Joy of Reading

Reading Program Designed by Education Professionals


Tailored to Your Child’s Individual Reading Needs

Reading Comprehension
Phonological Awareness
Vocabulary Expansion

Monday-Friday 3:30-5:30

Bus transportation available from LedyardCenter and Gallup Hill

Snack Included

Call 860-536-0110 for information


Welcome to Ivy Cottage Children’s Center. We’re thrilled to announce our new mission statement and curriculum. Our mission statement and philosophy can be viewed through the links above. We are now accepting applications for fall enrollment in our new holistic agricultural preschool and toddler programs.

Green Eggs and Ham


New School Year

Welcome to the new school year! We are off to a great start. The children have been busy learning about themselves and each other. We began with a focus on “Me,” with projects and discussions about ourselves, our facial features, the letters in our names, our feelings, and what makes us feel happy, grumpy, etc. We danced to the “hokey pokey,” and “If you’re happy and you know it.”

We are now learning about our senses. We have been singing and exploring with “The Bear Went Over The Mountain” (included below). We have talked about and experienced concepts such as: rough or smooth, soft or hard, bigger or smaller, different colors, different sounds we hear in our environment, things we smell, and things we taste. We will continue to learn about our senses for a bit longer and then transition to fall activities.

We are also working on strengthening the muscles needed for writing activities. Some of these lessons include playing with play dough, working with tweezers, balancing materials on small spoons, and picking up small pieces with our thumb and forefinger.

We are expanding on the lessons with the letters in our names to the letters in the color names with color focused art experiences. We began this series of lessons with discussing the sound “r” makes and gluing red rice to the word “red” on red paper. We will continue through the colors with their letter sounds. When completed, the children will turn their projects into self-made color books to bring home and read.

 News from the Twos

The toddlers finished learning about the jungle in August.

They learned about the letter “I” in talking about oneself.

Their favorite book of the last couple weeks is “Ava’s Poppy,” by Marcus Pfister, which led into discussions of the end of the gardening season.

The Bear Went Over the Mountain

The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mountain,
To see what he could see.

The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mountain,
To hear what hear could hear.

 The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mountain,
To smell what he could smell.

The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mountain,
To feel what he could feel.

The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mountain,
The bear went over the mountain,
To taste what he could taste.




plantsIn last week’s message, I described plans for Wednesday and Thursday without realizing we will be closed this Thursday. It is July already! We hope you all have a wonderful Fourth of July. We will go ahead with our friendship soup this Wednesday and plan the next  special activity for a Thursday. I’m sorry for the mix up. If you’d like to contribute, please send one of your child’s favorite soup vegetable to school Wednesday, July 3rd. Thank you!

Also a few reminders/notes:

Please have a change of clothes in your child’s cubby in case of accidents or messy play. A bathing suit or a change of clothes is needed to participate in water play.

Please check your child daily for ticks. We live in an area with a high concentration of ticks. A couple of our students and two teachers have been bitten by ticks this season. The sooner a tick is removed the less likely it will cause illness. The CDC website has very simple instructions for removing a tick:  When in doubt, check with your pediatrician.

Please label all items sent to school with your child’s name. Enrollment is up for the summer and children often have the same or very similar items. We appreciate your help avoiding mixups.

Miss Jackie, from the Bill Library, left bookmarks for each of the preschool students (over three) to kick off the Summer Reading program. This is a great program and the children can earn a free book by reading throughout the summer. The books we read at school count! If you sign up and bring in the coloring page, we will happily fill in the books read at school.

The Ledyard Library Children’s page provides a link to the Summer Reading program and also a link to TumbleBooks, which is a collection of animated children’s books which can be viewed online or on an iPad.


butterfliesThe past few weeks, the children have been busy learning about caterpillars and butterflies. We’ve done many projects and read several great books. A few favorites include “Ten Little Caterpillars,” “The Hungry Caterpillar,” “The Ugly Caterpillar,” and “Ten Wriggly, Wiggly Caterpillars.” The preschool children authored their own books inspired by “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” All of the children were excited to wear their wings and enjoy a special butterfly snack, this morning, in celebration of our butterfly release. In three short weeks, we’ve watched our baby caterpillars grow, form chrysalids, and emerge as beautiful butterflies.

We’ve also collected eggs from our chickens and harvested radishes from the spring garden. Next week we’ll harvest snap peas and a very large turnip. The children have discussed what to do with their turnip and would like to make a friendship soup. We’ll read the story, “Stone Soup” and make our soup on Wednesday and Thursday so that all of our part time students can enjoy the activity. If you would like to contribute, please send one of your favorite vegetables on either day. Friendship soup is always fun and unique each time we make it.

We hope you’re all enjoying a wonderful start to the summer. We sure are.


We’ve been having great fun with our chicks! They are two weeks old now and already have feathers growing in. We’ve learned so much with them: observing and documenting, counting, graphing their colors and comparing quantities, and even with small feathers they can fly enough to jump out of our sensory table. They are now living in a larger bin until they return to the farm on June 1st. Families are invited to visit the farm, say goodbye to our chicks, and enjoy a tour from Farmer Art to meet the rest of his animals. He has some unique heritage breeds. Please see the attached flier or pick one up at school for more information and to RSVP.
The children have enjoyed reading and discussing many themes with chicken stories. “Big Chickens” taught us about feeling scared when our friends feel scared and we discussed things that can make us feel brave. “Rooster’s Off to See the World”, “Pip’s Trip”, and “The Loopy Coop Hens” also taught us about bravery and adventure. We counted to 5 with “Five Little Chicks” and to 10 with “Big Fat Hen”. “Hedgie’s Surprise” taught us about creative problem solving. And we could not have chickens and eggs without reading “Green Eggs and Ham”.


While we continue observing the growth of our chicks and our new bantam hens, we are also exploring new topics in the garden. We have ordered caterpillar eggs and are learning about what they eat and how they grow to prepare for their arrival. The toddlers have been making some wonderful flower and caterpillar projects. In preschool art, we made caterpillar gardens and are counting and comparing the caterpillars in each garden. With the arrival of warm sunny days, we’ve also enjoyed painting on the outdoor easel.

A few notes:

  • Please continue to send jackets or sweaters in case of cooler days.
  • Please be sure your child wears shoes he/she can run around in outdoors.
  • If you have a preferred sunscreen, please send it in with your child’s name on it.
  • Please send in spare clothes with your child. They may be left in his/her cubby or brought in each day. We all have accidents now and then. Water weather is not quite here, but the children are eager and would like to be prepared. They also enjoy the mud whenever it is available.

Thank you for joining us at Ivy Cottage!


photoThis week, we are enjoying warm weather and sunshine. The children are learning with Spring themes. We are learning the rules of safe driving on our outdoor track (chalk on the blacktop). We have worked our large muscle groups preparing the gardens and have started planting. So far, the children have planted spinach, red scallion, and sugar pea seeds. They’ve also begun planting the seeds we’ve been growing inside for the last few weeks. As summer approaches, we’ll begin planting warm weather vegetables.

We are also learning with Spring nature inspired art projects. These help the children strengthen their fine motor muscles needed for writing. We cut and tear tissue paper and construction paper, squeeze glue bottles, pinch small items, pull at cotton puffs, and create mini works of art. Many of the older children are beginning to write their own names. This is a very exciting time.

During story time, we are focusing on understanding and being able to retell stories through the use of props and repeated readings. Our first has been a great hit with the children, Eric Carle’s “Rooster’s Off to See the World”. We’ll soon begin “The Five Little Monkeys” series with monkey finger puppets and a couple of chicken rhymes in which the children get to act out the chicken roles. As an added bonus, these stories have an additional focus on early mathematics skills with counting and simple addition and subtraction in the form of characters who join or depart from the main story.


colorsThis week at Ivy Cottage, we are learning about colors with Brown Bear. We have begun experimenting with color mixing: red and yellow, blue and yellow, and blue and red. When those are done, we’ll try mixing complimentary colors to discover what happens. We are also learning about story sequencing and repetition. We read:

“Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?”

“I see a red bird looking at me.”

“Red bird, red bird, what do you see?”

“I see a …”

This question and response pattern is repeated throughout the story. After reading the story, we discussed the pattern and practiced it with cue cards. Then, the children drew pictures to add to the story. For now, we will keep the pictures in a class book to read during group time or individually. We will also be adding to our story with stuffed animals as our prompts. Once the children master the color and animal name, we will add other descriptive words to our story, like big or small, happy or sad.

Please note, we will be closed for Good Friday on March 29th.

We are also charting the signs of spring as we observe them in the yard and garden. Please feel free to send a note with your child about any signs of spring you observe at home. We will add them to our chart.


seasonsThe last couple of weeks, we’ve been learning about the seasons. Our focus is shifting from winter topics to spring topics, with some overlap and comparison. We’ve begun planting seeds and watching for signs of spring: warmer days, melting snow, birds singing, buds on the trees. We’ll soon be preparing the outdoor gardens for spring planting: peas and onions to start. Miss Caitlin is planning to help the children make kale chips with the kale that survived the winter. We’re also conducting experiments to discover the best way to care for plants. So far, we’re watching for growth of beans grown with sunlight or in darkness and beans watered daily or not watered at all. We’re reading books about the seasons and planting seeds: “Red Sings from Treetops,” “The Tiny Seed,” One Seed,” “One Bean.” This week we’ll add “One Raindrop,” and “Cloudette.” We’ll learn about the water cycle and the story of a small cumulus cloud. Then we’ll do some cloud watching and an experiment to help us learn morn about clouds and water transmission.

Learning with Snow

snowThis week we are learning with Snow! We are also still learning with hearts, red, and emotions. We could not get outside in the fabulous snow Monday due to rain, but the children thoroughly enjoyed the snow today. Some built a snow cat, some a snow dinosaur, and some found a nice puddle of slushy mud to jump in. This was great for working on large motor skills, teamwork, and creativity.

We hope you all were safe and able to enjoy the snow. It can be challenging to judge the safety of the roads while staying safe at home. In the future, if Ledyard schools have a delay, we will also have a delayed opening. If schools are closed, we will be delayed at least until our staff can get to the center safely. Our goal is 8:00 am. Hopefully that is late enough for the sun to warm the icy roads but early enough to not inconvenience our working parents too much. If there is any doubt, please call the center to be sure we are open before venturing out in unpleasant weather. Thank you for understanding.