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    Parent Post December 2014 Edition

    Holiday Gift-Giving Ideas

    A few of you asked if we could provide some ideas for gifts for children that are not the typical mass-marketed gifts.  Here is a list of toys we know our children love and ideas to enhance them:

    • Blocks - there's nothing like them!  Our children enjoy the addition of plastic animals or people, felt and fabric pieces, small vehicles, and items from nature (think twigs, rocks, seashells, etc.) to the blocks.
    • Playdough - it's calming and relaxing.  We have a recipe for making it at home that I will list below, but there is nothing wrong with commercially made dough.  Our children enjoy the addition of twigs, birthday candles, cinnamon sticks, etc. to the dough.   We use cookie cutters, pizza cutters, rolling pins, and scissors with our dough.  In fact, using scissors with playdough is a great way to introduce scissors skills to children.  
    • Commercial-type building/connecting materials such as Legos, Duplos, Magnatiles, Kynex, etc.
    • A great building material for the bathtub...pvc pipe!
    • And speaking of's great for rolling marbles and balls...maybe your child is old enough to get his/her first set of marbles?  (Mailing tubes are fun too!)
    • Dress-up clothes - scavenging Goodwill for these can often bring great results.
    • Several excellent favorites:  books, puzzles, board games.  There are board games appropriate for young children - they make for great family time.  Since our children are perpetually progressing in their development, they will always need and appreciate a more challenging puzzle. 
    • Art and craft supplies.  Go beyond paper...get "fun" paper!  Stickers, glitter glue, sequins, feathers, etc.  These are all loved for making new creations.  
    • Musical instruments - shakers, sticks, drums...all loved by our children.
    • Cooking supplies and utensils.  Maybe an apron to help keep clean?  Or maybe a children's cookbook?  Children really do enjoy cooking.
    • Or perhaps you want to start a new tradition?  Some children look forward to a new pair of pajamas, or really cool socks, fun slippers, or a new set of neat mittens at this time of year.
    If you have a great gift idea to share, please post it our on Facebook page.

    Exam Week, January Term, and Spring Semester Sign-Up 

    Thank you so very much for allowing me the opportunity to try a new sign-up method for the upcoming terms.  Your feedback is most appreciated and I think we all agree that this was a very effective way to complete this task.  

    I received a comment concerning making this process electronic instead of in paper form.  That is a good suggestion and may happen some day.  The three regulatory bodies that we answer to all require this information in paper form, so the leap to going electronic has not been on my "to do" list.  I understand that if it's in electronic form, you will always have a "copy" available to you.  May I make a suggestion?  Until we make that leap to electronic sign-up, please fill out your form and before returning to me, take a picture of it with your cell phone. 

    Closing Dates and Hours of Operation 

    The last day of care for 2014 will be Friday, December 19.  Until then, we will open our doors at 7:00 a.m. and close them at 6:00 p.m.  We will reopen on Monday, January 5th.  During the January term (January 5-23) we will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.   

    Lip Balm, Hand Lotion, Etc.

    Please be aware that having lip balm, hand lotion, etc. in a child's backpack, pocket, or locker infringes on our state licensing regulations.  We are required to have written authorization from you to have those items in the center and to apply them to your child.  Those items are also labeled with your child's name and placed in a special location out of the reach of the children.  If your child is bringing lip balm or lotion to the center, please get it into our hands and sign the required paperwork.