From the Principal’s Office
We would like to express our sincere thanks to all of our families who helped make our “Week of the Young Child” celebration a huge success! Our Playday was so much fun, as were our obstacle course days, The Bubble Lady, and our Park Days. We ended our week with our traditional St. Jude’s Trike-a-Thon. Thank you for your donations to such a worthy cause. And a big thank you for bringing in all the necessary items for this very special week, but most importantly your support. We truly appreciate all you do and we are looking forward to next year when we once again designate this special week to celebrate children!
The month of May will be just as busy! We will kick off the month with Mother’s Day Tea Parties, Teacher Appreciation Week, our butterfly release, and a Merryhill Chick-Fil-A Night! Lots of springtime fun in May!
We will also host an Open House on Tuesday, May 10th during our late afternoon hours. If you have friends are interested in tour our school, please let them know. We would be more than happy to tell them about our program.
Lisa Norris – Principal
5/3-6 Mother’s Day Tea Parties
5/5 Cinco de Mayo Celebrations
5/9-13 Teacher Appreciation Week
5/10 Open House 5-7 pm
5/17 Chick-Fil-A Night 5-7 pm
5/18 Big Truck Event – Sprouts Shopping Center
11 am – 4 pm
5/30 Memorial Day – School Closed
Our Butterfly Release is to be announced. Mother Nature will let us know the day!
Teacher Appreciation Week
Our teachers are an essential part of your child’s life. They are there to comfort, care for, and teach them while you are away from them during the day. During the week of May 9-13th, you can show your appreciation to our teachers and staff. Let our teachers know how important they are to you and your child!
We all know that being a Mom can often be the most difficult job in the world, yet is by far the most rewarding. To honor all of our very special mothers, each of our classes will be busy preparing something special for each of you.
This year, our Mother’s Day Tea Parties will be held on different days to accommodate parking issues and Moms being able to attend different classes.
Tuesday, May 3 – Infants & Toddlers
Wednesday, May 4 – Intermediates
Thursday, May 5 – Beginners
Friday, May 6 – Pre-K/Pre-K2
Please arrive early, because parking is limited.
Memorial Day Holiday
As a reminder, Merryhill will be CLOSED On Monday, May 30th. In observance of Memorial Day. Have a great 3-day weekend!
Caterpillars to Butterflies
As our caterpillars make their cocoons, we will soon see them emerge as beautiful butterflies. We will be learning about the life cycle of the butterfly this upcoming month. Only Mother Nature will know the true date of our release. Please check with your child’s teacher for updates!
If you have friends that are interested in inquiring about our school, please pass the word that we will be open until 7 pm on Tuesday, May 10th for an Open House!
Remember, if you refer a family to Merryhill, you could earn up to one free week of tuition, so tell all your friends to join us!
Every Monday I send out an email, “This Week at Merryhill”. It is a list of reminders of what is happening at your child’s school for the week. Please make sure that you are checking this each week so you won’t miss out on all of our wonderful activities. If you are not receiving it, please check with the office regarding your correct email address. We want everyone to stay informed!
Big Truck Event
at Sprouts Shopping Center
Merryhill will be hosting a booth at the Big Truck Event on Wednesday, May 18th from 11am-4pm. This is just another opportunity for your friends to learn more about Merryhill and enjoy an afternoon with the “Big Trucks” sponsored by the City of Elk Grove in celebration of National Public Works Week.
Tell your friends to stop by.
From the Education Department
Building Your Child’s Sense of Family Belonging
Relationships with family members play an important role as children begin to develop a sense of self. When they feel a sense of identity and belonging within their own families, children are better able to grow emotionally, make friends, and appreciate and accept the diversity of others.
With Mother’s Day right around the corner, it’s a great time to share activities that celebrate the importance of family.
Below are age appropriate activities that we implement in the classroom, as well as activities you can do with your child at home.
In the classroom: Teachers use baby sign language to help children identify and eventually verbalize names for their family members. When parents enter the classroom, teachers say, “Look! Here’s Sophia’s mommy,” while also signing “mommy.” They work with parents to learn specific names used at home, and then use those names in the classroom.
At home: Use baby sign language as you come across names of family members in books and songs. To sign “mommy,” tap your thumb on your chin repeatedly. To sign “daddy,” tap your thumb on your forehead repeatedly. Remember to say the word aloud as you sign.
Recommended reading: Spot Loves His Mommy by Eric Hill, Are You my Mother? by PD Eastman
BEGINNERS (ages 2-3):
In the classroom: By age two, children begin to learn the names of extended family members, such as grandmother, uncle and cousin. They practice using these words as they talk about their families. After sorting stuffed animals by type, teachers might say, “This is the horse’s family. He has a big family. Who’s in your family?”
At home: Give your child play dough and encourage him to create the members of his family. Afterward, ask him to count and name them. This activity helps him conceptualize that multiple people make up his entire family and gives you insight into what family means to your child at his particular point in development.
Recommended reading: On Mother’s Lap by Ann Herbert Scott, Oonga Boonga by Frieda Wishinsky
INTERMEDIATES (ages 3-4):
In the classroom: As children read stories about diverse families, teachers encourage them to share unique details about their own families. For example, teachers might ask, “Who has a sister?” or “Who has a pet?” Afterward, students create charts with the information.
At home: Have each member of your family make a thumbprint using finger paint on a piece of paper side by side. Then, ask your child to compare the various sizes, and guess which thumbprint belongs to each person. As they talk about their family members, they begin to appreciate what makes their family unique.
Recommended reading: Clifford’s Family by Norman Bridwell, What Mommies Do Best and What Daddies Do Best by Laura Numeroff
PRE-K/PRE-K 2 (ages 4-5):
In the classroom: Our older preschoolers begin to understand that their parents have more than one role. Family members are invited to visit and talk to the class about their roles inside and outside of the home. Students are encouraged to write and draw their family members in the different roles they serve. For example, “Mommy is a doctor.”
At home: Go on an uninterrupted family outing with your child. Try to avoid checking work emails or answering unimportant phone calls. Afterward, ask your child to write about his favorite parts of the day in his journal.
Recommended reading: Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother Too? by Eric Carle, The Napping House by Audrey Wood
All of our schools will be celebrating families in really fun ways this Mother’s Day season, and we hope that you do too!
– Lauren Starnes, PhD – Director of Early Childhood Education