MAY 2024


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Dear Angie,

In honor of Mother’s Day, we will be hosting snacks with mom on Wednesday, May 8, from 4:00-5:00 pm, in your child’s classroom. 

All moms, grandma’s, sisters, and special caregivers that pick up that afternoon are welcome to attend. We will also be hosting a photo backdrop if Mom (or the special someones) would like to take a picture with her kiddos.

We hope everyone has a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend!



Matilda Jr. at Stages Theater on Thursday, May 2. The field trip is for all Dolphin and Monkey children with the bus leaving at 9:15 am and an extra charge of $10.00 per participant.  The show starts at 10:00 am and we will return for lunch back to the center. There are limited tickets for parent volunteers so please sign up with Cathie and/or Jamie in the office.  


Costume Kim will visit our toddlers and preschoolers on Thursday, May 9, with her theme being “I Love Me! I Love My Family!” Her first show starts at 9:00 am.


All children who will be graduating from EFC in the fall are invited to our preschool open house on Wednesday, May 29, from 5:30-6:30 pm. All family members are welcome…as this is an informal event where you can take pictures, talk with friends, and teachers.  


We are so fortunate to announce that we have Spanish class on Wednesday afternoons. Darla has volunteered to teach this class to our preschoolers each week and they have been loving it! We are so appreciative of her volunteering her time.  Here is a little bit about our teacher, Darla….

!Hola! My name is Darla Emery. I teach Spanish to the Monkeys and the Dolphins every Wednesday afternoon. (My grandson, Benny is in the Dolphin room.) I have a master’s degree in Elementary Education and a degree in French with a minor in Spanish. I received these degrees in 1977 so this is a great opportunity for me to review Spanish! I taught first grade in Ames, Iowa for 35 years. It’s my hope that your child is exposed to Spanish in a fun, active and meaningful way. Look for updates about what your child is learning in the monthly newsletter. Gracias!



EFC will be closed for Teacher Professional Development Day on Friday, May 24, and for Memorial Day on Monday, May 27.

Spring Conferences will continue throughout the month of May. Please watch for sign-up sheets outside the classroom doors.


Please keep in mind, as the weather changes, we will be asking that children wear closed-toed shoes on the playground that allow them to climb and explore safely. We know that crocs and sandals are fun –however they are tricky for children to climb and run in on our playground so we ask that you save these for at home play.                     


Screen Time and Young Children: Taking Stock 


We have heard it so many times that it may be easy to ignore the headlines: screens have transformed our lives in profound ways over the last several decades. Much of the recent media conversation has focused on the negative impact of smartphones, and especially social media, on the brain wiring and mental and emotional health of preteens, teenagers, and young adults.  


Research on the effects of screen time in young children can be confusing and contradictory. However, there are some clear tips from experts that can help parents and caregivers of children under 5 (whose brains are developing at an incredible rate) as they think about screen time:  


Children under 18-24 months: For children younger than 2, there is very limited benefit, and potential developmental risk, to screen viewing.  

Content Matters: The best content for children is slow-paced and reflects real life. (Think “old school” episodes of Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street versus frenetically paced cartoons, even those that are labeled “educational”). 

Behavior: Screen time should not be used to console. In addition, it may be helpful to assess how your child behaves before and after screen can make adjustments to the time spent or the type of content viewed by assessing your child’s behavior.  

Participation: Very young children get the most benefit from screen time when an adult watches with them, participates in active content, and follows up off-screen, reinforcing any lessons from the media content.  

Sleep: Screens should not be used 1 hour before bedtime as they have a negative effect on sleep. 


In considering how our children are affected by screens, experts also encourage adults to consider our own screen time in the equation (which can be very hard!). Children learn by observing the world around them and by interacting with their environment. It makes sense that both the child’s use of screens as well as their caregiver or family’s level of screentimecan impact development. 


Research is important and helpful, but we don’t need a study to understand that the world has changed due to the mobile devices in our pockets. Several months ago, while at the airport, I looked around and observed that nearly every person around me was looking down at a screen. A young toddler was standing close to her parents, taking in the environment around her, and I wondered to myself about what she was learning—or not learning—from this scene. She could not observe or hear many interactions between people because there were not many taking place. Eye contact, smiles, or friendly waves from passersby were nowhere to be found.  


Since that experience, I have tried to be much more aware of not taking out my phone in places where it has become the default norm—because children and adults of all ages still need to experience those interactions and allow their minds to wander. It can feel difficult, but also important, to resist the societal norm that screen-based connections take priority over real-world ones, even in places filled with strangers.  


Screen Free Week is coming up on May 6-12. This may be a great opportunity to disconnect and reflect on how screens, which are here to stay, and certainly have benefits (like keeping in touch with far-away grandparents or giving all family members a bit of time to decompress), best fit into the life of your family. 


Additional Resources 



Now-5/12 Wild Kratts: Creature Power!, MN Children’s Museum

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

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

5/4 First Free Saturday: Haring and Friends, Walker, Mpls 

5/4 Walk for Animals, St. Paul 

5/4 & 5/5 Twin Cities Festival Spring Babies, Brooklyn Park

5/10-5/11 Mother's Day Plant Sale, Arboretum

5/2, 5/9, 5/16, 5/23 & 5/30 Little Explorer Thursdays, Como Zoo

5/12 Mother's Day Concert, Landmark Center

5/17-5/19 Art-A-Whirl, NE Mpls

5/18  Kids Run the Cities, Mpls  


EFC Coon Rapids collected items for Children's Minnesota Hospital.

EFC Eden Prairie celebrated Spirit Day.

Especially for Children - Eden Prairie

6223 Dell Road 

Eden Prairie, MN 55346

(952) 934-1119

Center Directors

Cathie Underwood and Jamie Kittleson