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happy th 26

birthday, playworks!


snowflake matching cards





As we say farewell to 2020 and all of the unpredicatable events that it brought, we look forward to the year to come and the memories to be made. This month at Playworks, we will be celebrating Playworks’ 26th birthday on January 9. In recognition of this special day, we will be hosting Spirit Week from Monday, January 11, through Friday, January 15. Students will participate in a weeklong

Additionally, classrooms will study all things winter throughout the month. Students will learn more about cold weather safety and preparation, the importance of wearing warm clothing during the frigid months, outdoor winter activities, and much more.

We would not be here without you. We know that 2020 was a difficult year with many changes and uncertainties, but we appreciate all of our families, friends, and staff. We look forward to the year ahead!

With the start of the new year, we want to take this opportunity to thank all of our families for being a part of Playworks.

Suggested Reading

Dakota Value

important dates

The Mitten by Jan Brett

Wóohoda Respect

JANUARY 1 New Year’s Day Playworks Closed

People in Winter by Martha E. H. Rustad

We all need to have respect for ourselves, our families, our communities, and all life forms!

Why Do Bears Hibernate? by Darice Bailer


celebration full of fun and safe actitivies to commemorate another great year.


JANUARY 9 Playworks 26th Birthday Happy Birthday, Playworks! JANUARY 11-15 Playworks Spirit Week



inter is undoubtedly the primary season in Minnesota, with cooler temperatures and snowfall possible nearly half the year. As such, it is only fitting to spend some time exploring all things winter! Where does snow come from? What should I wear when it is cold outside? How do animals stay warm in the winter? Investigating these types of questions with young learners allows them to make connections between the classroom and the outside world. This month, students will use the web of investigations to dive deeper into winter concepts. To help your child learn more about winter, be sure to ask them questions about what they are learning in the classroom or—better yet—bring them outside to show you! Consider exploring the many winter sports, activities, chores, and animals you may come across over the wintry weeks and months ahead. As the weather turns frigid, treat it as a learning experience—bundle up, be safe, and explore the outdoors together!

POWER OF FREE WILL Have you ever spent time trying to make another person change? Do you sometimes think if the children would just _______, then I could _______? According to Dr. Becky Bailey—the founder of Conscious Discipline—the Power of Free Will states that the only person you can infringe change upon is yourself. When we believe outside forces control our behavior and that we can control others’ behavior, we are setting ourselves up for trouble in our relationships. These beliefs also shape how we handle discipline and set us up for loss of composure. Power comes from choice, not force. Free will is about taking responsibility for our choices and behavior. Reflect on how often you tell yourself that you “have to” or “should” do something. The Power of Free Will helps us to empower ourselves by shifting instead to “going to” or “could” do something. In Playworks’ classrooms, we are going to practice engaging in free will exercises to better understand these customs in action.




Snowflake Matching Cards

Help kids strengthen their short-term memory skills with this fun— and educational—snowflake matching game.



• Paper or card stock • Scissors

1. Visit playworksfun.com/snowflake to download and print two sets of snowflake matching cards. 2. Cut the cards apart and shuffle them together. 3. Lay all the cards face down on the table.


Anne Hoff How long have you worked at Playworks?

3 years (consulting and training) What is your position at Playworks?

Mental health consultant and master Conscious Discipline trainer Favorite part of working at Playworks:

The energy of Playworks—staff are here to help students, and it shows Favorite children’s book:

Pajama Time! by Sandra Boynton Describe yourself in one word:

Fun Favorite board game:

Trivial Pursuit Favorite food:

Chinese Favorite color:

Pink Favorite animal:


4. Turn two snowflakes over to see what the images are. If the images match, keep the cards. If the cards don’t match, turn the cards face down in the original location and choose two more cards. 5. Continue this process until all cards are correctly matched together. Hint—try to remember where each card is!


Outdoor safety

indoor safety

Getting outside during cold weather—while a fun way to get some fresh air and connect with family and friends—can also expose you and your loved ones to several safety hazards, such as frostbite and hypothermia, if you’re not properly prepared. No one wants to stay cooped up inside all winter though (especially the kiddos!), so here are a few important cold weather—and safety—reminders for staying warm and toasty in frigid temperatures:

Indoor safety is equally important to prepare for—after all, even the hardiest and most outdoorsy of us will spend a good chunk of our winter indoors. Inside your home, make sure to have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas-, oil-, or coal-burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year to keep your family safe from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. In addition, here are a few more indoor safety reminders:

• Wear warm clothing, including a wind-resistant coat or jacket, mittens, a hat, a scarf or neck gaiter, and waterproof boots.

• Install a battery-operated or battery backup CO detector (and test it regularly) where it will awaken your family members at night, if triggered.

• To help protect yourself against hypothermia, be sure to dress in layers. • Always carry a cellphone when you’re outdoors in the winter in case of a fall or accident, and try to avoid being outside alone in subzero temperatures if possible. • Work slowly when doing outdoor chores to avoid overexertion or slipping on ice or snow. • Sprinkle de-icing salt (cat litter or sand work in a pinch!) on icy patches, such as on sidewalks and driveways.

• Only use fireplaces, wood stoves, or other combustion heaters if properly vented to the outside. • Keep heat sources, such as space heaters, at least three feet away from drapes, furniture, or bedding. Source: cdc.gov IMPORTANCE OF CO DETECTION Each year in the United States, more than 20,000 people visit the emergency room, more than 4,000 are hospitalized, and approximately 400 die from unintentional CO poisoning. PLAYWORKSFUN.COM / PLAYHOUSE


Child Pickup (Departure Only): Playworks staff will contact the child’s classroom, and a teacher will bring the child to the lobby to meet the adult. Adults will remain in the lobby. No visitors or pets are allowed at Playworks during this time. In addition to these updated health and safety policies, Playworks has implemented the following: • Staff members are screened daily before they are able to work. • Random temperature checks are taken throughout the day.


Health and Safety REMINDERS

Over the past several months, Playworks has implemented a number of safety measures in order to limit the number of people coming into our classrooms. Upon entering Playworks, all adults (including staff, caregivers, vendors, parents, etc.) and children must: • Wear a cloth face covering* • Practice social distancing and remain six feet away from each other • Have his/her temperature taken—must be under 100°F to check in • Wash or sanitize hands • Remain at home if he/she is sick (or anyone in the same household is sick)

Temperature Policy: If an individual’s temperature reads 100°F or higher, he/she will not be allowed entry at Playworks until he/she has gone 24 hours fever-free without the aid of fever-reducing medication. In addition, any other persons that live in the same household must remain at home for the same time frame. Playworks requires a doctor or medical provider’s note clearing all persons to return to Playworks. Staff will work with SMSC Tribal Public Health to determine protocol for each situation that arises. Child Drop-Off (Arrival Only): Playworks staff will contact the child’s classroom and have a teacher meet the child and parent/guardian in the lobby. The child and teacher will then proceed to the classroom.



• •

Staff are remaining six feet apart from each other, and students are encouraged (and assisted) to remain socially distanced and utilize small groups when necessary.

All students and staff must wash their hands upon entering classrooms. Hand-washing is required every 15 minutes for staff and students. Staff and students must also wash their hands during every transition or use hand sanitizer if hand-washing is not available.

Individual activities are provided to students, and Playworks is spreading students out as much as possible. When a child leaves an activity, that activity is removed until sanitized. Sensory tables are closed. If students play with play dough or other sensory items, they will be kept in individually labeled bags with their names on them or thrown away after each use.

No more than 10 children are allowed in a group setting. The teacher-tochild ratios will remain the same based on the age of the children.

• Sanitizing is conducted every hour. Toys are rotated throughout the day so that they can be cleaned after each use.

These measures are in no way meant to be punitive. The continued health and safety of our Playworks family is our top priority— our goal is to ensure that all children, staff, and families stay healthy. Our hours of operation are Monday–Friday, 6:30am6:30pm (closed on weekends).




Remembers and Connects Experiences


ver time, children begin to develop memory skills, and as a result, they are able to connect information and experiences from things they have encountered in the past. Parents and caregivers can help foster these developmental skills by encouraging specific activities and behaviors. WHAT THIS LOOKS LIKE:

• Child looks for a bear used a month ago in his/her toy bin.


• While playing “What’s Missing?” the learner identifies which objects were taken away. • Child creates a drawing of a firetruck, then refers to it later while playing with building blocks. WAYS PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS CAN HELP ENHANCE THESE SKILLS:

• Give children enough time to think and make connections before expecting an answer. • Use photos or objects to talk about the child’s past experiences.


2300 Tiwahe Circle Shakopee, MN 55379 952.233.9151 shakopeedakota.org

• Give cues that engage many senses, not just verbal cues, to help children remember and learn.


Recipe Banana Snowman Bring Frosty the Snowman inside—without getting melted snow all over the house—with this tasty treat kids will love assembling and eating.

INGREDIENTS: • Pretzel sticks • Banana, peeled and sliced (3 banana slices for each snowman) • Strawberries, sliced in half • Green grapes • Skewers or lollipop sticks • Mini chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS: 1. Line three banana slices together on a skewer to form the body of the snowman. 2. Use two mini chocolate chips for the eyes, one for the nose, and three for the buttons on the snowman. 3. Slice a small piece of the carrot off and poke it into the top banana slice under the eyes to serve as the nose. 4. Break a pretzel stick in half and poke the pieces into the middle banana slice for the arms. 5. Place one of the strawberry halves above the top banana slice to serve as the hat. Add a pompom to the hat by placing a grape on top of the strawberry.


• Playtime • Family Play • Groups & Parties

PLAY HERE. Playworks is the best place to PLAY. We offer a variety of hourly child care services, family play, and more. Our child care is both flexible and fun for children 6 weeks to 12 years of age.


2200 Trail Of Dreams, Prior Lake, MN 952.445.PLAY (7529) • playworksfun.com

Profile for Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

Playworks Playhouse January 2021  

Playworks Playhouse January 2021