Rainbow Week

March 27 – March 31

This week we will be looking at colors.  We will talk about rainbows, the sun in the sky and clouds.  There will be a rainbow of colors in the sensory table, at the the play-dough table and at art.  The children will have an opportunity to mix colors and to talk about colors they see in the classroom and outside.  The spring flowers are one way you can talk with your child about colors as you walk around your neighborhood.  The daffodils are out and the tulips are getting ready to bloom – lots of colors to talk about and to practice “focus”.  Children can be expected to stay focused on an activity for 1 minute times their age (2 minutes if you are 2, 10 minutes if you are 10).  Of course, they are able to stay focused for much longer when it is an activity they are particularly interested in.

The ability to focus and control (your body) involves the developing executive functioning skills including the ability to pay attention, learn and remember rules, and the self-control to not act on initial impulses.

You can play ‘I SPY’ as you walk:  I spy something___(insert a color).  Kids love this game and then you can let them take turns being the leader and the one who gets to find something for you to ‘spy’.

Other ways you can work on focus –

  • Switch words to a familiar song and see if your child notices (wheels on the train instead of bus).  This is a fun and creative way to sing songs that encourages focus and listening skills.
  • Play a sorting game when you clean up toys – let’s find all the blue toys, put all the round toys in the basket, who has a soft toy?
  • Try singing a song while waiting in a line or at a restaurant.  This gives your child a tool for managing a situation that they cannot control.  An example would be: going to a restaurant. 

When working on their “focus” and “control” skills you allow them an outlet to deal with the frustration that might occur while waiting in a line, when they are hungry and waiting for the food to come, sitting at a table while others finish their meal. Being able to control bodies, emotions and actions is a skill children need to learn. You can help young children learn these skills by realizing what methods help them calm and re-center and encourage them to employ those methods when they need them or when they are staring to lose control. These skills will help them develop impulse control necessary for concentration as well as giving them a chance to work on developing executive function skills.

Rainbow Song

I see rainbows, I see rainbows,

Way up high In the sky.
Red and orange and yellow,
Green and blue and purple

Great big rainbow, Great big rainbow
I see rainbows, I see rainbows,

Way up high In the sky.
They are made from sunshine,

Shining through the raindrops
Great big rainbow, Great big rainbow


Red and orange, green and blue
Shiny yellow, purple, too
All the colors that we know
Are way up in a pretty rainbow


Here is a bunny with ears so funny
And here is her hole in the ground
When a noise she hears, she pricks up her ears
And jumps in her hole in the ground.

Baby Bird

A mother bird laid and egg with care
And when it hatched a baby was there
She ate and she ate
and she grew and she grew
and then one day away she flew

Story of Colors

(Similar to Brown Brown Bear)
Red kite, orange butterfly, yellow sun, green grass, blue bird, purple flower, rainbow

We are starting rainbow week and Nick’s wife Greta sent me this great picture taken by her friend from her boat in the Shilshole Marina.  Perfect timing to receive a picture of a rainbow.  I was especially amused that it was a picture taken from Shilshole, sent to Madison WI and then sent back to Seattle! — Teacher Janice

A post shared by Sylvia Janicki (@sylviajanicki) on

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Rain Week

March 20 – March 24

This week we will be talking about rain and umbrellas… last year during rain week we had nothing but sunshine – this year Mother Nature appears to be in line with our theme!  We will be outside working in our garden – Thank you to Hilary, Nate, and Porter / Bears class for getting our garden ready for planting.  They were out in the rain on Saturday.

The children had fun building Leprechaun houses last week and we will begin working on our fairy houses — adding imagination play in our natural space.  We will be monitoring our rain gauges and moving them around to see where it rains the most and where it rains the least.  Wednesday’s class was able to make the rain painting project and I am hoping that we can do the rain project with the other classes this week.

Gardening is one way to teach the children empathy for living things.  When they garden they learn responsibility as they care for their plants.  Being outside in nature is allows children to see living things in their environment.  As we work in our garden, and observe the worms, bugs and birds in the play area, we are developing a community that has an interest in caring for plants and wildlife.  The preschool garden is a certified a Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation and we will continue to build up the garden to support the urban wildlife in our neighborhood.  Last year our garden attracted songbirds, hummingbirds and butterflies. As the children are learning to protect living things in our garden they will be learning empathy and respect for all living things.

Kahn (1997) proposes that children can develop empathy toward both nature and people, and that empathy in one domain can generalize to another domain.  This conceptualization suggests that as children demonstrate prosocial behaviors such as caring and empathy toward animals and plants, their understanding of perspectives, needs, and feelings of people can deepen as well. 

The rain is raining all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea
– Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1895)

Can You Hear The Rain?

“Pitter-patter, pitter-patter,” can you hear the rain?
“Pitter-patter, pitter-patter,” on the window pane.
“Pitter-patter, pitter-patter,” let’s go out to play.
I just love to jump in puddles on a rainy day.
Little raindrops, “Splashing, splashing,” all across my face.
Little raindrops, “Splashing, splashing,” splashing every place.
– E.B. (1938 – ) MotherGooseCaboose.

The Rain

Pitter-patter, raindrops,
Falling from the sky;
Here is my umbrella
To keep me safe and dry!
When the rain is over,
And the sun begins to glow,
Little flowers start to bud,
And grow and grow and grow

Thunder Crashes

Thunder crashes.
Lightening flashes.
Rain makes puddles,
I make splashes.


Rain on the green grass,
And rain on the sea,
Rain on the house-tops,
But not on me!

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Umbrella Week

March 13 – March 17

March is National Umbrella Month!

We will be learning about rain, clouds, rainbows this month.  This week we will start with the “rain” themes with umbrellas.  As we explore rain and clouds we will talk about umbrellas and rainbows in Circle Time as well as activities in the classroom.  As you talk about the rain you can ask your child about ways to stay dry in the rain and what happens when things get wet.  During our outside time we will be doing experiments with water and a variety of materials to see what happens when they get wet/how to keep them dry.

Rainbow Songs and Fingerplays

New Umbrella (Tune: I’m A Little Teapot)
Here’s my new umbrella,
Wide and high.
It keeps me cozy, warm and dry.
If the rain starts falling from the sky,
Just open me up and you’ll stay dry

Rain on my Umbrella (Tune: Frere Jacques)
Drip, drip, drop, drop,
Drip, drip, drop, drop.
Drip, drip, drop,
Drip, drip, drop.
Rain on my umbrella
Rain on my umbrella,
Never stops.
Drip, drip, drop.

Under my Umbrella
Under my umbrella, I am dry. (Make umbrella shape with hands)
When it’s raining, my oh my. (Wiggle fingers like rain)
I wait until the raindrops stop. (Clap hands on stop)
Now no umbrella on my top! (Hold up Hands)
Wait until the raindrops stop (Clap hands on stop)
Now no umbrellas on my top? (hold up hands)

Rain on the roof tops
Rain on trees
Rain on the green grass
But no rain on me!

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Frog Week

March 6 – March 10

We will have frogs that jump at table toys and frogs in the sensory table and at playdough.  You can talk to your child about the different shades of green, the difference between hopping and walking, what is green and growing in your yard as well as in the preschool garden.  At Circle Time we will be talking about sounds – frogs make noise and turtles do not.    This month we will be talking about things that are green…turtles, frogs, grass, plants and shamrocks.

Three Little Frogs
Three green and speckled frogs
Sat on a speckled log
Eating some most delicious bugs (mmm, mmm!)
One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool,
Then there were two green speckled frogs. (glub, glub)

Big Frog

Aloop said the great big frog one day

ALoop said the great big frog

Aloop said the great big frog one day

And his eyes went glump glump glump

Five Little Froggies
Five little froggies sat on a shore
One went for a swim then there were fou
Four little froggies looked happy as can be
One went swimming and then there were three
Three little froggies said “What can we do?”
One jumped in the water then there were two
Two little froggies sat in the sun
One swam off and then there was one
One little froggie said “This is no fun!”
He dived in the water and then there were none.

Little Turtle

I have a little turtle who lives in a box

He swims in the water and he climbs on the rocks.

He snapped at a mosquito and he snapped at a flea. 

He snapped at a minnow and he snapped at me.

He caught the mosquito and he caught the flea.

He caught the minnow but he didn’t catch me.


Here is a leaf and here is a leaf.

And that you see makes two.

Here is a flower that will bloom

Just for you.

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Open House

We will be hosting an Open House on March 4th, 10am – 12pm.

Share this page or our Facebook Event (embedded below) on social media.

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Turtle Week

February 27 – March 3

We will be talking about turtles this week and where they live.  The art project will be turtles with color dots on their shells. We will learn a new rhyme about colors:

I can name these colors, all so very bright.

Red, yellow, blue, purple, green, brown and white

Don’t’ forget the color orange and the color black

These are the colors of the dots on my turtle’s back.

We will be hiding ping pong  ball ‘turtle eggs’ in the sensory table.   The contrast of green and white will be in several areas of the preschool this week.  Maybe even outside if the forecast is correct and we get some snow! 

As we talk about turtles we will have conversations about contrasts: fast/slow, soft/hard, smooth/bumpy, wet/dry, round/flat.  When you are on a walk, or sitting at the dinner table, ask your child about what is the same and what is different about an object, feeling or the weather outside.

Turtle, Turtle (Tune:Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)

Turtle, turtle moves so slow,
Crawling, crawling, watch him go.
At the pond he looks around,
See his head move up and down.
Turtle, turtle wants to swim,
Now he slides and dives right in!

A little turtle
There was a little turtle
He lived in a box
He swam in a puddle
He climbed on the rocks
He snapped at a mosquito
He snapped at a flea
He snapped at a minnow
He snapped at me
He caught the mosquito
He caught the flea
He caught the minnow
But he didn’t catch me

This is my turtle
This is my turtle.
He lives in a shell.
He likes his home very well.
He pokes his head out when he wants to eat.
And pulls it back when he wants to sleep.

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Heart Week

January 30 – February 3

This month we will be talking about friendship, family and singing songs about love.  At the art table children will be using glue and paper to make cards for family and friends. As they create their cards they will be:

  • developing fine motor skills
  • learning about shapes and colors 
  • talking about letters and names.

We will be talking about neighborhoods and who lives in their neighborhood.  As you walk around your neighborhood you can ask them:  What do you see when we go for a walk around our neighborhood?  What places do you like to visit?  Who do you see working in the neighborhood?  It is a way to have your child connect to the community they live in – their family, their neighbors and the people who work in their neighborhood.


Skidamarink a dink a dink,
Skidamarink a doo,
I love you.
Skidamarink a dink a dink,
Skidamarink a doo,
I love you.
I love you in the morning
And in the afternoon,
I love you in the evening
And underneath the moon;
Oh, Skidamarink a dink a dink,
Skidamarink a doo,
I love you!

Love Somebody, Yes I Do

Love somebody, yes I do
Love somebody, yes I do
Love somebody, yes I do,
Love somebody, but I won’t tell who.

Love my Daddy, yes I do
Love my Mommy, yes I do
Love my Grandma, yes I do
Love my Grandpa, yes I do

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Now Enrolling!

Crown Hill Explorers Cooperative Preschool is enrolling for Fall 2017!

Crown Hill Explorers will be holding an Open House at preschool on January 31st, 7-9pm. The preschool is located at the Our Redeemer’s Lutheran Church, 2400 NW 85th St, Seattle, WA 98117.

We have openings in all of our classes – two Toddler classes and two Pre-3 classes. We will also be running a new nature-centric 3s afternoon class in Fall 2017!

Toddlers: children are 12-24 months as of September 1st

The Owls class meets on Wednesdays from 9:00-11:00 a.m.

The Otters class meets on Fridays from 9:00-11:00 a.m.

Pre-3s: children are 24-36 months as of September 1st

The Orcas class meets on Mondays 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. and Wednesdays 11:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.

The Bears class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays 9:00-11:00 a.m.

3-Year-Olds: children are 3 years old as of September 1st

NEW CLASS will meet  Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 11:15 a.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Teacher Janice is amazing and Crown Hill Explorers is the only Nature Explore certified program in Seattle. Coop Preschool is a great way to meet new people and keep your child busy, especially in the wet winter months. We are part of North Seattle College’s Cooperative Preschool program.

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New 3s class for 2017!

We are excited to announce that we are adding a nature-based, afternoon class for 3-year-olds next year! Children should be 3 years old as of September 1st.

Class will meet Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 11:15 am – 1:45 pm.

We will be hosting an Open House on January 31st, 7-9pm. Come talk to us!

Crown Hill Explorers Afternoon 3s Class starting the Fall of 2017-18

The Crown Hill Explorers Preschool will add a 3’s program to accommodate the families who prefer an afternoon outdoor program. Based on feedback from the families we expect a fully enrolled class.   These families would then continue in the cooperative program for the 4-5’s afternoon class offered at Crown Hill 3-5’s.  With two pre3 classes filling just one 3-5’s morning class the Crown Hill Explorers have more students than can be enrolled in the 3-5’s class.  The students who enroll in the afternoon Explorers class would then fill the existing openings in the 4-5’s afternoon class. 

Students will participate in an outdoor based preschool that connects our Nature Explore certification with the NSC cooperative preschool model.

This class will be an outdoor based 3’s class that meets 3 days a week for 2 ½ hours.  Students will have lunch at school and will follow the same schedule as currently established at this site: 

  • Large Motor/Outdoor play
  • Lunch
  • Free Play
  • Circle Time

The stations outside include:

  • Block table
  • Gathering area for quiet times
  • Art area – table and easel activities
  • Big Digging with real tools and wheelbarrow
  • Sandbox and gravel area for vehicles, digging, exploration play
  • Greenhouse for science, playdough, fine motor activities
  • Garden and bird stations – National Wildlife Federation Certified
  • Music and dance
  • Dramatics with housekeeping and baby dolls
  • Library
  • Car/vehicle table
  • Large motor activities – balls, pushing and riding toys, lawn mowers

The outside areas reflect the inside play areas of:

  • Blocks
  • Small Group
  • Climbing
  • Sensory
  • Dramatics
  • Library
  • Fine Motor
  • Science
  • Playdough

The curriculum will be STEM-based with an outdoor/nature focus.  Students will be outside for a minimum of 45 minutes every day no matter what the weather as long as the play area is safe (ie: not frozen or icy) and return to the outside stations as weather permits.  Parents will be assigned to the stations that correspond with the inside stations at this site.  With research showing the need for more outside time and the benefits of educational experiences in a natural setting we propose to enrich our preschool learning environment with a nature based/outdoor curriculum.

Please contact our All-Site Parent Coordinator for more information!

We will be hosting an Open House on January 31st, 7-9pm.

Details here.

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Mid-Year Letter

It is hard to believe we are half way through our school year.  It is nice to see the children developing friendships, feeling more confident and watching them as they engage in learning activities.

As it is halfway through the year, and we have new families, I would like to review classroom policies and remind everyone of the preschool expectations.

Be sure to clean up your station after free play. 


This includes washing the art items and putting them away.  There is a large wash sink in the boiler room by the bathrooms.  Sweeping or mopping the floor.

Sensory Table

Be sure to sweep the area after the children go to Circle Time.  Return stray items that have been put in the table that belong to other areas.  Clean up the play-dough table items and sweep under the table.


Return the wooden kitchen toys to the shelves, put the dishes/food items in the correct plastic tubs, put the babies in their cradles, straighten the toys on the shelves.

Table Toys

Find all the pieces of the puzzles or fine motor activity then return them to the shelves. 


Organize the books back on the display shelf and return the books that were taken off of the cupboard shelf.  The books in the display shelf should be the ones that are our theme books for the month.


Return the toys to the proper bins and then place those bins in the Climbing Room.  Organize the wooden blocks in the cupboard if used that day and make sure all the pieces of the toys are in place.

Climbing Room

After the children leave it is the responsibility of the climbing room person to vacuum the entry and hallway toward the outside doorway.


This is a time consuming job.  You need to arrive early enough to set up for snack, clean the tables before and after snack, vacuum the room and the hallway, take out the garbage, wash the dishes and set up the room for Circle Time.  The float person is a helper for this job.  Please note if you are the float.

Arrive on time. 

It is necessary to be at school on time so that we have the correct insurance ratio.  For the Pre-3 families this allows the non-work day parents the ability to leave the preschool within 10 minutes of class starting.  Although, please, do not arrive too early.  I am setting up the rooms and getting organized for the day so having the little ones there earlier than 5 minutes before class is difficult for me.

Outside play is not an option. 

Except in very cold weather there may be an inside/outside option for children to choose inside or outside play  if we have adult/child ratios that work. PLAN on outside play and dress for the weather.   If we are outside, without an ‘option’ day, then all the children need to be outside.  Dress the children appropriately (and yourself as well.)  The class schedule is set up for safety and to be developmentally appropriate. 

Children need to have time out of doors and we need to have the correct number of adults outside with them.  For the Toddler classes and/or the Pre-3 parent who it is not their work day    I know it seems it should be okay to bring your child inside if they/you are cold/don’t want to be outside/would rather do something else but we need to follow the schedule set for the day.  This rule is both for insurance safety and for safety during the classroom preparation.  The rooms are not open and the adults inside are prepping for the school day.  It is not safe to have the children inside. 

For both Toddlers and Pre-3’s this is also preparation for next year when there will be fewer adults which will mean less flexibility to come inside with your child.

Come prepared for the weather.

Shoes are to be worn at all times at school.

No coffee or hot beverages.

Be attentive to the children in your assigned area. 

Pre-3’s have assigned stations throughout the day.  Please, check the schedule.

The expectation is for the children to engage in the circle time activity.  If your child wants to stand, dance, move about they can do so in the back of the room.  I have arranged the easel so there is room to move about “behind” the rug area. 

The children are also welcome to be in the hallway, with an adult, if they need to be physically active during this time.  It is a safety issue when the children are up and moving about – fingers get stepped on, views are blocked and someone gets pushed out of the way, two little ones decide to hug/dance/roll about and another little ones gets hurt by the feet/bodies of the first two. This may seem rigid but it is necessary to have the children learn to sit and control their bodies. 

If I see a need for a child to change their behavior I will say “sit on your bottom” “sit on a lap” or give a clue as to what behavior is expected. 

It is not a problem if a child is standing, dancing or moving about if the other children are still engaged in the circle time activity.  The problem is when the child’s actions cause the focus to be on that child, their actions are interfering with other children engaging, or their actions could cause other children to be hurt. 

During Circle Time children have a chance to practice self- regulation.  Self-regulation is essential in their future success — in school and as adults.

Be sure to follow the H&S guidelines for illness.  These guidelines are in place for both you and your child.  Please, be watchful of symptoms especially if your family has had someone sick during the week/weekend.  If your child, or you, has a fever or any symptoms of an illness you need to stay home. 

These guidelines include the siblings who are staying home from their school –  if they are not healthy enough to go to their school then they are not healthy enough to be at our preschool interacting with the children. 

Contact the H&S officer if you or your child has symptoms of a communicable disease.

A helpful reminder about when it’s best to stay home if your child is sick.

THANK YOU for taking the time to review these items.  This is a generic letter written to all 4 groups – Orcas, Owls, Otters and Bears.  If you have a question or concern specific to you, your child or your group please contact me so we can discuss it.

I appreciate all the work you do to make this a great place for all the children to enjoy, explore, engage and learn.

I also appreciate all the support given to the cooperative preschool, myself and the parent educators at our site.

~Teacher Janice

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