Morningstar Learning Center Pre-K Newsletter

           April 2016                                                           18th edition

Your Monthly Guide to Educational, Recreational, and Community Resources in the Big Sky Area

Brought to you by Morningstar Learning Center as part of the Basecamp to Kindergarten Program.  This newsletter is designed to support early childhood education and to help all Big Sky families stay on top of local happenings and resources for their little learners. 

This month's theme is April Showers!

 Book of the Month

Sniff. Sniff. Sniff. Spring is in the air. Mole can smell it. But Bear is still asleep after his long winter nap. How will Mole wake up Bear so they can celebrate together? When a knock, knock, knock and toot, toot, toot can't get Bear out of bed, Mole cooks up a special treat.


We scooped out the marshmallow cream and divided it evenly into a six section jumbo muffin tin. We added food coloring and stirred the marshmallow cream with craft sticks.

The mixture was really stiff so I modified the recipe by adding a little bit of warm water to each section and the children once again stirred it.  The paint was still nice and thick but spread much more easily with a brush while the children were using it.

The paint was also very shiny and does take a bit to dry. When the children left for the day the pictures they had made were still a sticky but they were hangable. We used cardstock paper which was much more thicker and could hold the weight of the paint better than regular paper.

Materials needed:

– kids tempera paint or an ink pad

– Fingerprint Counting Printables (click on above picture for direct link)

Just pour a little paint in a tray and let your child dip a fingertip into the paint. Following the numbers indicated on the activity, children place the correct number of fingerprints, creating spots on the ladybugs, caterpillars of varying lengths, and petals on flowers. This is great for practicing number recognition and one to one correspondence.


Tools & Supplies: 

Sodium Alginate (gelling agent)
Calcium Chloride
Glass Bowls
Small Hand-Held Strainer

To start, measure out 1 c. of juice. I used 3 different kinds to add some color variety in our experiment. Mix 1 tsp of sodium alginate into the juice. Blend it in a blender to remove any lumps. It will start to thicken. Let it rest for at least an hour to let the bubbles escape.

After the juice and alginate mixture has rested for a time, it is time to make the juicy noodles. You will need a large pan full of water mixed with the calcium chloride. I mixed in a teaspoon or two of the calcium in the water. You will also want another bowl of fresh, plain water that you can use to rinse the noodles when they are done.

Using a syringe, collect the juice mixture and squirt it into the calcium-water solution. In the presence of calcium, the sodium alginate forms into a gel.

Art Activity of the Month


  • Table covering

  • Heavy paper (watercolor or cardstock)

  • Paint (I really like Biocolor paint)

  • Paper plate

  • Fresh flowers

  • Ruler

This project can get messy, so cover your work area with newspaper, butcher paper, or a disposable table cloth.

Squeeze blobs of paint onto the paper plate, leaving plenty of room to press the flowers down into the paint. Now it’s time for flower painting fun! You are essentially replacing your paint brush with a fresh flower, so dip the flower into the paint, then gently press onto your paper.

Experiment with mixing paint colors and using differently shaped flowers as you cover your paper with flower prints.

Don’t worry if petals or other parts of the flowers get stuck in the paint—that just adds fabulous texture! Show your child how to twirl the flower back and forth in a circular motion to create a different type of mark. Younger children may also enjoy brushing the flower across the page just like they would with a paint brush.

Once your masterpiece is complete, set aside to dry.


Good morning parents of Morningstar Learning Center!
Morningstar Learning Center is excited to announce our own webpage, for our campaign to raise $40,000. Please view our webpage, and make a donation! Every little bit helps!

Have you ever wondered about the appropriateness of movies or other media for your child?  Common Sense Media is a San Francisco based non-profit organization that provides education and advocacy to families to promote safe technology and media for children. 

Common Sense Media improves the lives of kids and families by providing independent reviews, age ratings, & other information about all types of media.
Basecamp to Kindergarten Checkout Activities

Morningstar Learning Center's Basecamp to Kindergarten backpacks are finished and are available for loan at Morningstar Learning Center and the Big Sky Community Library.  These resource activity bags contain fun kindergarten readiness activities for preschool students and resources for parents to take the guesswork out of what kids need to know to be successful in kindergarten.  Three different kits are available.  These resources were created by Basecamp to Kindergarten in collaboration with Ophir Kindergarten teachers and the the Big Sky Community Library.  Check them out at your convenience!
Family Photo Session to Benefit MLC!
Morningstar Learning Center is excited to announce that one of our very own parents, Jenna Graham, is helping families here in Big Sky create beautiful memories by booking Winter Mini Portrait Sessions!
50% of the proceeds benefit Morningstar Learning Center when your child is enrolled.Don't worry! If your child is not enrolled or you do not have children, Morningstar Learning Center still receives 25% of the proceeds. 
Mini sessions are $100.00 each. Each session will last 30 minutes. When you purchase this mini session, you will receive 10-15 edited digital images online gallery along with the photo release for all pictures taken. 
 If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity, please book with Jenna Graham now!

Her information is or 706-969-9215. When you book your session, please remember to let her know if it a Morningstar Learning Center referral. 

Parent's Date Night

Our program offers a night out for parents while your children are being safely supervised in a fun and exciting environment at Morningstar Learning Center!


WHEN: First Friday of the Month

 6:00 P.M. till 10:00 P.M.

*Date Night will begin 30 minutes after the official closing time.*

Please note: *Children may not stay continuously from regular hours of operation through the Date Night hours*

FEE: $30 Per Child / $10 for additional siblings

Your child in pajamas with his/her favorite pillow/blanket (labeled please). A completed after-hours registration - including number where you may be reached during those hours.


                    DATES TO REMEMBER:                                          

May 6, 2016



  • Treasure Box Goodies
  • White and Colored Cardstock
  • Snacks
These items can be dropped off at Morningstar Learning Center anytime throughout the school day.  Thank you for you support!

Preschool Storytime
Ages 0-5
Monday @ 10:30am.

Each story time has a different theme. We’ll read books and do an activity based on that theme.  Check the library calendar for special programs.
This is a great opportunity to meet other kids and parents, learn about school resources and get to know our outstanding library staff! Also, be sure to ask us about our 1000 books before Kindergarten Program. 


We look forward to seeing you and your little ones!

This Newsletter is brought to you by Morningstar Learning Center and the generous contributions made by Women In Action, Yellowstone Club Community Foundation and Big Sky Resort Tax Allocations.
For information about enrollment and Programming at Morningstar Learning Center please contact us at 995-2565.

Copyright © 2016 Morningstar Learning Center, All rights reserved.
 16th edition Basecamp to Kindergarten Newsletter

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