Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Next Phase and ... Enjoying What Already Is!

It is such a delight to walk around the play area and watch children thoroughly enjoying the environment not for the sake of what we have created, but for what they are imagining. I take photos, but cannot quite capture the expressions that range from intensity to complete relaxation; from energetic ignition to complex discovery.

Our completed Phase One and Two are holding up fine. The plants, grass and what I think of as the 'creative envelopes' we've designed, for children to 'fill' are still holding true and interesting. We are thrilled that there was so many areas to play, alone and in groups, that the children actually stayed off the new grass long enough for it to take hold. That's amazing for a preschool.

Now, we have the beginning of a fresh idea for our Phase Three and Four. The shore complete with dock and the picnic area. Phase Three and Four will be designed so that infants and toddlers can enjoy this space. Children of all ages will use the space but we want to keep it more manageable for early walkers and have an open and luxurious grassy "picnic" space for infants to get fresh air laying on a blanket. But the dock will replace our current plastic structure as the new hideout, fort, pier or whatever else their imaginations may conjure up.
We will be delighted to accept: lumber, wood sealer, river rocks (large ones), sod and soil for this project.

Our EATING FOR THE PLAYSCAPE Fundraiser is on June 15th, 2011.
Sell tickets.
Eat or don't eat.

This revenue will create the dock and the grass for these two new areas.
Tickets on sale now for $5 per person or child. Dinner on June 15th 5:30 at Caring Connection Children's Center.

Call for more info 916 371-3301

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Eating for the PlayScape! Tickets on Sale.

One Ticket is $5.00

Caring Connection Children's Center
Community Dinner & EATING FOR THE PLAYSCAPE Fundraiser
Wednesday, June 15th 2011
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
703 West Acre Rd. West Sacramento
All Proceeds benefit Natural Playscape fund


Can you stay home and participate?
Of course. Stay home or stay on your diet. Contribute by sending your check to Caring Connection at the above address. Make note of the PLAYSCAPE in your memo line.

Is this a tax deduction?
Nope. Sorry. We are not a nonprofit corp. We both must pay taxes on this.

Are adults and children the same cost?
Five bucks. Yes. It's a fundraiser!

Can I bring guests?
Are you kidding? Yessiree! Again, it's a fundraiser!!

Who is preparing the food?
Teachers of Caring Connection Children's Center. Home made. No restaurant help.

How can you help?
We are collecting contributers for a raffle to add to the fun and the fund. You can promote your business or just show your love by contributing a basket for raffle (imagination here) or a gift certificate or anything else that you believe will have value.

Teaching Children to Care for Their Earth

One of our teachers observed a two-year-old child caring for "her" playground last week. We have used 10" cuts of branches (vertically planted) to edge the walkways. The branches, lovingly cut by a parent, are dug down into the earth and have held up amazingly well. But last week, "Stella" noticed one of the edging branches had been kicked out of place.

Without a word to a teacher, Stella dug up the earth creating a hole for the branch to be replaced. She, indeed replaced it and immediately fetched a cup. Heading to her water source (the drinking fountain) she diligently delivered several cups of water to the soil and patted 'her branch' into place.

Ahhhhh. Sometimes you just know you have made a difference!

Nature Play ... Perfect Fit for the Quiet Child

So many of our posts are about children engaged in social interactions. The Mud-Pie kitchen is a huge hit with the two to four-year-old crowd and the sand pits and shovel gang play happily exchange tools and reinvent their uses. But, yesterday I saw something so lovely.
One three-year-old, quiet child "Chloe" stretched out in a small sand area that exists at the base of the slide. The slide was not being used, so she had this small shaded sand area all to herself.

Chloe reclined on her side, stretching her tiny legs deeper into the cool, shaded area. She lengthened her legs out, arching her feet into that cool, grainy texture. I watched quietly as she slid her little hand across her canvass of white sand. Although alone, Chloe was having a private conversation with either herself or an imaginary playmate. I couldn't hear her conversation, but I watched on and saw her comfort and ease with herself. Playing alone.

Not wanting to interlope any further, I stymied my inclinationto run for my camera. Instead I watched Chloe, neither shy nor lonely...simply basking in the good feeling of playing by herself, creating her own reality, dipping her toes into the cool sand.

What a reminder that children need space to be creative, quietly too.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

When It's Rainy and Yucky Outside - Bring the Messy Fun Indoors!

We sure know how to expand our fun and our mess, too. It's been just dreary weather for California in May, but fortunately our teachers are on the job. Making fun with the same stuff you have in your kitchen!

Some ice cube trays, a little flour, water, food coloring, measuring spoons, cups and a turkey baster and you are set for a rainy day.

Hey, don't miss out on our upcoming e

vent EATING FOR THE NATURAL PLAYSCAPE: Spaghetti Feed and Raffle. Ticket sales begin TOMORROW! $5 per person

Friday, May 13, 2011

See Caring Connection Teachers at Southport Elementary Bookfair

Join our teaching staff to support Southport Elementary School's bookfair on Saturday May 14th from 10am-2pm.

Reading and playing, digging and's all a part of a balanced childhood.

Take a picnic with your child, get outside - but BRING THE BOOKS!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011



On June 15th, Wednesday evening Caring Connection will step it up and offer our first COMMUNITY DINNER Spaghetti Feed for only $5 per person/child. Fun events for kids, too. (Of course we're a preschool.)

Get your tickets starting NEXT WEEK, May 16th. Invite family, friends, grandparents and curious neighbors. This is a community event and we want it big!!

We won't cook in the Mud-Pie kitchen. We promise. :)

All proceeds will go into the Natural Playscape fund. Keeping in mind that we are making the best of recyclable goods and natural products, even these items cost money. Let's make this project easier by fluffing up the budget and spreading the word about Caring Connection's great program and playscape.

Complete Menu: Spaghetti with red or pesto sauce, meatballs on the side; green salad, french bread; coffee, tea and milk; strawberries and ice cream for dessert.

AND YES! RAFFLE TICKETS TOO!! What a fun, family event. Don't miss it and bring your friends. See you soon.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

New Ideas

So... Caring Connection was represented, albeit with a small group of four at the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure in Sacramento. One of the freebies that were given away were seeds! Sunflower seeds and wildflower seeds. Obviously, I got one of the answers to "what we need"? We will see if it's not too late to plant sunflower seeds and create a sunflower maze/house on our out yard. We did three years ago and it was amazing.

I saw another online blogger who used bales of straw for her ground cover. I think we may use bales or mini bales to create a toddler sized maze and play area. This will eventually turn into mulch and either just become a soft ground surface or be hauled away.

Caring Connection and Enlightened Discipline Fans