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MAY 2018




Welcome to The Playhouse As we welcome the sun-filled days of summer, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the important people that shape and inspire our daily lives. Between Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and National Teacher Appreciation Week, the month of May is all about making such gratitude known. Plan a special outing with your mother, bring flowers to a local veterans cemetery, or write a heartfelt note of thanks to a favorite teacher—even the smallest acts of appreciation can have a huge impact on their deserving recipients.

Important Dates May 7-11: National Teacher Appreciation Week

May is also the perfect time to get out of the house and do some exploring! This month at Playworks, our preschool students will be studying roads, wheels, and signs, while our infant and toddler classrooms will be learning about the outdoor world. Take a walk or a drive with your little one and ask them to point out signs and other items of interest that they’re learning about during the day. It’s a wide world out there, just waiting to be explored—enjoy the adventure!

Suggested Reading Mr. Pine’s Mixed-Up Signs by Leonard P. Kessler

May 13:

Mother’s Day

May 28:

Memorial Day (Playworks Closed)

Signs on the Road by Mary Hill

May 31:

Pre-K Graduation, 5-6pm in the Playworks LINK Event Center

Going to School by Joanne Mattern Roadwork by Sally Sutton Who Is Driving? by Leo Timmers Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry

Educare Early Learning Classrooms

Roads, Wheels, and Signs + Going Outdoors Every morning, you likely hop into the car, fasten your seatbelt, and hit the road and head to Playworks. Have you ever stopped to think about the paved roads you travel on? Or the wheels turning beneath your feet, as you pass trees, houses, and road signs whirring by? This month, Playworks kiddos will have plenty of opportunities to think all about these things and more. May is all about roads, wheels, and signs! Pre-K students will investigate how roads are made and where they take us, the characteristics of wheels, and the ways in which signs are used to help us find what we are looking for. By exploring these familiar topics, children can explore firsthand how roads, wheels, and signs connect to their everyday lives. This study will also allow our students to engage in meaningful literacy, math, and arts experiences. Meanwhile, the infant and toddler classrooms will be focusing on going outdoors and how those experiences help them explore their senses and develop motor skills. With fresh-air activities and sparkling eyes, this age group will develop a new outlook on the outdoor world. This month, tie in these concepts to your family’s daily lives. Ask your child to point out road signs and then emphasize the importance of roadway safety and traffic rules (see next page for more ideas). Call attention to all the types of wheels around the community, on cars, trucks, and buses. Buckle up—you might be surprised at your child’s knowledge of the world they live in!

Playworks Staff Spotlight: Gretchen Smith How long have you worked at Playworks? 9 years

Favorite Board Game: The Game of Life

Favorite Food:

What is your position at Playworks? Grilled hamburger with all Customer Care Representative

the fixings

Favorite Children’s Book:

Favorite Color: Teal Favorite Animal: Birds

Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle

Describe yourself in one word: Joyful

RULES OF THE ROAD: Safety First! With their small stature and often impulsive behavior, kids are particularly vulnerable roadway users. In fact, roadway accidents are one of the leading causes of childhood injuries and deaths across the country. Thankfully, one of the best ways to help ensure your children stay safe while walking, biking, or riding in a car is also one of the easiest—teach them road safety rules from a young age. It’s never too early to get started—practice the following safety habits with your child, and they will become second-nature in no time.

• • • • • • • • •

Look both ways before crossing the street Memorize traffic signals—and follow them Don’t run on or near the road Wear seat belts and helmets Put the phone and other electronics away when walking Use sidewalks and crosswalks Always be alert In areas where there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic Exit cars on the curbside only

Try This! Traffic Signal Game This easy game helps children get familiar with traffic signals! In your house or enclosed yard, instruct your kids to run around while you call out traffic signals—everyone should stop when you say “red,” slow down when you say “yellow,” and run when you say “green.”

Road Safety Bingo

The next time you go for a walk or car ride, take along this road safety bingo board and ask your child to tick off the signs and sights you see on your journey.

Did you know? • The first traffic signals originally only had red and green lights, which required drivers to stop and go without warning. Yellow lights were introduced in 1917 to help give drivers time to prepare to stop. • Potholes are created when water seeps into the ground and freezes when the seasons change, which causes the road’s surface to crack. These cracks collect more water, which freezes again, widening the crack until it becomes the familiar nuisance of winter roadways.


I Love You Ritual

STORY HAND Through this Conscious Discipline activity, you can help your child through a tough or stressful time. Gently give them a hand massage, while helping them navigate through their experiences.



It’s story time!

Take your child’s hand.

This little pinkie...

Starting with the pinkie, massage the finger while telling the child one of their strengths.

Then this finger...

Continue the story with remaining fingers.

And then the thumb...

When you reach the thumb, state the concern or celebration for the child. Tuck the thumb into the child’s palm, wrap the other fingers on top of it, and embrace the children’s closed fist in both of your hands as you say…

You did it! OR You’re safe, you can handle this.

Offer reassurance or celebrate the child’s accomplishment.

Highlighted Learning Objective: Remembering & Connecting Experiences Here at Playworks, our goals are to help your child develop and foster a curiosity for the world around them and help them build skills to be successful learners. Throughout the year, we work on developing, practicing, and building on themed learning objectives. This month’s objective for our students is remembering and connecting experiences. What this may look like:

What parents can do to help improve this skill:

Looks for food dropped from highchair

Use photos and objects to talk about your child’s past experiences

Identifies four objects taken away while playing “What’s Missing?”

Give your child enough time to think and make a connection before answering

Creates an observational drawing of a firetruck and then refers to it later while building with blocks

Play a cognitive development game, such as “What’s Missing?” or “Memory”

Looks for horse used a few months ago in bin of toy animals

Read a book aloud with your child. Afterward, tell your child you are going to retell the story with one part wrong. Ask them to listen closely to determine which part of the story is incorrect.


Cardboard Roadway Play With an old box and some markers, your child can create their own one-of-a-kind map of city streets, country roads, and everything in between. Get ready to hit the cardboard road!


Cardboard box Assorted markers Toy cars


1. Flatten out the cardboard box. 2. Draw several roads, covering the entire piece of cardboard. 3. Add train tracks, trees, parks, houses—use your imagination. 4. Drive your toy cars around the city!


Draw some road signs (from previous page) on your city map!

get outdoors! The Benefits of Spending Time in Nature With the abundance of TVs, smartphones, tablets, and computers in today’s society, kids are spending more time in front of screens than ever before. If your child is spending most of their time indoors with their eyes glued to electronics, encourage them to go outside and play! Spending time outdoors has enormous benefits for the mental and physical well-being of children. According to the Child Mind Institute, “kids who play outside are smarter, happier, more attentive, and less anxious than kids who spend time indoors.” Here are some ideas to encourage even the most stubborn of couch potatoes to get out and experience the natural world: Give them outdoor toys and games (e.g., sidewalk chalk, jump ropes, sports balls, etc.) Plant a garden together Set up an outdoor playdate Go for a walk or a bike ride together as a family Have a picnic in the park Head down to the nearest beach Visit a state park and go hiking Camp out in the backyard Give them some binoculars to watch wildlife

how much screen time is too much? The American Academy of Pediatrics Recommends: 0-18 months: Avoid screens entirely (except for video chats) 18-24 months: Parents should watch any digital media with their child 2-5 years: Limit screen use to ONE hour per day 6+ years: Place consistent limits on the time spent using media

Family-Friendly SMSC


May 5 kids in the kitchen

10–11am Mazopiya (2571 Credit Union Drive, Prior Lake) One of the greatest gifts that we can give our children is the knowledge of what foods are nourishing for their bodies. The best way to get them excited about eating healthy foods is to get them helping in the kitchen. This fun hands-on class will focus on making some delicious and healthy kid-approved dishes that your children will love. For kids ages 6+. Advanced sign-up required at





may 10 young native pride

7pm Prior Lake High School (7575 150th Street W, Savage) SMSC Youth will display their dance skills during Young Native Pride, an annual tradition showcasing Dakota culture. Performing at the local high school has been a tradition for the group for the past 20 years as a way of celebrating and sharing Dakota heritage, language, and culture.

may 12 annual shop local

Noon–4pm Mazopiya (2571 Credit Union Drive, Prior Lake) | 952.233.9140 2571 Credit Union Drive, Prior Lake, MN


Owned and Operated by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Communi


Bring the whole family to Mazopiya during their Annual Shop Local event on May 12, featuring local vendors, food samples, giveaways, kid-friendly activities, and more!

may 23 Emergency Services Week Barbecue

Noon–3pm Mdewakanton Public Safety (2525 Flandreau Trail, Prior Lake) Everyone is welcome to join Mdewakanton Public Safety for a barbecue during Emergency Services Week. Enjoy some grilled foods, and take a moment to thank local public safety departments for all they do to keep our communities safe.


952.233.5533 • 2400 mystic lake blvd, PRIOR LAKE, MN


Apple Race Car Snacks These adorable little racers are just as much fun to make as they are to eat!

Ingredients: 1 apple 16 grapes 16 toothpicks

Directions: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Slice the apple into eight wedges. Then, slice the grapes in half. Insert toothpicks horizontally through both ends of each apple slice. Slide grapes on the ends of each toothpick to make wheels. Watch your little ones enjoy!


A swim program designed to build confidence in the water

EAT HERE. Get ready for summer, Register today! youth & adult classes available 952.445.9400 • 2100 Trail of Dreams, Prior Lake

Whether you’re playing or learning at Playworks, you’re bound to work up an appetite. Playworks offers delicious and healthy snacks and meals throughout the day!

• Snacks • Meals • Pixie’s Café

VISIT TODAY! 952.445.PLAY (7529) • 2200 trail of dreams, PRIOR LAKE, MN

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

Enterprises Owned and Operated by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

Playworks PW's Playhouse May 2018  
Playworks PW's Playhouse May 2018