Hello Parkside Families,

I hope you had a wonderful week!  You may have noticed an email sent from Lisa today with a link to a survey.  We are looking for your help!  Please tell us if there are any events that you would be interested in participating in or not.  Your input will help us to determine which activity (ies) we would like to pursue in planning.  Please stop by the office or email with any questions!

Friendship Party!  On Monday, 2/15 we will be celebrating “friendship day”!  Classrooms will have special activities and we will plan to have strawberry ice cream as an afternoon snack from Wild Cow Creamery!

February 19th: Pajama Day!!  Come to school in your favorite pajamas on Friday the 19th! J

February 25th:  Dental Field trip for Yosemite and Olympic classes:  Yosemite and Olympic will be visiting the dental clinic at the University of Maine at Augusta campus.  Cyr Bus will transport the children from Parkside to the clinic and back again; stay tuned for more information!  We will have permission slips out next week for you to sign.


I came across this article while visiting the NAEYC website.  I hope that you enjoy this article and that it gives you some ideas of “big jobs” you can give to your child.  You can find this article and more at


Big Jobs at Home

Young children love to help out, but many times we don’t let them. Why? Because we think it’s easier—and faster—to do everyday jobs ourselves. Your child might take 15 minutes to finish a job you can do in one minute. But in 15 minutes your child can learn a lot!

Big Jobs are indoor and outdoor jobs children do with their families (or others) that help the whole family. They include tasks like setting the table, planting flowers, and tidying up when visitors are coming. To adults they might seem like simple tasks, but Big Jobs carry big rewards—for your child and your entire family.

How are Big Jobs different from chores?

You assign chores. Children volunteer to do Big Jobs because they want to help out. Also, Big Jobs are done together with other family members. Teamwork is an important part of doing Big Jobs.


What do children learn from doing Big Jobs?

They learn to:

  • work with other people
  • solve problems
  • compromise
  • contribute to their family

What are some Big Jobs young children can do?

  • Cooking and baking—washing and peeling vegetables, stirring muffin batter, tearing lettuce leaves to make salad
  • Gardening—digging holes, planting seeds, raking leaves, weeding, watering plants indoors and outdoors
  • Doing laundry—carrying the laundry basket, sorting, folding, delivering clean clothes to each family member’s room
  • Caring for pets—feeding, brushing, walking, cleaning the cage or aquarium
  • Cleaning—rinsing dishes, dusting, emptying wastebaskets

Tips for doing Big Jobs at home

  • Keep your child safe. Show your child how to safely use equipment like a rake or a vegetable peeler. Stay close by when it is his turn.
  • Try to find child-size tools. They make jobs easier and safer.
  • Have fun. Remember, your child chose to help out. Keep it enjoyable and she will want to do Big Jobs all the time.
  • Talk while you work together. Chat about what you are doing and whatever else your child wants to discuss.
  • Show your appreciation for the work family members have done. Say, “Thanks for setting the table, everyone. We are ready for dinner now, and the table looks beautiful.”


Source: Adapted from the Message in a Backpack for N.P. Jones, 2007, “Big Jobs,” Teaching Young Children 1 (1): 10–12.

© National Association for the Education of Young Children — Promoting excellence in early childhood education


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Upcoming Events: 

Monday, February 15th:  Friendship Day!

Wednesdays:  Fields4Kids for Big Sur, Yosemite, and Olympic classrooms.  We will leave at 9:15 and arrive back between 11:45-12:00.

Thursday, February 25th:  Dental clinic field trip for Yosemite and Olympic rooms.  Stay tuned for more information!

Thursday, February 25th:  Parent/Teacher Advisory Meeting @ 5:30.  Stay tuned for an agenda.

Enjoy your weekend,

Jen V.