Browsers recommended for viewing this website:

Garden Preschool Experiences a Holi Tradition

March 20, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

On Tuesday Prashant’s mom visited our class to share another holiday his family celebrates, Holi.  Holi is the festival of color. The tradition is that everyone goes outside and tosses color at each other.  Since we still have snow Prashant’s mom brought in white t-shirts and we used fabric markers to color on each other’s shirts!  The children ran around the room trying to make sure to color on everyone else and also get their shirts colored on.  Some children even colored on their own shirts!


March is Reading Month!

March 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

I just wanted to remind everyone that March is reading month and we are looking for families to come in and be Mystery Readers throughout the month!  We have three time slots available each day and we would like to fill as many as possible.  The times are 9:15, 12:15, and 4:00, if you can not make one of these times but are available some other time that can be arranged.  If a relative is interested, they are also more than welcome to sign up.  Please see a teacher to sign up for a slot as soon as possible!

Another way we will be highlighting reading this month is by continuing to check books out from the Library and making them available to the children throughout the day.  We are also going to be creating an extra “book shelf” to display all of the titles we read this month.


Prashant’s Family Shares Their Family Holiday – Diwali

November 8, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

This week we had a special presentation from Prashant’s family. His mother and grandparents came in to share their Hindu holiday called Diwali, or as some may know it, “the festivel of lights.” Both Prashant’s mother and Grandmother dressed in traditional holiday clothing and brought examples of the clothing worn by children. Prashant even modeled an outfit for his classmates! His mother then told the preschoolers the story of how Diwali came to be and that they still celebrate it because it shows that the good can overcome the evil. She also brought in dipas which are the candle holders used to light the path home. With the help of Prashant’s grandfather, his mother invited the children to act out the story. Each child then had the opportunity to ask questions and touch the materials.

Fall Housekeeping Reminders

September 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

This post was written by Laura Griswold, Director of GH-Dhu-Varren. Her reminders are applicable to all the centers so we thought we’d share!


Fall brings a lot of exciting changes to our centers. We have returning families and new families joining our classrooms. Here are a few things we need you to know or be reminded of regarding health and safety at Gretchen’s House.


Recently we noticed that many children are finishing their breakfast from home as they arrive at the center. It is important that all food from home be eaten before your child comes in the door. This matters not only because of the many children attending with food allergies, but also it shows respect to the other children who may find what your child is eating desirable.

Snacks at pick up time can also be a problem. Please be sure to offer your child their afternoon snack after you are out of the building. Finally, please do not store the snacks intended for pick up in your child’s back pack or cubby. We have found some ‘sneaky cubby munchers’ that just couldn’t wait!

Parking Lot

It is dangerous:

– To leave your car running unattended in the parking lot

– To leave children in the car unattended (car running or not)

– To allow your child to ride in the car without a properly installed cars seat or booster in the back seat of the vehicle

The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office has stated that if they are patrolling parking lots and see any of the above scenarios, they will ticket the driver.

Local authorities have also reported incidents of thieves targeting child care centers. They break into cars to steal purses, lap tops, etc. when parents are dropping off their children. There have been instances where children were in the car when the robbery happened. In some cases, where older children were involved, the police asked the child to describe the thief! That is scary. We want everyone to be safe.

Contracted Times

Upon enrollment, families choose their contracted times to have their child(ren) at the center. This 9 ½ hour time frame aids us in determining the teachers’ schedules. We need to maintain safe ratios that allows us to provide the quality care you should expect from Gretchen’s House. If there is an occasional situation that requires you to deviate from that schedule, please let the teacher know so we can make adjustments as necessary for that day.

Emergency Cards and Health Insurance info

Many of you have already filled out the new Emergency Cards required by the state of Michigan. Thank you. One of the things that they omitted on the new card that is still required for us to have is the Health Insurance Number. We are asking parents to bring a copy of their card to the front desk so we can make a quick copy. If you haven’t filled out the new Emergency Card or provided us the insurance card, please do so by the end of the month.

Thank you for partnering with us in our mission to keep children healthy and safe.

Garden Preschool June Calendar

May 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

We have lots of fun activities planned for the summer!  Click on the following link to see Garden Preschool’s June Calendar:   GPS Calendar June 2013


Busy Builders in Garden Preschool

April 5, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Garden Preschoolers have been building spaceships, trains, houses and other structures out of wooden blocks and Magnatiles. Building is a beneficial experience for children across several developmental areas. The cognitive process of building a structure involves mental imagery and problem solving. Children benefit socially and linguistically when they build because they practice communication skills and the concept of negotiation.  It takes both fine and large motor skills to manipulate the blocks.



Garden Preschool April Calendar

April 2, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Click on the link below to see Garden Preschool’s April Calendar.  We are looking forward to the exciting activities we have planned for April:  Month of the Young Child!

GPS April 2013 calendar


Garden Preschool Sledding Day!

January 31, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The Garden Preschoolers walked to a hill behind our playground for a morning of sledding last week. We had so much fun! While sledding we practiced many gross motor skills. It took balance to stay on the sled while sliding down the hill, we exercised our muscles when walking up and down the hill, and we developed our body awareness by figuring out how to navigate down the hill without a colliding into another sled. We also practiced cooperation and communication, especially when there was more than one preschooler in the sled.


Visitors from High Scope and China

July 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The High Scope Foundation will be bringing a group from China to our center on Thursday, July 19th and Friday, July 20th.  Most of the visitors will be experiencing Michigan and the U.S. for the first time.  This group of educators will be visiting Oak Valley as well as Perry Nursery School in Ypsilanti.  They are here to learn about the High Scope curriculum model and see it demonstrated in the early childhood setting.  They will be accompanied by a High Scope representative and a translator.  In common areas throughout the center, you may see a group of 25, as I explain how our center operates and how High Scope is implemented in our classrooms.   When they observe in the actual classrooms, they will be entering in smaller groups. Their visits will last approximately 2 hours each day.

We are proud to share our center with the international early childhood community.


Garden Preschool Creates a Wall Mural

February 16, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

While reading the book, “10 Hungry Monsters,” there was a part of the story that mentioned the monsters drawing on the walls. When our preschoolers heard this they jumped on the opportunity to tell me it was not okay to draw on walls and that it makes grown ups sad. We talked about drawing and the best place to use markers and crayons.  They all told me about using paper to draw on instead.

I decided that we would use this opportunity to draw on the walls for small group– in a “safe” way. We talked about what wall murals are. We had the looked at some pictures of wall murals and then started to create our own. We created our own mural on a large piece of paper on the wall. The Kangaroos worked together and added pictures of pirates, ships, trees and treasure boxes. Their mural is hanging in the hallway for everyone to see.


Next Page »