Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Fun! 

Parties, crafts, lights, fellowship and great food are just a few ways to have a great time with friends and family! We had a visit from Santa also! Some of our friends were not excited to see Santa, but our older children loved every minute they were able to spend with him! After nap-time the air was filled with laughter and Christmas music! The classrooms had tons of food to eat! There was veggies, sweets, cheese, meat, crackers, and fruit for all the children to enjoy! 

Ms. Shanice and Ms. Kerida's classroom working an a class art mural.

In our Toddler class they enjoyed their fruit and their cookies!

In our Transitional class our friends enjoyed their cheese, but they also Loved their cupcakes! 

Best buddies getting a hug before they went home for the weekend! 

One of our mom's read a story to all of our friend in our Pre-K class before they had their snack!

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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Spreading Christmas Cheer! 

Today it was wear your crazy Christmas sweater day at school! We had several staff members wear a crazy sweater and some of the children! Some of the teachers made their crazy sweaters, while other bought them.  One of the things that our classrooms have been working on during the Christmas season is  a mitten, hat, and scarf drive for the women's shelter. We have a bunch of donation that have been turned in! We can not wait to deliver these items next week, just in time for the Christmas and winter!  

Mrs. Erica and Mrs. Jennifer were all decked out with their crazy sweaters! Mrs. Erica had bows and ribbons. Mrs. Jennifer had Christmas pins and jingle bells! 

Ms. BreAnna and her daughter ! Both of their sweaters read " Fleece Navidad"

One of our Nursery Two friends with her cute Christmas tree sweater and Santa Socks!

Our Transitional teachers Ms. Makenya and Ms. Jessica stopped to pose for a picture!

Ms. Molly and one of her Toddler friends.

Ms. Grace, one of our floaters,
 was decked out from head to toe! She had bells around her neck and bells on her shoes! 

Ms. Shanice and her Preschool Two friends. Ms. Shanice sweater had Christmas bows made into a tree and she had garland up and down her sleeves! 

We had two of our Pre-k friends with snowmen on their sweater!  One friend had a Christmas hat on also! 

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Friday, December 11, 2015

Preschool Two Fun Learning Time

Ms. Shanice and her Preschool Two friends are very eager to learn new things each week. Each week they have a new letter, number, shape, and the also cover the months of the year, days of the week, and seasons.  Ms. Shanice like all our great teachers, goes above and beyond making sure that her students are prepared so that when they move up to Pre-K they are ready for the next step! 


Ms. Shanice class loves her so much and they love her too! They jump at any opportunity to take a silly photo! 

Each day the class helps take care of their class pet...Ralph. They get to add his food and make sure that he has water. 

Some of the children enjoy building towers with waffle blocks during free play!

When kids are not able to go outside they enjoy doing gross motor activities inside. One of those activities is playing with the parachute. They will take it up and then one of the students will run under.

Play-dough what child does not love it! They love making food and animals. They also make the different shapes that they have been learning. 

Circle time! We are learning the month of the year and the day of the week! The students are able to use "Mr. Pointer" to help go though what day is it? They also cover numbers,  shape, and the Bible story.

Ms. Shanice also covers the letters of the alphabet. This week the letter of the week is: X 
They will talk about the sound that it makes and things that start with the letter x. 

For more information about about or program, please visit us at: 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Our Baby Signs Program & Benefits!

This friend from our Toddler classroom is demonstrating the sign for "more".

Each day at Holly Tree, our children are constantly learning; from colors, shapes, and numbers to sign language. In our Infant/ Toddler programs we use the Baby Signs program as an educational and effective tool to teach our little ones communication skills. Each week our children are learning new baby signs, along with daily signs like: please, thank you, more, and eat. 

According to Dr. Jay L. Hoecker with the The Mayo Clinic, baby signs are a very helpful communication tool for young children even infants. He states that when babies use modified gestures from American Sign Language, this can be an effective communication tool. Teaching and practicing baby sign language also can be fun and give you and your child an opportunity to bond.

Research suggests that baby sign language might give a typically developing child a way to communicate several months earlier than those who only use vocal communication. This might help ease frustration between ages 8 months and 2 years when children begin to know what they want, need, and feel but don't necessarily have the verbal skills to express themselves. Children who have developmental delays might benefit, too. Further research is needed, however, to determine if baby sign language promotes advanced language, literacy or cognition.

To begin teaching your child baby sign language, familiarize yourself with signs through books, websites or other sources. To get the most out of your baby sign language experience, keep these tips in mind:

This friend in our Toddler classroom is demonstrating the sign for "eat".

Set realistic expectations 
Feel free to start signing with your child at any age — but remember that most children aren't able to communicate with baby sign language until about age 8 months.

Keep signs simple
Start with signs to describe routine requests, activities and objects in your child's life — such as more, drink, eat, mother and father. Choose signs that are of most interest to your child.

Make it interactive
 Try holding your baby on your lap, with his or her back to your stomach.
Embrace your baby's arms and hands to make signs. Or carry your baby and make the sign on his or her body. Alternate talking and not talking while signing. To give signs context, try signing while bathing, diapering, feeding or reading to your baby. Acknowledge and encourage your child when he or she uses gestures or signs to communicate.

Stay patient
 Don't get discouraged if your child uses signs incorrectly or doesn't start using them right away. The goal is improved communication and reduced frustration — not perfection. However, avoid accepting indiscriminate movements as signs.

Keep in mind that, as you teach baby sign language, it's important to continue talking to your child. Spoken communication is an important part of your child's speech development.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving Family Feast! 

On Friday, November 20, 2015, we held our annual Thanksgiving Family Feast! We had several parents and grandparents join us! We ate turkey with gravy, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes,  mac-n-cheese, stuffing, and pumpkin pie! All of the food was gone within an hour! No tummy was left empty:) 

One friend in Ms. April's class eagerly waves to the camera! He was super excited to have his dad come and eat lunch with him! 

It is always a joy to get together, especially when good company and food are involved!

When asked what was their favorite food was...most children said "mac-n-cheese!" No mac-n-cheese was left behind!:)

Silly Pre-K friends stop for a photo before the big feast begins!

A special thank you to all our families that came out to celebrate Thanksgiving with us! 

For more information about our program, please visit our website at: 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Giving Back to the Community 

             Image result for food drive clipart

During the holidays we gather around with family and friends to eat and sometimes we exchange gifts. Many families have a multitude of food including meats, veggies, bread, and desserts. Their are some that do not have family and friends to sit and enjoy a conversation with or a warm meal, but they may go somewhere that offers holiday meals. These places thrive off of donations so that they can continue to provide not only a warm meal, but other items to men and women in need. Sometimes, we may wonder what we can do to help out? Places like Second Harvest and Grace Works are always needing donations or a volunteer.  

Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee was founded in 1978, in hopes to help solve hunger problems in Middle and West Tennessee. Second Harvest has a network of over 450 Partner Agencies working together to feed hungry men, women, and children throughout our 46-county service area. Second Harvest collects, sorts, distributes food, and personal care products for all of their partner agencies. Their partner agencies area include food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, foster care facilities, senior centers, group homes, and youth enrichment programs. 

Each year at Holly Tree, we team up with Second Harvest and have a food drive. We make it fun between classrooms, and have a competition to see which class brings the most food! The class with the most items gets bragging rights and $100 to spend on their classroom! We can not thank each of our families enough for going above and beyond with donations! This year's class winner with the most donations was Ms. Shanice's Preschool Two! Although, it was a close race with Ms. April's Preschool One and Ms. Molly's Toddler room right behind. 

If you are looking for ways to give back or lend a helping hand, and wonder what can you do,  head down to your local shelter or Second Harvest. There, you can volunteer your time or donate other items. They need volunteers during the holidays, but also would be appreciative of the extra hands any other day of the year!:) Sometimes a warm meal and a friendly face is all we need to make the holiday season extra special! 

For more information about Second Harvest please visit them at:

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Importance of Hand Washing

Why is washing your hands so important? It helps to stop the spread of  germs that we come in contact with daily. From Changing diapers to playing in the dirt-good hand washing, if
done correctly, is the first line of protection to stop the spread of many illnesses.

 Is there a right or wrong way to wash your hands? Yes!
There are a couple of steps that you should take to ensure that your hands are being washed correctly. If you are not sure if you should wash your hands, just do it! It could save you a trip to the doctor!

Steps for cleaning your hands:

1. Wet your hands with warm water
2.Apply soap
3. Lather your hands, making sure you lather the backs of your hands, in between your fingers and under your nails.
4. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. (For little ones,you could sing "ABC's")
5. Rinse your hands thoroughly 
6. Dry your hands using a clean towel, then use towel to turn off water.

 When Should We Wash Hands?

1. After changing a diaper or using the restroom
2. After you blow your nose, cough, or sneeze. Also,after you clean a child's nose.
3. Before preparing food or eating food
4. After playing with any animal or cleaning an animal space
5. After playing outside
6. After taking out the trash or place trash in garbage can
7. Before and after being with someone who is sick
8. Before and after cleaning a wound

For more  information about proper hand washing and it's importance, please visit:

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Halloween Fun

On Friday, October 30, 2015, all of our children dressed up and paraded around our school! We had teenage turtles, bees, firemen, and a host of other costumes! After our school parade, each of our classrooms had parties! We had ham sandwiches, fruit, veggies, and special treats! We had so many special dishes including bat cut sandwiches, pumpkin fruit cups, and festive cupcakes! We also had a parent "Best Dish" competition... and boy, was the competition fierce!! To find out the winner of for the best dish/treat read on... :)

Ms. April and a Preschool Three friend were two of our Teenage Turtles! This friend was Leonard, and Ms. April was Raphael! 

Our back building classrooms were happily running around the circle showing everyone their costumes! We had firemen, pirates, skeletons, fairy's, and many more.

One of our Nursery One friends, was dressed up as a gumball machine! The gumballs were going for a steal at $0.25 each!  

Another infant was dressed as the cutest little elephant! She loved showing off her sweet smile! 

We loved the family costume! This family dad was Batman, mom was Cat-Women, and the Preschool One friend was Robin! 

A few of our Preschool One friends were excited to get to the parade and show off their cute costumes! 

Drum roll please......The parent that was picked among the staff for the best dish/treat goes to... a Preschool Two mom! Hat's off to you for your creativity! A special thanks you to all of our families that participated and helped make this a special day for our little ones!

For more information about our program, please visit us at:

Friday, October 30, 2015

Be Halloween Safe!

Halloween is a fun, spooky, and excited time of year for children! They all get dressed up in cute outfits! Make trick-or-treating safe for all the little ghost and goblins! It is also a time to make sure your child(ren) are safe. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has some great tips for keeping your little ones safe this Halloween. 

S-Swords, knives, and other costume accessories should be short, soft, and flexible.

A- Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Walk in groups or with a trusted adult.

F- Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to help drivers see you.

E- Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating them. Limit the amount of treats you eat.

H- Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see and others see you. WALK and don't run from house to house.

A- Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

L- Look both ways before crossing the street. Use crosswalks wherever possible.

L- Lower your risk for serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.

O- Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

W- Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

E- Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

E- Enter homes only if you're with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. 
N-ever accept rides from strangers.N- Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

Expecting trick-or-treaters or party guests?

Follow these tips to help make the festivities fun and safe for everyone:
*Provide healthier treats for trick-or-treaters such as low-calorie treats and drinks. For guests, offer a variety of fruits and vegetables. 
*Use party games and trick-or-treat time as an opportunity for kids to get their daily dose of 60 minutes of physical activity.
*Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could cause someone to fall. 
*Keep candle-lit jack o'lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended.
*Remind drivers to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive safely.

For more information about having a safe Halloween, please visit:

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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fall Family Fun! 

We held our annual fall festival on Friday, October 16th. We had a bounce house, face painting, sensory bins, craft tables, and so much more! Our families enjoyed a chili bar with all the fixings! We even had hot apple cider for our families to enjoy! Brentwood Police Department also paid us a visit to talk to the children about stranger danger and show us their cool police car! The officers brought cool sticker badges, safety lights, and coloring books. 

One of the fun things the children were able to do was a class mural! Each class was given paint and a classroom canvas to paint on. They put their creativity to work and created a class masterpiece! 

Our Toddler class had a ball getting to bounce in the bounce house! 

A Preschool One friend searches for the hidden fall objects that where in the sensory bins. 

One of Preschool Families enjoying making a craft with their little one! 

We had a cookie decorating station set up for all the children and families! Each child was able to decorate a cookie and then, eat it!  

Some of our older children enjoying the bouncy house! 

There was a bubble and chalk station as well! Teachers, children, and families had a blast playing with all of the bubble wands and bubble gadgets! 

For more information about our program, please visit us at:

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Fire Safety for the Family! 

Fire drills are a big part of being safe in school: According to there are great ways to know how to prepare you and your family. Would you know what to do? Talking about fires can be scary because no one likes to think about people getting hurt or their things getting burned. But you can feel less worried if you are prepared. It's a good ideas for families to talk about what they would do to escape a fire. Different families will have different strategies. Some kids live in one-story houses and other kids live in tall buildings. You'll want to talk about escape plans and escape routes, so let's start there.

Know Your Way Out

An escape plan can help every member of a family get out of a burning house. The idea is to get outside quickly and safely. Smoke from a fire can make it hard to see where things are, so it's important to learn and remember the different ways out of your home. How many exits are there? How do you get to them from your room? It's a good idea to have your family draw a map of the escape plan. It's possible one way out could be blocked by fire or smoke, so you'll want to know where other ones are. And if you live in an apartment building, you'll want to know the best way to the stairwell or other emergency exits.

Safety Steps

If you're in a room with the door closed when the fire breaks out, you need to take a few extra steps:
Check to see if there's heat or smoke coming in the cracks around the door. (You're checking to see if there's fire on the other side.) If you see smoke coming under the door —don't open the door don't open the door! If you don't see smoke — touch the door. If the door is hot or very warm — don't open the door! If you don't see smoke — and the door is not hot — then use your fingers to lightly touch the doorknob. If the doorknob is hot or very warm — don't open the door! If the doorknob feels cool, and you can't see any smoke around the door, you can open the door very carefully and slowly. When you open the door, if you feel a burst of heat or smoke pours into the room, quickly shut the door and make sure it is really closed. If there's no smoke or heat when you open the door, go toward your escape route exit.

Stay Low

If you can see smoke in the house, stay low to the ground as you make your way to the exit. In a fire, smoke and poisonous air hurt more people than the actual flames do. You'll breathe less smoke if you stay close to the ground. Smoke naturally rises, so if there is smoke while you're using your escape route, staying low means you can crawl under most of it. You can drop to the floor and crawl on your hands and knees below the smoke. Exiting through a door that leads outside should be your first choice as an escape route, but also ask your parents about windows and if they would be possible escape routes. Even windows on a higher floor could be safe escape routes if you had help, like from a firefighter or another adult. Ask your parents to teach you how to unlock the windows, open them, and remove the screen, if needed.

Make sure you only do this in an emergency! Lots of kids are injured because they fall out of windows. Sometimes, families even have collapsible rescue ladders that can be used to escape from upper floors of a house. If you have one, ask your mom or dad to show you how it works.
In addition to planning your escape routes, you'll also want to know where family members will meet outside. This is helpful because then everyone shows up in one place and you'll know that everyone is safe. You might choose the front porch of a neighbor's house or some other nearby spot.
It's normal to worry about your pets or a favorite toy, but if there is a fire, you have to leave them behind. The most important thing is that you get out safely. It's also important to know that you shouldn't stay in the house any longer than you must — not even to call 911. Someone else can make that call from outside. Once you're out, do not go back in for anything — even pets. You can tell the fire rescue people about any pets that were left behind and they may be able to help.

What if You Can't Get Out Right Away?

If you can't get out fast, because fire or smoke is blocking an escape route, you'll want to yell for help. You can do this from an open window or call 911 if you have a phone with you.
Even if you're scared, never hide under the bed or in a closet. Then, firefighters will have a hard time finding you. Know that firefighters or other adults will be looking for you to help you out safely. The sooner they find you, the sooner you both can get out. In the meanwhile, keep heat and smoke from getting through the door by blocking the cracks around the door with sheets, blankets, and/or clothing. If there is a window in the room that is not possible to escape from, open it wide and stand in front of it. If you can grab a piece of clothing or a towel, place it over your mouth to keep from breathing in the smoke. This works even better if you wet the cloth first.

Home Drills

It's great to talk about emergency plans, but it's even better if you practice them, like the fire drills you have at school. Having a fire drill at home gives everyone a chance to see how they would react in a real emergency. You can see how quickly and safely everyone can get out of the house. Your family should practice this drill twice a year, every year. It's also a good time to remind your parents to change the batteries in the smoke alarms. A good rule of thumb during a home fire drill is to see if your family can safely get out the house using the escape routes and meet outside at the same place within 3 minutes. For an extra challenge, you might try variations, like pretending that the front door was blocked and you couldn't get out that way.

If Your Clothes Catch Fire

A person's clothes could catch fire during a fire or by accident, like if you step too close to a candle. If this happens, don't run! Instead, stop, drop to the ground, cover your face with your hands, and roll. This will cut off the air and put out the flames. An easy way to remember this is: Stop, Drop, and Roll!
Preventing Fires

Every year, kids of all ages start over 35,000 fires that hurt people and damage property. You can do your part to prevent fires by never playing with matches, lighters, and other fire sources. Also stay away from fireplaces, candles, and stoves.

By following this advice, you'll be doing important work — preventing fires in the first place!

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Fire Safety Week Kickoff!

October is fire safety month and what better way to kick it off than to bring the firemen, firetruck, and all of their cool tools to Holly Tree! The children were able to climb in, explore the firetrucks, and hold some of the cool tools!  The firemen talked to the children about how to "Stop, Drop, and Roll" and talked about how each of the tools were used in emergency situations. They talked to them about how smoke rises and told them if they ever saw smoke or fire to get low to the floor and crawl. 

This Preschool Two friend had a blast getting to wear the fireman's hat! The firemen explained to them about how the hat keeps their heads safe.

This Preschool Two friend was able to pretend to put out a fire with one of the water sprayer nozzles!

The fireman was talking to Preschool Three about each of the tools, and how they could use them to put out a fire.

After the children played with the spray nozzles, the fireman showed them where the water hoses went and how it connected to the nozzle. He also told us that the fire hoses give off enough water to fill a normal size pool in less than 60 seconds!

One of the Preschool One friend's explore the inside of the firetruck.

The Toddler classroom poses for this photo opportunity after they were finished exploring the truck and the cool fire truck lights!

This Pre-K friend was asking the fireman how to use the radio to talk to the station! 

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