MAY 2024


Dear Angie,


Going outdoors is an important part of our day at EFC. It gives the children a chance to stretch large muscles, breathe fresh air, take in the sunshine, and enjoy the freedom of space.

Going outdoors is not only fun, it contributes to the children’s overall development. It gives them a chance to explore with all their senses, practice gross and fine motor skills, develop social skills, and begin to appreciate and respect other living things. Here are some examples:

When your child does this . . .

* crawls through the grass

* climbs on the equipment

* picks up a pine cone to put in a bucket

* watches a squirrel climb a tree

* rolls a ball to another child

Your child is learning. . . 

* to explore with all senses

* to use gross (large) motor skills

* to use fine (small) motor skills

* to appreciate nature

* social skills and dexterity


We will be hosting a “Muffins for Mom” event on Friday, May 10, from 7:45-9:00 a.m. Come and have a special muffin with your child or grab one on your way out. All mothers and special women in your child’s life are welcome. We hope to see you there!



Thank you so much to all the families who donated and contributed to our staff appreciation potluck. Everything was delicious and we greatly appreciate your generosity. 


The link to register for soccer is now available for preschool/pre-k children. Classes will be held Wednesday mornings and start today, May 1. You can still register here!



Hopefully we will have warmer weather in May, and we can send home the winter wear! During the summer flip flops and Crocks become very popular, however, we do not allow them at the center. They fall off easily while running and climbing causing tripping and falling injuries. Please have your children wear proper athletic shoes so they can enjoy their extended outdoor activities. Also, please bring in a bottle of non-aerosol sunscreen to keep here, labeled with your child’s first and last name. We will apply sunscreen in the afternoon before we go outside each day. Remember to apply sunscreen each day before your child comes to school for going outside in the morning.  



• Flour Tortilla, small

• 1 large banana

• 2 Tablespoons peanut butter

• Raisins (optional)

1. Work with your children to make this snack

2. Give them a tortilla with peanut butter and let them spread it using the back of a spoon. 

3. Place peeled banana at one end and roll up the tortilla.

4. Slice into eight pieces. 


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  


Spirit Day at EFC Eden Prairie

EFC Coon Rapids Collected Items for Children's Minnesota Hospital

Especially for Children - Bloomington

5133 - W. 98th St. 

Bloomington, MN 55437

(952) 831-1435

Center Director

Kathy Hane