Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Summer is almost here and at Creative Minds we are so excited to get their gardens growing! With a big thanks to our friends at the Portland Nursery, this last week we planted  zucchini, tomatoes, carrots, strawberries and many other veggies in our gardens. Portland Nursery donated soil, plant starters, and seeds for our children to explore the world of gardening.

The educational experiences are endless. By being a part of planting and caring for a vegetable garden our students learn about more than just how plants grow. They become connected to their food source,  trying new foods, and understanding the work it takes to produce it. We are also able to explore other parts of nature that help nourish or protect our plants, such as worms and ladybugs.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

CMLC Spring/Summer Menu

CMLC's Seasonal Menu is healthy and delicious! Each of our meals are prepared, from scratch, on-site with fresh, local ingredients served with hormone- free dairy products and organic whole milk.

We take pride in serving the CMLC children the very best ingredients available in their nutritious meals! 

We believe in serving seasonal fruits and vegetables not only because they are guaranteed to be the most fresh but because we strive to support our local farmers and encourage sustainable eating practices for our children and families. 

Our child-friendly vegetarian menu includes homemade meals and snacks such as, Black Bean and Brown Rice bake with Tillamook Cheese, Whole Wheat Pasta and Garbanzo Bean Salad with Homemade Lemon Garlic Vinegrette, and Warm Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins. We select meals that engage and expose the children to adventurous and healthy foods!

Please visit our website for more information about our healthy and seasonal menu!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

In Honor of Teacher Appreciation Week....

In Good Hands (author unknown)

In the hands of a gifted teacher
a classroom is a magical place
In the hands of a gifted teacher
There’s a smile on each child's face
In the Hands of a Gifted Teacher
Creative Energy is Everywhere
In the Hands of a Gifted Teacher
There’s a Catalyst who Genuinely Cares
In the Hands of a Gifted Teacher
Desire and Wonder is Awakened
In the Hands of a Gifted Teacher
The Educational Agenda is Shaken
In the Hands of a Gifted Teacher
Self-Management Skills are Modeled
In the Hands of a Gifted Teacher
The Best of Reality is Bottled
In the Hands of a Gifted Teacher
Gifts and Talents are Refined
In the Hands of a Gifted Teacher
The Willed Future is Designed 

Our Teachers page to view our outstanding team of teachers that CMLC is proud to honor this week and always!


Lady Luck!

In many countries in the world, the ladybug is considered a symbol of good luck and some cultures even rear them as pets. The most likely explanation that ladybugs are lucky is because of their huge appetite for crop pests, like aphids, mites, and white flies. Farmers and gardeners welcome the presence of ladybugs and venerate the insect as a lucky symbol. They also say that if a ladybug lands on your hand on a Sunday, and stays there until you count to 22, then good luck is on its way.

One of our Gateway families was kind enough to donate over 1500 Ladybugs for our CMLC garden to help rid of garden pests! The Kindergarten class released them into the garden a couple weeks ago, hoping that the lucky ladies will fill up on garden goodies, lay eggs to create another generation for our garden, and make our gardens filled with beauty and luck! Thank you for the awesome contribution to our garden!

Over 1500 in this bag! 

Preparing the garden for the lady bugs with nice wet soil. 

The release!

Happy at home.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Closer Look at Infant and Toddler Playtime:

A Closer Look at Infant and Toddler Playtime:

Independent Play/Floor Time includes activities like…
  • Building with blocks
    • exercises fine motor skills, builds concepts like balance and stability, aids color differentiation and counting abilities.
  • Playing with toy animals
    • helps cement animal sounds, encourages dramatic play and imagination.
  • Climbing on large blocks
    • exercises large motor skills and builds concepts of balance, gravity, height, and perspective.
  • Playing with balls
    • Picasso Class Circle Time
    • exercises large motor skills, hand-eye coordination, cooperative skills, and interactive play.
  • Exploring the sensory boat
    • exercises fine motor skills and concepts of force and cause-and-effect.
  • Playing with puppets, babies, and stuffed toys
    • which encourages self-soothing, dramatic and imaginative play, care-giving, and concept of gentle hands.
  • Looking at books
    • encourages fine motor skills, early literacy skills, and observation skills.
  • Playing with vehicles
    • exercises fine motor skills, large motor skills, color and shape identification, and dramatic/imaginative play.
  • Using musical instruments
    • instills beginning math skills of rhythm and patterns, exercises fine motor skills and dramatic play, encourages self-expression

Art activities…
    Water Touch Tub Time
  • exercise fine motor skills, color and texture differentiation, and decision making.

Touch Tubs/Play Dough…
  • aid texture differentiation, self-soothing, fine motor skills, cooperation, and cause-and-effect.

Circle time (singing and reading)…
  • aids early literacy skills, counting, alphabet, rhythm, memory, decision making, cooperation, listening and responding.

All activities encourage sharing, parallel and/or cooperative play, and vocabulary development. 

~ T. Marissa

Getting our hands messy with some finger paint
Looking at a book about trains

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Reuse and Recycle Summer Program & Garage Sale!

Help Creative Minds ReUse and ReCycle!

Creative Minds Learning Centers are replacing equipment and toys this summer with newer, Eco friendly and Quality items. What to do with our lovingly used equipment and to help raise funds for the new items? Why not have a Summer Community Garage Sale! We would love donations from families to help this be a success!  We will be working with a local homeless shelter to donate clothing and items not sold in the sale. Please save items and let your school's Director know if you would like to help! The date is scheduled for July 28th!
Recycling is so much fun! Now that Spring cleaning is being tackled, you may notice items lying around not being used. Rather than throw it away, ask yourself if this is something that could enhance your child's school? Some of these items could be:
  • Seeds
  • Used Halloween or dress up costumes (non violent)
  • Gently used children's books
  • Toilet or paper towel cardboard tubes
  • Egg cartons
  • Empty cereal and boxes (to be used for dramatic play kitchens & art projects)
  • Paper
  • Ribbon
  • Yarn
  • empty Yogurt containers
  • clean Mason jars
  • Buttons (age 3 +)
  • Plastic bottle caps for counting, sensory and art projects (age 3 +)
If you have questions on what you can or can not donate, please see your school's Director.

Here's a fun craft to use up those toilet rolls and create works of art: