Hello Little Stars Families,

The Little Stars continue to have a wonderful year.  They are growing so much, and we’ve seen many positive changes from September.  For example, now that they are older and very familiar with the school routines and expectations, the Little Star teachers have begun taking them to the Lincoln playground when possible for outdoor time.  This is a big step for the children, and they are really enjoying the opportunities to climb, slide, run, and balance on the swinging bridge.  The teachers have very clear playground rules for the children, which include staying on the “small (toddler) side” of the playground and standing on the rubber “squares” to listen to their teachers’ directions at the beginning and end of playground time.  There are also safety rules for the walk to and from, including hand-holding and silence when crossing the street.  Speaking of street-crossing, there is a crossing guard, Maggie, at Sixth Avenue and Lincoln, and the children are getting to know this new adult friend who helps them to and from the playground.
The Little Stars have been enjoying a new curriculum these past few weeks: the five senses.  The teachers kicked off this theme with the book “My Five Senses,” by Aliki, and they have been developing and engaging in many activities with the children, including:
Baking strawberry muffins and cinnamon rolls
Making goop with cinnamon
Playing listening games to identify everyday sounds
Finger painting
Eating citrus fruits for snack, then using the peels for collage
Making and feeling (smearing) different mixtures, e.g, shaving cream and cornstarch.
The children also use their senses on their outdoor walks, looking at the sights around them, listening to neighborhood sounds, and smelling the street and sidewalk odors (for better or worse!).
Auction note: In the next few days, the Little Stars will begin painting the toy chest (kindly assembled by Sam’s mom Nadine) for the Collective auction.  We expect the children to enjoy this painting process very much – and we can’t wait to see how it all turns out.  Stay tuned as I’m sure this will be a very popular item at the auction.
Quick update on staffing: Andrew (our Tuesday/Thursday sub) found out last week that he needed to change his college course schedule, which made it impossible for him to work at the Collective until June.  Fortunately, Fred has been able to take over Andrew’s hours, so we now have Fred working with the Little Stars Monday-Friday.  The children so enjoy Fred, and the teachers love working with him, so we feel very lucky that he can fill in.
Final note: if you haven’t already, please let me know if your child will be missing school with any upcoming vacations. Thanks!!