Information for Families


Week of 5/18/2020

Mrs. Trotman reads Taking a Bath with the Dog:

Ms. Ellen reads It Looked Like Spilt Milk:

Mrs. Myers reads Today I Feel Silly:

Activity Ideas –

If you are anything like my family, this “pause” is starting to wear and we need to inject some joy and excitement into our lives. This might be a good time to rethink (or recommit) to any schedules you have developed. Try adding in a new activity each day, or one day a week, to make things more exciting.

  • Have a picnic outside. Lay on the ground and look at the clouds. Talk about what shapes you see.
  • Have a dance party. The 3’s love this song, which also includes identifying colors:
  • Plan a special outing. Lasdon Park in Katonah has a dino park with pretend dinosaurs. It is my 2 year olds favorite place on earth right now. 🙂
  • Create some delicious smelling paint by mixing a little glue, a little paint, and jello flavors. When the painting dries, it will smell yummy and will have a cool texture too!

Week of 5/11/2020

In addition to books about feelings, over the next few weeks, we are going to continue sharing ideas that encourage the children to notice how they use and learn from their senses.

Ms. Barbara reads Duck/Rabbit:

Mrs. Myers reads Seven Blind Mice:

Ms. Lili sings “These are my Glasses”

Mrs. Murphy reads Lucy’s Picture:

Activity ideas –

  • Play a guessing game using only the sense of touch. Cover your child’s eyes and hand him or her different objects. Let them feel and see if they can guess what it is! You can also use a tissue box and have them reach their hands in to feel without covering their eyes. If they have a hard time figuring out what it is, let them smell or listen to the sound of the object. When you are done, talk about how helpful each sense is in learning about our world!
  • Paint with different textures! Take some paint and mix a little sand inside and see how it changes the texture of the paint.  Add some glue and shaving cream to a different color and explore that new texture as well! Are their other things that might create a new texture with paint? Try them out! Make sure to explore it when it is dry to see how it feels on your fingers. 🙂
  • Play “I spy” when you are inside or outside. Think about lots of different descriptive terms to “spy” (colors, size, textures, purpose, etc).

Week of 5/4/2020


Mrs. Beck reads A Present for Mom (one of our favorite stories!):


Make a rain stick with Ms. Barbara:



Mr. Freeman reads Grumpy Monkey:

  • Draw or print out an outline of a Monkey and use play dough, or other interesting materials, to make different faces on the monkey. How can you make him look happy? Sad? Surprised? Talk about the textures and feeling of the materials you are working with. Monkey Face


Ms. Lili signs “Open, Shut Them” and More: 

Soft and Smooth, Rough and Bumpy Book: 

  • Play Simon Says. During the game, sprinkle in different “texture” terms and tasks. For example, “Simon Says – Find me something soft.” This is a fun game and combines 2 important senses – hearing and touch!


Mrs. Trotman reads Taking a Bath with the Dog:

  • This book is a great jumping off point for talking about what makes you happy. Also even though we are all different and like different things, we all like to feel happy. Before or after the story, you could ask your child what makes them happy. Make a list and choose something from the list when your child needs a little “pick me up.” If it is something you can’t do right now, like go to the library, try to figure out a way to do something like that activity. Make a pretend library at home, do a safe book swap in the neighborhood, etc.
  • Sing “If your Happy and you Know it” and add any new movements you want.
  • When we do something kind for others, it actually makes us happier than if we did something just for ourselves. Perhaps you and your child could do something special to make someone else happy- you could bake something, make a special video, create a piece of artwork, or write a letter!

Week of 4/27/2020


  • Mr. Freeman reads The Listening Walk
  • A great activity to strengthen listening skills (and self-regulation skills) is freeze dance. Choose one of your child’s favorite upbeat songs and have a dance party. Stop the music occasionally and freeze. Make it an extra gross-motor challenge by trying to freeze in interesting ways (on one foot, both hands in the air, etc).
  • Play a language and literacy listening activity by giving your child a beginning sound and helping him or her find something that starts with that sound. Do as many sounds as you like!
  • There are so many wonderful mindfulness activities that encourage you to just stop, breathe, and listen. Perhaps you can find a quiet moment to engage in an activity like that today. It always helps me feel more centered and calm. After you listen, you can talk about what you heard. This is another way to encourage your child to be present and in the moment.


  • Ms. Barbara reads Bark George: 
  • Make “sound jars” with your little one by using things around the house. Check out this website for more details:


My Five Senses by Aliki

  • For the next few weeks, we are going to be sharing books and activities related to the 5 senses. This may seem like a simple concept to you, but children gain a lot from a greater awareness of how they use their senses to explore and understand the world and how their senses work together.
  • Go for a sensory walk with your child. Throughout the walk, ask questions to encourage your child to “tune in” to different senses. What sounds do you hear? What do you smell? etc. If you find something particularly nice to touch, smell, or look at- bring it home!
  • Painting to music encourages your child to integrate different senses at once. Prepare all the materials and ask your child if s/he would like to paint to fast music or slow music. Put on some music and go! If you do this activity, send a picture my way! Here is a video of my son painting to one of our very favorite songs:


Some of our friends are having a hard time processing feelings around this break, so we wanted to share some of our favorite books about feelings.

Ms. Ellen reads Mindfulness:

Ms. Emelia reads I’m Sad:

If you didn’t get a chance to watch the Sesame Street Special on Covid 19, you might want to check it out. I would recommend previewing it before showing it to your child:

If your child is upset, try just listening to his or her feelings and mirror them back, without trying to make it better in that moment. “You really miss your friends. It is sad. I am sad about it too.”

You could draw a picture of your child’s wishes. This is a situation where you could help draw or write so your child can fully express themselves. He or she might want to draw a picture of them at school, going to the library, or any of their other favorite activities. Remind them that this is not forever and someday we will be able to do our favorite activities again.

Try to use positive language when talking about this situation. Instead of “we can’t leave our house” or “we can’t go to school,” you could frame it as “we get to spend more time together!”

Make sure to find time for yourself to breathe and have a break (this is good advice for me too!). This will make it easier to tackle sad or difficult moods. 🙂

Week of 4/20/2020

FRIDAY (Sorry- I am moving today so I didn’t have time to write much!) 

Butterfly Art with Ms. Barbara:

Butterfly Poems with Mrs. Murphy:


BOOK: Ten Wriggle, Wiggle Caterpillars read by Ms. Barbara


  • Pretend to be a caterpillar turning into a beautiful butterfly. You can make yourself some wings from extra fabric or a sheet. Put on some beautiful music and dance like a butterfly. Make it extra challenging by placing different “flowers” around the house for the butterfly to drink from. You could give clues to help your child know which flower to fly to next.
  • Play “catch the butterfly.” Roll up different color socks and gently toss them in the air for your child to “catch,” either with his or her hands or with a net if you have one!
  • Paper Bag Butterfly with Mrs. Murphy:


BOOK: Patterns Outside read by Mrs. Myers


  • Use the attached activity to engage in a patterning activity. You could cut all the butterflies and have your child make their own patterns, OR, you can do a butterfly pattern matching game. ButterflyPatternsMatchingSequencingforPreKorKindergarten
  • Butterfly Songs with Mrs. Murphy:



BOOK: A Butterfly’s Life read by Mrs. Murphy


  • Butterfly Sequencing Activity Butterfly Life Cycle
  • Create symmetrical butterfly art!. Fold a piece of paper in half and open it back up. Drop different color paint splotches on one side of the paper. Fold the paper again and rub. When you open it up, you will have a beautiful butterfly. For pictures,check out this website.


BOOK: The Very Hungry Caterpillar read by Mrs. Beck

SONG: “A Little Caterpillar”


  • Use the attached sheet and fingerprints to make different sized caterpillars! Make it more challenging by encouraging your child to make a different pattern for each caterpillar. Skills include: Math, Colors, Sensory Caterpillar Counting


Week of 4/14/2020


BOOK: First the Egg read by Ms. Toner

SONG: “Little Birdie” Song by the Becks (please don’t judge my mess too harshly!) 


  • If you happen to have plastic eggs left over from the Easter Holiday (for those who celebrate Easter), you can use them to make a fun matching game. For younger children, you can take them apart, mix up the colors and have them match the eggs. For older children, you can write a numeral on top and dots on the bottom and have them match the numeral with the correct number of dots. Skills include: Comparison, Classification, Problem-Solving, Mathematical Concepts, and Fine Motor Manipulation.
  • Print out a matching/memory game created with pictures from the story. Younger children can match the pictures using the story as a guide. Older children can cut the piece out and play a memory game! First The Egg Memory Game Skills include: Literacy Recall, Memory, Problem Solving, Fine Motor Skills.


BOOK: Bear Wants More by Mr. Freeman


  • Make a healthy snack together:
  • Feed the Bear! Make a bear with your child out of a paper bag or a box. Cut a hole for the mouth so you can “feed the bear.” Check out these pictures for some ideas. Using kitchen tongs or a large tweezer, your child can “feed” the bear some food. The food can be real or pretend. Skills include: Art, Fine Motor Skills, Problem Solving, Persistence, and Imagination.
  • Build a cave for a teddy bear out of blocks or pillows and play! Or- your child could be the bear waking up in the spring! (Connection to literacy, Language and Communication, Gross Motor, Planning and Problem Solving, Pretend Play).



BOOK: Come Along Daisy read by Ms. Ellen

SONG: “5 Little Ducks” by Ms. Barbara


  • Play “Hide and Seek” with ducks. You can print out pictures of ducks to color using this template, or if you happen to have rubber ducks or stuffed ducks, you could use those as well! Pick a room and hide the ducks. Give clues or use “hot and cold” or soft and loud quacks to help your child find the ducks. You can make this activity more of a challenge by hiding different numbers of ducks each round. Skills include: Problem Solving, Persistence, Motor Skills, Counting.


BOOK: Inch by Inch read by Mrs. Myers

SONG: “Inch by Inch”


  • This is a great time of year to do some planting with your child. Don’t have any seeds at home? That’s okay! You can germinate a bean seed with what you have at home. Check out this cool website to see how to do it: This is an easy and fun science experiment (you might remember doing it as a child!). Skills include: Understanding Nature, Fine Motor Skills, Sensory Exploration, Making Predictions, and Observation.
  • If you happen to have different kinds of seeds, you could let your child explore them in lots of different ways – sort them, dissect them, plant them, or use them for an art project. You can even use them to make a sensory bottle. Fill a bottle with water and a little oil. Add some seeds, glue on the top, and shake. Skills include: Sensory Exploration, Classification, Fine Motor

Week of 4/6/2020


  • Go online and search for Simple Preschool Origami. Websites like this might be useful: Choose a shape you think you and your child can do together and give it a try! Or create your own paper sculptures. (Fine Motor, Problem Solving, Persistence, Language and Communication)
  • Make a paper pirate hat – courtesy of Walker and Family!


The Big Orange Splot:

Ms. Lili sings Brown Bear, Brown Bear:

  • Give your child a piece of picture with a random paint “splot” and let them use it as a jumping off point for creating a work of art! (Individuality, Creativity, Problem Solving, Fine Motor, Art)
  • If your child could create her or his own house, what would it look like? What shape would it be? What would make it special or unique? Encourage your child to create their own “dream home” out of blocks/Legos/cardboard or draw it on paper. If your child cannot draw a home, give them a blank picture of a house to decorate. (Art and Creativity, Individuality, Language and Communication, Fine Motor)


Mrs. Beck reads I’m Not Just a Scribble:

  • Give your child a plain piece of paper with 2 eyes. Have them create their own “Scribble” Person! You could make lots! What does the scribble look like when it is sad? When it is happy? When it is excited? (Art, Social-Emotional, Colors, Pre-Writing, Fine Motor)

Scribble Stones:

  • Go on a walk outside and find a big rock to decorate. Use paints or markers to decorate a beautiful rock. Put it outside to bring a smile to everyone who sees it. (Social-Emotional Skills, Art, Gross Motor, Nature Exploration).

Paint a rock with Ms. Barbara:

  • Create art outside using objects from nature. Draw pictures with a stick in the dirt. Use sticks or rocks to make an outdoor sculpture. Bring playdough, model magic, or clay outside and use it to make imprints with leaves, flowers, or rocks. (Nature Exploration, Motor Skills, Sensory Exploration, Creativity, Problem-Solving)



Keira reads The Shape of Things:

  • Cut different shapes using different color paper and use a glue stick to create a collage. It can be “representational” or “abstract.” (Creativity, Art, Fine Motor, Problem Solving)
  • Use different shapes to create patterns. Or, start a pattern for your child and let them “finish” it. (Math, Classification, Colors/Shapes)


Evan Beck reads Beautiful Oops:

  • Spring has sprung and flowers popping up everywhere. Let’s make our own BNS garden! Draw, paint, or color a flower for the BNS garden. Send a picture to me and I will use it to create a virtual garden! (Fine Motor Skills, Art, Imagination)
  • Make and decorate a rain stick with Mrs. Trotman: (Fine Motor, Sensory, Art, Music)

Week of 3/30/2020


Ms. Barbara reads I’m Sorry:

  • Make a sensory bin for your child to explore. Find a good size container (not too tall, enough room to really play) and fill with sand, dirt, or rice. Add a spoon, funnel, little containers to fill, and anything else fun you think your child would like to hide/find or scoop/pour. Some ideas include small animals, plastic letters, colored gems, rocks. You could start with plain white rice and your child could “color’ the rice with some watercolor or food coloring. Some children can explore bins like this, especially with sand, for a long time and it is very calming. (Fine Motor, Sensory, Social-Emotional)



Mr. Freeman reads What Do You Do With An Idea:

  • Each morning, make a “plan for the day” with your child. Write down the plan with words or pictures. Make sure to let them contribute an idea! (Print Awareness, Language and Literacy, Social-Emotional Development)
  • When your child encounters a problem in play- don’t rush in to offer a solution. Instead, ask thought-provoking questions, such as “What is the problem? What could we do to solve it?” Encourage your child to try different solutions until one works! (Problem Solving, Language and Communication, Social-Emotional Development)


Ms. Toner reads Brown Bear, Brown Bear 

  • Eric Carle used collage to make the beautiful artwork in his stories. Gather different art materials and glue and create your own collage. (Fine Motor Skills, Art, Creativity)
  • Move like the different animals in the story. (Pretend Play, Gross Motor, Cognition and Knowledge of the World)


Ms. Ellen Reads I Wanna Iguana:

  • With the help of a grownup, think of someone you love and write a letter to them. (Literacy, Language and Communication, Social-Emotional, Fine Motor)
  • If you could have any pet in the whole world, what kind of pet would it be? Draw a picture or find a picture online to color. Learn an interesting fact about that animal. (Imagination, Creativity, Fine Motor, Cognitive Thinking)
  • Gather some stuffed animals and make a pet store or shelter! Sort the animals in different groups. Pretend to adopt them! (Pretend Play, Social-Emotional, Language and Communication, Mathematical Thinking)


Keira Beck reads Silly Sally:

  • Rhyming is an important pre-literacy skills and there are lots of fun ways to practice this skills, such as reading funny rhyming books like Silly Sally! (Pre-Literacy, Social-Emotional)
  • Play a rhyming guessing game but putting a few objects in a basket or bag and giving clues. One of the clues could be…it rhymes with……(Pre-Literacy, Problem Solving)
  • Listen to “Down By the Bay” by Raffi and sing lots of Nursery Rhymes! (Music, Pre-Literacy)
  • Make Silly Sally puppets with your child. Print and cut out the animals and glue or tape them on popsicle sticks or sticks from outside! Throughout the play, ask questions to get your little one thinking: How many different animals were in the book? Which animal came first? Which animal danced the jig? Silly Sally Puppets

Week of 3/22/2020


  • Make Playdough with Ms. Barbara:     (Sensory, Science, Math, Fine Motor)
  • It looks to be a little grey this morning, so find a dark room to play with flashlights! There are so many cool things you can do with flashlights: make interesting shadows with different objects, make things big and small by moving them closer and farther from the light, put on music and have a light show! (Science, Sensory, Gross Motor)
  • Put on some rain boots and go outside on a worm hunt. Talk about how to careful with creatures smaller than you.(Outdoor Play,  Gross  Motor,  Science,  Social-Emotional)
  • Read “Hey, Little Ant”:


Mrs. Murphy reads Sammy the Seal:

Activity Idea:

  • Create a “zoo” in your own home by gathering toy animals or stuffed animals. You can create different areas for them with blocks or cardboard. Older children can make signs for the different areas. (Creativity, Problem Solving, Pretend Play, Literacy, Classification)
  • What is your child’s favorite animal at the zoo? Draw a picture together of that animal. Learn 3 interesting facts about that animal. (Problem Solving, Child-led Learning, Recall, Language and Communication, Fine Motor).
  • Make paper animals together and a paper zoo. My son’s art teacher made a video with some suggestions of ways to make moveable, paper animals/sculptures. It was made for elementary school children, but I think a lot of our older kids would love this activity! (Creativity, Problem Solving, Fine Motor, Pre-Writing Skills, Representational Art, Applying real world knowledge through pretend play).
  • Play animal charades! Take turns acting out different animals. Try not to use sounds (unless you are really stuck). My family loves charades and we usually end up in uncontrollable giggles at some point. You can use picture cards for those of you with children who are not yet reading. (Gross Motor Movements, Pre-literacy/Literacy skills, Social Interaction, Turn-Taking)
  • Sign on to Nature of Things and learn about some new animals.
    To join our Google Classroom, simply click this link:
    click the plus sign (+) in the upper right hand corner, hit join class and enter our NEW class code: 2tjimlu.
    (@gmail account needed to access)


Mrs. Trotman reads The Little Hen:

Activity Idea: 

  • Okay…this is a messy one…but fun. If you happen to have yeast, you could follow a simple bread recipe with your little one. If you don’t have yeast you can pretend to make bread! Cover your table with a tablecloth, paper, or cardboard. Put out different sized measuring cups and spoons. Put out a large bowl of flour, a pitcher of water, cornstarch, and anything else your child can “mix” and let them go! My big kids used to LOVE scooping and pouring and making their own concoctions out of these inexpensive materials.
  • If you don’t want to use all these materials, have a different sensory experience with cornstarch and water. Pour a bunch of cornstarch in a bowl or pan and slowly add water until the cornstarch feels solid when you try to pick it up, but it turns to liquid in your hand. It is a really cool “States of Matter” sensory experience that is fun for all ages (even grown ups). Add food coloring or water color to make it more exciting!


Mr. Freeman reads Rainbow Fish:

Activity Idea: 

  • Think of something kind you can do for someone in your life. Maybe it is checking in with an older relative, leaving a cheerful note in someone’s mailbox, or doing something special for a brother or sister. It can be anything that will make someone you care about feel good!
  • Share your own special “gifts” with the people in your neighborhood. Decorate a rainbow, draw some flowers, or create any other picture that will bring a smile to someone’s face. Hang it on your front door so others can enjoy it when they walk or drive past your house!


Ms. Lili Sings some Favorite Songs:

Ms. Barbara reads All By Myself:

Activity idea: 

Have a scavenger hunt with your child. This can be as easy, or as challenging as you want because you will come up with the clues based on your child’s development. It could be as simple as “Go find something red” or more challenging like “Find something you use to take care of yourself.”

Once you have gathered a number of objects, you could sort them into different categories (colors, shapes, size, textures, purpose, etc). Which group has the most? Which group has the least? Can you sort them in different ways? Can you come up with a crazy story using all the objects?

When it is time to clean up, set a timer and see how quickly you can do it together! Have fun!


Week of 3/15/20


Maisy Goes Camping with Keira Beck:



St. Patrick’s Day Book with Ms. Toner:



Inch by Inch with Mrs. Myers:



Spring Book with Ms. Lisa:

Spring Craft with Ms. Barbara:



Yoga with Evan:

Pajama Time Book with Keira:

Mindfulness with Punita:

10 in the Bed Song with Mrs. B:





2019 Parent Handbook

Parent Acknowledgement Form 2019-2020


After School Options for Spring 2020

Soccer Spring 2020

Young Yogis at Briarcliff Nursery School Spring 2020

Tinkergarten Spring 2020

Science Spring 2020

Art Spring 2020

Winter After School Options fCooking Winter 2020

BNS Winter Flyer Science

Pottery Winter 2020

Scribble Art Winter 2020

Movement Briarcliff Spring 2020


Parking Lot Safety Guidelines



Fall Cooking After School 2019

Soccer Fall 2019

Art After School Fall 2019

Mad Science Fall 2019

Tikergarten Fall 2019