

1. Invite native flora and fauna into your life. Maintain a birdbath. Replace part of your lawn with native plants. Build a bat house. For backyard suggestions, plus links to information about attracting wildlife to apartments and townhouses, see the National Audubon Society’s Invitation to a Healthy Yard. Make your yard a National Wildlife Federation (NWF) Certified Wildlife Habitat.

2. Revive old traditions. Collect lightning bugs at dusk, release them at dawn. Make a leaf collection. Keep a terrarium or aquarium. Go crawdadding — tie a piece of liver or bacon to a string, drop it into a creek or pond, wait until a crawdad tugs. Put the garden hose to good use: make a mud hole. (Your kids will sleep well later.)

3. Help your child discover a hidden universe. Find a scrap board and place it on bare dirt. Come back in a day or two, carefully lift the board (watch for unfriendly critters), and see how many species have found shelter there. Identify these creatures with the help of a field guide. Return to this universe once a month, lift the board and discover who’s new.

4. Encourage your kids to go camping in the backyard.Buy them a tent or help them make a canvas tepee, and leave it up all summer.

5. Take a hike. With younger children, choose easier, shorter routes and prepare to stop often. Or be a stroller explorer. “If you have an infant or toddler, consider organizing a neighborhood stroller group that meets for weekly nature walks,” suggests the National Audubon Society. The American Hiking Society offers good tips on how to hike with teenagers. Involve your teen in planning hikes; prepare yourselves physically for hikes, and stay within your limits (start with short day hikes); keep pack weight down. For more information, consult the American Hiking Society or a good hiking guide, such as John McKinney’s Joy of Hiking. In urban neighborhoods, put on daypacks and go on a mile hike to look for nature. You’ll find it — even if it’s in the cracks of a sidewalk.

6. Be a cloudspotter or build a backyard weather station.No special shoes or drive to the soccer field is required for “clouding.” A young person just needs a view of the sky (even if it’s from a bedroom window) and a guidebook. Cirrostratus, cumulonimbus, or lenticularis, shaped like flying saucers, “come to remind us that the clouds are Nature’s poetry, spoken in a whisper in the rarefied air between crest and crag,” writes Gavin Pretor-Pinney in his wonderful book The Cloudspotter’s Guide. To build a backyard weather station, read The Kid’s Book of Weather Forecasting, by Mark Breen, Kathleen Friestad, and Michael Kline.

7. Collect stones. Even the youngest children love gathering rocks, shells, and fossils. To polish stones, use an inexpensive lapidary machine-a rock tumbler. See Rock and Fossil Hunter, by Ben Morgan.

8. Encourage your kids to build a tree house, fort, or hut.You can provide the raw materials, including sticks, boards, blankets, boxes, ropes, and nails, but it’s best if kids are the architects and builders. The older the kids, the more complex the construction can be. For understanding and inspiration, read Children’s Special Places, by David Sobel.Treehouses and Playhouses You Can Build, by David and Jeanie Stiles describes how to erect sturdy structures, from simple platforms to multi-story or multi-tree houses connected by rope bridges.

9. Plant a garden. If your children are little, choose seeds large enough for them to handle and that mature quickly, including vegetables. Whether teenagers or toddlers, young gardeners can help feed the family, and if your community has a farmers’ market, encourage them to sell their extra produce. Alternatively, share it with the neighbors or donate it to a food bank. If you live in an urban neighborhood, create a high-rise garden. A landing, deck, terrace, or flat roof typically can accommodate several large pots, and even trees can thrive in containers if given proper care.

10. Invent your own nature game. One mother’s suggestion: “We help our kids pay attention during longer hikes by playing ‘find ten critters’—mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, snails, other creatures. Finding a critter can also mean discovering footprints, mole holes, and other signs that an animal has passed by or lives there.”

Richard Louv is chairman emeritus of the Children & Nature Network and author of LAST CHILD IN THE WOODS: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. His ninth book, VITAMIN N: The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Lifewill be published in April.


Curriculum Update:

The Five Senses: Touch

            The children were actively engaged in the topic of Touch.  They explored a surprise box by placing their hands inside.  Items with different textures were placed inside and they were encouraged to describe the texture and what they thought it was.  The children strengthened the muscles in their hands squeezing and squishing play dough. They then used Popsicle sticks with different textures to make prints in the play dough. The children were most excited about taking off their socks and shoes and going on a texture walk. They stepped on bubble wrap, sticky contact paper, bumpy, rough, smooth and soft surfaces.  The activity soon evolved into a sensory crawl with the children army crawling across the surfaces on their stomaches and even on their backs.

Next Week: The Five Senses: Smell   

Have a great weekend!

Deb, Mariellen, Margaret

Toddler One Newsletter April 1, 2016

Room Announcements

Room 123: Happy Birthday Luca Bende! Luca will be 2 years old on April 2nd!

Room 123: We would like to welcome George Merrell, Carter Royzen, Ethan Stern, and Hasnain Valika and their families to the classroom! 

Room 121: We would like to welcome Asher Baer and his family to the classroom!

Reminder: Please bring in a plain white t-shirt for your child to paint by Wednesday, April 6. 

School Announcements

Save the Date! The Week of the Young Child Family Breakfast for Infants and Toddlers will be Friday, April 15th, 7:30-9am. Preschool/Kindergarten will be hosting their own breakfast on Thursday, April 14th. If you have children in both Toddlers and Preschool/Kindergarten, please plan on attending both days to each with each child individually. Check the Director's letter for other Week of the Young Child festivities. If you have any questions, please speak with your child's lead teacher or Reagan Miller, our Toddler Coordinator/Assistant Director. 

Topic of the Week

    This week, the children learned about feelings and emotions. While reading different stories at group time, the children learned to identify different emotions based on the faces a character was making, whether they were happy or sad. The children also practiced making their own expressions while looking in mirrors to see what they look like when they are happy, frustrated, sad, or excited. 

    For a wonderful sensory experience, the children enjoyed playing with play dough scented with essential oils. Lavender is known to have a calming effect, while lemon is a mood and energy booster. A favorite art activity was to first paint poster boards different colors to represent emotions (red for anger, yellow for happiness, blue for sadness) and then create a collage of pictures expressing these same emotions. 

Tip of the Week

Moments Make Memories

    When hectic schedules leave you short on time, use small everyday moments to show your child you love him. That impromptu game of sock basketball while sorting laundry or the “serious” discussion about superheroes while shampooing his hair give you a chance to interact with each other beyond the chores. Plus, you’ll create happy memories that make your child feel special and included. 

Quote of the Week

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” — Benjamin Franklin

Did You Know?

We value the partnerships that we have with our families and recognize the importance of meaningful two-way communication.


Next Week: The 5 Senses

Have a great weekend!

Toddler 1 Staff

Toddler One Lesson Plan April 4-8, 2016

Toddler One Lesson Plan

The 5 Senses

Group Time

  • Sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”

  • Sing “Open, Shut Them”

  • “Five Little Hot Dogs” Magnet Board

  • Read These Hands by Hope Lynne Price

  • Read Here Are My Hands by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault

Creative Art

  • Finger Paint on Bubble Wrap

  • Watercolors on a Mirror

  • Scented Glue and Tissue Paper on Poster Board

  • Fly Swatter Painting on Cardboard

  • Ice Cube Painting on Construction Paper

Sensory Activities

  • Light Cube with Translucent Shapes

  • Dance to Music on Contact Paper

  • Colored Goop

  • Shaving Cream, Water Colors and Whisks

  • Pouring Station- Colored Water in Different Containers


  • Musical Instruments

  • Sensory Tubes

  • Textured Balls

  • Spice Bottles and Coffee Straws

Special Activities

  • Taste Testing Snacks! Each day we will be featuring a different flavor profile in our afternoon snack, including Sweet, Savory, Sour, Salty and Spicy. 

Technology, Health and Safety are incorporated through the curriculum through daily interaction and planned activity.

124 Lesson Plan

Toddler II Lesson Plan

Topic: Rain


  • Rain helps plants and flowers grow.
  • Rain provides the water we drink.
  • It rains a lot during spring.
  • Rain comes from the clouds.


Group Time Objectives ( Integrated Content Area):

  • Talk about what we do when it rains.
  • Magnetic board on finding the hidden raindrop.
  • Read Who Likes Rain? Have a graph to see who likes the rain and who does not like the rain.  Each child will have a chance to pick a happy raindrop if they like the rain or a sad cloud if they do not like the rain.


Art Appreciation/Art:

  • Melt crayon shavings on wax paper.
  • Drip paint, using a eye dropper on coffee filters
  • Rainy day art.  After the children color on paper, take the paper outside and have the rain fall on the paper.
  • Spray paint on a poster board.


Creative Expression/Sensory:

  • Eye droppers with vinegar, food color and baking soda.
  • Ice mold with squirt bottles filled with warm water.
  • Fill the entire sensory bin with cotton balls and a few blue pebbles and containers.
  • Flubber and cookie drying rack. 


Special Activity:

o       Water maze with water bottles


Technology, Health and Safety are incorporated throughout the curriculum through daily interaction and planned activity.

Room 124 Newsletter


March 24, 2016


Vacation: Liz will be on vacation next Monday and Tuesday. We will see her again on Wednesday!


Lets Make Music

Playing and hearing music can increase your child’s listening skills, memory, and coordination. There’s evidence that it helps with reading and math too. Inspire your child to enjoy music with these easy tips at home:

o       Tap out 3 or 4 notes on a toy keyboard or xylophone, and see if your child can copy you. He’ll need to listen carefully and remember the notes you played. Then, let him play notes for you to copy.

o       Help your child make a drum. You can use construction paper and tape to cover a coffee or oatmeal canister and then decorate it with crayons. Put on some music and have him use wooden spoons to play to the beat of the song.

o       Find an old water bottle and refill it with a material that can make noise such as rice, noodles or beans. Let your child decorate the bottle then wala! You’ve created a shaker.

o       Play a variety of music for your child and explain the different genres.




This week we talked about music! We explained to the children that there are many different types of genres of music and we played a sample of each. The children are aware that music is created with instruments and/or singing. We had a lot of dancing going on in our room this week as the children listened to music while they played. One of their favorite special activities was listening to individual instruments played on the phone and guessing what instrument it was. Another favorite activity was covering a large drum with paper, adding paint to the top, then using recycled paper towel rolls and banging away- creating art masterpieces along with music.




Room 122 Red: Newsletter: March 24, 2016



Did You Know?

Karen Crawford is a registered nurse and has been Nielsen’s health nurse consultant since January 2004. She graduated from Northern University.


Room Announcements

Dance Class: We will have dance class Thursday at 10:15 with Ms. Cheryl.

Homework: Next week we will be talking about the sense of touch! If you have any fun and interesting textured items around your house that you would like to share with the classroom please bring them in!

Staff Vacations: Margaret will be off on Monday 3/28 and Mariellen will be off Wed-Friday 3/30-4/1.  Jill will be the sub.


Community Happenings

Autism Awareness Day: Brookfield Zoo Saturday April 2nd.



Tip of the Week

The Most Important Skill to Teach Children

By Ashley Soderlund Ph.D.


Today I’m talking about the skill I believe to be the (Dare I say it?) MOST important skill to teach children.  To call it one skill, however, is a little misleading. It’s really a set of skills– a whole host of skills. At the center of those skills is the ability to control something– a behavior, a thought, movement, or a feeling.

Generally, this is called self-regulation. But I am also talking about executive function (control in the brain), emotion-regulation (control of feelings) as well as behavioral regulation (control of actions & movement).

Most of you have probably heard about the marshmallow test in which a researcher will ask a young child (usually between ages 3 and 5) if they would like one or two marshmallows which are placed on a plate in front of them. Then the researcher devises a reason to leave the room and the child is presented with a choice before the researcher leaves: they can eat one marshmallow now or wait until the researcher returns and then they can have two. This is technically called ‘delay of gratification’ or the ability to suppress an impulse (eat that lovely marshmallow) in order to meet another goal– listen to the authority figure of the researcher and wait.

Delay of gratification is only one self-regulation skill, albeit the most well-known one, and it has been linked to many outcomes– children who wait longer are more sociable, have better grades, and even better SAT scores years later. There are also brain differences between the children who were better at delaying and those who were not as good at waiting. Self-regulation is partially genetic– some children will naturally be better regulated than others, however, self-regulation is very teachable as well.

Here are FIVE key ways to nurture self-regulation in your children.

1. Use naturally occurring situations to teach strategies for self-regulation.

Waiting to open holiday presents, birthday presents, not sticking her fingers in her friend’s birthday cake before it is served, or waiting for a special anticipated activity are all teachable moments for self-regulation.

§                  First, realize that these situations are truly challenging for younger children. Before the event or situation, explain they will have to wait and why waiting is important.

§                  During the waiting process, offer ways for your child to distract themselves and help them to wait. What studies about self-regulation have shown is that it isn’t about the child having the sheer willpower to wait, but instead having lots of strategies to distract themselves while they wait. Do something else, sing a song, tell a story etc.

§                  Recognize it if they struggle, “Sometimes it feels hard to wait. When you are waiting you can do something else.” When I tell my son he has to wait for a special treat, he will say- “But can I just look at it, can I just touch it?” I say, “Let’s take a quick look and then let’s do something else, it is harder to wait when you are looking at it.” In doing that, I acknowledge his desire and offer a strategy to help him regulate.

2. Realize it is just as important to let go of control. 

One of my favorite quotes from researchers who study self-regulation is this:

“The human goal is to be as under-controlled as possible and over-controlled as necessary”— Block & Kremen (1996).

As parents, we spend ALOT of time trying to teach our children to control impulses. It is easy to forget that it is just as important to let them be “under-controlled” for lack of a better term.

I loved it when I would return to the room as a researcher in those delay of gratification studies and the kids would stuff both marshmallows in their mouth as happy as could be, no restraint at all. They waited until I came back and then they reveled in the fact of being able to enjoy those marshmallows.

In other cases, kids would seemingly do a good job waiting, but when I came back in the room they were over-controlled and anxious. Those kids could hardly enjoy the marshmallow. So, it isn’t just about waiting or controlling, it’s about being flexible in that control — able to control impulses when needed and letting loose when we can. If you notice your kids being pretty controlled and tending towards anxiety make it your mission to help them learn that sometimes it is okay to let loose.

Teaching your children when to let go of control is equally important as teaching them when to be in control. One of my favorite family traditions is that on your birthday you wake up to everyone in the family singing, presents and a sweet treat. Why on your birthday should you have to wait all day for presents and cake?



3. Remember self-regulation skills develop over years. 

Generally speaking, the organization of the brain system that underlies self-regulation occurs around the age of three. This system goes through a period of rapid development until about the age of five. After the age of five, the development brain areas associated with self-regulation slows down until puberty when a second brain growth spurt means a whole new level of regulation skills will need to be organized and learned in adolescence.

So, all those teachable moments will add up over the years. There may be times when you feel like you don’t see any progress — it develops slowly and gradually. It is one of those things where you’ll see effects much later.

Right now, I see my role as simply noticing when my son struggles and helping him through it.

For example, I love that my son has such determination– but he also gets incredibly frustrated. He will be trying to connect trucks together with Lego pieces and when it doesn’t work he screams and gets upset, but he WILL NOT give up. I want him to retain that feeling of determination, but he also has to learn to manage his frustration (don’t we all?).

I try different strategies (Three quick Tips to Help Kids Calm Down)  to get him to take a little break, sometimes I’ll even offer a snack, and then we will go back to his project. Often, he can either accomplish what he wanted to do or he will come up with an alternative. That way, I hopefully preserved that wonderful tendency for determination and helped him manage frustration. When he is older, he will be able to manage that frustration on his own, well, until he is a teenager, but let me get through threenager first! And that’s one reason behind the threenager/teenager comparison. Both, on different levels, are struggling with self-regulation.

4. Have your child make a choice and a plan.

Cognitively a well-regulated older child would be able to look through a set of options and make a reasoned decision. Or, faced with a wide array of possibilities, that child could make a plan. When it comes to well-regulated thought our goal for our children is that they can organize their thoughts and work through problems in a logical way. Cognitively they would be able to sort through the chaos, so to speak, and inhibit distractions in the meantime.

How do we foster this when they are young? I had a professor once who said, “No child is ever too young to make a choice, carrots or peas? Which one do they spit out the least?” Providing your child with plenty of opportunities for making choices — do you want to walk to the playground or play in the backyard? Will you have milk or water? Which pair of tennis shoes will you wear today? Gives them the practice they need to develop decision-making skills.

At younger ages remember to give a choice between two options and as they grow, increase the options. Also, give your child the opportunity to make a plan. This morning we are staying home we can do any of these things- what would you like to do first, second and third? My Aunt took her preteen and teenage sons to New York City once for vacation and she told me each son got a day to plan. They planned what they would do and she gave them a subway map so they could plan the route as well. I think this is a great activity for older kids. It is the same idea with younger kids as well– to plan and map out an activity is a great exercise in cognitive regulation.

5. Play control games.

Any game that asks kids to control something is fostering self-regulation. Anytime they have to suppress something. Like a whisper game, slow down speed up, the freeze game/dance, Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, Simon Says, Red Light Green Light, and similar. See my post on more of my favorite games for self-regulation here. Also, make believe play has been shown to be linked to self-regulation. And just plain old free play. Yep, they are naturally equipped to learn self-regulation just through unstructured free play, we are along for nudges and helping through the struggles, but giving time and space for play may be the best thing we can do.


Curriculum Update:


            This week Kim has kept us very busy with the sense of sight! The children pretended to be eye doctors while using the eye test to try and see all the letters. For art this week the children made collages with feathers, foam shapes, and shiny shapes; created eruptions using baking soda vinegar and food coloring; painted with glitter paint; and did the “exploding colors” in milk and put their milk design on paper! The children also decorated homemade binoculars and took them outside to see what they could find on our playground! During group time the children determined their own eye color then used a chart to see how many children in the class had each eye color. The children also played a guessing game of “Who Does the Eye Belong To?” There was a picture of an animal covered by black paper, all that was showing was an eye and the children had to guess what the animal the eye belonged to. The children then lifted the paper to reveal the entire face of the animal and saw if they were correct! This proved to be quite tricky.

Next Week: The Five Senses  

Have a great weekend!

Deb, Mariellen, Margaret

Newsletter- March 25, 2016

Toddler One Newsletter

Room Announcements

  • Please bring in a white shirt for your child to decorate.

Topic of the Week:


This week the children were immersed in how technology is involved in their everyday environments. During group time, the teachers read stories such as Spot Bakes A Cake by: Eric Hill and learned that the ovens in our homes are powered by technology in order to bake and cook food. Children enjoyed listening to magnet boards such as, "The Transportation Song" where they were able to view pictures of boats, trains, planes, etc, and learned how these ways of transportation help us get from one point to another use different forms of technology.  For sensory, the children were able to interact with technology while playing with our light cube. The children observed how it changed colors and how it looked as a backdrop for different objects held against it.  During art activities the children were able to use different materials to paint on pasteboard and construction paper. Materials like, blocks, tooth brushes, and cups. 

Tip Of The Week

Raise A Grateful Child

  • Tell them "Thank you".
  • Let them see and hear you thanking others, modeling behavior is one of the best ways a child learns.
  • Do not give in to everything your child wants. When limiting the items children want, will allow them to appreciate the things they have. 
  • Discuss the difference between a "want" and a "need" with your children. 

Quote of the Week

" A children's story that is only enjoyed by children, is a bad children's story."

                                                                                              -C.S. Lewis

Did You Know?

Even in a group setting, teachers are able to base curriculum and activities upon each child's individual developmental abilities. 

Next Week: Feelings/Emotions

Have a wonderful weekend!

Toddler One Staff


Lesson Plan- March 25, 2016

Toddler One Lesson Plan 

Feelings/ Emotions

Group Time:(Literacy)

  • Read If You're Angry and You Know It

  • Read How Are You Peeling? Foods With Moods

  • Sing "You Are My Sunshine"

  • Sing "Skinamarinky dinky dink"

  • Sing "If You're Happy and You Know It"

Creative Art:(Creative/Motor)

  • Painting with tea bags on construction paper (Rorschach ink blots)

  • Shades of red paint on poster board (Anger)

  • Shades of blue paint on poster board (Sadness)

  • Shades of yellow paint on poster board (Happiness)

  • Collage emotion pictures on painted poster board (red, blue, and yellow)

Sensory:( Fine/Gross Motor)

  • Expression eggs

  • Scented play dough: Lavender(Calming) and Lemon (Joy)

  • Shaker tubes and bottles

  • Textured rings 

  • Dramatic play clothing


  • Puzzles

  • Sensory Balls

  • Baby dolls, strollers, and cots

  • Hammer Toys

Special Group Project

  • Create a kindness chart throughout the week, by writing down observed acts of kindness in the classroom and then talking about how that made the children feel. 

  • During group time, writing down ideas on the "bug" chart of behaviors that might upset others. 

Parent Involvement

  • Please bring in an object or picture of an object that evokes emotion in your child. It could be a favorite toy, a food your child dislikes, something your child is afraid of, or something that makes your child laugh. 




Room 122 Red Newsletter: March 18, 2016



Did You Know?

In hosting parent seminars, we regularly work with our staff and outside experts in the community to cover topics of interest to parents.



Room Announcements


Dance Class: We will have dance class Thursday at 10:15 with Ms. Cheryl.

Student Teacher Takeover: Our student teacher from Oakton Community College, Naeun Kim will be taking over and implementing the curriculum for Sight and Touch. 




Community Happenings

Pets Unleashed: Now through May 1st.



Tip of the Week

Want Calmer, Happier Kids? Simplify Their World

By Sandy Kreps


As parents, we’re in charge of our family’s daily lives, everything from the schedule of events for the week to the environment where we work, play and rest. We build the structure and set the rhythm for the days, and a lack of routines, excessive toys and clutter, chaotic schedules, and an overload of information can bring even the closest family down.

Children are happiest and flourish when they have the time and space to explore their world without the constraints of “too much.”

“Too much” is overwhelming and stressful, whether it’s too much stuff, too much information, too many activities, too many choices, or too much speed – always hurrying from one task to the next, never a moment to relax or play. Having and doing too much can overwhelm a kid and lead to unnecessary stress at home and in the classroom.

Simplifying a child’s routine and cutting down on their information and activity overload, as well as excessive toy and clutter piles, could help over-stimulated kids become less argumentative and disruptive.

When you simplify a child’s world, you make space for positive growth, creativity and relaxation.

“Many of today’s behavioral issues come from children having too much stuff and living a life that is too fast,” says Kim John Payne, author of Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kids.

Payne says that many American kids are experiencing sensory overload with “too many trinkets, too many choices and too much information.” By approaching parenting using simplicity as a framework, parents may be able to significantly reduce a child’s daily stress, which can lead to happier, more successful children.

The easiest way to get started is with your home environment. “As you decrease the quantity of your child’s toys and clutter, you increase their attention and their capacity for deep play. Too much stuff leads to too little time and too little depth in the way kids see and explore their worlds,” says Payne.

Clear Some of the “Stuff”

When clearing out toys, focus on keeping a mix of toys that your kids consistently enjoy and that keep them entertained for long periods of time. Often, kids’ favorite toys are simple, classic toys without lots of bells and whistles – stuffed animals, dolls, building toys such as Legos, trains and cars, dress-up clothes, and arts and crafts materials.

Whittle down books to a handful of favorites that can be savored, and remove the rest to create a “library” to find new reads one or two at a time. Add in some fabric, string or pillows for creating forts and playhouses, then give your kids some time to adjust and create their own play world from this simple selection of toys.

Make Downtime a Priority

Another area to make some changes is your daily “rhythm” of events – children are comforted when they know what to expect each day. Your rhythm doesn’t need to be a strict schedule, but a predictable flow from lunch to rest time to outdoor playtime, and so on, helps a child know what comes next and helps the day transition smoothly.

Along the same lines, simplifying your family’s schedule can reduce the frantic feeling of always being on the go. Kids with a full plate of school work, extracurricular activities or sports each day may feel stressed and chaotic since they’re lacking the free time children need for creative play and exploration.  And when you set effective screen time limits, you’ll keep your child distraction-free and help her learn to find joy in the present moment.

As a parent “taxi,” you probably aren’t feeling all that relaxed either. Cutting back to just one or two of your child’s favorite activities can give them the freedom not only to have that time to play and explore, but also the time to actually practice and focus on the activities they do choose to partake in.

Reducing the physical clutter, setting predictable rhythms and streamlining activities has benefits for parents too. “As parents, we also define ourselves by what we bring our attention and presence to. This is easy to forget when daily life feels more like triage,” says Payne. By simplifying, we can concentrate on what we really value, not just spend our days reacting to everything the world throws at us.

Simplification is an ongoing process, not something that can be completed in an afternoon or weekend. It takes time to reduce possessions, change habits and develop new rhythms. It’s not easy to change directions when your whole family is moving at the speed of light and the chaos always feels like it’s creeping in. Begin slowly, with small changes and an eye toward what you want your family life to look like.

Simplifying is about finding a place of balance as you move away from “too much.” Only with less can children figure out what they truly like and want.



Curriculum Update:


            This week we concluded our topic on colors. The children created rainbow art when they squeezed and squished paint on paper that was in Ziploc bags. The children wanted to decorate their cubby shapes.  The children used the window to the parking lot to play a guessing game, taking turns guessing what color truck would come by next. They spotted many different colors, but purple and pink trucks did not seem to be among them. Playing “I Spy” has become a game that can occupy the children for long periods of time. They use their critical thinking skills to guess the objects described by color. We added some other type clues as well, such as this is found in water or this has wheels when the children were stumped.

Next Week: The Five Senses  

Have a great weekend!

Deb, Mariellen, Margaret

Toddler Two: Room 122 Red Lesson Plan March/April 2016

Topic: Five Senses 


o       We have 5 senses.

o       Hearing:

§         Ears are used for hearing.

§         Noises can be loud or soft.

§         People who need help hearing use hearing aids.

§         Deaf people have ears that can’t hear.

o       Smell:

§         We use our noses to smell.

§         When your nose is stuffy, you can’t smell.

§         Some things smell good, others yucky.

o       Sight:

§         We use our eyes to see.

§         People wear glasses to help them see better.

§         If a person can’t see at all they are blind.

§         Binoculars, magnifying glasses can make things appear bigger or smaller.

o       Taste:

§         We use our tongues for tasting.

§         The different types of taste: sweet, sour, salty, bitter.

o       Touch:

§         We touch and feel with our skin.

§         We use gentle touches.


Provocations/Materials to Explore

o       Surprise/ Feely box                                        Different textures

o       Sound shaker matching                               Multicultural instruments

o       Voice recorder                                                Mirrors

o       Color tiles                                                      Texture puzzles

o       Music                                                               Matching games

o       Scent jars                                                       Texture board


Group Experiences/Investigations (Integrated Content Areas)

o       What do we know about our senses?

o       What is a nose? What does it do? Are they all the same?

o       What is an eye? What does it do? How are they different?

o       What is an ear? What does it do?

o       How do we taste?

o       How do you feel objects? Can we only use our hands?

o       Listen to sound effects.  What made that noise?

o       Touch objects in surprise box, can you guess by touch only?

o       Guess that smell?

o       Baking Soda & vinegar volcano: What changes do you see occurring?


Art Appreciation/Art:

o       Water colors on easels                       Food paint with shaving cream

o       Finger paint on butcher paper            Food collage on contact paper

o       Frozen ice paintings                                Paint with salt added

o       Play-dough with texture sticks                Stamp pads with hammers

o       Shaving cream                                 Water color paint with Kool-Aid powder

o       Spice collage                                 Color on sandpaper with crayons

o       Nose prints                                   Paint with different textures           

o       Bubble wrap roller printing                  Puffy paint

o       Mirror art                                             Decorate binoculars


Special Activities

o       Go on a sight walk or play “I spy…..” in the classroom

o       Texture walk

o       Marching band with instruments

o       Tasting party

o       What do we hear? Walk

  • Eye doctor dramatic play

Newsletter Friday, March 18, 2016

March 18, 2016

Newsletter- Friday, March 18, 2016


Toddler One Newsletter


Room Announcements:

*PLEASE bring a white tee-shirt for your child to decorate

*Room 123: Wednesday, MARCH 16TH: Owen Chen turned two! Happy Birthday!

Theme Days

Thursday- wacky socks or hat day


 School Announcements:

*School REMINDER: School is closed 3/25/16 for spring break day


Topic of the Week:

Colors of the Rainbow


This week the children were introduced to the colors of the rainbow!  

During group time the children enjoyed singing "Rainbow Shining Overhead" and "I Can Sing a Rainbow".  One of the children's favorite activities from group time was guessing what rainbow items were hidden in the Wonder Box. We hid colorful scarves, balls, and magnet balloons inside. Some of the children imitated this activity on the carpet during their free time.

In art, the children colored on our windows using special markers. We also colored with markers on poster board to the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".

Thank you to our parents that participated in our rainbow hand print activity! The children observed the colors as the paint mixed and noticed the difference in handprint size. 

The children enjoyed exploring the concepts of sink and float in our sensory table using rainbow colored balls and chips.

We also discussed the new colors that were made as we mixed colored goop. The children enjoyed the texture of the goop and seeing how it changed colors!  

The children also discussed the beautiful colors of our skin while playing with the multi-cultural people and scarves. 


Tip of the Week:

Wonder what’s inside?

THERE ARE MANY WAYS YOU CAN explore your child’s interests. HERE ARE SOME IDEAS:


*CONTACT YOUR CHILD’S TEACHER and ask what your child enjoys at school.


*learn some favorite school songs, they are attached to the weekly lesson plans.


* The Wonder Box: Many of our children imitate the movements of this song from group time using a stick, a klave, or their finger. This fun game is attached to our lesson plan.












Quote of the Week

“The most technologically efficient machine that man has ever invented is the book.”

                                        -Northdrop Frye



Our program prides themselves on promoting independence and on building children’s self confidence and self-esteem.


NEXT WEEK: Technology and Engineering





Lesson Plan- Friday, March 18, 2016

Technology and Engineering


When you hear the word technology, you might think of computers and smartphones, but in the early childhood curriculum, technology refers to using tools and developing fine and gross motor skills. (Boston Children's Museum, 2011)


Group time (literacy)

* Paddy Cake

* Wheels on the Bus

* "The Little Engine that Could" by Watty Piper

* Pots and Pans by, Patricia Hubbell

* Spot Bakes a Cake by Eric Hill

* Millie in the Garden by Peter Curry

* Bob's Busy Screwdriver by Bob the Builder

* "This is the Way We" Magnet Board




*egg beaters water and soap

* rainbow ball drop

* sand, cups, tools

* play doh and cutters

* recycled materials 

* light cube



* poster board, paint, and blocks

* poster board, cups and paint

* paper, paint, and toothbrushes

* eye droppers and water colors

* decorate big box(es) with creative materials



* recycled materials 

* various blocks

* balance beam and balls/cars

* tools 

* hammers and xylophones


Special Group Projects


* Theme Day: Wacky socks or hat day 3/24/16



Wonder Box Song

(Hide item in a box with a bow)


I wonder

I wonder

I wonder what’s inside

I wonder

I wonder

It has to be untied


(Shake box, let child guess what is inside, untie and discuss)


124 Newsletter


March 18, 2016


School Closing: We will be closed on Friday, March 25th for a spring break day.


Must Have Products For Toddlers

Faucet Extender: Make hand washing even easier by attaching a faucet extender to the bathroom sink. The Aqueduck Single Handle Faucet Extender is a two-piece system that brings the water flow closer to the front of the sink and provides an extension to the faucet lever so kids can turn the water on and off easily after going potty.

Training Underwear: When your child begins toilet learning, introduce your toddler to his or her first pair of washable big child underwear. Gerber Training Pants feature covered elastic waistlines, making them easy for children to pull up and down. Tucked inside are 100 percent cotton panels to absorb accidents. These training pants are available in sizes 18 months, 2T and 3T.

Two-Piece Pajamas: Make evening and morning visits to the potty simpler with two-piece PJs that pull off and on easily. Carter's offers several adorable cotton top and polyester pants sets to keep kids warm and ready to use the potty at a moment's notice.

Toilet Learning Seat: Keep your little one safe and cozy during their time on the big potty. The Disappearing Potty Seat attaches to your existing toilet seat and tucks up into the lid via magnets when not in use. The slow-closing lid keeps little fingers from getting pinched.

Two-Piece Swim Suits: Playing in the pool with a toddler can often mean frequent potty breaks. Keep trips to the bathroom quick and simple by slipping your little one into a two-piece swimsuit. The Cabana Life Swim Shorts and Rashguard Set also offers long sleeves for optimal sun protection.

Stepping Stool: Once your toddler discovers how to make those little legs move, he'll be everywhere! The Graco Molded Step Stool makes it easy for him to reach the big potty, wash his hands at the sink, help you at the kitchen counter, and get in and out of his big kid bed. This stool offers a no-slip grip for tiny toes to stay put and a non-skid bottom to keep the stool securely in place.

Bathtub Spout Cover: Rub a dub dub, if you don't want any bumps in the tub, cover the faucet. The Kel-Gar Tubbly Bubbly elephant- or hippo-shaped bathtub spout cover allows water to flow while protecting your toddler's fingers from hot metal faucet spouts or accidental bruises and bumps when playing near the fixture during bath time.




This week we talked all about fruit! We explained to the children that a fruit is part of a plant that comes from the flower. In addition, a rule of thumb is that a fruit always has seeds. Some fruits that people get confused for vegetables include beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados and even corn kernels. The children were all about to sort and distinguish the difference between fruits and vegetables on their lunch plates and through our flannel board called “Oh, Mr.Rabbit.” Through discussions and reading books the children learned that fruit is grown on farms and they come from plants. However, different fruits come from different plants. They learned that bananas, oranges and apples grow on trees. Melons grow from vines. And berries grow on bushes.

One of the children’s favorite sensory activities was exploring fruit through their very own hands-on activity. We gave them safe pumpkin carving knives and they carved away, noticing seeds, skin and flesh. To end the week off with a bang, we did a class cooking project in which we made a fruit salad! The children were able to pour in a variety of fruit into a large bowl and mix it together with a spoon. They ate up every last bit!


NEXT WEEK’S TOPIC: Music and Instruments


124 Lesson Plan: Music

124 Lesson Plan

Topic: Music and Instruments

Concepts for the Week:

  • Music is singing, instruments, or a combination of both.
  • Music is a pleasant sound that creates harmony and rhythm.
  • Many people like to dance to music.
  • Some common instruments include drums, piano, guitar, xylophone, shakers, tambourine, flute, recorder, triangle and more.
  • Genres of music include classical, jazz, hip-hop, alternative, country, rap, pop and blues.

Group Time:

  • Listen to a variety of individual instruments and try to guess what instrument we hear. (Listening)
  • Create our own song by coming up with lyrics and a tune. Then record and listen to it afterwards. (Creative, listening)
  • Listen to a variety of music genres and introduce each to the children. Discuss what the similarities and differences are. (Cognitive, listening)
  • Do our “Instrument” Flannel board. Discuss the different instruments through song. (Literacy, listening)
  • Use our classroom instruments to play and sing along to songs we know. (Cognitive, social, motor)


  • Free draw while listening to a variety of music. Discuss if different music makes you draw in different ways. For example: hard, fast, slow, soft, etc. (Motor, creative, listening)
  • Create shakers with plastic water bottles, Fill them up with different items such as corn kernels, rice, beans, and sand. Discuss the differences in sounds they make. (Motor, creative, listening)
  • Paint guitars we made from recyclables. (creative)
  • String bells onto yarn. (Motor)
  • Drum paining using paper towel rolls. (Motor, creative)


o       “Mix with sound”. Attach bells to the tops spoons while mixing shaving cream and paint. (Sensory, creative)

o       Create “Jingle soup”- Water, bells, tongs and bowls. Mix bells and transfer from water to empty bowls. (Sensory, creative, listening)

o       “Hop on Pop”. Jump on bubble wrap while listening to music. (Motor, creative, listening)

o       Eggs, rice, and scoops to create egg shakers. (Motor, sensory)


Special Activity:

Listening center with a variety of genres