Welcome to the Nursery Class from Debbie


It is hard to imagine that the summer is almost over and the fall
season is around the corner. What a lovely summer this has been! I
hope everyone has been busy collecting good memories and enjoying this
relaxing, slow paced time of year. When it all comes to an end in a
few weeks, I will be eager to get back into that routine and will be
ready for a change of pace. I am looking forward to connecting and
reconnecting with all of you in the classroom and at the playground
meeting. There are many changes and much growing that takes place over
the summer. I am eager to hear and share different experiences with
the children.
 I have had a very fun but busy summer.  I had a great time
vacationing at the Berkshires and spending time with family and
friends. We celebrated my nephew’s engagement and we had our family
reunion. I did my morning runs/walks with my dog Lucky and went to the
beach a few times. Spent a lot of time with my sister relaxing by her
pool.  Also, I did some school work to prepare for this school year.
The summer went by so very quickly and here we are thinking and
planning the start of a new school year. Soon the class rep will be
contacting you about our playground meeting and then it will be time
to finalize our plans for the Classroom Visit and the first day of

All this movement is about the children, of course! Children are on
our minds as we read the class list. We recognize some names and
wonder how much these children will have grown over the summer. We
discover new names and can’t wait to meet these new faces and
personalities. The beginning of the school year is always full of
questions: Who are the children? How will they settle in their new
environment and among each other? How will their personalities, their
curiosity and their interest shape the year together in the Nursery
Class? What new ideas and experiences will the children bring to the

As teachers, our job is to find out about each child’s abilities
through observation and interaction; and then use that knowledge to
support his/her development while allowing the child to advance at
his/her own pace. We give the children opportunity to build on their
particular talents and to gather tools they will need for the school
years ahead. Through play and guidance, each child will have many
opportunities to feel, to discover, to imagine and to create. All of
this will be done with the goal of helping him/her become an
independent learner, enjoy the company of others and develop his/her
knowledge of the world around.

But first, we will start with our playground meeting and then our
classroom visit. During that time, pick up your information packet;
choose a coat cubby with your child and tape a family picture above
it; place your child’s change of clothes on top of the cubby; put your
child’s photo page/drawing in the photo album at the book center;
encourage your child to play with materials (and return them to their
proper places), have a snack, and show your child the bathroom. Open
House gives you and your child a chance to explore the room together,
meet other children and parents, and meet the teachers. The playground
meeting and Classroom Visit helps make the transition of Mom and Dad
leaving that first day run smoothly for most children. If your child
has a difficult time separating, Karen and I will work with you to do
what is best for your child! The Classroom Visit is a busy time! We
will do our best to answer your questions then. Otherwise, do not
hesitate to call me at school or home. Please, always feel free to see
us or call any time you have a question, concern, or a suggestion. We
will end our Classroom Visit with a sing-along. Our first weeks
together will be about making the home/school transitions go smoothly,
getting to know each other, exploring our morning routine and learning
about sharing space with others. Karen and I look forward to working
with you and your child in the classroom on your duty days. Children
and parents working together in the classroom and learning from one
another all along. This makes a positive experience for all involved!
Enjoy the rest of your summer. Love Debbie

Classroom Visit-Wednesday, September 6th
Session1-9:00-10:15-Ronan,Luca, Natalie, Clara, Ada and Harry
Session 2-10:45-12:00-Ava ,Matilda, Lucia ,Nate, Dafne, Jared and Lucian

Welcome to the Pre School Class from Mona & Karen

Hello and Welcome to the Preschool Class!

Summer – a span of just over two and a half months…but a span of a few months brings big changes in children.  It happens right before our eyes but sometimes we don’t even notice because it may be so subtle or we’re so busy with day to day life.  And we wonder – wow, when did he/she learn that?  I do that all the time with my grandchildren – it amazes me how much they’ve grown and changed and learned each time I see them.  Well at Child’s Play that is our job– to observe and notice those “little things” in the day to day and help them move on to the bigger things.  To take them from stacking blocks to building incredible structures; to take them from watching things happen to making predictions and observations about what will happen; from scribbles to meaningful marks on the paper; from playing alone to working and playing with others; from being ego-centric to helping them see things from another’s point of view.  When it looks like everyone is “just playing” around the room we are watching, observing and making notes of where they are so we can help them move forward and planning activities, etc. that will help get them there.  We ask questions, model behavior or language; join in their play to bring them to the next level.  And sometimes it is done in ways that might not even be apparent to an observer in the business of the day to day….it all looks like great fun and “just play”.  To help us in our task we carefully read the teacher information forms you completed to learn about your child, to get to know a little bit about their interests, likes, dislikes, etc.  This also guides us in our planning and work.  

Karen and I also look forward to getting to know your family, sharing in your child’s education, and working in the classroom with you – this also helps us in working with your child.   A parent cooperative is a partnership – we all work together to help “our” children grow and develop and take pride in each child as if they were our own…..it is an amazing thing!  How great it is for these children to see parents and teachers working together….the true meaning of “it takes a village”.

We encourage you to share your talents, traditions, cultures, ideas and suggestions with us throughout the year.  We hope you enjoy your “Duty Days”.  Make sure to take a few minutes here and there to just watch and listen as your children work and play – they are amazing!  It is so great to observe and witness those “A-ha moments”.   If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions throughout the year please do not hesitate to let us know.  If there is not time during the school day or if things seem too hectic, you are always welcome to call me at home (evenings are best) or e-mail me and I will get back to you promptly.

Our year will begin informally with our Playground Visit.  This will take place at 10 on Tues., Aug. 29th.  We will meet on the school playground for an hour or two to reconnect with old friends and welcome new ones.  The year officially begins with Classroom Visit Day - Wednesday, Sept. 6.  The class will be divided into two sessions to provide a more enjoyable experience for your child and you.  This allows the children a calmer, quieter introduction to the classroom (although some need no introduction!), more room to explore, an opportunity to meet some of their peers and a chance for us to spend time with each child and family.  Children will choose their room cubby, find their hallway coat hook, and explore the classroom centers and materials.  Snack will be available and we’ll have a brief meeting/circle time near the end of the hour to discuss our first day plans and sing a few songs.  (See schedule below for Classroom Visit times – if this time is a problem for you, let me know and I’ll see what we can do to re-arrange it.)  Our first School Day is Friday, Sept. 8thwe all come together with teachers and duty parents from 9 – 12 as we ease into the school year.  Lunch bunch will start the following week on Monday!

Our first weeks will be spent getting to know one another, learning our classroom routine and becoming a community.  Karen and I look forward to seeing the beach treasures the children have collected – I hope they brought you lots of happy moments and warm memories of your time together this summer.  We’ll begin our school year sharing those memories and do some ocean/beach exploration.  We’ll also begin our “All About the Preschoolers” book – we’d like to ask that you send in a page about your child.  It can include photos of the child and family and list his/her favorite color(s), foods, activities, likes/dislikes…..whatever he or she would like to include.  Please make it standard size (8 ½ x11) to fit in a page insert of our book.

School is close at hand, but for now summer beckons and I’m off to savor these last days of fun; enjoy those last precious moments of summer and your children – they’ll never be this age again - and we’ll see you soon!!


Mona and Karen


Preschool Classroom Visit Day

9:00 – 10:15    Abraham, Anne, Bevan, Cameron, Eleanor, Jameson, Meg, Mikey, Sylvie, Thomas

10:45 – 12:00    Audoen, Aviva, Coco, Eamonn, Ethan, Kayla, Silas, Soleil, Theo, Will

Welcome to the Toddler Class from Debbie

Welcome To The Toddler Class

Summer is almost over and the fall season is around the corner.  What a lovely summer this has been! I hope everyone has been making good  memories and enjoying this relaxing, slow paced time of year. As it comes to an end, I am eager to get back into the routine and will be ready for a change of pace. I am looking forward to connecting and reconnecting with all of you in the classroom and at our playground meeting. There are many changes and so much growing that takes place over the summer. I can’t wait to hear about and share different experiences with you and your children.

I had a relaxing but busy summer.  I spent a lot of time at my sister’s pool and I went vacationing at the Berkshires where I explored Mt Greylock and visited some quaint restaurants. I did some work preparing for the new school year and took some online classes. We celebrated my nephew’s engagement and had our annual family reunion. I spent a lot of time with family and friends this summer! Of course there were my morning runs with my dog, Lucky!

The summer went so quickly. Here we are planning the start of a new school year. Soon the class rep will be contacting you about our playground meeting. We will also be finalizing our plans for the Classroom Visit and the first day of school. With it, both excitement and anxiety accompany this new milestone in your child’s journey. So much growth has happened since his/her birth and will happen by the time he/she enters kindergarten. So much growth and knowledge in so little time! Research in early childhood cannot stress enough the contributions of a loving, nurturing and enriching environment to the blossoming of a young child.

Two bits of wisdom from Ann Douglas, “The Mother of All Toddler Books” fits appropriately here: “No two children follow the exact same timeline in growth and development,” and “Growth is not a steady forward, upward progression. It is instead a switchback trail; three steps forward, two back, one around the bushes, and a few simply standing before another forward leap.” Our educational philosophy recognizes such facts and emphasizes that young children learn best through play. With that in mind, together we will tap into our Toddlers’ energy and interests to guide enriching play experiences. We will give them time and opportunities to sort out their emotions, practice new skills and celebrate their achievements.

We will remember all along that each child is unique; that each child needs to feel safe in order to thrive. Our goal is for children to have a good time together away from home!

In the Toddler Class, your child will continue to play as he/she does at home. There will be singing, moving, books, blocks, drawing and cooking, sand and water, etc; all activities that young children enjoy and need to construct their knowledge of the world around. But there will be less of mom and dad and more of “the other kids.”

You may be wondering about the first day of school. There is no way of knowing how your child will react to your leaving the classroom. Some children let mom or dad go readily and others may need to have mom or dad in the classroom for a few minutes before saying goodbye. Be assured I will work with you and your child to make this a positive experience for all! We will try out strategies to help with the home-school transition and see what works for both of you. I look forward to meeting with you and your child at our playground meeting and at our classroom visit. At our classroom visit you can pick up your information packet; choose a cubby and place your child’s change of clothes on top; place your child’s photo page in the album at the book center; encourage your child to play with materials. We will have a snack and end the morning with a sing-along. Our Classroom Visit gives you and your child a chance to explore the room, meet other children and parents, and meet the teachers. It is a busy time but we will try our best to answer your questions then. Otherwise do not hesitate to call me at school or home. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Love Debbie

Classroom Visit - Thursday, September 7th

Session 1: 9:00-10:15-Betsy, Daphne, Mack, Rex and Khizr

Session 2: 10:45-12:00-Juniper, Ida, Erik, Meredith and Blake

2015-2016 Goodbyes

From The Co-Presidents

June! I was sitting with Theo recently and we had the following little conversation.

Theo: Are you worried?
Me: No, I am not worried. Are you?
Theo: Yes, I am worried.
Me: Oh. Well, what are you worried about?
Theo: Teacher Debbie. And Teacher Joanne. And all the kids.
Me: Why are you worried about them?
Theo: Because… I just love them.

And then we hugged and giggled and life continued, but when I think of the culmination of this year at Child’s Play, I get it. Watching the kids grow individually and as cohorts has been awesome; getting to build friendships with families - awesome; wrapping up the last meetings - truly awesome! So a big final THANK YOU to you, your family, the teachers, the teachers’ families, and the entire Child’s Play community. We look forward to continuing friendships throughout the summer, and for years to come! Have a glorious summer and let’s keep in touch!

All the best!
Ray and Jenny

From The Toddler Class

The journey we are on since we came into this world is about finding who we are, what we like to do, what we are good at, and hopefully, figure out the way to pull it all together so that we may create a nice niche for ourselves in this world. When talking to my daughters about plans for their future, I explain to them how important it is to love the profession you choose. I chose teaching young children because I look forward to going to my job every day and feel appreciated for the work I do. So what will the FUTURE bring for my little friends? The word itself seems too big a word when thinking of the children in the Toddler Class. Yet, here they are, already on their way to finding it.

No doubt the children’s temperament, interests and aspirations will put them on different paths in the years ahead. Reflecting on the year, I see doctors, construction workers, firefighters, hairdressers, veterinarians, artists, princesses, super heroes and the most important and difficult job in the world - being a Mom or Dad! But for the time being, they are eleven children with much in common. In September, and throughout the year, we either needed to put on our brave faces and wave goodbye to our parents at the waving window or were much too busy to even notice. Each morning, we talk about what makes them happy, sad, worried, scared or surprised! They talk on cell phones, type on laptops and take care of babies. They read stories together and make snakes and caterpillars out of play dough. They paint together using their hands and explore a bit more until their arms are covered in paint. Parents and teachers could go to the house corner for a makeover, health check or a bite to eat all at the same time. We spend time playing together at the soil, sand and water table. They gather together at the snack table talking about where food comes from and the crunchy sound it makes. When I forget words in a song, they teach me to sing it the correct way! When I say the wrong word when reading a story they let me know about that too. We all hold hands and sing Ring-Around-The-Rosie and learn about colors and balance when we do The Bean Bag Boogie. Then there is the Golden Bag with picture blocks of mom or dad that we cannot wait to hold while learning about colors, letters, shapes and numbers. They comfort one another when a child is upset or missing mom or dad. They make sense, and learn about the world, as they watch little caterpillars transform into beautiful butterflies. Then, of course, we cannot forget about our train that the duty kid drives at the end of each morning...fast or slow, off to see their families and toys (NO TICKET, NO TRAIN!)

It is all about PLAY!! It is also about playing TOGETHER, NEGOTIATING play, using WORDS in every situation, HELPING each other, PRACTICING skills in ALL areas…As for the children, they know that they are now THREE, that they are BIGGER, that they can do MORE...BETTER...FASTER!

As it always does, the end of the year has come in the wink of an eye. This has been an amazing year, but it is time to say goodbye! My eleven little toddler friends are sweet, loving, kind, funny, curious and strong! These fine qualities will guide their friendships, their love of life and their many accomplishments.

Thank you Joanne, for a wonderful year together! I am so lucky to work with such a kind, loving person and friend. We make such a great team together and I am sad to say goodbye! You are an amazing teacher and your grandchildren are lucky to have you!

Our last days in the classroom will be about celebrating the summer birthdays, washing and storing materials for the summer and welcoming the beach season. And now it is time to say goodbye to Avery, Francesco, Beckett, Rah, Joey, Ellie and Chloe! You will truly be missed...please come back to visit. I would also like to say THANK YOU. To you, dear parents in the Toddler class, for your friendship, your support, your hard work on duty days and committees, your great sense of humor and for always seeing the best in every child! To our class rep and to the co-presidents, the Board, our co-op specialist (Sue) and the teachers for accomplishing many goals this school year. Thanks to Karen and Mona, for your friendship and laughs throughout the year! And of course, to the Toddler class - thank you for all the memories of our year together. Enjoy your summer!

Love Debbie

From The Nursery Class

It has been a great year in the Nursery Class, it has gone by so quickly! We will be winding down gently towards the end of the year. Activities will center around how we have grown and changed, celebrating being four, welcoming summer, cleaning toys in the water table for the children next year and getting a taste of preschool. Lastly, we will be saying goodbye to our classroom and our year together.

Over the past few weeks we have been exploring insects & talking about the different jobs of people around us. We had our visit to the fire station, where we talked about fire safety, tools and the different parts of the fire truck. The firefighter dressed in her uniform and gave us a high five and another firefighter slid down the fire pole many times.

One morning last week, I asked the children to tell me what they learned in class this year. This way, next year, I can share the same experiences with the new children! Here are their responses:

Gabe: I like to paint, enjoyed playing in the house corner and with puzzles

Eitan: Not to put toys in my mouth

Quinn: How to build a castle

Nora: To make play dough

Leo: To draw all sorts of things

Wyatt: To play with toys

Ethan: Play in whatever center you want and build a lot of stuff

Eowyn: To play at all the centers just like Ethan

Theo: Playing monster trucks

Scarlette: About making pictures, making Legos too and puzzles and books

You You: Singing Twinkle Little Star in English

Noah: To play nice and I learned how to play planned

Esme: I learned math

Cordelia: How to clean up

As you read these responses, you realize that the year-ending is “bittersweet!” We have had some good times and have great memories, but there were also times when we missed our mom and dad. Now it is time to move on to bigger and better things in the preschool class and look forward to our new friends and experiences next year!Another thing I realize through my conversations with the children is that if children can make friends and play, play, play, they will love school and learn. Good thing that our philosophy is children learn through play! That is one of the things I like best about our program. The children come to school and play all day, but the learning that takes place is amazing. They are learning math, science, social studies, literacy, language etc….and are enjoying themselves in the process. Most importantly they are learning all those social/emotional skills that are so vital at this age and throughout our adult lives. I’m not quite sure how I feel about the year ending, but as you all know...I LOVE summer!  I will miss my Child’s Play family during the break but I am looking forward to going to the beach, vacationing and camping. 

Over time, I have observed how some children learn to be more assertive and help teach others to better control themselves. This year, I saw some children come out of their shells by others reaching out to them. I noticed children challenging themselves on the playground and in our classroom. I saw all children work (and they will continue to work) on recognizing their own feelings, and those of others, in order to make the best of a situation. The children are learning that emotions keep us moving through life and keep us appreciating its meaning and its wonders. It is called growing up!

For now, the joys of summer are here, and then the wonders of preschool with Mona and Karen, or on to new experiences and new schools. Goodbye to Gabe, Eitan, Micah, You You and their families. Thanks for all your hard work in and out of the classroom and for giving me the opportunity to play and learn with your children! Please come back to visit. To those children who are returning to Child’s Play; I will continue to see you grow in the preschool class next year!

And so it is time to say goodbye, but also thank you. Thank you Joanne for all your hard work and another fun year together. We make a great team and I enjoy working with you. I am very sad that you are leaving, but happy for your new experience as a grandparent. Child’s Play will not be the same without you! Thank you to Mona and Karen for a great year of laughs and friendships. To Audrey and Norman, thank you for sharing your knowledge and talents with us. To the Board, our wonderful co-presidents, our co-op Specialist, Sue, for your support through this Bright Stars school year. To you, dear parents, for all your hard work on committees and on your duty days, for your support of the children and the teachers and for bringing out the best in every child. Thank you for your great kids!

To the children of the Nursery Class, thank you for all the good memories and for making my job the best job in the world! To all, have a relaxing, beautiful summer.

Love Debbie  


Butterfly, butterfly...Fly, fly away....From the Preschool class

Where has the year gone? It seems like a blink of an eye ago we were starting our year and now we’re so close to the end. And what a year it has been….twenty individuals came bursting into preschool all with their own needs and desires, likes and interests, and very different personalities. What a cast of characters!!

They are the masters of expression – just one look says a thousand words. Oh those looks: there’s the scrunched up nose (I’m thinking, I’m thinking/ah yes, the wheels are turning); the twinkle in the eye and sly smile (oh gosh, what is this child cooking up now??); the glaring eyes (watch out everybody); the eyes upward/tap the chin (hmmm…..a new idea is brewing); the HEL-LO! (4 going on 14/duh, get a clue); the furrowed brow/determined (I will master the monkey bars); the ear to ear grin (wow, I did it!); the head down/arms crossed (I am not a happy camper/I didn’t get my way); the warm, gentle, sympathetic look (awww, are you ok? to a sad, hurt, etc. friend) to name just a few. What a group of personalities – they are strong, intense, witty, dramatic, passionate, loving and absolutely lovable. Karen and I had our work cut out for us - Some days our heads were spinning trying to keep one step ahead of them. But oh, what fun it has been…….every day is a new adventure and laughter is always a part of our day. How many people are lucky enough to say this about their jobs??

But like our caterpillars, these children have grown…..from very egocentric fours to kind, caring, confident fives ready to take on the world. We’ve watched them grow and change through the year. They are artists (of every kind and medium), builders, scientists (we’re experts at polymers, growing seeds and caterpillars), explorers, athletes (you get very agile playing Dungeon Tag and Fishy, Fishy Cross My Ocean), musicians, innovative chefs, energetic singers (who cares if they’re a little off key?), dancers (they really “bust a move” on Audrey days), aerospace engineers (we’ve had sooo many types of space craft built and have spent the year flying off to space.

The lessons we’ve tried to teach have been well learned. We watch as they help each other, nurture each other and respect each other. Those who were quiet and shy found their voice; those that were sort of “prickly” have softened and enjoy the company of others; those who were “take charge/must be in control at all times” have learned that others can also lead and it’s quite alright; and they’ve learned that it is more fun sharing and playing with others than trying to have everything to yourself but no one to play with (well, most of the time :). Big steps at a young age….maybe some grown-ups could learn from these children!

What have I learned from this group? That twenty preschoolers can all be so different, but at the same time, so alike – they work their way into your heart – a silly look, a shy smile, a hug around the neck, an infectious laugh or two and they’ve got you hooked – leaving an imprint all their own. I also learned something from each of them:

Charlotte - that with great determination you can accomplish anything

Tallulah – in order to create a great masterpiece at the easel you must not only cover the paper with paint but every inch of your hands as well

Camilla – to do great things takes time and patience

Skyla – to sing like no one is listening and dance like no one is watching

Anthony – a kind heart and sweet personality is the making of a good friend

Alice – that being independent and not following the crowd is a really admirable quality in life

Leo – that a vivid imagination can be fabulous and a bit scary, too

Lina – a smile is infectious and will make you new friends where ever you go

Mary – that approaching every day with a smile and a skip to your step makes for a great adventure

Sam – that you can never ask too many questions in life

Roan – that just about anything can be created from Legos

Ruby – to have a friend be a friend….and people definitely want to be your friend

Joey – that having fast feet, fast legs certainly earns a guy respect

Henry – there’s something about an impish smile that makes everyone take notice …and smile, too

Ashton – that humor is an essential part of each and every day

August – that you can never have too many treasures

Rylan – that several hugs a day are much needed by everyone

EllaMae – in quiet determination lies great strength

Kieran – to always stop and smell the flowers, look for little creatures …there is beauty in nature

Will – a man of few words has lots to say

Just like our caterpillars that morphed into butterflies, it’s a time of transition and change: It can be hard for children (and sometimes for adults as well) to let go of the familiar and soar on to new adventures, but we’re working on it. It’s fun and exciting to grow and change but scary, too…the unknown always is. Karen and I are feeling protective and reluctant to let them go, but we know we must. As hard as it will be, we know that they are ready. It reminds me of the saying “The most important things you can give children are roots and wings”. We hope the roots they’ve grown at Child’s Play will always be supportive, keeping them strong and providing a good foundation; and the wings will take them to new places and adventures – to be confident, self-motivated learners with a thirst and love to know more but to be kind, caring friends and people. Our wish is that school will always be as joyful and exciting an adventure as we hope it has been for them here at Child’s Play.

I’d like to thank everyone for a super year. One of the great rewards of working in a co-op is working with you as a partner in your child’s education. We’ve enjoyed the special projects, stories and activities you’ve shared with us and we hope you’ve enjoyed your time in the classroom as well. Thank you to Jenny and Ray for your great leadership, Sue for all the “behind the scenes” work you do every day, Grace for your support as Class Rep, and to the Board and CP community for making Child’s Play what is it – a truly unique, wonderful school. Audrey – thanks for another fabulous year of musical memories.

To our great staff – thank you for all your hard work and commitment to continually make our educational program the best it can be. Joanne, thank you for being a part of this family for the past six years. You are truly going to be missed – our kiddos have been so lucky to have you in their lives. We expect many visits with those grandbabies!!

To my twenty fabulous “butterflies”: we’ve formed wonderful friendships, shared fabulous experiences and you’ll always have a special place in my heart. Now you are ready to soar…..but I hope those “wings” will bring you back to your “roots” so we can see how much you’ve grown. Have a wonderful summer and keep on soaring!

Love……Mona & Karen

Summertime "Must-Do's" with Kids In Providence, RI


We have compiled a handy list of kid-friendly activities- many of which are FREE! For more even more ideas, check out kidoinfo.com 

  1. Visit Roger Williams National Memorial in Providence. Learn why the founder of Rhode Island was also a champion of the ideal of religious freedom. Bonus: Lovely spot for an outdoor picnic in season. (Free)  
  2. Stroll through Swan Point Cemetery in Providence, and find the resting place of famous souls like horror, fantasy, science-fiction writer H. P. Lovecraft. (Free) 
  3. Jump aboard the sunken ship The Hannah in Burnside Park (downtown Providence). Open all year long. (Free) Bonus: Attend Kidoinfo Storytime and Art in the Park during July and August. (Free) 
  4. Take a walking tour of downtown Providence
  5. Watch the sunset over downtown Providence from Prospect Terrace. Park or hike to the top of Neutaconkanut Hill for another great view of the city. (Free) 
  6. Music! Enjoy concerts at Waterplace Park in downtown Providence. (Free) 
  7. Experience Waterfire in downtown Providence. Get there just before sunset to see the iconic bonfires as they are being lit. (Free) 
  8. Take a boat ride during Waterfire in downtown Providence.
  9.  Play the Rhode Island Farm Scavenger Hunt. Take a road trip and explore 28 of RI’s 1,200 working farms. Visit www.RIFruitGrowers.org to download the map and clues or pick up a pamphlet at a participating farm.
    • Visit a real working dairy farm: Wrights Dairy Farm and Bakery in North Smithfield (Blackstone Valley). 
    • Travel back in time by visiting a 1790s New England farm: Coggeshall Farm Museum in Bristol. 
    • Visit Casey Farm in Saunderstown. (Free for Historic New England members and Saunderstown residents.) 
    • Visit a working family farm: Watson Farm in Jamestown (Free for Historic New England members and Jamestown residents.) 
    • Visit a real working farm: Dame Farm and Orchards in Johnston. Visit Kenyon’s Grist Mill in Usquepaug. (Free with a food or clothing donation for the Jonny Cake Center.) 

And in the spirit of the year end, we would like to thank the entire community for making this another great year at Child’s Play.  We truly enjoyed working with you and the opportunity to continue to build on this fantastic community.  We appreciate the hard work of the Board and the Committees for everything you did to keep the school running, the finances intact, the website refreshed, the building and playground in good condition all while attracting new families into the co-op, organizing fun community building events and building relationships with alumni and the larger community. The co-op only functions if everyone performs their role and we are truly grateful for all that you did this year to make Child’s Play the special place that it is.  We would like to thank our award winning teachers and staff for the nurturing environment that they create.  Their dedication and care is second to none.

Enjoy friends! And see you soon!

Ray and Jenny, Co-Presidents 2015-2016

Inside Scoop: Admissions by the Numbers

What do you get when you draw names out of a hat?  

Wonderful and wacky Child’s Play families! That’s right, the process is old-school and low-tech, with families picked at random for admission. Because of that, we have amassed quite a motley crew just by luck of the draw!

Here’s a look at Child’s Play 2015-2016 admissions by the numbers:

The number of duty days completed so far by the Zumstein family, who has the current longest consecutive attendance streak at Child’s Play.  That’s 3 kids, 7 years, and counting…  Next time you see them, give Justin and Erin a high five for their many years of service and commitment to our school! 

The number of years our 4 wonderful and dedicated teachers have been collectively working at Child’s Play. Amazing. 


The number of Child’s Play families and teachers who work together toward a common goal--in a world where kindergarten is the new first grade, and preschool is threatening to become the new kindergarten, we as a community have put a collective foot down, and strive to create a school culture that values play and the learning opportunities that come from it.

The number of different zip codes from which our current families hail.  This year, we have families from as close as neighboring Waterman Street and as far away as Australia!

The number of sets of siblings currently attending our school

The number of different languages that are spoken fluently by at least one child in our school (Chinese, Spanish, Hebrew, Italian, and English.) 

The number of “grandchildren” Child’s Play currently has in attendance.  This year, we welcomed preschooler August, whose mom, Annie, was a student in the original class of Child’s Play back in 1979.

Contributed by: Angela Simpson, Director of Admissions 2016-12017

Quarterly News

From our Pre-School Class Rep Grace Dayian

As you may already know, the Child's Play symbol is an acorn, representing the idea that "mighty oaks from tiny acorns grow." I have often wondered how our Preschoolers envision themselves all grown up. During a recent morning as duty parent, I had the opportunity to ask each of the Preschoolers to verbalize their dream of a future self. Here's how they responded to the question, "What would you like to be when you grow up?" (in order of when they appeared at the snack table).

Alice - a scientist
Will - a doctor, after hearing a few of the other kids' ideas, he decided that he'd like to be a doctor and a race car driver
Ashton - a construction worker
Lina - a babysitter
Henry - a race car driver
Ella Mae - a veterinarian
Mary - a dentist
Camilla - a photographer
Roan - a demolition worker
Charlotte - a cowgirl
August - a chef or maybe an astronaut
Ruby - an artist
Sam - a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
Tallulah - a hair stylist
Kieran - Batman
Leo - Darth Vader or maybe a doctor
Joey - a veterinarian
Rylan - Connor the Train
Skyla - a veterinarian
Anthony was absent that day. 

As you can see, our Preschoolers have a number of careers covered, including law enforcement, entertainment, thrill seeking, art, child care, construction, and medicine. They will be mighty oaks. As the adults in their lives, may we continue to provide them ample nourishment and encouragement so that their growing environment is as rich and colorful as their dreams!  Happy holidays everyone! Grace

From our Nursery Class Rep Kirsten Murphy

Stuffed Acorn Squash from Nursery class mom Kristen Pedroso 


Here is one of my favorite preparations of a healthy squash that keeps well throughout the winter.  And although it takes time to roast the squash, it’s relatively easy-peasy!


3 whole acorn squash
2  large chicken breasts (optional)
1 ½  cup shredded Mexican cheese
1 small onion
1 small bell pepper
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
Cayenne pepper

 Preparation: (If looking for a vegetarian dish, just skip the chicken)

Half each squash, season with salt and pepper, brush with olive oil, place on a baking sheet. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper, brush with olive oil, place on a baking sheet. Roast squash at 400 degrees for 1 hour, 15 minutes or until squash is fork tender and you’re able to scoop it out. Roast chicken breasts at the same time, about 45 minutes with the skin on or about 30 minutes without the skin, until juices run clear. While roasting, dice onion and pepper and sauté in olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Remove chicken from the oven and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before removing the skin (discard) and cut into small cubes. Remove the squash from the oven and scoop it out with a spoon (leaving enough of the skin to keep it’s shape, about ¼ inch) and put into a large mixing bowl. Add the onions, peppers, chicken, and 1 cup shredded cheese to the mixing bowl and fold into the squash. Add a touch of cayenne pepper (to taste) to the whole mix, just to add a little heat to the sweet.  I think this is what really sets this dish off!! Taste the “stuffing,” it should not need salt as the ingredients have already been seasoned, but add if necessary. Stuff squash skins with the stuffing mix, top with the remaining cheese, and put back into the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and everything is warm throughout. Enjoy!

Make New Friends: Positive. Patient. Overcommitted.

Lesley was born and raised in California, the oldest of three sisters. She spent her first decade in Santa Barbara, where her parents were both elementary school teachers and administrators. She and her family then moved to the San Fernando Valley, the same year that Frank Zappa released his pop hit "Valley Girl,” which gave her much inspiration for new speech patterns and fashion choices. (Ahh..if we only had pictures!)  

At 17, Lesley left LA and headed across the country to attend Barnard College as an undergrad and then Syracuse University, where she got her master’s and PhD in Cultural Foundations of Education. She took her first academic position as an assistant professor of Educational Foundations at Rhode Island College in 2001, and is now approaching her 15th year working with undergrads and grad students in the education programs there.  She also co-directs the Youth Development program, and teaches in Gender and Women’s Studies.

Lesley married young, divorced fifteen years later, and found herself treading water in the Rhode Island dating pool several years later after that. So at 38, wanting to have a child biologically, she started strategizing a new plan for family building. After spending several months choosing a sperm donor, and several more traveling to and from the Cornell Center for Reproductive Medicine in NYC, Micah was born. “Best. Decision. Ever.”  

Lesley and Micah live on the East Side of Providence, and have many wonderful adventures together. According to Lesley, Micah is funny, smart and kind.  He is a great traveler and has flown cross country to see his family in California many times.  Micah also loves music… and on any given M-W-F, you might catch a glimpse of them having a “dance party” in the car during morning drop off.  He is also a creative (and genuinely helpful) assistant in any home fix-it project, especially it if involves a trip to Home Depot where he can ride in the “car carts.”  

Lesley loves the fact that Child’s Play’s has given Micah a great deal of confidence, independence, and creative opportunity.  He is taking more risks, trying new things, and building a deep love for his friends and teachers. Welcome to Child’s Play, Lesley and Micah, we are so happy to be on this new adventure with you! 

We asked Lesley to share a bit about herself in 10 questions:

What are your favorite books?
EB White’s Charlotte’s Web and Judith Viorst’s, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  

What was your favorite activity in gym class?
Faking injuries and developing elaborate strategies for evading sweat.

What would your perfect day look like?
Blue sky.  Sunshine.  Big blanket and comfortable chairs.  Picnic lunch.  Micah dancing to happy music in front of me. Maybe a kite. Maybe a few moments with the New York Times.  And a nap.

Which three people would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island?
My sisters, Micah, my best friend from childhood who I still talk to several times a day (Okay, that’s 4!)

If money was no object, what would you do all day?
If I wasn’t working full time, I would return to throwing pots at Dew Claw studio, something I loved to do before Micah was born.  And Zumba.  And I would still teach one class a week at RIC... but I might pay someone to grade all the papers! Just kidding. Sort of.  

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?
Prague and Barcelona

What's your favorite restaurant in Providence?
Bacaro or Loie Fuller.  But the whims of a three year old dictate that I mostly eat out at Flatbreads and Hope Street Pizza.

Which famous person would you like to eat there with?
Michelle Obama

What's your favorite season?
As a California native who never experienced real season changes, I love the spring when the bulbs are blooming and all the trees come back to life.

How would your closest friends describe you in three words?
Positive.  Patient.  Overcommitted.

Make New Friends…But Keep the Old

We couldn’t possibly think of a more appropriate family to introduce in our first “Make New Friends” blog than the Hartmann/Metnicks’. Annie Hartmann and Noah Metnick are the parents of August, a first-year student in Mona’s preschool class.  Back in September of 1979, when Annie was just 2 ½, Annie’s mom, Jean Plunkett, was one of the founding members of Child’s Play!  The school began inside the Fox Point Neighborhood Center (across from what was then the Fox Point Elementary School, and now the Vartan Gregorian Elementary School.) The entire school consisted of one fifteen student class of 2 ½ and 3/12 year olds, and Annie was one of them.  We are absolutely thrilled to have Annie back at Child’s Play as a parent, sharing the co-op duties with her husband and continuing her family legacy! 

Annie and Noah met as children, when they were both living on Methyl Street in Providence. As they grew older and attended different schools and ultimately went off to separate colleges, their friendship continued through phone calls and hand-written letters. (Remember those?) It wasn’t until after college that their friendship grew into a romantic relationship…then a marriage…and finally, a family.  After the birth of their second child, Leo, they relocated back to Providence from Brooklyn to be closer to family and to enjoy a slower pace of life. 

Annie, Noah, August and Leo currently live on the East Side of Providence.  Annie left her job as a therapist at a progressive school in Brooklyn in order to relocate to Rhode Island, and is now a Clinical Social Worker. Noah is the Executive Chef at the Waterman Grill in Providence. They are currently members of the Fundraising Committee at Child’s Play. Welcome to Child’s Play August and welcome back Annie! 

We asked Annie and Noah to share a bit about themselves in 15 questions:

Where were you born?
Annie:  Roanoke, Virginia
Noah:  Haifa, Israel

What was your first job?
Annie:  Babysitting
Noah:  Sweeping the floors and folding t-shirts at my dad’s screen printing shop

What did you want to be when you were small?
Annie:  A bunny
Noah:  A forest ranger 

If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be?
Annie:  I'd be on the beach with family and friends, eating great food.  (And someone would be watching the kids for an hour so that I could read.)
Noah:  Sleep on the beach

What would you sing at Karaoke night?
Annie:  I'd enjoy the singing from my seat, happy not to be the center of attention. 
Noah:  I wouldn't.

What makes you laugh the most?
Annie:  Noah, my girlfriends, Louis C.K
Noah:  My kids

What sound do you love?
Annie:  The kids laughing. 
Noah:  Same answer - my kid’s laughter.

If you could share a meal with any 2 individuals, living or dead, who would they be?
Annie: Ronna and Beverly
Noah: Thomas Keller and JRR Tolkien 

If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Annie:  I can't imagine - just thinking about it makes me panicky
Noah:  Pasta with butter and parmesan 

What is the worst gift you have ever received?
Annie:  A basket filled with hard candies with two child size red glittery shoes on top
Noah:  XXL camo sweatpants 

Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?
Annie:  Coffee
Noah:  Reading

What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?
Annie:  A plane, a pilot, water
Noah:  A knife, a bottle of bourbon, sunglasses 

What's the most unusual thing you've ever eaten?
Annie:  Glass eels
Noah:  Same answer - Glass eels 

What's the most daring thing you've ever done?
Annie:  Childbirth
Noah:  Taking two small children to the supermarket

If you had a warning label, what would yours say?
Annie:  Beware: barely human when hungry
Noah:  Must drink coffee within five minutes of waking.

It's All About the Auction (and that bass)

Each year, the Fundraising Committee hosts a spring auction and dinner, which contributes heavily (usually in excess of $12,000) to the financial goals of the committee, and in turn, the school's operating budget. The event is typically held in April or May, and all families are asked to contribute one item to the silent or live auction. It's held off-site, it's a kid-free evening and it's a lot of fun. It's also a lot of work for our community, especially those on the Fundraising Committee!

This year, the committee has decided to try something new, in an effort to lesson the burden of the spring event. Although the spring auction will still take place, it'll be scaled down a bit to reflect a more casual, social atmosphere. There will be a live auction, music and food, but the committee wants to focus on creating a more social, relaxed evening for everyone to enjoy. 

So, today, we are asking each family to donate one item, service or gift card to our Online Holiday Store, which is already up and running. You don't necessarily have to run out and purchase an item...think about what you do, who you know and where you shop! Ask a local business that you frequent for a tax-deductible donation, bake a pie, offer to teach someone the basics of knitting, donate three-hours of housecleaning, teach a yoga class...ask your "connections" to donate theater tickets, restaurant gift cards, exercise classes or movie passes...you get the idea. 

Several businesses on the East Side donate to our annual events. If you would like a list of them, please contact Fundraising. A copy of our 501c (tax excempt) certificate and a donation request letter are attached here, just tweak it to make it your own. Please register your donation HERE by NOVEMBER 6 and bring it into school ASAP. Purchased items will be shipped or picked-up at school, so please allow ample time for us to get items to buyers before the holidays.

Donated items will be added to the online store on a rolling basis, so we encourage you to visit regularly. Each week, new items and a few surprises will be added, so shop now and shop often!

Your friends, family and co-workers are welcome to shop too, so pass along the link for the store: http://www.childsplayri.org/shop-holiday-gifts/  And please reach out to Fundraising if you have any further questions!

Thanks so much!