Unstructured + Sensory + Sometimes Silly = Summer!

As our Hopkins Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) programs end this week, families often begin making plans to stay in touch with the parents and children with whom they have shared a school-year. The community that was created around supporting, educating, and laughing with each other is hard to let go of, just because classes are ending.

The valuable early school experiences that ECFE children receive has helped our youngest learners feel confident socially, and helped them to develop the language, motor, and attention skills they will need for success in school. Parents sometimes ask how they can keep building on what their child has learned now that it is summer.

The great news about educating a young child is that every experience they have builds their knowledge and understanding of the world around them. An important and often overlooked foundation of learning is the physical and sensory understanding of the world we live in —and the place that we each have in that world. Summer can be an ideal time to help your child solidify this understanding; that very real and important learning will help them to naturally develop the more academic skills they will need later in their school years.

The early childhood staff would like to offer a successful recipe for encouraging school skills in the summer: mix together outdoor play, unstructured games with peers, engaged conversations about what you see around you, and soothing cuddles and silly games while staying at home. Add a big dose of sleep on a regular schedule, and meals that involve sitting together and enjoying healthy food together. Sprinkle in songs, stories and sometimes even silence.

Looking for more information on the benefits of active play? Check out this video by Gill Connell and Cheryl McCarthy, authors of A Moving Child is Learning Child. The video offers insight into the brain benefits of movement, and offers the book as a resource for ideas and inspiration this summer.

Free Class! Basic First Aid

Join the Hopkins Fire Department staff to learn life-saving skills. This Basic First Aid training can give you the knowledge, skills, and confidence to respond in a medical emergency. Learn what to do for cuts, bruises, minor lacerations, falls, contusions, and broken bones.

Friday, April 17   10:00-11:00 a.m.
Harley Hopkins Family Center – room 7
125 Monroe Avenue South
Hopkins, MN 55343

Register online, or call 952-988-5000

Infants ages birth through 6 months may remain with parent in class.  Limited childcare available for children 6 months through kindergarten with registration.
$5 per child

Rad Zoo Returns to Harley Family Center on Friday, May 1st!

Green-Turtle copyFamilies so enjoyed their experience with the Rad Zoo last October, that the Hopkins Early Childhood staff have invited the organization back for another early evening of fun.

Check out the reptiles and amphibians with the Reptile Amphibian Discovery Zoo (RAD Zoo) on Friday May 1. See and learn about live turtles, lizards, snakes and even a small crocodile. Our classrooms will also be open for art activities, play and a chance to enjoy an evening out with other families of young children.  Join the fun!

Registration Required by noon on April 30
Friday May 1, 5:45-7:00pm
Harley Family Center
125 Monroe Avenue South, Hopins
$5 per family
Register online or by calling our office: 952-988-5000

Summer ECFE Classes

Hopkins Early Childhood Family Education offers convenient summer classes for families with infants and toddlers, so don’t wait until the fall to enjoy the benefits of taking a class with your child. The classes offer a chance for families with young children to connect and share their experiences. Children have the chance to interact and get to play with peers. A parent educator leads discussion and answers questions about the topics many parents have questions about: sleep, nutrition, play, and brain development.

Register now for these 6 week-sessions, a great fit for the whole family:

June 9-July 15, 2015 – Infants
Tuesdays, 4:00-5:15pm
Tuesdays, 6:00-7:15pm
Wednesdays, 4:00-5:15

June 10-July 15 – Toddlers, 13-20 months
Wednesdays, 6:00-7:15pm