Teacher Orientation 2016

  • You must have a warm, smiling face that makes every child feel special and loved.
  • You must be able to laugh at jokes that you don’t understand, or you don’t find funny. Child humor can be a confusing minefield to navigate.
  • You will preferably have a little bit of quirkiness. If a child requests that you be the captain of a pirate ship, you will be the best pirate captain you can be.
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  • You must feel comfortable telling everybody in the same room as you, that you are going to use the bathroom.
  • The ability to sing in tune is not necessary, however the ability to sing out of tune in front of a crowd is essential.
  • Some knowledge of Frozen, Minions, Spiderman, Ariel, Peppa Pig, Octonauts, Thomas the tank engine and Sofia the first would be advantageous.
  • A high level of multitasking is essential. If something would normally take 5 minutes to achieve, you must be comfortable with it taking 15 minutes or longer.
  • You must be able to distribute warm hugs as required.
  • Possessing the skills required to rapidly count the heads of numerous moving small people is of utmost importance.
  • Must be comfortable entering public places on the way home from work with unknown substances on your clothing.
  • You must have a high level of comfort around talking about bodily functions. You must also have a strong sense of smell to enable you to respond swiftly to said bodily functions.
  • You preferably do not have an aversion to an environment that at times resembles the aftermath of a tornado.
  • You must be able to remain focused in environments with high noise levels.
  • Pretending to eat playdough creations realistically is required, this is a skill that may develop with time and experience.
  • The ability to remember the names of 40+ children, their parents, siblings, grandparents, pets and special soft toys is a key component of this job. Again, this is something that will develop over time.
  • You must feel comfortable sitting on furniture that does not contain all of your behind.
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    • A high level of comfort with being asked personal questions by children is essential. You will regularly be asked questions regarding what you are having for lunch, whether you are willing to share said lunch, whether or not you are married, and if not, why you are not married, where you are going (as you walk into the toilet), and what you did in there (the toilet).
    • You must have an understanding that the small people you have a strong relationship with during the week, may completely and utterly refuse to talk to or acknowledge you when they see you at the local store. Your feelings must not be easily hurt.
    • You must have the ability to read a ten page fairytale with at least one interruption per page.
    • Authentically showing an interest in and curiosity for bugs and creepy crawlies is essential, even if they are your biggest fear on earth.
    • You must be prepared to have a lot of fun in the workplace. Laughter is something you can expect to engage in for a large part of your working day.
    • Finally, you must be prepared to feel loved, special, and important to many young children and their families. There is simply no other job quite like this one.

Summer Camp 2016

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As in previous years, this summer we will be offering a six week Summer Camp for children up to age 8. This year all activities are based on the Pirates and Princesses theme. Kids are grouped by age levels and will be rotating through centers for active music, story telling and dramatization, creative arts and crafts, circle time, snack and outdoor play. For further information on dates, schedules and costs, please call 8356-8344 & 8356-8330 from Mon-Fri 8:00am to 2:00pm and Mon-Thurs 3:00pm-5:00pm.

Hop-py Easter!!

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Things to learn from the Easter Bunny!

  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
  • Everyone needs a friend who is all ears.
  • There’s no such thing as too much candy.
  • All work and no play can make you a basket case.
  • A cute tail attracts a lot of attention.
  • Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day.
  • Let happy thoughts multiply like rabbits.
  • Some body parts should be floppy.
  • Keep your paws off of other people’s jelly beans.
  • Good things come in small, sugar coated packages.
  • The grass is always greener in someone else’s basket.
  • To show your true colors, you have to come out of the shell.
  • Real treats are sweet and gooey.

May the joy of the season fill your heart with love, faith and hope.

Classes resume Monday, April 4th, 2016

Spring and Easter Parade

It has become a tradition at Toddler Tree to celebrate the coming of Spring and Easter with a special party. The event begins at 10:00am with families arriving at the park with a decorated trike, bike or vehicle that will be organized by group at the indicated location. Here are some examples of how Toddler Tree families have decorated different vehicles using paper, balloons, flowers, plush toys and other decorations.

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The kids can choose from a variety of activities the teachers have prepared and there will be time for an individual photo shoot with the Easter bunny, too. When everyone has arrived, Toddler Tree staff will blow the whistle to start the Parade. The kids will ride through the park on the sidewalk path in their decorated vehicles. Everybody will share a snack after that. Next week we will be preparing confetti stuffed eggshells for the Easter Egg Hunt that will take place after the snack. We look forward to seeing you there!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

We have been busy at Toddler Tree making Valentines cards and treats. Tomorrow is our Valentine’s Day Celebration and everybody is looking forward to a jolly party!

Make sure your child brings a bag or box for treats, and if he or she is bringing some for classmates and friends, please label only who it’s from. This makes it so much easier when passing them around.

We are expecting a visit from the mailman, a chance to hit the piñata, snacks provided by February Party hosts and playtime in the Post Office and Fire Station. It looks like a lot of fun for the little ones!

From home, please only send a thermos with water and something to collect Valentines in. Most of all, prepare your child to give and receive many hugs and kisses on this very special day!

Ways to Raise a Thankful Child

Keep gifts reasonable. As tempting as it is to shower—or allow others to shower—your child with gifts, there are two important reasons not to. First, as children grow, it can be challenging to teach gratitude if they receive everything they ask for.

Secondly, a lot of gifts are overwhelming for small children. They can’t focus on or appreciate any one gift if they get so many. Often, they don’t even make it through opening all of them before they lose interest! Instead, you might suggest that family members choose 1 or 2 gifts for children. Explain that the fewer gifts, the more children will play with and appreciate them. If you are planning a large birthday party, consider asking close family members to bring gifts to a smaller event before the big one starts. For the big party, you might ask attendees to provide book donations for a local literacy programs or toys for disadvantaged children. This can be a good way to communicate the importance of giving and gratefulness.

Look for ways to be involved in community giving with your toddler. Between ages 2 and 3, you can begin to talk with your toddler about how he can help others who don’t have as much as he does. Look for opportunities with a clear connection between your child’s efforts and the recipients.  Good choices include:

  • Helping dogs/cats at your local shelter: We are playing with these dogs and cats who need lots of love and attention.
  • Collecting canned foods for a local food pantry: We are helping people who need more food. They will eat the food we bring. Our food will help them feel strong and healthy.
  • Collecting jackets, hats and mittens for a local children’s program: The jackets we bring will help other children, just like you, stay warm during the winter.

Show thankfulness to your children. It’s easy to forget, but important to do. Thank you for cooperating at the doctor’s office. Thank you for getting your jacket when I asked. Thank you for coming right away when I said it was time to leave the park; I know it was hard for you to get off the swing. Thank you for your hug—it made me feel so happy!

Prompt children to use thankful words. Thankfulness is a complex idea. It will be a while yet before your child truly “gets” it. But reminding children to say “please” and “thank you” (beginning at about 18 months) is a good start. Because it will take some time for them to learn when to use these words, you’ll probably be providing prompts for a while.

Read books about what it means to be thankful. Books help children make sense of new ideas. Keep in mind that your child’s understanding of a book at 14 months will be different than what she gets out of it at 35 months—another good reason to share these stories over time. As she grows, talk with her about the stories and pictures and explore what it means to be “thankful.” Some age-appropriate choices for children aged 12 to 36-month-old include:

  • Biscuit Is Thankful by Alyssa Satin Capucilli and Pat Schories

  • Little Critter: Just So Thankful  by Mercer Mayer

  • Feeling Thankful by Shelly Rotner

  • Thanksgiving Is for Giving Thanks by Margaret Sutherland

  • I’m Thankful Each Day by P.K. Hallninan

  • Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message by Jake Swamp

  • All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan

Involve children in writing thank-you notes. While you can’t sit your young child down with a pen and a stack of cards, you can involve her in showing thanks in age-appropriate ways. Snap a photo of your baby or toddler playing with a new toy or wearing a new outfit and include it with your thank you note. Ask your toddler to draw a picture for the gift-giver and, again, include with your note. You can ask your toddler: Grampa got you a new truck. Do you like it? What do you like about it the best? Copy down your child’s words in the note you write. Toddlers can also be involved in sticking a stamp on the envelope and putting the note in the mailbox. Starting early makes this important tradition of gratitude an everyday part of children’s lives.

Start traditions for showing thanks. These traditions give children a lifetime memory of gratefulness and giving in the context of family. Some ideas:

  • Make a “what I am thankful for” tree. Use a paper towel tube for the trunk. Cut leaf shapes out of construction paper and write on each leaf something your child says he is thankful for. Glue the paper leaves onto the tube/trunk. Ideally, every family member who is old enough to participate should make a tree each year.

  • Begin dinnertime once a week with every family member saying something they are grateful for.

  • Instead of a birthday gifts, write your child an “appreciation letter” describing all the different ways your child has grown and changed that year, and all the things you love and appreciate about him.  These letters, beginning in each child’s first year, can be kept in a special binder in children’s rooms.

Think about what it means to be thankful in your family and culture. Share stories about gratefulness that are drawn from your family history, community and culture.

Mad About Halloween

What was your favorite childhood Halloween costume? Do you make costumes for your kids? You can find a large variety of Halloween costumes available at stores in your neighborhood. However, homemade costumes can be more original and fun, especially if you involve your children in creating them. Here are some crafty and cute costume ideas to make for your kiddo this Halloween…