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Welcome to PW’s Playhouse Between I Love to Read Month and Valentine’s Day, February at Playworks is all about passion for learning and compassion for each other. Through I Love to Read Month, our students and their families will have the chance to recognize and embrace all the wonderful benefits that reading brings to young and old alike. In addition to the many fun reading-related activities and themed days that we will be hosting throughout the month, we encourage everyone to take some time to unplug and enjoy a good book with those you love. February is also a good time to remind your family and friends how much they mean to you. Busy schedules and life’s daily stresses can make it challenging to take a step back and appreciate the important people in your life. Make it a priority with your kids this Valentine’s Day by trying out the I Love You ritual on page 5, making a craft or recipe together (see page 6 for ideas!), or snuggling up on the couch to read aloud to one another with one of our recommended reads.

Important Dates

Suggested Reading

Feb 14:

Valentine’s Day

Feb 17:

Playworks Winter Wonderland Party, 3-6pm in the Atrium

Arthur and the Race to Read By Marc Brown and Stephen Krensky

The Day it Rained Hearts By Felicia Bond

Babar's Yoga for Elephants By Laurent de Brunhoff

Giraffes Can't Dance By Giles Andreae

The Busy Body Book By Lizzy Rockwell

Wiggle By Doreen Cronin

Feb 19:

Presidents Day

Playworks Staff Spotlight: Isabel Avalos

Educare Early Learning Classrooms

Exercise & Balls; Tasting & Preparing Food; & Exploring Sand & Water Think of all the ways young children move their bodies. They wiggle, stretch, bend, crawl, jump, run, hop, bounce, climb—you name it! During the month of February, Playworks’ preschool and pre-K students will continue their investigation of exercise and balls. Studying the movement of balls and the importance of exercise allows children to gather information, become more aware of the world around them, and practice problem-solving skills. They will learn about nutrition, jobs related to exercise, and how exercise helps keep the body’s muscles and bones healthy. This study also shows how the balls used in sports and exercise connect to social studies and life science concepts. This month, our toddlers will learn a variety of skills as they participate in developmentally appropriate food preparation activities. Children at this age explore the world with their senses, so preparing food will provide them with a multisensory experience as they touch, smell, see, and taste their food.

How long have you worked at Playworks? 23 years

What is your position at Playworks? Environmental/Maintenance Manager

Describe your personality in one word: Optimistic Favorite part of working at Playworks? No two days are the same

Favorite children’s book: Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

Favorite board game: Monopoly Favorite food: Pasta Favorite color: Green Favorite animal: Dog

Playworks infants will make a splash and dive into the exploration of sand and water. Playing with sand and water provides young kids with an excellent opportunity to explore and experiment. They can explore the properties and uses of sand and water as they dig in, scoop, and play. Spreading, scooping, and smashing—whether it’s food or sand— can help children develop motor skills, enhance coordination, and increase awareness of the world around them. When preparing meals at home, feel free to connect healthy eating habits with the importance of exercise and moving the body. Or set up a simple sensory table with a tub, some sand, and water. You might be surprised at how soothing and relaxing sensory play is for your child—and for you!

Reading Rocks!

Create Lifetime Learners One Book at a Time Everyone knows that reading is an essential skill for a child to succeed in school, but its benefits reach far beyond the confines of a classroom. Reading helps children of all ages develop communication skills, improve focus, relieve stress, develop empathy, feed their imagination, discover new worlds, and more. With February being I Love to Read Month, there’s no better time for your family to switch off their screens and bury themselves in a good book.

How to Encourage a Love of Reading Is your child a bit reluctant to pick up a book in their free time? Try the tactics below to help boost their desire to read: Visit the library regularly – get them excited to pick out their own books to take home Make books easily accessible – stock bookshelves around your house with plenty of age-appropriate books for them to enjoy Set an example – children often model their parents’ behaviors, so make sure they see you reading regularly in your spare time Read aloud to each other – make story time a fun activity by reading aloud to each other

Did You Know?

Children who are read to at least 3x a week by a family member are almost twice as likely to score in the top 25% in reading compared to children who are read to less than 3x a week Children learn an average of 4,000-12,000 new words each year as a result of reading Children who grow up in homes where books are plentiful go further in school than those who don’t Sources: NCES, Scholastic

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents." — Emilie Buchwald

A Gift that Keeps on Giving: the Benefits of Reading

Literacy development Vocabulary growth Improved communication skills Stress relief Knowledge growth Empathy development Improved concentration

Mark Your Calendar for these Reading-Related Dates!

Feb. 6: Read My Shirt Day Feb. 15: Bring your favorite book to school to share Feb. 21: Blackout Day! Wear black and go one full day without ANY electronic entertainment Feb. 27: Dress up like your favorite storybook character

The oldest known Valentine’s Day card dates back to the 1400s!



Love is in the air! Whip up a homemade card for your Valentine and include these fun facts on February 14:

Over 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent worldwide every year Over half of all the roses grown in the U.S. come from the state of California Approximately 8 billion candy hearts are made each year for Valentine’s Day Nearly 10 million pet owners buy Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets every year Sources: and


I Love You Ritual

I Love You Rituals create a connected classroom environment by providing positive lyrics for traditional rhymes and building on vocabulary skills. This Conscious Discipline tool strengthens the bond between children and adults, while increasing children’s attention spans, reducing power struggles, and promoting language and literacy whether in school or at home. Connect with your child through playful touch, smiles, and eye contact—all elements and goals of I Love You Rituals. Give this month’s I Love You Ritual a try—a fun game using a popular nursery rhyme!



Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,

Adult makes wall with hands. Child makes Humpty Dumpty with one fist and rests it on top of the wall.

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.

When fist falls off, adult gently catches child’s wrist.

All the Queen's horses,

Release the child’s wrist, and gently massage arms.

And all the King's men,

Continue massage.

Could put Humpty together again.

Bring the child’s hands together. Wrap your two hands securely around the child’s. Bring your united hands up to the child’s eye level, sharing a loving gaze while saying the last line.


DANCINGHearts Perfect for Valentine’s Day, this activity involves dropping candy conversation hearts and Alka-Seltzer tablets into a glass of sparkling water and watching them dance amidst the bubbles. It’s the perfect experiment to teach your kids about the science of carbon dioxide, or to simply have some fun with your candy hearts stockpile from Valentine’s Day!


1 clear drinking glass 1 cup club soda or sparkling water 1 small handful candy conversation hearts 4 Alka-Seltzer tablets


1. Fill a drinking glass with water or soda. 2. Drop the conversation hearts and Alka-Seltzer tablets into the glass. 3. Watch the hearts wriggle and dance up and down in the water!



Have you noticed our new Learning Objective Boards in the classroom hallways? If not, stop by Playworks and check them out! You will notice a spot for language/literacy, math, social, emotional, cognitive, and other themed goals, including science, art, and physical activity. These are just a few of the learning objectives that your child’s teacher is incorporating into the classroom’s planned activities!

Family-Friendly SMSC


A swim program designed to build confidence in the water

February 17 polar plunge

Noon | Sand Point Beach (14349 Crest Avenue, Prior Lake) Brrring on the icy cold water, and get ready to jump at this year's plunge! All funds raised go towards supporting Special Olympics Minnesota. Learn more at, gather a team, and start raising money today! Prizes will be given out for th team that raises the most money and the team with the most unique costumes!

youth & adult classes available For more classes and times, go to

February 17 winter wonderland party

3-6pm | Playworks Atrium (2200 Trail of Dreams, Prior Lake) Looking for a fun way to get out and about with your family this winter? Mark your calendar for the Playworks Winter Wonderland Party on February 17 and bring the kids down for an afternoon of snow-themed fun. From 3-6pm, the Playworks Atrium will be transformed into a scene of wintry magic, with activities ranging from slide relays and a snowball toss to “pin the carrot on the snowman” and making snow and snowflakes. All are welcome to attend! Standard Atrium rates apply, and children ages 4-12 may be dropped off.

952.445.9400 | 2100 Trail of Dreams • Prior Lake

Shakopee Dakota Convenience Store #1




Red Velvet Milkshake

Need a special treat for a special someone? Try making this indulgent, pretty-in-pink milkshake for Valentine’s Day!


2 cups vanilla ice cream 4 tablespoons red velvet cake mix 1½ cups milk ½ teaspoon vanilla extract Optional toppings: hot fudge sauce, whipped cream, and sprinkles

Directions: 1. Place ice cream, cake mix, milk, and vanilla 2. 3.

Pour into glasses, and top with hot fudge sauce, whipped cream, and sprinkles, as desired. Enjoy before it melts away!

Wonder r la te n n i





extract in a blender, and blend until smooth.

February 17 • 3-6pm • Playworks Atrium

Standard Atrium rates apply. Children ages 4-12 can be dropped off. Others are welcome, but must be accompanied by an adult.

ACTiVITiES • Make snow • Pin the carrot on the snowman • Snowflake crafts • Slide relays • Snowball toss

Where learning and fun go hand in hand! (7529) | 2200 Trail of dreams • Prior Lake (7529) | 2200 Trail of dreams • Prior Lake

952.445.PLAY (7529) | 2200 Trail of Dreams, Prior Lake, MN |

Enterprises Are Owned and Operated by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

Playworks PW's Playhouse February 2018  
Playworks PW's Playhouse February 2018