Casa II News

Dear Casa 2 Parents, 

Letters have been arriving almost daily and the children have truly loved receiving mail during the past few weeks!  Feel free to give the address out to family members!  We’ve even received letters and postcards from relatives in Florida and Connecticut!  

Winter Fest – Tuesday, December 22nd 
The first day of winter is a long-awaited day for children, and we plan to have a fun-filled day in celebration of the changing seasons!  There are still a few parent/grandparent volunteer spots available for this day, so please contact me if you are interested in joining us from approximately 9-11 am!  We plan to have stations set up for the children to enjoy:

  1. Baking
  2. Winter crafts
  3. Games
  4. Science experiments

Game Day
We will set aside some time on December 21st and 22nd to play our favorite board/family fun games!  If your child would like to bring in a game to share with their friends, please send it with your child on Monday, December 21st.  We will return it to you when your child leaves on Tuesday, so you can play it over the winter break!

What can we do over Winter Break to help my child stay engaged and motivated?

Winter break is a wonderful time for families to spend time together that they might not always get throughout the rest of the school year.  Many of us already have schedules packed with places to go and people to see.  It is certainly one of my favorite times of the year.  However, after a few days, you might find yourself having difficulty keeping your child engaged in fun activities.  Don’t forget that Winter Break is just that- a break- for both you and your child.  

  • Try to find simple, yet fun, activities that you can do together.  
    • I will be sending home a little gift bag with each child with a few items they might enjoy doing throughout their time away from school.  There are so many inexpensive ways to spend the day together- and your child will really enjoy it, too!  
    • Plan a trip to the public library (have your child get their own library card if they don’t already have one), visit a park (fully decked out in snow gear), build a snowman in your front yard, or make a delicious meal together (one your child helped plan, then surprise another family member with it).  
    • There are endless ways for you to help keep your child from my most dreaded words- “I’m bored.”  
  • To maximize the excitement for your child, I challenge you to find one day over break when you can invite another child from JMS and include them in your activities!  Maybe, on another day, you can switch and have your child go to their home, too.  

Keeping children engaged over the entire break is not always easy, but you certainly don’t have to do it alone!  Please reach out to parents within our community and see if you can set something up!  Here is an online list for you to start creating some ideas: “101 Things To Do With Children On Holiday Break.” Enjoy!

Daily Outdoor Play
Please remember that we will go outside every day unless the weather doesn’t allow us to (pouring rain or below 0° F).  Several children are coming to school without the proper clothing for outdoor play.  These past few weeks with little snow have been warmer than usual, but when a child is outside for a half hour, snow gear is still a very necessary thing to send along each day.  Snow pants are nice, even when there is not a lot of snow, because of the wet ground they play on every day.  I doubt we will be able to escape the snow much longer!  Please be sure to send the following items with your child every day: warm winter hat, mittens or gloves, warm winter jacket, snow pants and warm winter boots.  Here are a few tips to make your child’s day (and yours) go more smoothly in regards to outdoor gear:

  1. Have your child wear their hat, mittens, jacket and boots to school every day.  If they are wearing them when you leave the house, then you know they are ready for the day and have what they need to play outside.
  2. Your child will need snow pants every day.  Please check their backpack each morning to be sure they are in there.  If they come home wet, you may need to take them out and let them dry overnight.  If you child goes home at 12:00 noon, they will come right from the playground and will still have all of their outdoor gear on.  However, if your child stays until 3:00, some parents wish to have snow pants stay at school every day, so they know they are there.  You are always welcome to send a pair of snow pants that should stay at school (please let me know if you decide to do this, so the adults also know that the snow pants should stay at school).
  3. All clothing should be labeled with your child’s first or last name so we have a way of returning it to them if it gets left out in the hallway or cubby room.  Please label all items so your child doesn’t lose their winter gear.  We know these items aren’t cheap!
  4. Waterproof mittens or gloves are much more appropriate than the thin, inexpensive knit gloves that are more appropriate for fall or spring temperatures.  More than anything, we want your child’s outside time to be fun and full of exploration!  If their hands are cold and wet, they are unlikely to want to play with their friends on the playground.  Good, waterproof gloves are key for a fun day in the snow! 
  5. Thank you for helping your child be prepared for the snow that we are bound to get sooner than later! 

On the Calendar    
Monday, December 21st  --  Game Day: bring in your child’s favorite family-friendly game!
Tuesday, December 22nd  --  Winter Fest in Casa 2 – Regular dismissal for all children.
Dec. 23rd- Jan. 3rd  --   No School: Winter Break
January 18th    --    No School: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Thank you for another amazing year with you and your children!  We already look forward to the return of the children in January, and we haven’t even left yet!  Safe travels to you as you visit loved ones over the break.  Happy Holidays and may you have a very enjoyable beginning to the new year- 2016 will be here soon!

Taryn & Mindi, Casa II