APRIL 2024


Ronan-and-Rachel image

Dear Angie,

April 6-12, 2024 is the Week of the Young Child, an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). The purpose of the 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 and services that meet those needs. 

Music Monday (April 8): Today we will be selecting some of your child’s favorite songs to sing and dance to, with the help of instruments and other fun props like scarves and hats! 

Tasty Tuesday (April 9): Carrots, beans, peppers, tomatoes, and strawberries all start out as little seeds! We will be planting a variety of fruits and veggies and will have the opportunity to watch them grow into the delicious and nutritious food we love to eat! 

Work Together Wednesday (April 10): 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 clock city in the classroom, or a hideaway made from couch pillows at home! 

Artsy Thursday (April 11): Children develop creativity, social skills, and fine motor skills with open ended art projects where they can make choices, use their imagination, and create with their own hands. On Artsy Thursday each classroom will have the opportunity to create a group masterpiece using materials such as crayons, markers, glue, feathers, stickers, etc.  

Family Friday (April 12): To celebrate all our amazing families, we invite all of you to have breakfast as a family on Friday, April 12, between 7:30am and 8:30am.  



Thursday, April 11, and Thursday, April 25: Music with Mr. Kyle for Toddlers and Preschool.

Friday, April 12: We will be hosting family breakfast from 7:30am-8:30am.



We will be conducting conferences for all classrooms. Please stay tuned for sign-ups! 

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



These days, many people are learning how to protect the environment and save energy. Below are some ideas for involving your child in going green at home. With these actions you can reduce the resources your family uses, set a positive example, and help your child learn how to help take care of the planet! 


Call the recycling center or search online to find out what materials you can recycle. Create bins for each category, such as paper, plastic, and aluminum. Label the bins with words and pictures so your child knows to place materials in the right bins. 

Adjust the Thermostat 

Setting the thermostat a few degrees warmer in the summer or cooler in the winter will lower your utility bills. Everyone can wear a sweater or sweatshirt in the cooler months or snuggle up under a blanket. 

Shut off the Tap 

Remind your child to save water by turning off the faucet when she brushes her teeth or washes her hands. 

Pick up Litter 

Go for a weekly cleanup walk in your neighborhood. You and your child can both wear gloves and carry a trash bag. Point out paper or cardboard trash, so your child can pick it up. It’s safest to leave glass, cans, and other sharp objects for other green neighbors to pick up. This is a great opportunity to talk with your child about where to place litter—in trash cans! 

Plant a Garden 

Gardening is a fun and engaging way for your child to learn about plants, nature, and science. Plus, plants help keep the air clean by filtering pollutants and releasing oxygen. If you don’t have the space, try potted house plants or a container garden on the patio. 

Use Less Paper 

Purchase washable napkins in various colors or patterns. Assign each family member a particular napkin to use at mealtimes for a few days. Cut paper towels in half—half a sheet is usually enough for most uses. 

Source: Adapted from M. MacMillan, 2008, "Ways to Go Green in the Classroom," 10X, Teaching Young Children 2 (1): 6–7. 


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 - SW Minneapolis

3908 Stevens Ave.         

Minneapolis, MN 55409

(612) 588-9700


Center Director

Ronan Hernandez-Pratt

Center Assistant Director

Rachel McGill