“I LOVE TO READ MONTH” ALL ABOUT
Craft Valentine Suncatcher
THIS MONTH AT
It is hard to believe the first month of 2021 is already behind us. At Playworks, we completed another successful month of distance learning, with students having adjusted as well as can be expected. Plans for a smooth transition to in-person learning are well underway, and we are here to support your child as he/she continues to adapt. In honor of “I Love to Read Month,” February is all about books and reading! Whether it’s done for school or for leisure, reading can foster a child’s empathy, vocabulary, and awareness of the
world around them. In honor of this valuable pastime, Playworks will be offering an online book fair this February to encourage reading at all ages. Although this year’s book fair will look different from years past, Scholastic’s new virtual platform offers an interactive shopping experience—available February 1-14!
Wówauŋsidaŋ Caring and Compassion Wówauŋsidaŋ means to love, care, and have concern for one another in a good way—especially for family members, elders, youth, orphans, and those in mourning, sick, or working for the people.
PLAYHOUSE / FEBRUARY 2021
February 1-14 Visit scholastic.com/fair and search “Playworks” to start shopping!
Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae
FEBRUARY IS “I LOVE TO READ MONTH”
Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff
FEBRUARY 1-14 Scholastic Virtual Book Fair
Hear Bear Roar by Eric Carle
FEBRUARY 14 Valentine’s Day
I am Fearless: My Fearless Journal by Apryl Dawn and Amanda Cottrell Little Blue Truck’s Valentine by Alice Schertle
SCHOLASTIC VIRTUAL BOOK FAIR
Although students have been thoroughly enjoying outside play, we officially wrapped up our study of winter (in hopes of warmer days ahead!) and all things related to the cold season. It is now time to look forward to spring and the many timely activities that Playworks teachers are planning. We want to continue to thank all of our families for being a part of Playworks—from our staff to you, we hope
Suggested Reading dakota value
you and your family continue to stay safe and healthy.
FEBRUARY 15 Presidents Day
EDUCARE EARLY LEARNING CLASSROOMS: CREATIVE CURRICULUM
Exercise and Music
his month’s study focuses on exercise and music, and how the two interact with each other. Music is fun to make and listen to, and a good beat can inspire anyone to move and dance around. Our bodies are made to move and children are in nearly constant motion when they are awake. They wiggle, stretch, bend, jump, hop, bounce, and climb. Moving makes children feel capable and confident, releases tension, and builds strong bodies and minds. Music helps to motivate and make exercise fun and enjoyable while teaching kids how to live a healthy and active lifestyle. From very early ages, children begin demonstrating their enjoyment of music by smiling, clapping, bouncing, and dancing. Songs that they frequently hear sung or played by parents or caregivers become easily remembered and performed. Children learn that they can make sounds on a variety of objects, allowing them to become musicians. Combining music and movement is a fun way to help children learn and develop fine and gross motor skills. Leading by example is the best way to get your kids involved, so join in on the dance party and have some fun!
CONSCIOUS DISCIPLINE FOCUS:
POWER OF ACCEPTANCE AND THE SKILL OF EMPATHY This month, Playworks’ Conscious Discipline focus is on the power of acceptance and the skill of empathy. What does the power of acceptance mean? Acceptance is embracing the moment as it is. Acceptance embraces the moment rather than ignoring, distracting, or demanding something different. When we accept the moments we are in and lean into this power, we are able to offer empathy to ourselves and others. The skill of empathy reminds us that we are all in this together—and that it is important to wish others well and to understand that everyone needs support in their own ways. Think about this— learning to respond to what life offers instead of attempting to make the world go our way can help both children and adults practice the power of acceptance.
PLAYWORKSFUN.COM / PLAYHOUSE
DIY aficionados of all ages will enjoy making this heart-shaped suncatcher, just in time for Valentine’s Day!
2. Trace the heart onto a piece of wax paper and trim off the excess.
• • • • • • • •
Red or pink construction paper Scissors Wax paper Marker Colored tissue paper (e.g., purple, pink, red, and white) Glue stick Glitter, sequins, or other flat embellishments Ribbon or string
Create a heart-shaped frame out of construction paper by folding the sheet in half and cutting out a large heart and then a smaller heart out of the middle to make a window.
Time to decorate! Glue pieces of colored tissue paper (either cut or torn by hand) onto the heart-shaped wax paper—it is okay for the pieces to overlap. Glue on any additional embellishments or glitter at this time.
4. Carefully glue the heart-shaped frame on top of the decorated piece of wax paper. 5.
Poke a small hole at the top of the heart, tie a piece of string through the hole, and hang your Valentine suncatcher in a window.
r e s n i r o L e c n Kade OTLIGHT: STAFF SP
How long have you worked at Playworks?
Favorite board game:
The Game of Life
Educare Teacher’s Aide
Favorite part of working at Playworks:
Favorite children’s book:
Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann
PLAYHOUSE / FEBRUARY 2021
What is your position at Playworks?
Getting to know the students
Describe yourself in one word:
Tuna hotdish Pink Favorite animal:
Benefits of Learning a
usic is fun, especially when you’re the one making it! Learning to play a musical instrument has numerous advantages for kids of all ages, including improving cognitive, motor, and mental skills. Here are five reasons why you should encourage your children to experiment with music-making and to embrace a world of discovery: 1. Creates responsibility and discipline
Learning how to play an instrument doesn’t happen overnight— conquering the skill requires a lot of patience and practice. Allotting a specific amount of time to practicing their instrument each day will help your child become more disciplined, which also creates a sense of responsibility. 2. Improves academic skills
Music and math are highly intertwined. By understanding beat, rhythm, and scales, children who learn a musical instrument are subconsciously learning how to divide, create fractions, and recognize patterns in the world around them. 3. Enhances coordination
Movement and coordination, feeling and touching, hearing and seeing are all connected when making music. Kids have to concentrate on reading music and converting the notes into the physical motion of playing. As a result, kids improve their handeye coordination and motor skills.
4. Promotes social skills
Children who become involved in a musical group or ensemble will learn important life skills, including how to relate to others and how to work together as a team. Additionally, once your child participates in public performances, they will become more comfortable in social situations. 5. Boosts self-confidence
Learning an instrument provides kids with an outlet to practice, listen to feedback, make adjustments, and see positive changes. Turning negative feedback into a positive change helps build selfconfidence and before you know it, your child will be learning (and growing!) from their mistakes. If you would like your child to take part in a school activity that’s fun, fosters creativity, and helps develop their physical and social skills, enroll them in a music class today—it’s never too early (or too late!). PLAYWORKSFUN.COM / PLAYHOUSE
Health and Safety
Over the past several months, Playworks has implemented additional safety measures to limit the number of people coming into our classrooms. Upon entering Playworks, all adults (staff, parents, caregivers, vendors, etc.) and children must: •
Wear a cloth face covering (children are exempt)
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 anyone in the 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 feverfree 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. 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.
PLAYHOUSE / FEBRUARY 2021
In addition to our 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.
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.
No more than 10 children are allowed in a group setting. The teacher-to-child ratios will remain the same based on the age of the children.
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 handwashing 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.
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, 6:30am-6:30pm (closed on weekends).
FAMILY-FRIENDLY FEBRUARY 1-14
GET SPLASHING AT DAKOTAH! SPORT AND FITNESS
SCHOLASTIC Virtual BOOK FAIR Celebrate “I Love to Read Month” with Playworks during the first two weeks of February by participating in the Scholastic Virtual Book Fair. Visit scholastic.com/fair, search for Playworks, and shop over 200 new books, value packs, and more. Every purchase benefits Playworks and helps develop a love of reading.
Swimming—the perfect full-body, low-impact workout. Learn more about all of our aquatic offerings and view the Swim Dakotah! schedule at dakotahsport.com
D A K O T A H S P O R T. C O M
952.445.9400 | 2100 Trail of Dreams, Prior Lake, MN 55372 O W N E D A N D O P E R AT E D B Y T H E S H A K O P E E M D E W A K A N T O N S I O U X C O M M U N I T Y
HIGHLIGHTED LEARNING OBJECTIVE
Explores Dance and Movement Concepts
hildren of all ages enjoy music, and it can be a powerful tool in helping them learn and develop useful social, emotional, physical, and intellectual skills. This month, Playworks’ classrooms will focus on music—specifically dancing—and learning all about the ways the body moves.
WHAT THIS LOOKS LIKE:
• Child uses body movement freely to respond loosely to the beat and tempo. • Begins to understand and use vocabulary related to dancing. • Improvises simple dances that have a beginning and an end. • Responds to instruction of one skill at a time during movement, such as a jump or a fall. WAYS PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS CAN HELP ENHANCE THESE SKILLS:
• Make sure the child has access to many different types of music throughout the day—he/she will likely do a fair amount of dancing on their own. • Time to boogie! Make up simple steps and movements to create or form a dance together. • Invent new dance moves, while discussing the different ways the body is moving during each move.
PUBLIC EXHIBIT EXPLORE DAKOTA HISTORY AND HERITAGE THROUGH A MULTISENSORY EXPERIENCE THAT TRACES THE ROOTS, CULTURE, LANGUAGE, AND LIFEWAYS OF THE MDEWAK ANTON PEOPLE, PAST AND PRESENT.
2300 Tiwahe Circle Shakopee, MN 55379 952.233.9151 shakopeedakota.org
OWNED AND OPERATED BY THE SHAKOPEE MDEWAKANTON SIOUX COMMUNITY
PLAYWORKSFUN.COM / PLAYHOUSE
Help support the initiative by participating in seven days of self-care!
Create your self-care checklist for the week. Know your blood pressure numbers and other heart stats. Try a tasty, heart-healthy recipe.
#MindfulMonday #TastyTuesday #WellnessWednesday #TreatYourselfThursday
Each February, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and The Heart Truth celebrate American Heart Month by motivating Americans to adopt healthy lifestyles to prevent heart disease. During this unprecedented time, focusing on your heart health—and overall health—has never been more important. People with poor cardiovascular health are also at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Research shows that we are more successful at meeting personal health goals when we join forces with others. When we take care of our hearts as part of our self-care, we set an example for those around us to do the same. Inspire and motivate yourself and those you love to make heart health a regular part of your self-care routine.
Put your heart into your wellness routine. Treat your heart to some relaxation and fun. Share who inspires you to show your heart more love. Post about your favorite way to take care of your heart.
Continue to focus on increasing heart health awareness and self-care all year, even beyond American Heart Month! Visit the American Heart Month website at nhlbi.nih.gov/heartmonth for additional information and resources. DON’T FORGET WEAR RED DAY ON FEBRUARY 5! Join NHLBI, the SMSC, and organizations around the country on National Wear Red Day—celebrated the first Friday in February—to help raise awareness about the seriousness of heart disease by wearing red on February 5.
• 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