Quick Tip: Recycled Art Garlands

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I’m not sure if I have recently mentioned how much suminagashi we did this summer, but it was a LOT. I have a huge excess of suminagashi prints sitting around begging to be used. Luckily, we still have plenty of glittery salt dough ornaments left from last year, so we can keep the decorating projects light this year. This project would be a great use for any kind of art your kids have been making a lot of this year. If you would like to make a more permanent garland, you could use contact paper for more sturdy paper rings. You could also cut out a bunch of little heart or star shapes to string together, or cut out snowflakes. If you keep it simple and fun, everyone will have a nice, stress free holiday! Be creative!

Hopefully, we all know how to make a simple paper garland with strips of paper. But just in case, here are some process pictures. Send us a picture of your favorite decorations this year, ideas are great for sharing!

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100+ Books Harvested!: The Power of Community!

This year, Cathedral Park Preschool participated in the Children’s Book Bank’s Fall/Winter Book Harvest, with an overall goal of collecting 30,000 books for kids in the Portland area who lack access to literacy rphoto-2esources.

Our goal (56 books) was based on our school size.  I am happy to report that we collected over 125 books to donate — twice our established goal.  

Thank you so much to the families who participated!  I will be very proud to serve as a representative of Cathedral Park Preschool as I deliver these books tomorrow to join the over 30,000 books collected (yes, they exceeded their goal, too).  This act of gathering books showcases one of the most beautiful things about co-op schools — the power of group effort toward a common goal.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for caring about our community in this small but mighty way.

Playdates are Magic

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It’s that time of year again! The holidays are a time to take stock of all we have, to count our blessings, and to truly be thankful. Personally, I am so thankful for playmates for my kiddos! Time at CPP during preschool provides a great introduction to many of these playmates, but it doesn’t have to stop there—those same friends are also great to have over to your house! That’s right, I’m talking about the classic playdate!
The other day, a friend of mine was looking for someone to watch her son who is the same age as mine. My older one was in school for the day, which meant hours at home with my youngest. I had some cleaning and laundry to do, and the temptation of turning on a screen to distract M was, I confess, very tempting. But I decided instead to take advantage of an opportunity when it was presented, and I agreed to have her little one come on over.
Watching two instead of one may seem like double the work, but when they are friends, it’s actually a good way to keep them both entertained, thus freeing me up to get some stuff done.  Sure, you need to peek in on playtime every so often, but you’ll be surprised at just how freeing a playdate can be for the host or hostess.
I also noticed during that time that a playdate actually has another kind of magic—one that will make you think twice about tossing out that toy your child never seems to play with.  During the course of a playdate, playthings that seemed uninteresting to your child previously are seen by a fresh pair of eyes. Then, viola!  Those toys instantly go from “boring” to “awesome!”
So if you need to do some holiday cleaning, baking, or gift-wrapping, remember the magic of a playdate—either with you or elsewhere.  Invite someone over to play with your kiddo, or take someone up on their offer to have a playdate at their place!
Amy Goebel

Ornament Cards and Coffee Filter Snowflakes.

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We all have some sniffles today, so it was a quiet cleaning and art day. Now that the leaves are all on the ground and the Christmas tree farms are open, it is time to switch gears and start the Christmas crafts. ‘Tis the season.

We started out by making snowflakes out coffee filters. Coffee filters have featured in a lot of our crafts ever since I bought a pack of 500 that turned out to be the wrong size. Use what you’ve got! This project is better for older preschoolers, as it does require some fine motor skills. My daughter had a tough time using the safety scissors, so I had her draw shapes and I cut out the shapes. We made them with plain white coffee filters, but this would look really nice if you painted them with water colors of food coloring first.

First, take your coffee filter and fold it in half. Then fold it in half two more times until it looks like a cone.

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Now, cut out shapes. Experiment around and see what you get, every one will look a little different.

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For our second project, we went to Mimosa studios and painted some ornaments which is totally cheating, but was a lot of fun for the kids. I was a nervous wreck trying to keep them from grabbing all the little figurines and either breaking or painting them. I can’t wait to see the finished results.

For our last craft of the day, we started to work on our Christmas cards. These mixed media cards are pretty easy and low key. I started out by gathering leftover art projects (suminagashi prints, water color painted coffee filters, tie dies coffee filters, paintings, etc). Then, I cut out little circles about the size of a water bottle cap. This is good to do the night before so that your kids can get going right away.

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I had the kiddo glue 3-5 of the cut out circles onto card stock, and help measure her choice of yarn or ribbon to glue onto the cards so that the circles appeared to be hanging like ornaments. We still have a lot to make! It is always good to get started early.

Merry Crafting!

Usborne Book Fair

WHAT: Fundraiser for our school to earn new books for the classroom!

WHEN: Now through December 7th!

WHERE:

  1. A book display will be set up during class Thursday, December 4th and Friday, December 5th.
  2. View the entire catalog online.
  3. Take a look at the catalog at the sign in table.

HOW:

  1. Fill out an order form during the book fair. Payment may be cash, check, or credit card. Let us know if you need additional forms for family and friends.
  2. Place an order online. Make your selections and follow the instructions for checkout. Please note that delivery is free if you select the option of having your order mailed with everything else to the organization (it will come to us and we will distribute).
  3. Invite family (ahem, grandparents) and friends to shop online through Cathedral Park as above.
  4. Purchase a book directly for our classroom from Teacher Cheryl’s wish list. This may be done online or in person. These sales also count for free books.

WHY: To earn wonderful, educational books for our kids’ classroom. The amount we earn in free books is a very generous amount. For $200-$499 in sales, we earn 35% in free books and for $500 and up we can earn 50% in free books! For example, if we make $600 in sales, Teacher Cheryl can choose $300 worth of free books! So get your family and friends involved, each family only needs to purchase $15-$20 of books to reach this goal.

One Pot Meals: Chickpea Pasta

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The holidays are a busy time for all of us, especially parents. There are office parties, fundraisers, school parties for each child, shopping trips, drinks with friends, relatives in town, lights to put up, and Christmas trees to set up to name just a few of the things that are eating away at our time this month. How can we make things a little easier? One pot quick and healthy meals! We are a vegetarian house, so I would love to have you all share your favorite one pot recipes in the comments and we can start work on a little collection.

This recipe for a one pot pasta in sauce is one of my favorites. You can change it up by adding a different (fully cooked) protein, leftover veggies, or different herbs. In the summer, you can use fresh tomatoes instead of canned, but you will need a little more water. It is also very nice with shallots instead of onions. If you need more veggies on the side, this goes very well with a simple steamed kale or spinach side.

Ingredients:
1 bag of pasta. Any kind of pasta will work okay, but I think this recipe works best with spaghetti and linguini.
1 can of diced tomatoes in juice or 3-4 fresh chopped tomatoes.
1 can of chickpeas or two cups of fresh cooked chickpeas. Fresh beans are super yummy, and you can cook them in a
slow cooker while you are busy. It does make a difference, but that said, I usually end up using canned.
1/4-1/2 of an onion sliced or chopped. This depends on how much your kids will tolerate onion. Red bell peppers
work great as a substitute.
1-4 cloves of sliced garlic. Again, this depends on how much your family likes garlic.
Basil, Rosemary, Sage (whatever you like best) to taste. If you are using basil, use a handful. A few tablespoons of
pesto would also work. For rosemary, sage, or any other herb, you will want to use less. I usually use rosemary
because I have a LOT of it in our yard.
1/4 cup olive oil.
1/4 cup wine or stock. I like white, not sure how red would work.
3 cups of water.
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Parmesan to taste.

Steps:
Break the spaghetti in half before cooking so it will fit in your pot and be more manageable for kids to eat. Put everything, except the Parmesan into one big pot. Bring to a boil and then turn down to medium heat for another 8 minutes or so, until the pasta is just right. Make sure to stir frequently enough to keep the pasta from sticking to the bottom of your pan. When the pasta is done, remove from heat and stir in Parmesan. Dinner is served. Enjoy

I took some photos of the finished product, but the kids were gobbling it up so wildly that the pictures turned out more scary than inspirational. The top photo is of everything in the pot right before turning on the heat.

Online Tuition Payment is Here!

We are super excited to announce that Cathedral Park Preschool is ready to receive online payments for tuition!  We are using QGiv, a company that provides non profit organizations with a safe and easy way to make online payments.
To make a tuition payment ,  simply click the “Support Us” tab on the menu, and check the “tuition” button. Fill in all the required fields, and click “Make Payment”.
If you are making a one time donation or recurring donation, please select the “Donation” option at the top of the form, and then complete the remainder of the form.  If you would like the donation to be applied to a specific project such as playground improvement, you can make note of that in the “Notes” section.
Once you have submitted either your tuition payment or donation, you will receive an email receipt of your payment.
A big thanks to Eddie for suggesting QGiv and Leigh for working so hard to move us in this direction!
REMINDER:  Tuition will be due Monday, December 1!
Please let us know if you have any questions or feedback regarding the system.