APRIL 2024


Dear Angie,

April 6-12, 2024 is Week of the Young Child. This is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The purpose of Week of the Young Child is to focus public attention on the needs of young children and their families and to recognize the early childhood programs/services that meet those needs.  

MUSIC MONDAY (Monday, April 8)

Today is all about music and movement! Each classroom will find the beat to connect music, movement, and math. Practice clapping, drumming, or stomping to the beat of the music while counting. 

TASTY TUESDAY (Tuesday, April 9)

Did you know that cooking together connects math with literacy skills, science, and more? On Tasty Tuesday, we’ll be cooking up a storm! 


When children build together, they explore math and science concepts and develop their social and early literacy skills. Children can use any building material—from a fort of branches on the playground to a block city in the classroom, or a hideaway made from couch pillows at home. 

ARTSY THURSDAY (Thursday, April 11)

Children develop creativity, social skills, and fine motor skills with open-ended art projects where they can make choices, use their imaginations and create with their hands. On Artsy Thursday, celebrate the joy and learning children experience when engaged in creative art making. Use any materials—from crayons to paint, clay to crafts! 

FAMILY FRIDAY (Friday, April 12) 

Bring in a photo of something your family did to celebrate week of the young child (cooking together, playing outside, reading together, etc.). Feel free to send pictures through Daily Connect!  


picture day


*Monday, April 1: Picture Day 

*Monday, April 8: Soccer Shots spring session starts  

*Wednesday, April 10: Wonder Weaver Story Tellers  



We would like to honor our parents and guardians this April with a special Grab N Go Breakfast. Thank you all for being such great role models and caregivers! Breakfast will be served on Friday, April 12.  


April 22, 2024 is Earth Day! This week we will be talking about recycling, composting, and how these actions affect our planet.  


It’s that time of year again! We will be conducting conferences for all classrooms. Conferences can be in-person or over the phone. Each classroom will have a sign-up sheet with a few dates and times starting in May.  


Am I Really My Child's First Teacher? 

By Nicole Taylor 

You might be thinking, “I’m a parent, not a teacher.” The great news is, whether you’ve had training or not, you are your child’s first teacher. 

Many simple, everyday routines are excellent opportunities for developing your child’s emergent literacy skills. Emergent literacy refers to the point in children’s development before they are able to read on their own or write words that others can read. This concept assumes that literacy learning begins at birth and develops gradually over time. It also suggests that the pre literacy skills children develop at this time are the critical foundation for later reading success. For example, by the time Lucas turns 1, his parents will have spent 8,760 hours providing him with consistent care. When Lucas is ready to start kindergarten at the age of 5, his parents will have accumulated 43,800 hours —over 1,000 days—with him, where growth and development are continuously occurring. This is a crucial period of development when it comes to literacy. 

So what can you do? Below are three quick, yet impactful suggestions for quality literacy experiences. These ideas will help you promote literacy in a way that makes sense for you and your family. 

Tell stories: Language develops long before a child speaks actual words. In anticipation, we sing, talk, read, and tell stories to children. Since there is a natural progression of oral language (the ability to speak and understand language) to reading and writing, telling stories is an important step to becoming a reader. You can develop your child’s oral language through storytelling. Use your imagination and adjust your stories to fit your family’s traditions and culture. 

Look around: Use everyday routines and surroundings to promote a print rich environment, which is an environment that allows children to see print and words in authentic ways. For example, the kitchen is full of literacy learning opportunities: label your appliances, refrigerator drawers, and items in the pantry; follow a recipe with your child; and identify key words on food labels. But the kitchen is not the only place to create a print-rich environment! Extend your labeling to other parts of the home, too. This will help your children to learn letters, words, and the purpose and meaning of printed language. Developing this understanding of print will be foundational for children. They begin to understand that words have meaning, which will be important as they begin the process of learning how to read. 

Make books available: In addition to reading, allow your child to physically explore books by making them easily accessible. Children develop emergent literacy skills by showing an interest in books—encourage your child to turn pages and pretend to read. Imitating the behavior of reading will allow your child to explore and begin to grasp the overall concept of reading. You can build on this pre- reading skill as your child will soon begin to develop an awareness for words, pictures, and the purpose for reading. 

*Nicole Taylor earned a PhD in Educational Psychology with a concentration in language and literacy, an MA in Language, Literacy, and Culture, and a BA in Early Childhood Education. Her research area centers around family literacy. 


I have a confession to make…I don’t always enjoy playing with my kids. I know that makes me sound like a terrible parent, so let me explain (and try to defend myself a little!). Play is important for kids – more than important, play is essential. Knowing that, I seek out as many opportunities as possible for my kids to play. But when they ask me to play with them, I sometimes bristle. Imaginative play, such as playing make believe, just doesn’t do it for me. I struggle getting into “character” and if I am honest, I find the whole thing just a little dull. Phew, it feels good to confess!

But just because I don’t like a certain type of play doesn’t mean that I write off the importance of play altogether. As much as we have all read the research on the important role play has in early childhood development, we may not be as aware of the fact that play is critical for us as adults too. Even for adults, play has some serious benefits: it encourages creativity, releases endorphins, and improves brain function. Play reduces stress and promotes joy. And we could all use a little less stress and a little more joy.

The good news (for me and hopefully for you) is that there are many different ways to play. So if you, like me, don’t exactly love sitting down to a tea party, rest assured that there are many ways to engage in play with your children that are fun for you and for them. Brené Brown, professor and nationally recognized author, writes that play has three key elements:

  1. It’s time spent without purpose
  2. It’s something you don’t want to end
  3. It leads to a loss of self-consciousness.[1]

By those metrics, there are a myriad of ways that we as adults can embrace play in our lives. Make believe is only one type of play, but (thankfully) there is the rough-and-tumble play of sports, the ritual play of games like chess, the body play of hiking or yoga, and the object play of building legos or making a fort.[2] In all of these types of play we can get lost in the moment with our children and embrace the joy of play as simply that – something done joyfully and without and end in mind. So get out there and find your favorite way to play.

[1] https://www.shortform.com/blog/brene-brown-creativity/

[2] https://wanderlust.com/journal/the-importance-of-play-in-adulthood/



Now-4/7 World of Wonder, Galleria, Edina

Now-4/28 Spring Flower Show, Como Park Conservatory, St. Paul

4/3-4/14 The Name Jar, Stages Theatre, Hopkins

4/4 & 4/5 Needle Felted Insects, Swedish Institute, Minneapolis

4/6 & 4/13 Easter Egg Hunts, various locations

4/7 Goldy's Gallop Kids Run, TCF Bank Stadium

4/14 Family Day: Spring Magic, MIA, Minneapolis

4/19-5/19 Roald Dahl's Matilda The Musical Jr., Stages Theatre, Hopkins

4/19 & 4/20 Kids at the Castle: When Spring Comes, Swedish Institute, Minneapolis

4/20 Earth Day Clean Up, multiple parks in Mpls

4/23-6/16 A Year with Frog and Toad, Children’s Theatre, Minneapolis              

4/29 Little Chippers Sprocket Scamper, Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis

Especially for Children - Inver Grove Heights

6125 Cahill Ave. 

Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076

(651) 450-1994


Center Director

Kristine Berg

Center Assistant Director

Alison Todd