What Will You Decide To Do? Screen-Free Week

We are certainly feeling the call of the outdoors these past few days!  Our children are reveling in the sunshine and we are sighing a great big breath of relief for having made it through this winter.  What a great time to celebrate Screen Free Week!  The Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood is once again kicking off their week-long celebration of all things in the real world.  Screen Free Week is an invitation to limit your children’s interaction with screens–and to limit your own screen habit as well.

Sounds difficult?  Maybe not as hard as you think.  Talk it over with your family and decide on the turn-offs you will institute starting today through May 6.  Make a plan with your family for what you will do instead.  This is a great week to go to the library and collect a huge pile of books to read whenever your child gets bored.  This is a great week to pump up the tires in your bicycle and make it a goal to bike around the block each evening with the whole family. This is a great week to explore the incredible nature centers in your area. This is a great week to schedule a few play-dates in the local parks. Use the week to get out of the house and beat the boredom blues with a natural wonder in your area.

If you are spending long afternoons in the house due to napping younger children, find activities to do that will entertain the older ones: decide to cook together over the afternoon. Invest in some kid friendly art activities and work together on a project. If you and your child get tired of all the books from the library–decide to make your own books from materials right in your own house.

Spend some time considering where you can limit the use of your own screen time.  Young children learn best through imitation; we want to model a balanced approach to the screens in our lives. Show your child the usefulness of technology as a tool–not as an easy method of entertainment. Set some goals for yourself on how you will limit your screen time use–and enjoy the extra time it gives you in the day.

During this week, when you notice your child is getting bored, allow her to be bored.  Resist the temptation to offer her screen time. Instead, talk to her about what she can do when she is bored.  Offer ideas and games and activities.  If she doesn’t feel motivated after your discussion, then give her the gift of time alone with her boredom–don’t try to fix it.

We make a decision each time we turn on a screen to entertain ourselves or to entertain our children. Screen Free Week offers us the chance to seriously contemplate what we are deciding not to do when we turn on a screen. Decide to make a change this week–you and your family will be glad you did!

Stepping Stones Summer Before Kindergarten

Make the most of your child’s summer-before-kindergarten with our full week summer-time program for 4-5 year olds. Stepping Stones offers an enriching summer preschool opportunity for children entering kindergarten in the fall of 2013.

Dates and Time:
June 13 — August 16
Open from 6:45am-6:00pm

Summer tuition is 3 payments of $800, which includes breakfast, lunch, snack and field trips.

For registration information please call 952-988-5000, or visit our website.

Summer Adventure Preschool Classes

Join Kaleidoscope Summer Preschool for lots of hands-on, meaningful experiences with books, writing activities, music, science, art, dramatic and outdoor play! Classes are three half-days per week, with morning and afternoon sessions available. To register, children must be 3 years old by June 1, 2013, and not have attended kindergarten.

Dates and Time: Four weeks from June 4-June 27
Section 1: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday,   9:00-11:30am

Section 2: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday,   12:30-3:00pm

Location: Harley Family Center, 125 Monroe Ave. S. in Hopkins
Cost: The cost for the session is $180 ($155 + $25 registration fee)
Tuition assistance may be available

For registration information: call us at 952-988-5000 or visit our website

Register For Our Summer Infant Classes

Early Childhood Family Education is offering summer infant classes at Harley Family Center. While parents and babies (birth through 12 months of age) connect and play, a parent educator leads discussion on topics such as:

  • Infant growth and development
  • Sleeping
  • Nutrition
  • How babies learn and play

Tuesdays, June 11-July 23

Wednesdays, June 12-July 24

Beyond ECFE: Kindergarten-Parent Connection

Lunch and Learn for parents of 5 and 6 year olds!
Bring your lunch and your parenting questions to this informative class at Harley Family Center! Rani Murdoch Zappa, licensed parent educator, will lead discussion focused on hot topics for parents of kindergartners.

Register online for this 6 week, parent-only class.
Limited childcare on site for children 3 months through kindergarten is available, $5 per childcare-session for each child.

Dates: Thursday, September 26, Oct. 3, 10, 24, 31, Nov.7

You and Your Baby Are Invited to our Baby Shower

Join us for this fun and free event! For parents and babies, birth to 12 months old, and expectant parents. Limited space available.

A reservation is required: call Kathryn  Moore at 952-988-5046 or email Kathryn_Moore@hopkins.k12.mn.us

Tuesday, May 14, 6:00-7:15pm
Harley Family Center

  • Introduction to Baby Sign Language
  • Answers to your questions about your baby’s development with a licensed parent educator
  • Learn songs and games to play with your baby
  • Free new children’s book
  • Enjoy cider and cookies
  • Sibling care provided—reservation required

Daddy & Me Event!

Dads, grandpas, uncles, and male friends with children ages birth to five years—join us for this fun and free reading event at two local police stations!

  • Listen as police officers read stories to the children
  • Explore the Minnetonka and Hopkins Police Department and their police cars
  • Share books from the public library with your child

Monday, May 6, 6:30-7:30pm
Minnetonka Police Station, 14600 Minnetonka Boulevard

Tuesday, June 4, 6:30-7:30pm
Hopkins Police Station, 1010  1st Street South

Sponsored by: Hopkins Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE), Minnetonka & Hopkins Police Departments, and Friends of the Minnetonka Public Library, and the Hopkins Public Library.