October 2019

Swimming Lessons

If your child did swimming this past session you know that Mondays and Wednesdays were the weekly "fun days"! We had a group of sixteen preschoolers who opted in for swimming lessons, and what a blast it was! Not only did the children learn basic and new swimming skills, they got the opportunity to play in the pool with their friends...and with Ms. Patti too! Whether it was playing in the pool, doing an assembly line of little girls hair, herding a group of bouncy boys through the shower, or walking from UMD back to preschool, the teachers were in for the task and will enjoy a small respite and be recharged and ready for the next session! Sign-ups to come.

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Farmers' Market Field Trip

It's always a treat for the preschoolers to go to the Farmers Market each fall. This year the weather was perfectly sunny & crisp, and the kids got to enjoy an afternoon venture to the market. With our monthly theme being Fall, Harvest, and Nutrition, the children got to get up close and personal with all the fresh fall veggies and other fun products the vendors at the market had to offer. The farmers were thrilled to see the kids and some even went as far as to let us touch, taste and try their products. In the end we purchased a variety of vegetables and even a big orange pumpkin!

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Duluth Fire Hall Field Trip

October is Community Helpers month at preschool and this year we had the awesome opportunity to tour the UMD firehall. The children always have fun pretending to be firefighters, so what a treat it was to meet some real firefighters and experience their daily life up-close and personal. The guys at the firehall were delighted to have their space filled with all of our cute little preschoolers and showed us all where they eat, sleep, work, and even play. At the end of our tour the firefighters even went as far as to let each student try out the cool big firehose, and I have to say, some of these kids were naturals!

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Carving Jack-O-Lanterns

After we brought our big orange pumpkin home from the farmers market, we let it ripen up a bit more and then we did what some preschoolers consider to be the most fun part of Halloween: carve jack-o-lanterns! This year we had two pumpkins to work with, and one of them was lop-sided and wouldn't stand up, but instead only laid on it's side. So we decided to work with it! We turned the stem from the top into the nose, and voila! A pumpkin elephant! Which the kids named Ellie. This was especially nice for the preschoolers who prefer to have not-so-scary options on Halloween. Here we are working away.

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Trick or Treating

For those of you who know CCP, you can attest to the fact that we love Halloween around here! The decorations. The crafts. The activities. And most of all, the trick-or-treating. For some of the preschoolers, this is their first time trick-or-treating. Because of this, the teachers really like to break things down, and teach the children what to do on Halloween night. From walking with a grown-up, to crossing the street, and even using polite manners when ringing the doorbell, the teachers took the preschoolers around the neighborhood for an afternoon of fun.

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Halloween Costume Carnival

It's always a blast to end the Halloween season with Ms. Patti's annual carnival. This year we had halloween-themed games galore along with some most ever fun prizes and even a light dinner. Families loved being able to show off their costumes because we all know that Halloween for Minnesota kids means hiding your costume under a coat! And we even had the UMD woman's softball team volunteering at the games and the preschoolers just loved them. Check out all the cute costumes and the fun!

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Stay tuned for more fun updates and photos to come!

September 2019

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Well another school year is underway and here at preschool we are seriously amazed at how wonderful these kids have handled the transition. Preschool can be a big thing to get used to with all of the new routines, rules, and procedures to learn and get used to, but this group of children are making it look easy. As expected there are some that are having a little bit of anxiety or uncertainness about coming to preschool, but note that this is completely normal! Especially if this is your child's first ever experience away from you. If you have a child who seems to be settling into preschool effortlessly, consider it a blessing! But if you're finding that your child could use a little help in making the preschool drop-off transition easier, consider the following tips.

  1. Play! Children make sense of the world around them and process their lives through play. Do some play-time at home and use some dolls or stuffed animals and have them experience a transition into a new place. Don't forget to include some helpful coping strategies in your pretending such as talking to a teacher or hugging a lovey.
  2. Be Calm. Children are masters at picking up on nonverbal cues. If you have anxiety or uncertainness about leaving them you better believe they will feel that too. Try to portray a sense of calm and confidence. We promise you that CCP is a wonderful place for your children to grow and develop new relationships outside of your family. Be confident in your decision of sending your child here and portray that as you go about your drop-off.
  3. Be Short & Sweet. Give a hug. Give a kiss. Say goodbye. And then leave. Giving into crying or a clingy child only festers their anxiety and prolongs the goodbye, making it tougher on everyone involved. Leaving promptly gives your child the opportunity to accept the fact that this is the way things are going to be. Don't worry, if you're leaving a crying child a teacher will quickly scoop them up and help them to feel better in no time. Oftentimes tears only last a couple minutes before they are on to bigger and better things.
  4. Don't sneak out. Children thrive on knowing what to expect. Sneaking out will only make your child feel scared and confused.
  5. Send along a little love. We've had children bring in family photos, stuffies, blankets, etc. When your child starts missing you, it can help to have a moment with something that makes them feel close to you.

Through all the drop-offs, easy or otherwise, we can confidently say that 100% of the children at preschool have been growing and having fun. There has been playing and building, pretending and exploring, singing and dancing, and a whole lot of laughing and learning. And all through the busy-ness the teachers have managed to snap a few fun photos along the way. Check them out!

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Grandparents Tea Party

We wrapped up our first month of school by celebrating with our families at the Grandparents Tea Party. It was so awesome to watch all preschoolers with their Grandparents laughing, playing, dancing, doing crafts and having a great time!

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Halloween Costume Carnival

It's coming up on October 31st from 4:30PM tp 6:30PM. There will be plenty of games, prizes, and treats, plus faceprinting and more. Everyone is welcome and don't forget to wear your costume!

We are looking for donations of the following for our Carnival:
Small toys (like Happy Meal toys)
Little Debi Snacks
Candy

Summer Camps 2019

Well, we had another fun-packed summer at Congdon Creek Adventure Camp!

In June, we flew into space for a few weeks! The campers had a blast learning about our solar system at the Marshall Alworth Planetarium. We got to explore, play, and experience outer space together and it couldn't have been more exciting.

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One of our favorite activities to do during Space Camp was making and launching homemade rocket ships. We took water bottles and filled them with vinegar and baking soda and let them fly. The campers could have done this all day! Each blast off was like a new experience.

The campers also loved getting creative with figuring out how to launch other kinds of rockets using various things like rubber bands, elastic, and pucks. How fun is it to launch things?!

The best part of our day is always getting outside to explore the many creeks, playgrounds and paths.  We were lucky enough to be at Chester Bowl the day they replaced the merry-go-round with the new SPIN TREE.  The campers even helped shovel back the sand to help the workers so they could try out the new equipment.

This graffiti was a special art surprise as we were walking down a path along Chester Creek. The kids were impressed how the artist was able to paint this outside!

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Down By The Lake

The tall ships came to town so the campers got to get a good look at all of the canal park activity. We had a blast exploring canal park and seeing all the excitement of the festival. One of the highlights was getting an up-close look at the Aerial Lift Bridge; the campers even got to cross the bridge and check out the lake's big waves from park point.

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The campers were excited to say hello to the train. Ms. Patti's group even got to take a ride on Canal Park's trolly.

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Kaleidescope

During the month of July we love to catch some Kaleidescope performances at the Duluth Public Library. With a combination of walking and taking the city bus, we make our way downtown - stopping at some fun places and parks along the way. The Rose Garden, Leif Erickson Park, and Playfront are some of our regular destinations.

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Kaleidoscope is a series of entertainment programs for children held at the Duluth Public Library Plaza every summer during the month of July. It is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Friendly Duluth, Duluth Library Foundation, and Friends of the Duluth Public Library. The programs range from musicians to acrobats and everything in between.

At one of the performances, Astrid, one of our campers, got to go up on stage to join Kenny Ahern (an accomplished entertainer and educator) and show off some tricks. We also got to practice some dance moves with the Teddy Bear Band!

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At another Kaleidescope  performance we got to see Laura Ernst, an international award-winning juggler/acrobat. She did everything from rolling around around in a giant hamster ball to performing acrobatic stunts with high-flying aerial fabric more than 25 feet off the ground!

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With the hot weather, we have been gravitating more toward the water and luckily we have many creeks in the area. One day, we brought some nets along and the kids were able to catch tadpoles, froglets, frogs and everything in between so we could easily see each stage of a frogs development.

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Beating the heat is hard to do without WATER!!!!  Good thing Portland Square had it's sprinkler going so that we could do our cool off!

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Bagley Nature Center

We had a blast at Bagley Nature Center this summer. We made forts, started fires, had tents in the trees and did a lot of exploring!

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May 2019

May Day Baskets

We welcomed May with open arms and celebrated by delivering May Day baskets to our neighbors. The kids helped plant Dianthus, a pretty little purple flower, and colored ‘Happy May Day’ signs, which they then handed out around the neighborhood. The kids loved hiding at the houses to watch and see if someone answered.  Along with our tradition of handing out May Day baskets, we also danced around the May Pole. And yes, we know how ridiculous it looks to be wearing hats and mittens in May!

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Pancake Breakfast

What a field trip idea - going on a city bus to the DECC for the annual Lion's Club Pancake Breakfast with 28 children, age 5 and under!! Then, on to Playfront Park and The Duluth Heritage Depot Museum. Why not?

The Lion's Club holds this great fundraiser annually to support local programs for sight, hearing, diabetes and youth needs. Each of the preschoolers on the field trip was able to get a free eye scan to bring home, eat super yummy pancakes and ride the DTA bus!  A great segue to our theme of TRANSPORTATION and EXPLORING DULUTH.

Duluth definitely has many events, parks, museums for us to enjoy all year round.  We look forward to our summer camps when we will be able to get out and explore more of our city.

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Old Main Park

Thankfully the crazy cold weather did not last too long. Longer, warmer days mean we can FINALLY spend more time outside. We have been spending many of the sunnier afternoons at Old Main Park (a block away) playing with chalk and bubbles, learning how to throw frisbees, and exploring one branch of the many creeks nearby - Oregon Creek. The kids love throwing stones and sticks into the creek, climbing carefully over the rocks, practicing their balance, and being brave adventurers!

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End of Year Program - May 31st 5:00PM

All good things must come to an end and this year is no exception, but all of our students have great things coming. Some will be graduating preschool and moving on to kindergarten. Others will be coming back for another fun year at CCP. We are so excited for each of our students as they continue to learn and grow.

The kids will celebrate the end of the year by singing some songs for their families in a short program on May 31st at 5:00PM (upstairs in the sanctuary). Once finished with their songs, each student will receive their "yearbook." These books are thoughtfully and carefully put together by each child’s teacher. They put a lot of extra time and effort in to make sure to take photos of each child throughout the year - doing projects, playing with friends, exploring the city, and more. They have collected these photos as well as projects and creations your child has made during the year, and put them together in a unique scrapbook for each student. Hopefully they were able to capture moments in the year that will become lasting memories!

After the program, there will be a short reception in the gym where there will be time to visit and enjoy a snack. We look forward to seeing you all there!

April 2019

Spring has Sprung... FINALLY! 

Well, it took until the end of April for Spring to finally "stick." Through the wind/rain/snow/cold/sleet we found ourselves bundling up with snow pants and umbrellas to get outside for some fresh air. Often, the walk back from swimming lessons became a RUN!

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Spring Swimming Lessons

UMD once again opened up the pool for swimming lessons in April and we had 18 kids jump in! Floating, kicking, putting our faces in the water and jumping in were some of the big accomplishments!

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Camping

What do you do when the weather is miserable? You set up a campsite inside and roast marshmallows, grill food, and sleep in a tent to dream about warm summer nights. 🙂

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Easter

Easter antics were in full swing . The Easter Bunny hid eggs all around the playground with TREATS inside and the kids had a blast searching for them. Always remember... some bunny loves you!

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Firefighter Visit

Our school is filled with parents who have some fantastic jobs - especially Firefighters! Maea's dad helped Ms. Elicia into his gear as he explained what each piece of equipment was for and Max's dad showed us all how thermal imaging works. Both had extra time to hug their sweet kiddos.

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As we enter our last month of school, we are very much looking forward to the weather warming up and being able to lose the winter gear for awhile! We cannot believe how fast time is flying this year. Here are a couple reminders for May:

  • NO SCHOOL Monday, May 27th (Memorial Day)
  • LAST DAY OF SCHOOL Friday, May 31st
  • Graduation ceremony at 5PM May 31st