MAY 2024


Dear Angie,

It's Summer T-Shirt Time! Each year, EFC designs a summer t-shirt for optional purchase to celebrate the season. Check out this year's shirt here. (Quote on back: "We could never have loved the earth so well if we had had no childhood in it." -- George Eliot)

If you wish to order, please do so by Monday, June 10. Happy Summer!

Green_Shirt__35242 image



Happy Father’s Day to all our Great Role Models! This year we are going to celebrate by having Happy Hour for all the male figures in our lives. Friday, June 14, from 3:30 to 5:30 we will have drinks and snacks available for you to enjoy with your child(ren).


It’s that time of year again to bring back water days!! The toddler classrooms will have their water day on Thursdays. The preschool classrooms will have water day on Wednesdays. The children will need a swimsuit (talk to your child’s teacher to see if they prefer you to send them in their suit), towel, and waterproof shoes.  


EFC will be closed on Thursday, July 4, and Friday, July 5, for Independence Day! We hope you have a great time celebrating!



Thank you to all families that took the time to create such wonderful teacher appreciation notes. The staff were overjoyed when they read all the wonderful things the kiddos had to say about them, and they really brightened up the hallway. We also want to say thank you to the families that donated to make our staff lunch so successful. It was the highlight of their week. This week was a huge success thanks to our wonderful families. 😊


What a great turnout we had! It was so fun to see all the children and families bonding and enjoying themselves during the tea party.  


star wellness

Fun Summer Activities for Kids and Parents

Whether you work from home, are a stay-at-home parent, or work outside of the house, you need a go-to list of practical summer activities for your kids to keep them busy—and learning—during the dog days of summer. Otherwise, you run the risk of them getting too much screen time, which is not good for their mental or physical health.

Below we've put together a list of 100 summer activities for kids that will keep things fun and enriching. Not only will you never be short on ideas, but you're also sure to find something that will work for your family—no matter your child's interests and preferences.

Whether you turn these ideas into your summer bucket list, or you just pick a few of your favorites, you will make some great memories along the way. The key is to slow down and enjoy the summer months with your family.

Nature Summer Activities for Kids

Take advantage of long sunny days by exploring the natural world—just don't forget the sunscreen and the bug spray! Here are some of our favorite ways to spend time outdoors.

  • Go bird watching. Take photos and keep track of your sightings. Then, use an app or guidebook to identify feathered friends.
  • Grow fresh herbs in containers. Use old coffee cans, milk jugs, mason jars, plastic cups, or anything else you have around the house to plant your herbs. Once complete, keep your herb garden on a patio or windowsill and watch them grow.
  • Look for shapes in the clouds. Put a blanket in the grass and stare up at the sky. Then, take turns talking about what you see in the clouds.
  • Make a bird feeder. Watch birds visit your yard and add to your list of bird sightings.
  • Make fairy houses. Use moss, bark, and leaves to create a dwelling fit for Thumbelina.
  • Pick your own plants. Find a farm with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, veggies, or flowers and go picking.
  • Plant a butterfly or hummingbird garden. Create a backyard wildlife habitat and watch these fascinating creatures enjoy it all summer.

Summer Activities for Kids that Promote Exercise

Staying active and moving every day is important for your child's growing body. All you need is a little space and sunshine for these activities that get kids moving.

  • Build a water blob or a slip 'n slide. Use plastic sheeting and duct tape to create large plastic pillows (or water blobs) filled with water. Set the blobs up in the yard and allow kids or teens to hop from one blob to another. Or use a plastic tarp and a garden hose to create your own slip 'n slide.
  • Build an obstacle course in the backyard. Pretend to be America Ninja Warriors and see how quickly you can each get through the course.
  • Climb trees together. Of course, do this only if the kids are big enough, it's safe—and you are brave enough.
  • Fly a kite. Make your own kite or buy one at the dollar store. Spend a few hours flying it in an open field.
  • Go fishing. In many states, kids can drop a line in without a license, but you want to doublecheck just to be sure before the fish start biting.
  • Have a bubble gum bubble blowing contest. See who can blow the largest bubble without it popping.
  • Have a water balloon baseball game. Use a plastic bat, a bucket of water balloons, and old towels as bases and you are all set. Play the traditional way or create some water balloon games of your own.
  • Have a water gun race. Put a hole in the bottom of two or more plastic cups and thread string or yarn through each one. Secure the ends of the yarn to a starting point and an ending point. Use full squirt guns to shoot water into the cups so that they race along the string. The first cup to the finish line is the winner.
  • Hold a hula hoop contest. See which family member can hula the longest.
  • Jump rope. Take turns jumping alone or use a larger rope to jump together. You could even try singing a few rhymes as you do.
  • Make good use of nearby parks. Go to your local park's website. Print the schedule of activities and hang it on your refrigerator.
  • Paddle a canoe. Look for a local park that offers canoe rentals and spend a little time out on the water.
  • Play balloon tennis. Gather a balloon, paper plates, and painting sticks and you are all set. Attach the sticks to the paper plates to make the paddles and use the balloon as the ball. This is a great activity for indoor or outdoor play.
  • Play croquet on the lawn. And try bocce ball too.
  • Play HORSE. Use your basketball hoop or one at the park to play a challenging game of HORSE. With little ones, set up a mini basketball net next to the real one.
  • Play miniature golf. Go to a local course or build your own course on the driveway.
  • Play outside in the rain. Smell the rain on the pavement; splash in puddles; make mud pies.
  • Run in the yard. Play kickball, frisbee, tag, and other outdoor games. You could even create your own summer Olympics.
  • Set up a badminton net. Have a family badminton tournament or use the net to play volleyball with a beach ball.
  • Take a hike. Choose a route near your house or take a drive to a more distant park.
  • Take bike rides for fun. Grab your bikes and leave from your house or drive to biking trails.
  • Teach the kids to skip stones. Turn this fun pastime into a competition.


By Laureen Miles Brunelli 

Published on March 5, 2024--Fact checked by Karen Cilli


Summer Vacations

If you haven’t already filled out the online form that was emailed to you, please fill out an absent slip located on the front counter and bring it to the office. This helps us to better plan when we are making our staff schedules. Thank you. 


As we approach summer be mindful of the shoe choices for your children. Please do not bring or wear Flip-flops to school.

Please bring in a labeled water bottle without a straw (for cleaning purposes) and a bottle of sunscreen with your child’s first and last name to keep at school. We do not allow aerosol sunscreens. We will be spending as much time outside as possible this summer! 


Preschool Screening

Have you taken your child to get their preschool screening done?  Did you know that this is a requirement to enter kindergarten? The screenings transfer districts, so if you are undecided where your child will be attending that is okay. Below is information for Inver Grove School District 199.

What is Early Childhood Screening?

Early Childhood Screening is a check of a child's vision, hearing, height, weight, immunizations, speech and language, motor skills, and general development. Children are screened one at a time and individual attention is given to the needs of the child and family.


All Minnesota children who are age 3 -5. The best time for screening is age 3.  

Where are screenings held?

Inver Grove Heights holds its screenings at the IGH Early Learning Center, 3203 68th Street East in Inver Grove Heights (Door #2 near Hilltop Elementary School). Call the Early Learning Center at 651-306-7520 or 651-306-7503.

Should I wait until my child is five to be screened so she/he will do better? 

No! Screenings take age into account so there is no advantage to waiting. In fact, to ensure school success, screenings are done at about three and a half years old, so parents can gain information and resources for readiness in school. 

Kindergarten & Preschool Registration both require that an Early Childhood

Screening be completed. Your appointment can be scheduled any time after your child turns 3.


How do I schedule an appointment? Call 651-306-7520 or schedule online.

Screenings are scheduled throughout the school year, are free, and take 30-45 minutes. If you have questions or concerns about your child's development, please call earlier. 



We were honored to recognize our long term employees (those who have been with Especially for Children for 5 years or longer) at our Professional Development Day in May. They are pictured below!

5-9 Years

10-14 Years

Camera Malfunction!

Darci Edgell

Kari Peterson

Sheila Navy

DeeAnn Besch

Kathy Hane

Jamie Kittleson

Kayleigh Armstrong

Wai Yee Yip

15-19 Years

20-25 Years

26+ Years!



Now-9/2 llama Trek, MN Zoo

Now-6/16 A Year With Frog and Toad, Children’s Theatre, Mpls 

5/31-6/2 Edina Art Fair, 50th&France, Edina

6/2 Grand Old Day, St. Paul

6/15 Grand Day Parade, Saint Louis Park

6/15 Midsommar Celebration, American Swedish Institute

6/15-6/16 Stone Arch Bridge Festival, Minneapolis

6/19 Movies on the Hill: The Super Mario Brothers Movie, Hyland Hills, Bloomington

6/21-8/4 Finding Nemo Jr., Stages Theatre, Hopkins

6/23-6/25 Chalk Walk Festival, New Brighton


All Summer - Music and Movies in the Park - Various Minneapolis Parks     


Find more local family events


Especially for Children - Inver Grove Heights

6125 Cahill Ave. 

Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076

(651) 450-1994

Center Director

Alison Todd