Registration & Tour Information

We are currently accepting registration for the 2014-2015 school year.

In order to reserve a spot, families must first tour the school and then submit an enrollment form and check for the registration fee and first months tuition.

You may sign up for a tour by clicking on the link above.  We also invite you to explore our website to see if VPP might be a goof fit for your family.

If you have additional questions, please contact our Membership Assistant at tours [at] valleyparent [dot] org.  Emails will be returned within 24 business hours.

What Are Your Holiday Traditions?

winter-tree-snowflakes-christmas-holiday_gg55188990Holidays are often a time we can set aside our daily routines to be with family and friends. Many of us think about eating special foods, singing or listening to holiday music, or decorating our homes with special items. For some, holiday traditions help us connect with our ancestors or engage us in thinking about religious or ethnic identity and how we want to continue it with our own children.

Valley Parent celebrates the holidays by acknowledging that:

  • Some families celebrate the same holiday in similar or in different ways
  • Some families celebrate different holidays in similar or in different ways
  • Some families celebrate multiple holidays
  • Some holidays are celebrated in December and many are not
  • Some families do not celebrate any holidays
  • What your family does, or does not do, is valued at Valley Parent Preschool
  • We can all learn about different holidays and how they are celebrated
  • All families, holidays and traditions are equally valued at Valley Parent Preschool

This month during talk-over we want to hear how your family spends the holidays.  We would love to hear about the holidays you celebrate and if your family has any unique traditions, special meals you prepare, or favorite family activities.

We always welcome families to come in and share with the class a special part of your culture or heritage.  In the past we have had dancing, stories, special music, and even cooking and food.  Please talk with your child’s teacher if you would like to set up a time to share with the class, either in December or later in the year.

In addition to sharing your traditions at our end of the day talk-over, we invite you to post them in the comment section below.  You never know when you might find something new to start with your family! You can also post your traditions on our VPP Facebook page here.

*Please keep in mind that comments are public

The Power of Play

w-quilt1This was such a great reminder of the importance of long periods of uninterrupted play time.

The first child spent time arranging the pipe in the perfect position to accomplish his goal…to get water to flow down into the sandbox so it would form a puddle at the bottom. Slowly and carefully he used the hose to fill his bucket over and over. Next he tested if the water would flow down if leaves were in the pipe, and then if sand was there too.

A bit later he discovered a large pipe filled with sand was in his way. He tried to move it but found it was too heavy, so he went to find his friends (the firefighters!) to help. Once they got the pipe where they wanted it, they worked together on how the three of them could use the area together, despite having three different ideas at first.

All in all, this process took over an hour and the children were actively engaged in their play the entire time.  Ninety minutes of free exploration time can seem like a loooong time to adults, but this time is vitally important for the children.

These children experienced hands-on science & math, worked on their fine & large motor skills, practiced their balance & coordination, made predictions and tested their ideas, experienced being a leader & a helper, and had sensory experiences with soft sand, cold water, crunchy leaves, and squishy mud.  They experienced cause & effect, developed their attention span, practiced problem solving, and worked on the very important life skills of negotiation and conflict resolution.

All of this learning was possible because they had a long period of time to play!

TRF PreK Week of September 23

Dear Families,

I hope you had a great weekend.  I loved the rain on Saturday (it’s my favorite weather!) but was happy to see the sun back on Sunday for the school BBQ!

I’ve enjoyed getting to know your children over the past weeks and am getting a sense of the schedule and activities that will work best for our class. In just a few short weeks the children seem more comfortable at school and are getting a sense of the routine and activities available.  They have made new friends and all have their favorite area to play and explore!  As a reminder, the roster is available on the school website if you would like to set up play dates with other families from the class.

Sometimes our free choice time can seem long to us as adults, but it is so valuable to the children.  At the general meeting next week we will talk more about the value of long, uninterrupted play time and what the children are gaining from it.

This week during circle and small group we will:

  • Go on a rainbow scavenger hunt and sort and graph the colors in the rainbow
  • Cut out & decorate paper super hero capes for puppets
  • Draw a picture of what we want to learn about this year
  • Make ooblick using cornstarch and colorful water.
  • Sing our 5 Little Monkey song and take turns being Mr. Alligator (they loved this last week!)
  • Read What Makes a Rainbow , Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, and Jump Frog Jump

We will also have our first fire drill this week.  Since this is our first one I will explain the procedure to the children and let them know our plan in advance.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow! As always, please don’t hesitate to email or talk with me after school if you have any questions.

Sarah

Welcome to TRF PreK!

Dear Families,

I’m so excited to start school tomorrow and hope you and your children are too!

We will meet for our circle time first thing in the morning.  Tomorrow will be a welcome day as many of the children in our class are new to Valley Parent and others haven’t seen each other in a while and will want to catch up.  We’ll spend our first few days getting used to our PreK routine, learning about the different areas in the school, and learning how to use the many supplies and items in the classroom.

Tomorrow during small group we will learn about the various art and work materials in the activity area and the children will get a chance to create and explore.  We will also sing songs and read a funny story called Aliens in Underpants Save the World!  It always becomes a class favorite that we read multiple times!

On Friday we will do a fun obstacle course in the back yard using the monkey bars, tricycles, balls, balance beam and slides.  We will read the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you See? and use our pictures to make a class book called Friend, Friend, Who do you See?  to help us learn each other’s names. We will talk about our school rules – (Be Safe, Be Kind, Have Fun!) and of course there will be more music and movement.

I’m really looking forward to our first week of school and will see you in the morning!  As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Warmly,

Sarah

 

Favorite Summer Sanity Savers

25 tried and true activities for when kids say “I’m Bored”

  1. Give them an empty shoe or tissue box to turn into a treasure box.  Have them hide it someplace in the house and make a map showing how to find it.
  2. Ask them to count how many steps it takes to get from their bedroom to each of the other rooms in the house. Count how many windows are in the house, how many stairs, how many things that are red (long sleeved, short sleeved, striped etc) are hanging in their closet.
  3. Tape paper to the underside of your kitchen table and let them lay on their back to color a picture.
  4. Put them in charge of sorting the laundry into darks & lights or matching up the socks.
  5. Give them a roll of masking tape…the possibilities are endless! (My son’s personal favorite is making spider webs all over the living room.)
  6. Give them a wash cloth and spray bottle with a teeny tiny amount of shampoo in it.  When they are playing in the bath ask them to wash the bath toys for you.
  7. Fill a bowl with various small items: cotton balls, dry pasta, beads etc.  Have your child use tweezers or tongs to sort the items.
  8. Fill a bucket with water and put in various items that will float.  Let your child use a soup ladle to fish out the items and sort them.  Or, let them select some items and predict what they think will sink and what will float. Then let them test their predictions. This can be done in the bathtub as well.
  9. Have your child go on a magnetic scavenger hunt.  Give them a strong magnet from the fridge and ask them to see how many other things they can find in the house that are magnetic.  You can give them a notebook to record their findings with words or drawings.
  10. Give them large pieces of paper and ask them to make place mats for each family member to eat off of that day.
  11. Tape a paper target to the wall and let them practice throwing a soft ball (or a pair of balled up socks) at the target.
  12. Put a few cups of ice cubes on a cookie sheet and give your child a small cup of water, an eye dropper and a few pinches of salt.  Ask them to melt the ice.  Or freeze some plastic animals into an ice block and ask your child to rescue the animal.
  13. Drape a big blanket over your kitchen table and give your child a flash light. (My personal favorite are the flashlights with cranks. The kids like them and I’m not spending a small fortune on batteries!)
  14. Give your child some old magazines and ask them to cut out any pictures that they like.  Older kids can make a collage or card to give to a friend.
  15. Give your child a pillow case and show them how to have a potato sack race.
  16. Let your child take their play race cars in to the bath and play car wash.
  17. Use masking tape to make an indoor hop scotch game.
  18. Give your child a mirror and face paint…make sure your camera is handy!
  19. Give your child tin foil or wax paper to color on instead of paper. If you’re able to supervise, you can put the tin foil on a warming plate or griddle turned to low and color on it with crayons.  Talk about the wax crayons melting and how it feels different than drawing on paper.
  20. Ask them how many circles they can find in your house, how many triangles, squares, rectangles etc.
  21. Let them know what is being served for dinner and ask them to make menus.
  22. On a sunny day give your child a bucket of water and a paint brush and let them    ‘paint” outside and watch the water evaporate as it dries.
  23. Have your child draw a picture or write a letter to a family member or friend.  Hopefully they will write back and your child will have a new pen pall.
  24. When unloading the dishwasher, let your child sort and put away the silverware.
  25. Lay out a blanket and let your child have a teddy bear picnic in your living room or back yard.

Pumpkin Pie Cups

Here is the recipe for the yummy pumpkin pie cups the TThF kids made today!

Pumpkin Pie Cups

Ingredients

  • 2 small packages of instant vanilla pudding
  • 1 1/3 cups milk
  • 1 16oz can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1 1/2t. pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
  • 2 cups of unsweetened whip cream
  • Graham crackers

Directions

  • Smash up a large graham cracker and place at the bottom of a cup
  • Mix pudding and milk until just blended
  • Stir in pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice and whip cream
  • Scoop pumpkin mix on top of crust
  • Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

October 22 TThF Pre-k Update

Dear Families,

It’s raining!  This is my favorite weather so I’m happy to see the forecast calls for a few more rainy days.  Please send your child with rain boots and a rain jacket if possible as we do make parts of the yard available to the children on wet days.  It’s great to explore the yard in different weather and see how the rain changes things.  Worms come out in the dirt, the sand makes great castles, and rain drops lead to all sort of cool experiments! Of course, splashing in puddles is fun too :)

Last week we continued to use the unifix cubes to measure and sort things. The children really enjoy this.  We read a funny ghost story, made ghost prints with our hands and feet, and wrote our own spooky and silly stories.  We also read The Little Old Lady that was not Afraid of Anything and acted it out using props.

At circle we’ve started using the children’s names instead of BINGO to sing our song.  The children enjoy having their turn in the spotlight and it’s a great way to begin introducing the letters in each of their names. It is also a great exercise in patience as we do just 2 or 3 names a day.  They’re doing a wonderful job waiting for their turn!

Another favorite felt story/chant is This is Jack.  If you’ve worked recently, you have probably heard us doing it over and over and over and over…..  They LOVE it!  I’ve decided to build on their enthusiasm and use this story to plan our weeks activities.  Over the next few days each child will cut our and decorate their happy, sad, sleepy and mad Jack as well as their “pieces small” and on Thursday we will make pumpkin pie cups because as our song says “in a pie he’s best of all!”  Here are the words if you’d like to say it with your child at home.

This is Jack-o-Happy

This is Jack-o-Sad

This is Jack-o-Sleepy

This is Jack-o-Mad

This is Jack in pieces small

But in a pie he’s best of all!

On Friday we will bake pumpkin muffins during free choice time and paint and decorate mini pumpkins during our small group time.

Tuesday morning I am driving on a field trip with my son’s second grade class.  We’re headed to Trader Joe’s for a behind the scenes tour.  Tess will be subbing for me for the first part of the day and I will be back for most of small group.

Please remember to take a few minutes to fill out our fall survey.  Your comments and thoughts are valuable and we appreciate you taking the time to share them with us!  http://vpp.wufoo.com/forms/vpp-fall-survey-2012/

I’m looking forward to seeing all of you tomorrow!

Sarah

Favorite Science Day Update

using carbon dioxide to inflate a balloon

Thank you to all the families that joined us for Science Day. We had a wonderful time and hope you did as well.

We’d especially like to thank all the teachers and parents that volunteered, and Pediatric Dentist and VPP Parent, Dr. Goyal, at All Smiles Kids Dentistry for his generous donation towards the event.

Please email us if you’d like any of the recipes or experiments from Science Day and we’d be happy to share!

popping a dry ice bubble

fishing with magnets

 

 

digging for dinosaur fossils

 

drip painting down ramps

dry ice bubbles

color explosions

TThF Pre-K News

Hello TThF Families,

It finally feels like fall and the perfect weather for our trip to the Pumpkin Patch on Tuesday!  Remember we will meet at G&M Farms rain or shine at 9:15.  We will start at the hay bales by the parking lot and set off on our hay ride at 9:30.  After that you and your child will be able to explore the patch at your own pace.  VPP pays for each student to get a corn, gourd and pumpkin.  If you would like to purchase additional items you are welcome to do so that day.  There will not be a sign in/out sheet as each parent is responsible for their own child during the trip.  If you choose to bring a snack for your child, please make sure it is NUT FREE!

During free choice time these past few weeks I have observed some wonderful role playing by children in our class.  In the sandbox kitchen we have a group of bakers hard at work measuring, pouring, scooping, and negotiating turn taking with materials and how to share a space with groups of people with different ideas.  What great practice for living with a roommate or spouse in the future!  They make cakes and pies out of sand, water and apples from our tree, teach cooking classes and share their recipes.

In the sand we have a group of children who use tents, tires and tubes to blast off in to outer space as aliens and live on the moon and Mars…though don’t be surprised if they tell you they are actually making a movie and only some days are really aliens.

In the block room (and beyond) we have children that enjoy building towers out of magna tiles and trains headed to far off places, as well as children playing family and take turns being the moms, dads, children and family pets (with the occasional jaguar and dinosaur thrown in for the more adventurous!).  They pack suitcases, take trips, cook family meals in the play dough, and especially enjoy pretending to be adults in charge!

To build on the excitement I see developing I will be adding additional materials the children may like to use as they explore…some cook books and travel books in the library, recipe cards and tickets at the writing table, flour sifting in the kitchen, boxes and tubes to add on to the space ship, a camera as needed for filming their movie, and shaving cream “frosting” to decorate cake shapes.

This month the children will also have the opportunity to role play in additional ways.  Our wonderful curriculum committee has transformed part of the block room in to a Dr’s office, part of the garden area in to a pumpkin patch, and the wooded structure outside in to a fire truck!

Role playing is important for children as it allows them to build their social skills, use their imagination and creativity, negotiate and problem solve, see their world from a different perspective, work through situations that may frighten or worry them, and try on different roles that they may take on as they get older.

During small group this week we will do a drawing and dictation about our favorite part of the pumpkin patch, sort, weigh, measure and group pumpkins, gourds and corn, do an sink or float experiment with different parts of the pumpkin, and make a book to go with the 5 Little Pumpkins finger play that we learned.

Enjoy your weekend and I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday at the Pumpkin Patch!

Sarah