February Newsletter

2015- 2016 Academic Year

Save the Date for Our Second Annual Spring Family Festival

Yippee!!! Our 2nd Annual Spring Family Festival is right around the corner! The festival will be held at The Cottages on Saturday, April 9th from 9:30am - 12pm. This year the festival will be held earlier in hopes of cooler weather! We are once again going with a "Circus Carnival" theme since it was such a hit last year and we will have fun for all ages! There will be food, games, prizes, bounce house, a raffle and MORE! We are so excited and hope you will join us!!! We are looking for a few parents to help with the planning and preparation of the festival. If you are interested in volunteering to help, please touch base with Michelle. We hope to see you there!!!

Cookie Dough Fundraiser

Chip, Chip Hooray!!! Our Otis Spunkmeyer Fundraiser is underway and we're super excited! Okay so we know that Otis doesn't exactly offer the healthiest of options... But they sure are yummy! Aside from the delicious cookies offered they also offer pizza from Hansen, soups from Soul Warming soup bags (Panera Bread), Cheesecakes from Atlanta Cheesecake Company and pretzels from Auntie Anne's. The Otis Spunkmeyer warehouse is located locally in Bradenton. A small detail that makes this fundraiser just a wee little bit eco-friendly.

The fundraiser will run from Monday, February 15th - Friday, February, 26th . The profits made from this fundraiser will go towards playground toys and equipment. The classroom who raises the most will win a pizza party and the family who raises the most will win a $25 gift card to I Party.

Ready, Set, Sell!!!

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent/Teacher Conferences will begin the week of February 22nd. We will be offering the conferences over several days for each cottage. This will allow us to offer more morning and afternoon time slots. Additionally, you can also choose to have a phone conference if that suits your schedule better. A sign-up sheet for a scheduled time slot will be available in your child’s classroom. During this scheduled time with your child’s teacher, you will have the opportunity to review your child’s assessment as well as discuss your child’s growth and development.

Donations Needed

We are in need of more push/pull toys and ride on toys for our toddler playground and Jennie's House. If you have any that you are no longer using and are looking to get rid of them we would love to give them a second life! Thank you!

Mark Your Calendars

2/12- Valentines Day Classroom Celebrations

2/15- TCMLC Closed in observance of President’s Day

2/15 - 2/26- Cookie Dough FUNdraiser

2/22- Parent/Teacher Conferences Begin this Week

2/24- Hearing Screening for Bumblebee and Dragonfly Students

February Birthdays!

May your days be filled with the warm sunshine of love and the bright colors of laughter.

2/1- Amelia O.

2/2- Luke T.

2/3- Layna D.

2/6- Ms. Judy

2/8- Karma S.

2/9- Andrew J.

2/13- Tyler S.

2/19- Josie B.

2/23-Ms. Niki

2/24- Ms. Sami

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Cricket Cottage News


The Crickets would like to welcome Ellie Capel Davies to our class! Ellie is six months old and she enjoys being with her new classmates, playing with the wooden mobile and gazing at the cute baby in the mirror. Her parents are Kate and Ross. Please help us to welcome them by introducing yourself.

Valentine Social

Please join us on Friday, February 12th @3:30. We will be serving tea and cookies and strawberries. (Because they look like hearts!) This is a great time to get to know other parents while spending some time with your special little valentine. We welcome any and all parenting tips and ideas on sleep and the many other topics as wonder weeks. We welcome you to share your advice on tips for making your own baby food. Get to know your child's playmates while making yourself some new friends!

Love is all you need

This month we will be focusing on expressing love through our words and actions. Lots of hugs and kisses will be bestowed on your baby all month! We will work on blowing kisses and reading" How much do I love you! " If you have any Valentine's day book favorites for the teachers to read that you are willing to let us borrow, please feel free to bring them in.

Sign of the Month

The sign for the month of February is "I love you." To sign I Love You, put up your thumb, index finger and pinkie finger, while keeping your ring finger and your middle finger down. Hold the hand out, palm facing away from you and move it back and forth slightly.

Valentine Art

This month we will incorporate our footprints into our Valentine's Day art keepsake. The babies will also be given an opportunity to fingerpaint with red, white, and pink paint. They love to touch the cold paint and slide it over the paper. In taking photos, it will capture this sensory experience for you to see their reaction to the sight and feel of this project.

Valentine Photo Shoot

The first 2 weeks of February Ms. Judy would like to take Valentine's Day photos. Please send in with your baby any outfit/accessories for Valentine's Day that you might have the first week of February. We will return it as soon as we've had the opportunity to get several photos of your precious baby. <3

Ladybug Cottage News

Month in Review

We were off to a great start in January! The newer children are really adjusting well to their new environment and the senior Ladybugs welcomed them and helped them feel at home. The children really enjoyed the light table and using all of the different materials. They especially liked the clear tubes because they doubled as bracelets!

We Love Our Ladybugs!

For the month of February, we will focus on our feelings and emotions. The children are a little young to understand how they are feeling, but when adults verbalize feelings/emotions for them they are able to build on that as they grow. This can also help them learn empathy when their friends are sad or upset. Talking to the children throughout the day about what they are doing, whether it be playing, eating, or exploring, helps to build a child's language and comprehension skills.

Facebook Pages We Love

We would like to share a few of our favorite pages. They offer some wonderful ideas and great insight on the RIE philosophy we love so much.

  • Resources for Infant Educarers
  • Janet Lansbury, Elevating Childcare
  • Lisa Sunbury, Regarding Baby

Special Events

Parents are welcome to join our Valentine's Day Classroom Celebration this month. The date is set for Friday, February 12th at 3:30pm. You will find a sign up sheet next to the attendance sheet for snack donations.

Family Photos and Portfolios

We are still in need of family photos. You can either bring one in or email it to Liz at liz@thecottagespreschool.com to print out for us. If you haven't done so already, please bring in a binder with clear sheet protectors for your child's Ladybug Cottage portfolio.

Caterpillar Cottage News

January Recap

We all found our inner musician during the month of January. We created kazoos and painted to different types of music. The children played a guitar and drum and listened to jazz, reggae, Latin, and classical music.

February Topics

Love is in the air for the month of February. The Caterpillars will be creating various "love" projects including a group painting, tissue paper hearts, and special cards for mom and dad. We will also have fun with our sensory projects- chocolate playdough and pink and purple pom-poms in the sensory table.

Chocolate Playdough

Here is an easy and delicious no-cook recipe for chocolate play dough! Make this super simple no-cook chocolate play dough recipe with your child for a fun sensory or Valentine’s Day activity.


· 2 cups plain flour (all purpose)

· 1 cup salt

· 1/2 cup cocoa powder

· 2 tbsps vegetable oil

· 2 tbsps cream of tartar

· 2 cups of boiling water

· 4 drops of glycerine (optional extra for increased shine and stretch)


· Combine all of the dry ingredients in a bowl

· Stir in the vegetable oil

· Mix together

· Stir in the boiling water (adult only) and mix until combined

· When it has cooled a little, knead it on a clean surface until it loses all stickiness and becomes smooth and stretchy. No residue should come off on your fingers. If it is still sticky add a little more flour, if too dry andcrumbly add more water, a tablespoon at a time.


Since February is the month of love, we will be reading books, singing songs, and performing puppet shows about showing love towards each other. Circle time is a very important part of our day and is a great time to discuss with the children how we treat others with respect and kindness. If you have any books or songs about love or Valentine's Day, please feel free to bring them in. we always love new books that are shared with us!

Special Valentine's Day Snack

The children will be enjoying a special snack for Valentine's Day. We will have strawberries dipped into chocolate syrup. All parents are welcome to join us for this delicious treat on Friday, February 12th at 3:30pm. A signup sheet will be posted that Monday. Thank you!

Butterfly Cottage News

January Recap

Last month was rockin! The children enjoyed our music topic and had a blast making their own drums and shakers. We used them to rock out in the afternoons to some epic tunes on our stage. We even took the music outside with pots, pans, and a piano.

February Fun

We are enjoying music so much, that we will be continuing our theme into the month of February. We are asking families to please bring in favorite music or instruments on Fridays to share with our friends.

Love, Friendship, and Kindness

February is the month to focus on love, friendship, and kindness. We will talk about our families and how we can show them love. We will also discuss what our families do that we love as well. We will turn this love into cards for our room and to take home.

All About Hearts

The shape of a heart will be used a lot in the Butterfly Cottage this month. We will incorporate some cooking by making heart shaped cookies to enjoy. By using the shape of a heart, patterns will be introduced to our Butterfly friends. We will using our knowledge of patterns to make some pretty cool necklaces. We are going to get crafty this month!

Valentine’s Day Celebration

Valentine’s Day is a sweet way children can share their feelings with classmates. Please bring in a small white paper bag for your child to decorate as each child will have the opportunity to decorate their very own Valentine’s bag for the Valentine gift exchange on February 12th. Please send in Valentine’s for your child to share with their classmates and please only put down your child’s name in the “From” section. The Valentine exchange will be during circle time and we ask for no candy please. Thank you!

Bumblebee Cottage News

We Love our Bees

During the month of February we will be discussing feelings, kindness, sharing, and empathy. We will be creating an empathy wreath and doing hands on friendship activities to strengthen our school family bonds. We will be promoting feelings of ourselves and others. How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time!

Valentine's Day Celebration

On Friday, February 12th, we will be having a Valentine's Day Celebration! We will have a signup sheet for parents to donate items for this party. Our Bumblebee friends are more than welcome to bring in Valentine's Day cards to hand out as well.

Letters All Around

This month we will continue to work on identifying letters in our name and in our friends’ names. We will be setting up a writing station to find letters and practice writing our names and words. Love is always a wonderful word to practice! We will go over letter formation, letters in our names, and letters not in our names. Card making is always a hit with the children, so this is a great follow up activity to letters and writing.

President's Day

Our Bumblebees will be amazed with some fun facts about presidents. From tales of cherry trees to decisions about facial hair, this unit is guaranteed to spark up some great conversations and communication skits. Each Bumblebee will also have the opportunity to be president for a day.

Dental Health Month

We will discuss the importance of healthy teeth and how to take care of our teeth. Our math skills will be put to the test as we count our teeth and play “teeth bingo”. Parts of the teeth will be discussed as well. Bumblebees will love the teeth brushing experiment! We will be soaking eggs in healthy and unhealthy liquids and compare the results. We will then clean the eggs with toothbrushes and toothpaste.


The Bumblebees are doing a terrific job of rote counting. We will begin focusing on one-to-one correspondence and encouraging the Bees to count sets of objects, match written numbers to their quantity, and extend verbal counting skills. Our Bumblebees are great mathematicians!

Dragonfly Cottage News


We have been practicing writing by adding our names to our art, working in writing center, and learning in small writing groups. We have learned to write our names starting with a capital letter followed by lower case letters.

Valentines Exchange & Special Morning Snack

Our students will be exchanging valentines on Valentine's Day morning to ensure the VPK only students having the chance to participate. Please have your child write only their name in the "from" section and leave the "to" section blank. This makes for an easier and smoother exchange. We will also enjoy a special Valentines Day morning snack! Strawberries & Mini Pancakes! Yummy!!! There will be a sign up sheet posted in the classroom. Thank you!

VPK Assessments - AP2

We completed the VPK assessments period two in January. We are pleased to see the results of the children's outcomes and will use the results to help guide our areas of instruction with the children. All of our students are improving and learning a lot so far this year.

BOB Books

If your child has brought home any Bob Books, they should be returned weekly so we can review the book with your child. All books should be returned by Friday of the week they are borrowed. Thank you.

Onset & Rime

We will be focusing even more on rhyming as well as the concept of onset and rime.

Onset is the initial sound of the word. While the rime is the part of the word

that rhymes. For example, with the word cat, [C] in cat is the onset or initial sound

while [at] is the rime. We will continue to combine and delete words and sounds this



In math, we are learning about three dimensional shapes. We have learned about cylinders, cones, rectangular prisms, pyramids, cubes, and spheres. We will be having a three dimensional shape week where we are asking everyone to bring in three dimensional shapes throughout the week. More information with be forthcoming.

Fairy Tales

This month we will learn about fairy tales. This topic really gets our creativity going and can be very exciting. We will learn literary vocabulary like; character, setting, hero, heroin, villain, plot, good, and evil (just to name a few). We will also use various diagrams and charts to compare and contrast characters, plots, and settings. We will act out our own fairy tales, add to familiar ones, and even write one as a class. February is going to be magical!