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




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.

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.

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.




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




Room 124red Lesson Plan

Toddler II Lesson Plan

Topic: Fruit



  • Fruit is the edible, sweet part of a plant.
  • There are often seeds in a fruit.
  • Fruits come in many sizes, shapes and colors.
  • Eating fruit helps make you healthy and strong.


Group Time:

  • Flannel board The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.  Discuss with the children which of the foods the caterpillar ate are fruits, which are not.  Which of the foods are healthy?  Chart the foods as healthy or not. (literacy, cognitive)
  • Name that fruit.  Show the children pictures of different types of fruit.  Can they name them?  Chart the different shapes of fruit whether circle, triangle or oval. (cognitive, language)
  • Go on a fruit hunt.  Find hidden plastic fruit in the classroom.  (social, language, critical thinking.)
  • Where does fruit come from?  With books and photos show children that some fruit comes from trees, some from plants.  What is your favorite?  Record responses. (science, language, literacy)



  • Glue construction paper shapes.  Discuss what pieces are shaped like pieces of fruit. (creative, cognitive)
  • Colored glue on aluminum foil (creative)
  • Print with plastic fruit and stamp pads (creative, sensory)
  • Literacy materials (creative, language, motor)



  • Fruitand golf tees. Discuss that the fruit peels help to protect the fruit like skin helps to protect our bodies. (sensory)
  • Shaving cream and plastic fruit (sensory)
  • Corn meal and scoops (sensory)
  • People and oatmeal (sensory, creative)


Four Person/Manipulative:

  • Farm animals and barns (creative, social)
  • Aquadoodle (motor, creative)
  • Geo boards (motor, math)


Special Activity:

 Fruit salad (motor, social)

124 Red Newsletter


March 4, 2016


Recycling:  We will be talking about recycling next week. If you could please bring recycling items, such as: water bottles, lids, caps, ribbon, diaper box, tin cans, etc…

Happy Birthday: Happy Birthday to Isaac who turned 3 on Thursday!

10 Manners Your Child Should Know By Age 5

Kids are never too young to learn manners. In fact, in a day and age when we are seeing more teenagers lacking in the manners department, it seems more important than ever that parents start early in teaching their children how to interact with the world. The truth is your child will get further in life and will be more respected by adults and playmates alike if they learn manners.

 How To Say “Please” and “Thank you”: “Please and thank truly are the magic words. And this little tidbit of mannerly behavior can be taught even before your child is able to talk. Making “please” and “thank you” a habit in the home makes these courtesies a habit in life.

 Cover Your Mouth When You Sneeze and Cough: Spittle flying from little noses and mouths is just plain gross. Trust me: teachers appreciate children who know this before they get to school.

 How To Ask Before Taking: There is nothing more disturbing than a child who hasn't yet learned that they aren't the center of the universe. Children should ASK before taking something that is not theirs, and this includes Mom and Dad's stuff.

 How To Say “Sorry” For Real: Not the kind of “I'm sorry” that means nothing because they were forced to say it by an angry parent. Empathy is definitely a life skill.

 How to Knock on Doors Before Entering: And this includes the bathroom while Mom is trying to take a poop in private.

 How to Say “Excuse me”: Children are naturally impatient. Far too often, you see parents who jump every time their child interrupts them. Children need to learn when they can and when they cannot interrupt people, they and should learn how to gently say “excuse me,” rather than insist on incessant tapping and saying “Mama, Mama, Mama.”

 How to Sit Quietly: It's rude to talk through an entire movie. Kids need to learn how to calm down their wiggles and giggles in less-than-interesting situations. Patience is a definitely a virtue.

 How to Eat Dinner at the Table: OK, so the dinner table is at times pure pandemonium. Still, kids should know how to use their utensils and how NOT to talk with their mouths full. And when you are not at home, manners are a must — even for a 4 year old!

 Not to Make Fun of People: Toddlers and young children are notorious for pointing out gigantic moles or fat people in public, but parents must teach children that sometimes comments like these hurt feelings unnecessarily. It's not nice to make fun of people or point out their flaws.

 How to be Helpful and Compassionate: Hold a door open for someone that has their hands full. Ask their teacher or parent if they need help with chores. Recognizing ways to be helpful and compassionate to others is a gift that children can learn early in life — a gift that will make them feel good about themselves and be well liked by others.



This week we talked about rocks. During group time we read books and explained to the children that rocks are not living things but they do make up part of our Earth. Rocks can be found on the ground, rocks make up mountains, they can be found in the water such as a lake or stream, and rocks even make up cement that is make into our sidewalk. By exploring rocks at group time and setting up a science center for the children to sort rocks, the children learned that rocks come in all shapes, sizes, colors and they even have different textures. Some rocks are very smooth while others have many jagged edges. The children used a magnifying glass to look closely at rocks to see their many colors and indentations that make them each unique. The children explored rocks in the sensory table as well and did an experiment to see if rocks sink or float- they found through their hands on experience that they do sink! A favorite art activity was paining rocks and calling them our pet rock. Lastly, the children were very proud of the rocks they brought in from outside of school; they each got the opportunity to show the other children what rock they found and where they found it. Then, we added it to our rock collection.



Room 124 Red Newsletter


Homework:  As you take a walk to your car, around your block or to GBN, stop and take a look to see if you could find a rock on the floor.  Let your child bring it to school and he/she could tell us all about the rock he/she found.

Recycling:  We will be talking about recycling in a few weeks, if you could please bring recycling items, such as: water bottles, lids, caps, ribbon, diaper box, etc…

 Vacation:  Liz will be on vacation next week.  Her sub will be Stacy and Cheryl.    




“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice,” said author Peggy O’Mara, and subsequently thousands of Pinterest boards.

And it’s true.

The things we say — not only with our mouths, but with our tone, actions, and mannerisms — affect our kids. They’ll hold our words in that deep-down place where all kids do: Down where we keep our sense of worth, our feeling of being “enough,” our fears and doubts and self-love.

There’s a real resistance to the “self-esteem campaigns” I was raised with in the 90s — the “You are a special snowflake” sentiments that, while well-intentioned, are nothing more than a punchline now:

“Attention all whiny, entitled, self-centered Millennials — you’re not a special snowflake, yah hear me?”

Okay, okay. Maybe special is a bad word choice — although, I’ll be honest, my son is pretty darn special to me. Not the most special person in the world, and not more special than any other child, but his specialness is still there; I see it. Instead of using airy, ethereal words to raise up our kids (“you can do ANYTHING!”), maybe we just try kind words. Loving words. True words. Words that strengthen and reassure, not delude. Words our kids can pull out like tools, whether they’re 5 or 55.

With that in mind, here are some loving words and phrases I’d like to say more often — words and phrases that all kids deserve to hear:

1. It’s okay to be angry. I can help you calm down.

2. It’s okay to be sad. I will sit with you.

3. It’s okay to feel disappointed. I’ve felt it, too.

4. It’s okay.

5. I like who you are.

6. You are important to me.

7. I’m listening.

8. I’m here.

9. You don’t have to make me happy.

10. You are more than your emotions; they will pass.

11. I can handle your emotions, no matter how big they are.

12. Yes, I will watch you play.

13. Yes, I will join you.

14. Yes, I will lay with you.

15. You make me smile.

16. I believe in you.

17. I trust you.

18. You can handle this.

19. You aren’t perfect, and neither am I.

20. But our love is perfect.

21. Thank you.

22. I’m proud of you.

23. I’m happy you’re here.

24. It’s okay to make mistakes.

25. Take your time.

26. You are strong.

27. I’m proud to be your mom.

28. You are brave.

29. I forgive you.

30. Cry. Let it out.

31. I’ve been thinking about you.

32. I missed you today.

33. It’s okay to change your mind.

34. It’s okay to ask for help.

35. I hear you.

36. I see you.

37. I’m sorry.

38. You make my life better.

39. You are capable.

40. You are worthy.

41. You matter.

42. I love you, always, just as you are.

There’s a Jewish mystic story about an old Rabbi who taught his disciples to memorize the teachings and place the holy words on their hearts.

“Why on our hearts, and not in them?” one student asked.

“We put the words on our hearts, so that some day when our hearts break they will fall in.”

And so I hope to put these words on my son’s heart, too. So that one day when he questions his worth or feels unsure — when he feels his heavy heart caving in, for all of the reasons a heart might break— my words will fall inside.

Maybe then he’ll remember that he is okay and loved, just as he is. Maybe he’ll hear my words as his own. Maybe he’ll even pass them on.



Our focus was on pets this week.  We made a folder of the pictures that were emailed to us.  We also had a show and tell about the pictures.  The children were so excited to talk about their pet.  The activities that were set up for the children to explore had to do with pets.  We had a designated area as a pet shop.  The children were able to go to the pet shop and pick out a pet and care for the pet.  The children painted a paper plate and sprinkled shredded foam (the art is hung on the wall if you would like to take a look).  Since cats enjoy balls of yarn, we painted with yarn on construction paper.  We had balls of yarn in the sensory table, where the children took the ends and unrolled the yarn.  We had a fishbowl filled with gravel, water and different types of fish.  Some of the fish floated and some sank to the bottom of the bowl.  After reading a book on what kind of pet to get, we asked the children, “If you could have any pet, what kind of pet would you like?” the answers are posted on the board next to the exit door. 



Room 124 Red Newsletter


Pets: Next week we will be talking about pets. If you have a pet at home or your child is familiar with a pet in your family such as Grandma’s cat, please email us a picture along with a tiny blurb about the pet- name, type of dog, etc. We will use the pictures so the children can talk about their experience with their pets, how we treat them and what we do with pets. Thank you!

Thank you: Thank you to all the families who came to the movie night potluck last week! We really appreciate you bringing food and joining in on the fun. It was a great night. 



Why is my child a picky eater?

It can be normal for a young child to be picky about eating new foods. This fear of new foods can reach its peak between the ages of 2 and 6 years old. Your child is growing fast, and his tasted in food are also changing. BE POSITIVE! Say things such as, “This peach tastes like summer”, “Broccoli looks like little trees”, or “Kiwi is pretty when you cut it in half”.

Let your child help in the kitchen: Wash vegetables in a sink of water. Break green beans in half. Husk corn on the cob. Remove peas from their pods. Stir salads together. Add vegetables to dishes. Break cauliflower and broccoli into smaller pieces.

TRY IT! Children who are willing to taste new foods are more likely to eat a large variety of foods. 

  • o        Make it fun when trying new foods. You can offer a new food along with familiar foods. It will be less scary for your child to see a new food on his plate.

  • o        Start with a small amount of new food. If your child asks for more, serve more.

  • o        Offer new foods often. Try new foods and recipes. Your child will learn that trying new foods is a normal habit for your family.

  • o        Let your child see you taste and enjoy new foods. Children learn best by watching their parents and others eat.

  • o        Keep secrets. If you or others do not like certain foods, do not talk about them. Only say good things about food at the family table.

  • o        Offer new foods to your child at the beginning of a meal. He may be more likely to try a new food when he is hungry. If he tastes it, he may like it!

Food ideas:

  • o        Take a ride in the summer to a local farmers market, farm, orchard or local garden and help pick out fresh fruits and vegetables.

  • o        Dip pea pods, cucumber, green pepper, zucchini slices and more into ranch dressing, hummus or low fat dill dip. It makes it taste better and they enjoy the aspect of dipping.

  • o        Serve baked spaghetti squash with shredded parmesan cheese.

  • o        Make a coleslaw- finely shred 2 to 3 vegetables (zucchini, carrots, cabbage, cucumbers or peppers). Mix with low fat ranch salad dressing or Italian dressing.



Job Responsibilities and Occupations

This week we talked about what it means to have a job inside and outside of the classroom. The children have mastered our job chart and understand how it works. They all took great pride in completing their job this week and carrying out their responsibility. We explained that jobs have to be done everyday, sometimes you may not want to do it but it’s up to you to carry it out. This topic went on further to open up the idea that the children are at school because their parents go to work everyday and do their job. We read books, sang songs and discussed what different jobs entail. Such as a teacher, doctor, astronaut, construction worker, librarian, or coach. One of the favorite areas in the room this week was a dramatic area set up for cleaning with a washing machine, laundry basket full of clothes, broom, and mop. The children were told that some people have the occupation of cleaning such as a custodian or maid and that it’s their responsibility to clean up toys or spills at school. Another favorite activity was pretending to be construction workers where they used tools to build structures with blocks.



Room 124 Red Lesson Plan


Topic: Pets


  • Pets are animals that we have at home. Some common pets are cats, dogs, fish, bunnies, hamsters, etc. Some exotic pets can be reptiles such as snakes, turtles or lizards.
  • We need to take care of pets such as feed them, clean them, and pick up after them.
  • Pets become part of our family and we need to show them love.
  • We are very gentle with the pets we have; we pet them and never hurt them such as pull their tail.


Group Time:

  • Read the book, What Pet To Get. Discuss what animals Jack was not allowed to get- lion, elephant and giraffe, etc. These animals only belong in the wild or a zoo because we do not have room or can not take care of them. Why was Jack allowed to get a puppy?
  • Read the book, Ahhhhh Spider! Discuss with the children why the family kept throwing the spider out of their house.
  • Read and do the flannel board, I Wrote to the Zoo. Discuss the adjectives that describe each animal and why we sent them back to the zoo. Example: Why would we send back a fierce lion?
  • Go through all of the pictures the children brought in of their animals at home or from other family members. Have the children tell everyone what kind of animal it is, the name, and what they do with their pet at home.



  • Create fish with the back of a cd and sparkles.
  • Make a cat or dog with yarn, paint and paper plates.
  • Caterpillars with cut egg cartons, pom poms and paint.
  • Create bunnies with cotton balls on paper



  • o       Fishing with fish, nets and colored blue water.

  • o       Pet animal toys (bird, cat, dog, fish, gerbil) with shredded paper and boxes.

  • o       Gravel, fish, boats, scoops.

  • o       Oatmeal, spoons, cups.


    Dramatic Play:

  • Create a pet shop

Room 124 Newsletter February 12, 2016


Job Chart: We have now introduced our job chart to the children who are new to our room. Each week your child will have a job in the classroom and their shape will be under the job so they can easily identify their responsibility. We rotate jobs every Monday and go in consecutive order so everyone gets the chance to try every job. Next week we will talk about “Job Responsibilities and Occupations” to ease the children into what it means to have a job.

Vacation:  Elsi will be on vacation from Monday the 15th to Wednesday the 17th. She will return to school on Thursday the 18th.



 That bratty monster you fear is only trying to find her place in the world.

Taken from: Toddlerland

Hello , 
I’ve heard a wide range of parenting concerns, worries and questions over the years. Common themes arise again and again, in different forms but with similar challenges. This month, I’ll address something parents of toddlers are all familiar with: erratic behavior
you know, when your child suddenly starts acting like a monster that you cannot control.
I recently received this email from a frustrated and worried couple: “Our 4 year old son is a happy, talkative, sweet little boy. But, in the past two months he has become a surly, easily upset kid. He gets mad, screams, yells and makes outrageous demands including that one of us do everything for him in no time. He has changed
and we are missing the child he used to be and are not sure if we should be worried. Is something wrong? And how do we help him?

When I questioned further, the parents agreed that yes, he still had his ‘sweet side’, but this other side of him appeared ‘out of the blue’ and was becoming intolerable. They worried that his personality had changed. I hear this often, parents worried that their child has an altered personality that is now their ‘true’ way of being.

These situations worry parents greatly and I understand why. No one wants to be around a whining, demanding child. And thinking this is who your child will be forevermore is a frightful proposition. After all, you don’t want the sassy, demanding little person to be a permanent fixture in your household.
Let’s take a look at this behavior from your child’s point of view to help you better understand what is going on with her up and down moods and how best to handle them. Two things are happening at this stage of toddler development. 
1) Your child’s growing independence means he has his own ideas and desires separate from yours. And guess what? He wants you to listen and go along with his desires. When our children discover that their own ideas and wishes of the moment are not necessarily in synch with mommy or daddy’s ideas, they can become frustrated. The seemingly smallest moment can trigger them. And when they realize their limited skills can’t accomplish their goals, from completing a puzzle to reaching the crackers on the shelf they can become even more enraged. Their heightened emotions easily turn into bossy, often unreasonable demands. Your child feels out of control and seeks to regain it by any means possible.
2) In addition, their brains are still new, under-developed and growing. The parts of their brain that will eventually be wired to handle and control emotions, think logically and act reasonably are developing gradually but slowly during the toddler years. The brain’s prefrontal cortex has a long way to go before it will be fully intact (until their early-20’s), so when your child becomes frustrated or emotionally charged in some way, he will show it (rather than handling it reasonably as we hope she will one day).
WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY: Don’t panic. Your child gets overwhelmed and needs you to stay steady. And I assure you it won’t last forever. Your child can still be the same lovely person, now blossoming in a new way.
I remember thinking at one point during my own toddler years that my son was becoming so obnoxious that he
d never have any friends. He was a mini-dictator at home. “I need this now! “I don’t have to listen to you!” I forced myself to take a step back and remember how little he was, that he was the youngest of three children and that his behavior at home was likely much different from how he interacted with his friends or teachers at school.
Stay calm and keep your responses light. I know this can be hard, but when you respond in a reasonable manner, your child learns over time how to be reasonable, too.  When our children yell or act irrationally, it is easy for us to take it personally and get pulled into the toddler vortex. Instead, do all you can to stay calm, recognizing their frustration for what it is, “I hear how badly you want to go outside. I wish we could right now. After lunch, we will." Use a tone that conveys you truly understand and hear them (toddlers know when we are insincere). If you can’t meet their desire, that is okay. Genuinely recognizing their wants and needs is what’s most important.
Label emotions. You’ve likely heard me say this before, but it’s important to reiterate. Children learn to handle their emotions by having them validated. You do this every time you put a name to their feelings, “That is so, so frustrating! Puzzles are hard to do, how frustrating.” Naming the feeling won’t necessarily stop their frustration, but letting them know you understand what they’re feeling helps your child learn to handle the emotion better over time. Allowing and recognizing negative and hard feelings fosters their resilience.
Allow some control. Children feel safest when they know the grown ups are in control and yet, they want some for themselves. Find ways to give your toddler a sense of control and you will discover that their demands become less intense. During mealtimes, for example, let your child choose which cup to use- blue or red? Leaving the house? Ask your child which pair of shoes he wants to wear (out of 2, no more) and invite her to pack a bag with 1-2 toys of her choosing. Simple choices let your child feel in control while feeding their desire for independence at this age.
Finally, as I remind every parent, this phase won’t last forever. This was the mantra I used for myself during my own years of raising toddlers; and it helps with teenagers, too!


Transportation and vehicles

This week we wrapped up our topic on vehicles and transportation. When Stephanie returned on Wednesday from vacation she explained to the children that she took an airplane to California. This opened up the idea that we do not take airplanes to go a short distance, for example to school. Airplanes are to be taken when you are going somewhere far so you can get there faster. We explained that we use different modes of transportation depending on where we are and where we are going. Another example, many parents take the train to work if they work downtown because of traffic and it will save time. The children understood that we do not take a boat to come to school because we do not live on water. One of the favorite activities of the week was painting airplanes that we had made out of Popsicle sticks and clothes pins. We will hang them up in our room next week for the children to see.


NEXT WEEK’S TOPIC: Job Responsibilities and Occupations




Pajama Potluck:  Don’t forget to RSVP to our Pajama Potluck Party that will be on Friday, February 12th. If you are attending, don’t forget that parents are asked to participate in wearing pajamas as well! Thank you.

Vacation:  Stephanie will be out on Monday and Tuesday.  Her sub will be Jill.


 10 Books to Read By Kindergarten

Parents turned to Common Sense Media, which has reviewed thousands of books, for this list that will help get your kid ready for the Big Day.

from Parents Magazine

 One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss (1960) 
You can’t go wrong with any Seuss book, but the singsong verses, real and imagined beasts (like a seven-hump Wump), and simpler story line in this classic tale will have kids roaring. It’s also chock-full of “sight words” for 4- and 5-year-olds and colors for younger kids. ($9)

One Family by George Shannon and Blanca Gomez (2015) 
Featuring multicultural families of many sizes, this counting book cleverly introduces the concept that “one” can mean a single item or a collection of things. A page reads, “One is eight. One box of crayons. One row of ducks. One family.” ($18)

Monsters Love School by Mike Austin (2014) 
Bright colors and cheery monsters sweep kids up in the excitement of starting school. But the book also touches on children’s fears and apprehension, like when monster Blue asks, “What if I get hungry?” and “What if no one likes me?” ($16)

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (1963)
Wild child Max gets sent to bed without supper after threatening to eat his mom. But her next move puts this book on the list because the message of unconditional parental love—even when you misbehave—is reassuring to kids. ($19)

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein (1974) 
No one will appreciate these nonsensical poems more than preschoolers. One silly rhyme: “Teddy said it was a hat/ So I put it on/ Now Dad is saying/ ‘Where the heck’s the toilet plunger gone?’” ($20)

Bully by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (2013) 
This 21-word story gets to the crux of teasing and forgiveness: A bull calls a chicken, well, “Chicken!” and tells a turtle he’s a slowpoke. But when a goat retorts that the bull is a bully, he apologizes and the animals play together. ($17)

Llama Llama Time to Share by Anna Dewdney (2012) 
One of most compelling stories about sharing, this book explores what happens when a llama won’t let the new neighbor girl play with his toy. ($18)

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault, and Lois Ehlert (1989) 
In this fun rhyming tale of A to Z climbing up and falling from the coconut tree, kids learn their letters without even realizing it. Bonus: The front and back inside covers colorfully depict the upper- and lowercase alphabet so you can work on letter recognition with your child after the story. ($18)

Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems (2006)
From “I’m not even tired!” to “Can I have a glass of water?” to “I’ll go to bed early tomorrow night instead!” the stalling tactics of a cute pigeon who claims he isn’t sleepy sound familiar. This book will help your child laugh at his own behavior— just when you need to stick to a bedtime routine the most. ($17)

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (1964) 
Chapter books aren’t just for older kids! The story of Willy Wonka’s mysterious candy-making operation will hold your child’s attention night after night and expose her to a more sophisticated plot. ($16)


Transportation and vehicles

We talked about the different types of ways you get around.  We discussed how different occupations use different methods of transportation.  For example, a firefighter uses a fire truck to get to their destination, a mail carrier uses a mail truck and their feet to deliver the mail, a police officer uses a car to get were they need to go, etc… We asked the children how they get to school (their response is on our board that is next to the exit door).  We had a couple of the children who get to school on a motorcycle. J For activities, the children used a ramp and paint.  The children placed their vehicle on top of the ramp and let it roll down.  We had gravel and construction vehicles.  We read books on different types of vehicles.    Now, when we look out our window the children point out the different types of transportation. 


NEXT WEEK’S TOPIC: Transportation and vehicles


124 Red Newsletter/ January 29,2016


Pajama Potluck:  Don’t forget to RSVP to our Pajama Potluck Party that will be on Friday, February 12th. If you are attending, don’t forget that parents are asked to participate in wearing pajamas as well! Thank you.


Rev up your motor skills!

 Every time your child races you to the car or climbs the stairs, she’s developing large motor skills. Encourage her to improve her coordination and strength with activities like these:

  • Take turns moving like different animals and guessing what others are pretending to be.
  • Use a hockey stick to sweep balls into an empty trashcan turned on its side.
  • Make a path of paper plate stepping stones, and use them to cross the room.
  • Chase bubbles, popping them along the way.
  • Bat a balloon back and forth to see how long you can keep it in the air.
  • Stretch out a jump rope on the ground, and walk along it like a tightrope

 Chill Out With Icy Igloos

Building an ice-cube igloo is a “chilly” way for your child to experiment with science and engineering. Give him a bowl of ice cubes and a cookie sheet to build on. First, he can experiment with stacking ice cubes (they’ll slide off each other). Then, have him sprinkle salt between the cubes (the salt will act as glue to make them stick together). You could explain that salt melts the ice a little, but when he adds another cube, water refreezes to hold them together. Encourage your youngster to explore engineering by trying different igloo designs. He might build a square igloo, a domed one, or a completely different type. TIP: Have him wear gloves to keep his fingers from getting too cold!



This week we focused on snow and ice. We explained to the children that during the winter when it’s really cold, it snows. It can not snow in the summer because of the weather. We discussed activities that we can do in the snow such as sledding, building a snowman, making snowballs, shoveling, and more. The children were aware that when it snows outside and it’s cold, we wear specific clothes such as snow pants, boots, coats, hats and gloves. One of their favorite activities was a large snowman ice mold we made with a variety of small objects frozen inside, in which they used a hammer to dig away. As the ice melted and they hammered off the ice, the objects came out. They learned that ice can melt into water.

 NEXT WEEK’S TOPIC: Transportation and vehicles


124RED LESSON PLAN/ January 29, 2016

Toddler II Lesson Plan

Topic: Vehicles




  • ▲        Cars, trucks, boats, planes, buses, etc. are all types of vehicles.

  • ▲        A vehicle is something that takes a person from place to place.

  • ▲        Some vehicles are used to help people with their work.


    Group Time:

  • ▲        Sing song and read the bookof “We all go Traveling By” Allow each child the opportunity to offer a verse. (creative, language)

  • ▲        Read the books, Freight Train and Inside Freight Train by Donald Crews.  Discuss the different types of train cars and what is stored inside them. (language, cognitive)

  • ▲        Show the children a chart with different types of vehicles on it.  Ask the children to name the vehicles.  Record each child’s favorite.  Ask the children what type of vehicle Mommy or Daddy drives.  What color is it? Record their response. (language, literacy, cognitive)

  • ▲        Flannel board: What goes where?  Flannel board vehicles are placed in corresponding environment (air, water, track, road, etc.) Allow children to have turns putting vehicles where they belong. (cognitive, language)



  • ▲        Paint with vehicles on butcher paper.  Point out the different marks the different vehicles make. (creative, motor)

  • ▲        Make our own vehicles. Spend one day painting the boxes and another decorating with collage materials. Use for play when dry. (creative, social)

  • ▲        Stamp pads and vehicle stamps at the easel. (motor, creative)

  • ▲        Glue geometric shapes to paper to create vehicles. (creative)



  • ▲        Dirt and construction vehicles (sensory, creative)

  • ▲        Corn meal and tractors (sensory, social)

  • ▲        Boats and water (sensory, creative)

  • ▲        Horses and oats.  Discuss how a horse is like a vehicle and was used before cars and in areas where vehicles aren’t available. (creative, social)


    Four Person/Manipulative:

  • ▲        Trains and tracks (cognitive, motor, language)

  • ▲        Airplanes and road map (social, creative)

  • ▲        Vehicle puzzles (cognitive)


    Special Activity:

Make a road with masking tape.  Ask each child to lay down a piece of tape anywhere they would like.  Add matchbox cars.  (cognitive, social, motor)