Pumpkin Week

I hope you have had a chance to enjoy the sunshine in between the smoky days.  It is a different beginning to fall for sure — smoke and 80 degree days are not our typical October weather pattern.

This week we will continue to have activities with pumpkins, leaves and apples.  We will look at the difference between pumpkins and apples.  We will examine their seeds, stems and blossom ends.  Some children will enjoy touching the goo inside the pumpkin and others will prefer to just look. 

We will use the ramps to roll pumpkins and apples.   The children will race them and try to guess which is faster – the apple or the pumpkin.  We will also have some games with the pumpkins, leaves and apples.  Hide and seek is a favorite for the older kids.  We will hide the leaf cards, apples, small and big pumpkins in the play area.  

We will talk about patterns during Circle Time. 

The book Look Look Look by Tana Hoban shows the children 3 different views of the same object and lets them guess what it is.  This is a fun game to play with your child.  Have them look at different parts of something familiar to them and see if they can tell what the object is.  

You can play I Spy With My Little Eye as you go on a walk or in your home.  Let them have a chance to be the one who picks the object and you guess what it is …. so fun to see what they choose for the object to find.

This last week the older kids played a game of What’s Missing?  Show your child a pattern of 3 or more objects and talk about what is there.  Repeating out loud the pattern they are looking at.  Such as  “red ball, orange ball, blue ball”.  Say it several times. Then take one item away (orange ball) and have them try to remember what was taken away.  Repeat the pattern by saying, “red ball, something is missing, blue ball”.  You can either remove the object or cover it up with a small container or cloth.  After doing this with your child allow them to do the ‘taking away’ and have you guess what is missing.

With the younger children when the object is covered up it is actually gone in their mind so it is a big surprise when it is uncovered again — playing a version of Peek a Boo with just one object is great fun for them.

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This week we will introduce sounds.  There are a lot of ways you can include sounds in their everyday activities.  One of my favorite  activities is to go for a Sound Walk.  Of course, one of my favorite activities is to go for any kind of walk! HA!

On your walk ask your child what they hear.  Look for birds in the trees, vehicles on the street, airplanes in the sky, people talking and pets barking or meowing.  You can make a Bingo card and mark off the sounds you hear on your walk.  

If you have instruments in your home you can do the same with different instruments and have them identify what instrument makes what sound.

Another fun game is to make a recording of  sounds they hear during their day and identify them.  A vacuum cleaner, the dishwasher, water running, a lawn mower, the car engine, voices they know and sounds from the kitchen.  It is fun to have them think of sounds and make the recording so other family members can guess the sounds.  This is an activity they can do with family and friends they interact with on a video call and the other family members can do with them.  It is an interactive activity that works well on a screen.

We will be singing songs about bells this week and next.  We introduced the song Jingle Bells in class and will sing it as well as some other fun winter songs.  If you have a song your child likes to sing please let me know.  Frosty will be a song we will sing in January when we start our snow themes but we can add him now if your child is singing it at home.

A fun activity that includes Sight / Smell / Sound is making popcorn (or toast).  If you have an air-pop popcorn maker they can see the popcorn swirling around, smell it  and hear it as it pops.  Then taste it! Yum!

Making toast is similar as they can smell it as it toasts, see it come up out of the toaster and hear it as it ‘pops’ up.

Cooking activities are great science activities as well as fun memories you can make with your child.

The activities this week are activities all the children can do with minimal expense and preparation. If your class is not doing the activity you may want to do it with your child on your own. Children love making instruments and interacting with different materials that make noises.  Enjoy!

~Teacher Janice

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This week is Turkey Week.  It is hard to believe we are moving into the holiday season.  I love Thanksgiving and, in fact, it is my favorite holiday.  This year will be a very different kind of Thanksgiving.  As I read over the newsletter from last year I was grieving some of the traditions and events from years past that won’t happen this year but I also realized how much of what Thanksgiving is about is still something we can focus on  this year.  It is a time to be thankful for what we have and appreciate all of our blessings.

We might not be celebrating with a big family gathering like we had in the past but we still have our immediate family to be with and to be thankful for the time spent together.  We, as a society, have had a chance to reevaluate what is important.  Time spent with each other has moved up the ‘what is really important’ list.  It has always been important but we had let other things move it off the priority list.  What I like about Thanksgiving is that it has always had a spotlight on relationships and thankfulness.  We have so much to be thankful for as we finish up the year.  

This is a time to look back at what has been important to you this year.  I am so thankful that our family has been able to connect online each Sunday with our Family Paris Chat.  I am thankful for the chance to hear Zoe and Ansel laugh.  I am thankful for the smiles I get to see during our preschool zoom sessions.  I miss being able to be with people in person but I appreciate the creative ways people are finding to connect with each other.  Life has definitely slowed down for some and this has given those people an opportunity to spend time doing things they wouldn’t have had time for otherwise.  Other people have had to reinvent their daily activities during this pandemic and are keeping quite busy.  No matter which one — busy or have more time — we have all had the time to discover what is really important to us.  There are so many things I took for granted that I will cherish once we are able to return to a portion of what was normal.  Hugs, snuggles and going to the grocery store without feeling nervous – ha!  Take time this month to count your blessings.  The biggest one for me is time with my family.

At preschool, for Turkey Week, we have always painted two big papier mache turkeys.  It is so much fun to watch the kids paint these turkeys.  They love it.  I will have the turkeys in The Garden space during November for some gobble gobble time.

During class we will be singing about turkeys and focussing on farms, animals, family and food.  We will start our Gobble Gobble songs this week and be gobbling for at least a month.  When you think you have heard enough gobbling we will start ringing our bells and some of you will be thankful you can turn down the volume when we sing Ring Ring Ring Your Bells! 

It is hard to believe but we are off — It is November!

~Teacher Janice

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COVID-19 Response for 2020-2021 School Year

While our physical preschool doors remain closed, our preschool community remains open and connected!

We are proud to be offering virtual and hybrid options for the 2020-2021 school year. We have been working very hard to come up with an enriching and engaging curriculum based on our core values using cooperative and creative play to enhance social, emotional and intellectual development, while providing a safe learning environment for everyone.


During Zoom circle times, Teacher Janice will sing songs, read books, and demonstrate weekly activities. Any necessary materials for Activity Time would be provided in the CHE Supply Kit and noted in the weekly email. Instructions will be provided to help facilitate setup and breakdown of activities. Supply kits can be mailed – you do not have to live in Seattle to attend classes!

• In addition to circle time, the Pre-3s/3-5 Classes can join virtual small break-out groups so they can socialize together. 

 • Families can meet with Teacher Janice 1:1 monthly to gain better connections. 

Hybrid model (in-person; small pods)

Families develop pods within classes (Crown Hill facilitates assignments/matching recommendations). 

Families can attend virtual sessions as a virtual-only family OR the pod can rotate hosting amongst themselves and participate as a group with Teacher Janice on-screen. 

Families will have monthly (or more) opportunities to play in Teacher Janice’s outdoor space as a pod. 

Families will have the same access to supplies as virtual-only families.


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Thumbs in the thumb place… We haven’t had a lot of time to wear our mittens this year but we can still sing about mittens.   We will be working on colors with a mitten story this week.  The children will be talking about textures in the art room, there will be an assortment of warm clothing in the dramatics area and we will have books about weather in the library.  We will be dressing Bear – mostly in a raincoat but we do have mittens for Bear. This will be a good week to add to your child’s vocabulary: words that describe the weather, colors, temperature and textures. Our children have lots of words for wet and rain but not as many about cold weather – if you have a chance try to get up to the mountains to play in the snow and use those mittens!

Mittens on My Hands

(Sung To: ‘Wheels on the Bus’) 

The mittens on my hands
Keep me warm
Keep me warm
Keep me warm
The mittens on my hands
Keep me warm
All Winter long!

The socks I wear will…

The boots on my feet…

The hat on my head…

The scarf around my neck…

The coat I wear will…

Mitten Song

Thumb in the thumb place (Give Thumbs up with both hands)
Fingers all together (hold fingers together like in mittens with thumbs out). 
These are the things we wear in mitten weather (move mittens back and forth). 
When it’s cold, it doesn’t matter whether, (shrug shoulders)
Mittens are wool or made of finest leather. (rub hands like of 
Thumb in the thumb place, fingers all together

Mittens for Snow Time

Mittens for the snow time, when the world is white. 
Mittens for my two hands, (hold up hands) 
Mittens left and right (show left & right) 
Mittens with a thumb place (show thumb) 
Mittens warm and snug 
Mittens make me feel like giving a hug (hug self)

Mitten Story

My poor little kitten lost her mitten and started to cry, “boohoo”,
So I helped my kitten to look for her mitten, her beautiful mitten of blue.
I found a mitten just right for a kitten, under my mother’s bed.
But alas the mitten was not the right mitten, for it was colored red.
I found a mitten just right for a kitten
…under my father’s pillow … yellow.
…on the hand of my brother’s clown … brown.
…under the laundry so clean … green.
…inside a grocery sack .. black.
…under the kitchen sink … pink.
I found a mitten just right for a kitten inside my favorite shoe,
And this time the mitten WAS the right mitten, for it was colored blue!

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Open House: Saturday, January 26 2019, 10am-12pm

Join us Saturday, January 26 10am-12pm. Come see our play yard, classrooms, and meet Teacher Janice.

Parents from this year’s classes will be there to answer questions.

Our Parent Coordinators will be available to answer your Registration questions.

We have 5 classes serving children 12 months to 4 years. Our preschool classes share the same space and teacher. We are part of the North Seattle College (NSC) Co-operative Preschool program which means parent education is a big part of our school. A cooperative preschool is a wonderful way to introduce children to early learning and for parents to learn and grow as well.

Crownhill Co-operative Preschool is a Nature Explore certified outdoor classroom and Teacher Janice is a certified Nature Explore teacher.

Preschool is a time for your child to explore, engage and encounter. Preschool allows children to be exposed to new friends, new challenges and new ideas. Between the ages of one and four, children experience many changes and it is exciting to be part of their first learning experiences. Teacher Janice designs the curriculum, using cooperative and creative play to enhance social, emotional and intellectual development.

We look forward to meeting you!

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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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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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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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