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December Newsletter

From the Principal’s Office

It’s hard to believe that it is already time for tree trimming and Christmas caroling. December is here and the sights and sounds of the holiday season is now all around us. Take time this holiday season to discover the magic of the holidays and always “believe”!
Thanks to all who donated items for the Kids Can Food Drive. This project was a great success! This month you can drop off new, unwrapped toys for our “Chips for Kids” toy drive. Your generosity will be recognized by those who are in need. And it’s a great way to teach your child the gift of giving. All toys must be brought in no later than December 11th.
Make sure you turn in your Santa’s Workshop form in to the office, so your child will have an opportunity to do their holiday shopping. Check for the details in the office.
On Friday, December 11th we will all climb aboard the “Polar Express”. It will be an event you won’t want to miss!
We will round out the holiday season with our holiday programs on Friday, December 18th at 3:30 pm. So, mark your calendars for this very special holiday event.

Happy Holidays!
Lisa Norris – Principal

Important Dates

11/30 Spaghetti with Santa 5:30-7:30 pm Spaghetti Factory

12/7-10 Santa’s Workshop

12/7 Hanukkah Celebrations

12/11 All Aboard the Polar Express!

12/11 Chips for Kids Toy Drive Ends

12/18 Holiday Programs – 3:30 pm

12/24 Merryhill Closes at 12:30 pm

12/25 Christmas Holiday – School Closed

12/28 Kwanzaa Celebrations

12/30 New Year’s Celebrations

12/31 Merryhill Closes at 12:30 pm

1/1 New Year’s Holiday – School Closed

Upcoming Events

Spaghetti with Santa
Join us on Monday, November 30th for Spaghetti with Santa!
This year, we will be at the Spaghetti Factory in Elk Grove!The children will have the opportunity to meet Santa and he will listen to their Holiday Wish List. This is a great time for a special photo op with Santa, so bring your camera! The fun is from 5:30 – 7:30 pm and dinner is FREE for each child with a paying adult.

Santa’s Workshop
On December 7th – 10th your child will have the opportunity to shop for family and friends right here at Merryhill. All Beginners – Pre-K2 will visit Santa’s Workshop with their class to pick out gifts to purchase for anyone on their shopping list. Prices will range from $.50 – $5.00. Please see Lisa or Linda in the office for all the details.

All Aboard for the Polar Express!
Friday, December 11th
Come to school dressed in your favorite holiday P.J’s and get ready for a ride on the Polar Express!
The children will enjoy the reading of the Polar Express, and watch the Polar Express Movie!
Each child will also receive the First Gift of Christmas, along with their ticket for the Polar Express!

Holiday Programs
Each of our classrooms will be having a holiday get-together on Friday, December 18th at 3:30 pm.
Please join your child’s class for some holiday spirit!
Parking is limited and since our entire school will be here at the same time, it is highly recommended that you arrive early so you don’t miss a thing.

Holiday Toy Safety
Here’s what is recommended for playing it safe when selecting toys:
Infants under age 1
Activity quilts, stuffed animals without button noses & eyes, bath toys, soft dolls, cloth books, squeaky toys
Ages 1 to 3
Books, blocks, fit-together toys, balls, push & pull toys, pounding toys, and shape toys
Ages 3 to 5
Approved non-toxic art supplies, books, videos, musical instruments, outdoor toys such as a baseball tee, slide or swing

This holiday season let’s all play it safe when selecting toys for small children. And check on-line for toy recalls!

Priority Registration
It will soon be time to begin planning for your child’s continued preschool education for our next school year. Our school is currently full and we anticipate full enrollment for next year. It will be important to register early to reserve your child’s spot. For those students that will be continuing with us (Infants – Intermediates), we will begin Priority Registration in February and continue into March 2016.We are looking forward to another great year!

School Holidays
As a reminder, Merryhill will be closed for the Christmas holiday on Friday, December 25th and we will close early, at 12:30 pm, on Thursday, December 24th.
For the New Year’s holiday, we will be closed on Friday, January 1st and we will close early, at 12:30 pm, on Thursday, December 31st.
All of us at Merryhill would like to wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season!

From the Education Department

Exploring Holiday Traditions from Around the World

Ed Photo
The holiday season is here, providing a wealth of opportunities to enrich the children’s understanding of diverse cultures and traditions around the world. In addition, our students will share their own traditions with others.
Below are age appropriate activities that we use in the classroom, as well as activities for you and your child to do at home.
BEGINNERS (ages 2-3):
In the classroom: As they near the age of two, children begin to recognize the sights and sounds of holidays celebrated by their family. Parents visit our classrooms to share holiday traditions, including unique books, songs and activities.
At home: Gather family photos and point out traditions, such as unwrapping presents, eating holiday dinner at grandma’s house, and making a snowman. Encourage your child to talk about what he sees in the photos.
Recommended reading: Children Around the World Celebrate Christmas by Christine Tangvald, Happy Hanukkah, Corduroy by Don Freeman, My First Kwanzaa by Karen Katz
In the classroom: Children sing holiday songs from around the world and are introduced to holiday symbols that they may see in their communities, such as Christmas trees or Hanukkah menorahs.
At home: Take a drive with your child or bring him to various holiday festivals in your community. Encourage him to look for and identify holiday decorations.
Recommended reading: Christmas Around the World by Calliope Glass, Hanukkah Hop by Erica Silverman, Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa by Donna Washington
PRE-K/PRE-K2 (ages 4-5)
In the classroom: After learning about holiday traditions around the world, our older preschoolers identify countries on a globe. For example, they might learn about Diwali, the festival of lights, and then find India on the globe. They might make tamales, a dish often served on Christmas, and then find Mexico on the globe.
At home: Ask your child to help you prepare your family’s favorite holiday foods. Talk about the long-standing traditions in which these foods are rooted. For instance, you might explain, “I used to bake cookies for the holidays with my mom. Now we can start baking cookies together!”
Recommended reading: Children Just Like Me: Celebrations by Anabel Kindersley, Light the Lights: A Story about Celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas by Margaret Moorman, The Story of Kwanzaa by Mary Washington
Exposing children to various holiday traditions helps them build strong social skills, establish a sense of self, and respect the differences of others as they transition into elementary school and beyond.
– Lauren Starnes, PhD – Director of Early Childhood Education

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