District Site

410 Central Ave. N.
New Prague, MN 56071

phone: 952-758-1700
fax: 952-758-1799


S.M.A.R.T. Pre-K

SMART at Home: Forts = Fun

As the weather gets cooler choose a fun indoor activity like building a simple fort to get kids moving in a S.M.A.R.T. way.

Encouraging your children to build forts at home can provide hours of fun, creative thinking, and physical activity.  Whether you use the dining room table, living room furniture, or just a box, forts can be S.M.A.R.T. and entertaining.

Forts have children moving down low. Crawling on bellies and creeping on all fours are two very brain stimulating activities. Children are learning about coordination, integrating both sides of the brain, and strengthening their visual system to develop the right kind of eye movements they will need to become good readers.

“I’m bored!” 

Do you ever hear your child saying this?

Give them a fun activity to do that is brain boosting and will help them at home and in school!

Tape lines on the floor, yardsticks, jump ropes, ribbon or string all make perfect balance beams for the home.  Encourage children to walk very slowly with a heel-to-toe walk without falling off the line.  Challenge older children to place objects on their head or shoulders to balance from beginning to end.

Learning balance helps a child know where their body is in space.  In a classroom, having a good sense of balance and body awareness helps them to remain seated in chair.  Remaining seated and comfortable assists them in paying attention in class. At home, they just might remain seated during dinner!

Great photo ideas like the ones above can be found on Pinterest. 



SMART at Home: Fidgets

There is likely not a parent or an educator around who doesn’t know about fidget spinners. The kids are going crazy over this tool turned toy. We’re here to help you understand why fidget spinners are not intended to cause a distraction in the classroom or be outlawed by schools and, contrary to popular belief, not all children need a fidget spinner.

Kids need to move. A lot. Movement stimulates the brain and aids in focus and attention. However, much of a school day requires being still or remaining seated. Some children need a little extra help with focusing during all of this stillness. They need a fidget to help them focus. Fidget = Focus!

We like to think of “focus” similar to autopilot. What does that mean? It means complete control of each body system without having to think about it. But what if your child isn’t on autopilot? Then they look like they have the wiggles, they may fall out of the chair, or they may attempt to avoid seated work. It can also look like homework that takes hours to complete.

Fidgets (and S.M.A.R.T.) can help children whose body systems are immature and keep them from being able to get to auto-pilot. Fidgets can provide the right amount stimulation to take the brain to that focused state. Think about the last time you had to sit and pay attention to something or someone for a length of time. When you started to lose focus did you jiggle your foot? Click your pen? Doodle? Play with your hair? If so, you were doing what you needed to do to help your brain remain focused and attentive! You found something to fidget with, or to remain on autopilot, until the need to be attentive passed.

Your child may benefit from having something to fidget with too, including while doing homework. But keep in mind, not all fidgets work with all kids. Some kids need squishy, some need springy, some need twisters, and others need (dare we say it) spinners. Some need nothing at all.

For those who do, a small, smooth object or stone can help calm them. Something with texture like a Lego, a piece of Velcro, even a pipe cleaner, can provide some tactile stimulation. Something they can manipulate such as a rubber band, silly putty, or ball of playdough can aid with focus while they are reading. If concentration and memorization are required, chewing gum can be a great source of stimulation that aids in focus. Allowing your child to have some sort of fidget can greatly increase the focus and attention they give to completing tasks or homework. Before bedtime!




S.M.A.R.T. in our Pre-K Classroom

(Stimulating Maturity through Accelerated Readiness Training)

Dear Parents,


This year, your child will be participating in an exciting program called S.M.A.R.T. Pre-K, which stands for Stimulating Maturity through Accelerated Readiness Training.


S.M.A.R.T. Pre-K is a multi-sensory approach to learning for 3 - 5 year olds that involves brain stimulation activities to help prepare your child to learn. This program develops visual, auditory, balance, fine and gross motor skills, which are all essential for classroom and academic success.


The S.M.A.R.T. Pre-K Activities also improve your child’s physical fitness, strength, coordination and ability to pay attention. Once these readiness skills are in place, your child will have the foundation necessary to succeed in school.


S.M.A.R.T. Pre-K Activities involve a number of purposeful exercises, including:

• Crawling • Spinning • Creeping • Balancing •Overhead Ladder • Rolling


The S.M.A.R.T. Pre-K Activities will be integrated into the daily classroom schedule in a fun and positive way to help your child reach his/her learning potential. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.



Ms. Anne