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November News

Message from the Principal:

Congratulations to Merryhill School Laguna – Winner of Best of Elk Grove 2014 in the categories of Best Preschool and Best Child Care!

The month of November reminds me of all the things in my life that I am truly thankful for and for those people I hold close to my heart. At Merryhill, we feel especially thankful for our families who entrust us with their most treasured possession, their child. For that, we thank you form the bottom of our hearts. Take time this month to tell your loved ones how very important they are to you and how much you love them.

Special thanks to our families that joined us at our Fall Festival, and for those of you that volunteered for our Trick or Trunk. Both events were “spooktacular”!

We will celebrate Thanksgiving with our annual Friendship Feast for our Beginners – Pre-K2 classes on Friday, November 21st at 11:00 am. Please make sure that you mark your calendar for this very special event. Sign-up sheets will be available in your child’s classroom for potluck. And our children will be providing entertainment that you won’t want to miss.

Our Infants and Toddlers will celebrate Thanksgiving with their annual Pumpkin Pie Social on Wednesday, November 19th at 3:30 pm. We hope to see you there!

The holidays are right around the corner and we know how busy this time of year can be. We want to help you with your holiday photo cards. We have scheduled “Spaghetti with Santa” night at the Spaghetti Factory in Elk Grove. Join us on Tuesday, December 9th from 5:30-7:30 pm for this jolly event! Santa will arrive at 6:00 pm, so bring your camera for your holiday photo!

Happy Thanksgiving!

– Lisa Norris, Principal

Important Dates:

  • 11/2 – Daylight Savings, Fall Back Set Your Clocks
  • 11/4 – Election Day, Vote! Wear Red, White, & Blue today. Our classes will each experience the voting and election day process!
  • 11/7 – Mickey Mouse’s birthday celebration. Wear your favorite Disney clothing items.
  • 11/11 – Veteran’s Day – SCHOOL CLOSED
  • 11/12 – Jeans for Troops Day. Wear your jeans to school and donate $1-$5 to our returning military families.
  • 11/13 – Original Art Orders Due
  • 11/14 – Last Day for Kids Can Food Drive
  • 11/15 – Open House 10am-1pm – Inquiring Families Only. If your friend registers, you could receive a free week of tuition!
  • 11/19 – Infant/Toddler Pumpkin Pie Social at 3:30 pm
  • 11/21 – Friendship Feasts – 11 am – Beginners – Pre-K2. Sign up to bring a potluck dish to share.
  • 11/27-28 – Thanksgiving Holiday – SCHOOL CLOSED
  • Week of 12/8 – Santa’s Workshop
  • 12/9 – Spaghetti with Santa from 5:30-7:30pm at the Spaghetti Factory in Elk Grove. For each paying adult, kids will eat free. Your child will have the opportunity to write a letter to Santa and mail it. Bring your camera to capture your child’s special moment with Santa.


  • Weekly Communication – Please make sure that you are checking your email everyday! We often send out reminders about special events and each Monday you will receive a “This Week At Merryhill” email. This will give you a quick glance at the week!
  • Links to Learning – For information regarding your child’s class and the activities that are going on in our school, please check out the class newsletters that are posted on your child’s classroom door. And don’t forget to check our the lesson plans and our school website. These are your links to our school!
  • Parent Ambassador Program – If there is one thing that parents love to do, it’s talk about their children’s successes. When friends ask you about your child’s experience at Merryhill, what type of success stories do you share? Do you mention the personal and educational discoveries that your child is making thanks to our advanced curriculum? Do you talk about the new levels of self and social confidence your child has gained thanks to our encouraging atmosphere? Whatever the glowing reports you deliver about how your child is growing with his or her education, we couldn’t be more appreciative. In fact, we’d like to show you just how thankful we are for your endorsements. Now when you tell other parents about our school, you can become a Merryhill School Parent Ambassador! For every new child you refer who enrolls at our school you can receive up to a full free week of tuition (based on attendance of new student) after 3 months of attendance.
  • Links to Learning End of the Month Folder – Remember to pick up your Links to Learning folders on the last school day of each month. You will find the Links to Learning skills from the month, a snapshot at what is ahead, and samples of your child’s work included in each folder.
  • Merryhill Elementary School – For information regarding Merryhill Elementary School on Calvine Rd, please call: 916-689-7236

News from our Education Department:

Enter the World of Imaginative Play
Think of the last time your child pretended that a paper towel roll was a magic wand, or put on a hat and became a cowboy. Young children are naturally wired to learn through imaginative play. Sometimes, imaginative play may appear to be just idle time, unstructured or less productive than educational activities such as music lessons, dance class, or karate. Yet, it is through imaginative play experiences that children make sense of the world, establish important self-regulation skills, and process academic content at a higher level.

Below are some ways that we encourage imaginative play in the classroom and some ideas to try at home.

Provide time for unstructured play. In our classrooms, we give students the opportunity to choose from various structured learning activities, while also allowing time for imaginative play. During circle time, for example, children may become very interested in a story about farm life. The teachers then allow them to go outside, create their own “farm” in the sandbox using props, and pretend to be farmers. Through this activity, children develop cognitive skills such as sustained attention, problem solving and sequential memory. At home, you can make up an indoor campsite with your child using sleeping bags, pillows, toy food, cooking utensils and pots. Ask your child “What should we make for dinner?” or “What games do you want to play while we camp?”

Give children a variety of materials so they can make their own props. In our classrooms, students use cardboard boxes and art supplies to create pirate ships and castles. Some students may create a kitchen out of boxes and pretend to be chefs in their own restaurant. They practice writing skills by creating a menu, and use culinary-themed vocabulary to communicate with their restaurant patrons. By participating in this activity, students practice taking turns, sharing and listening to others. Give your child art supplies and a box at home and see their imagination run wild. Let your child’s interests lead and shape the play.

Engage in imaginative play, but don’t direct it. As children create an imaginative experience, our teachers allow them to make the rules, define the play experience and direct roles. For instance, they may choose a student to decide how the class should move around the room. Should they move around like bumblebees, mice or robots? The teacher doesn’t direct the play, but instead asks questions such as “What can I be?” or “What should I do?” As the students move around, they practice balance, coordination, body control and spatial awareness. You can do the same at home by asking your child to choose a different animal for both of you to imitate.

In summary, imaginative play is not only fun for children but it is vital for their development. It allows children to take the lead in a world that is usually very directed for them, and to learn and play through self-expression.

– Lauren Starnes, PhD- Director of Early Childhood Education

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