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Preschool Calendar Notes Week of January 26th

January 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Welcome to Preschool the Smith family (Ava) and the Florek family (Nolan)!

Friday 1/30- Molly at Head Teacher training from 9:00-1:15 (Diana covering)


Large Muscle Activities for the Preschool!

January 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The children in our preschool class have had so much energy these past few weeks and the teachers have been working hard to support them. As you know, the weather hasn’t always been in our favor. So, we really needed to get creative.
This morning for large group we brought the children to the gym and got out the big blue tumbling mats. We invited the children to participate in an activity that would work out all their large muscles.
We asked the children to “tow” each other across the gym on the big blue mats. The teachers offered their helping hands with the “towing” but the children were very independent and wanted to do it on their own.
They started with just one child on top, then two, and they even towed their teachers! It was such a fun way to get there muscles moving and blood pumping! As we know all this moving is good for the children’s brain development.  Here’s a link to an article that talks about research showing the importance of movement to brain development:

“Why Your Classroom Needs More Dance Parties”

Stay warm out there!


What we’ve been up to in preschool!

June 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

These past few months have been very busy to say the least!  With new teachers coming in and old teachers moving away, you might worry that these changes could be an obstacle to learning for our preschoolers… but instead they’ve shown us how resilient they are!  We’ve been having so much fun and learning new things everyday!

Since the weather kept us inside so often this winter, we made it a point to really start exploring nature and the outdoors when the weather got a little warmer!  We have been practicing how to be “respectful listeners” on walks and how to keep our bodies safe.  Here are some photos of some of the things we’ve explored and learned about outside this spring:

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Along with exploring the outdoors, we’ve been learning a lot inside our classroom too!  We’ve been working on different things such as coloring under the table, creating obstacle courses, painting masterpieces, and carefully building complex block structures:

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This is just a taste of what we have been up to recently.  Now that I’ve adjusted to the routine and program, I’ll post more frequently! We’ve been having so much fun and can’t wait to keep exploring and learning!

- Molly

Main House Preschool– Bed Time Tips from Love and Logic ®

March 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

End the Bedtime Blues: Parents don’t need to force kids to go to sleep     

by Jim Fay

At the end of the day our bodies are exhausted. We have been constantly, moving, thinking and processing things at work, on the commute and at home. When we finally  lay down at the end of the day our brains sometimes have a difficult time shutting off. Our preschoolers are experiencing the same thing! This can cause a frustration for  many parents. They wish it could be a magical time to reconnect with their children. Here are some easy ways to make those dreams come true!

Bedroom Time vs. Bed Time

The journey to bedtime bliss stars with remaining bedtime. Kids need to think of this time as “bedroom time”. It’s a time for them to be in their rooms, but not necessarily with their eyes closed. “You get into your bed and go to sleep right now!” creates a power struggle over something that parents cannot control. A skillful child can keep a parent engages with this argument for hours.

Slowdown Time

Bedroom time is a journey in itself. It starts with “slowdown time.” A slowdown routine is essential. Children’s brains operate at a high pitch and do not shut down as quickly as an adult brain. Parents should think of accounting that it is slowdown time about 40 minutes before bedroom time. Slowdown time includes turning off stimulating activities such as television, exciting music and family games. It is also a wonderful time to give your child choices:

  • “Do you want to go to bed right now or in 10 minutes?”
  • “Do you want to brush your teeth in the kitchen or the bathroom?”
  • “Do you want a story first or your bath first?”
  • “Do you want a piggy back or to walk to your room?”
  • “Do you want the light on or off?”
  • “Do you want to go to sleep right away or try and keep your eyes open as long as you can?

There is magic in choices! They speak directly to the human need for control and can produce amazing results. Be sure to offer choices you like too. The children should also ben given no more then 10 seconds to make their decisions.

Parent Time

Once the children are in their rooms, that is where they stay. Announce that “kid’s time” is now over and it is now “parent time.” It is very important to stick to your guns.

Give these Love and Logic ® tips a try, and join thousands of parents who enjoy peaceful evenings with their kids!

For more information on bed time tips you can also visit our Gretchen’s House parent workshop blog


Main House Preschool- Painting!

March 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Some of the Preschoolers have been interested in the paint in the Art Area this week. Everyday our art table is covered in paper, paint brushes and many different colors. As the children pour their paint it is exciting to see them use art materials and notice what the results are!

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They were enjoying paint on their hands so much that Amanda’s small group did finger paint! Needless to say that the paint barely stayed on just our fingers! Finger paint is a great way for preschools to express themselves through art as well as a great sensory experience.

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The smiles have been as big as the sun as the children explore the sunglasses that Jessica from the I/T room for donated to our House Area! We hope that that sun will keep shining inside and outside our classroom!



Main House Preschool- December Calendar

November 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Hello Main House Preschool Families!

The month of December is almost upon us! Here is the December calendar to print off and look at at home. If there are any changes that are made it will be updated.

Thank you!

December 2013 Calendar

Main House Preschool- Harvest Celebration

November 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

As Ashley and I planned the different activities for our Harvest Celebration’s last week we were so excited to see the many connections that the children were making, especially with regards to the natural and physical world. This time of year our playground is littered with leaves, sticks and pine cones, which all provide learning experiences. Both family groups had chances to work on large muscle strength and coordination as we raked leaves into a pile on the playground, then ran, jumped and kicked the leaves! The natural world also provided powerful learning experiences for fine motor skills back inside our classroom. The children used the leaves that we raked up to practice cutting and pasting. The small hand muscles that are used in both of these skills are always ready for a chance to work out and the leaves provided a excellent opportunity.

Our Harvest Celebration highlight was the day when we were able to cut open our pumpkins and use different tools to experiment and draw conclusions about what is inside the pumpkins. Everyone in our classroom had been observing the pumpkins inside our room, at the pumpkin patch, and at home, so once we got a chance to cut them open and explore the insides the excitement was contagious. Each child was given a few different tools, as well as a chunk of pumpkin and some extra insides. Of course we did have a few children who were very brave and stuck their fingers right into the sticky, gooey insides.


Main House Preschool- November Calendar

November 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Hello Main House Preschool Families!

November is underway and we have our new updated calendar! We have so many experiences planned in our room for the child that we cannot wait for this month to get going!

If you have any questions or concerns please let Ashley or Amanda know!

Enjoy! November 2013

Main House Preschool: Blast Corn Maze Field Trip

October 30, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Last week the Main House Preschool went to visit The Blast Corn Maze in Dexter, MI. Our exciting, chilly day started with riding the school bus for the first time this year. All of the children were so excited as we sang songs and looked for trains, ducks and airplanes out the window of the bus. Once we got to the farm, we had a quick snack under the barn and got to exploring!

First, the children chose to challenge themselves on the straw mountain. Once they climbed all the way up to the top on of the straw barrels, the children were able to slide down the huge tube. You could tell that they were enjoying themselves as they giggled and shouted all the way down! This straw pile also had built in tunnels that the children were running through, from one side to the other.

Also, under the barn there was a huge pit of corn! The children were able to climb right into the pit and dig, bury and walk through the corn. It was so exciting watching them move through the corn pit, as it was difficult even for us teachers!

The highlight of our trip was the tractor ride out through the cornfield and around the rest of the farm. The children were squealing with delight as we headed out on our ride and tried to count all of the pumpkins that were out in the field. There were not only orange pumpkins, but white and red pumpkins too! When the tractor got back to the farm children were able to visit with some pigs, horses, chickens and a cow. The animals were all excited to have visitors and took a break from eating their snack of pumpkins!

I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures from the day as much as the children enjoyed visiting the farm!

We would like to say a huge thank you to Rachel and Lea for helping plan the trip and driving the bus! We could not have visited The Blast Corn Maze without you! If you would like more information about the corn maze please see our parent Hot Spot.



Fall Housekeeping Reminders

September 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

This post was written by Laura Griswold, Director of GH-Dhu-Varren. Her reminders are applicable to all the centers so we thought we’d share!


Fall brings a lot of exciting changes to our centers. We have returning families and new families joining our classrooms. Here are a few things we need you to know or be reminded of regarding health and safety at Gretchen’s House.


Recently we noticed that many children are finishing their breakfast from home as they arrive at the center. It is important that all food from home be eaten before your child comes in the door. This matters not only because of the many children attending with food allergies, but also it shows respect to the other children who may find what your child is eating desirable.

Snacks at pick up time can also be a problem. Please be sure to offer your child their afternoon snack after you are out of the building. Finally, please do not store the snacks intended for pick up in your child’s back pack or cubby. We have found some ‘sneaky cubby munchers’ that just couldn’t wait!

Parking Lot

It is dangerous:

– To leave your car running unattended in the parking lot

– To leave children in the car unattended (car running or not)

– To allow your child to ride in the car without a properly installed cars seat or booster in the back seat of the vehicle

The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office has stated that if they are patrolling parking lots and see any of the above scenarios, they will ticket the driver.

Local authorities have also reported incidents of thieves targeting child care centers. They break into cars to steal purses, lap tops, etc. when parents are dropping off their children. There have been instances where children were in the car when the robbery happened. In some cases, where older children were involved, the police asked the child to describe the thief! That is scary. We want everyone to be safe.

Contracted Times

Upon enrollment, families choose their contracted times to have their child(ren) at the center. This 9 ½ hour time frame aids us in determining the teachers’ schedules. We need to maintain safe ratios that allows us to provide the quality care you should expect from Gretchen’s House. If there is an occasional situation that requires you to deviate from that schedule, please let the teacher know so we can make adjustments as necessary for that day.

Emergency Cards and Health Insurance info

Many of you have already filled out the new Emergency Cards required by the state of Michigan. Thank you. One of the things that they omitted on the new card that is still required for us to have is the Health Insurance Number. We are asking parents to bring a copy of their card to the front desk so we can make a quick copy. If you haven’t filled out the new Emergency Card or provided us the insurance card, please do so by the end of the month.

Thank you for partnering with us in our mission to keep children healthy and safe.

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