Welcome to


For Parents




For information about class availability for the 2017-2018 school year or to get information about registering for the 2018-2019 school year please call 412-486-5591 or email us at preschool.office@stpaulsumc.com.


The Preschool will be offering 2 full weeks of summer camp.  Our first camp "Story Book Adventure" will be held the week of June 25th - 29th from 9:00-noon.  Children who attend this camp must have competed a year of 3, 4 or 5 year old Preschool or have had a year of child care (child must have turned 3 years old by December 31, 2017).  Our second week "High Ho, High Ho It's Off To Kindergarten We Go" will be held the week of July 9th - 13th.  Children must be attending Kindergarten in the fall in order to participate in this camp week.  Cost for each week is $150.00.  If you would be interested in having your name place on our list to receive a registration form for the camp please call the Preschool office at 412-486-5591. 

Click here to view or print the Preschool Parent Handbook

Click here to print an Emergency Contact / Parental Consent form

Click here to print a Permanent Record Form

Click her to print Child Health form



The United Way
Did you know that if your employer participates in the United Way Campaign, you can designate the funds you donate to go to St. Paul's Preschool?  Simply obtain a United Way Contributor's Choice form from your employer and specify our preschool's code,
941482, and the monthly or annual amount you wish to contribute.

Preschool Parent Book Exchange:

We have two shelves in our Conference Room dedicated to a parent book exchange!  Please bring any books you have that might be of interest to other parents.  These can be great novels you read or interesting parenting books.  After you donate your book(s), check out the ones on the shelves donated by other parents.  You might find a special "treasure" just waiting for you!  This is a great way to recycle books and share with other



The articles below deal with the importance of outdoor playtime.


Take it Outside!

By Rae Pica

Tony sits focused on his computer screen. Keisha's watching her favorite television program. And Kim is enthusiastically playing video games. What do these three scenarios have in common? They're all taking place indoors – a situation becoming more and more typical in the lives of American children.

There are a number of reasons for this disturbing trend. Among them is lack of time, as preschoolers in our society lead adult-like, highly-scheduled lives and parents themselves have less time to supervise outdoor play or to take their children to the playground.

Safety is another issue in today's world, with many parents reluctant to allow their children the freedom they themselves may have had as children. And, of course, the competition with television, computers, and video games is tremendous. What could the outdoors possibly have to offer that these three sources don't? The answer is a lot!

The Importance of Outdoor Play
The outdoors is the very best place for preschoolers to practice and master emerging physical skills. It is in the outdoors that children can fully and freely experience motor skills like running, leaping, and jumping. It is also the most appropriate area for the practice of ball-handling skills, like throwing, catching, and striking. And children can perform other such manipulative skills as pushing a swing, pulling a wagon, and lifting and carrying movable objects. 

Additionally, it is in the outdoors that children are likely to burn the most calories, which helps prevent obesity, a heart disease risk factor that has doubled in the past decade. With studies showing that as many as half of American children are not getting enough exercise-- and that risk factors like hypertension and arteriosclerosis are showing up at age 5-- parents and teachers need to give serious consideration to ways in which to prevent such health problems. The outside is also important because the outdoor light stimulates the pineal gland, the part of the brain that regulates the "biological clock," is vital to the immune system, and makes us feel happier.

Outdoor Play Contributes to Learning
The outdoors has something more to offer than just physical benefits. Cognitive and social/emotional development are impacted, too. Outside, children are more likely to invent games. As they do, they're able to express themselves and learn about the world in their own way. They feel safe and in control, which promotes autonomy, decision-making, and organizational skills. Inventing rules for games (as preschoolers like to do) promotes an understanding of why rules are necessary. Although the children are only playing to have fun, they're learning

  • communication skills and vocabulary (as they invent, modify, and enforce rules).
  • number relationships (as they keep score and count)
  • social customs (as they learn to play together and cooperate).

Learning to Appreciate the Outdoors
We can't underestimate the value of the aesthetic development promoted by being outside. Aesthetic awareness refers to a heightened sensitivity to the beauty around us. Because the natural world is filled with beautiful sights, sounds, and textures, it's the perfect resource for the development of aesthetics in young children.

Preschoolers learn much through their senses. Outside there are many different and wonderful things for them to see (animals, birds, and green leafy plants), to hear (the wind rustling through the leaves, a robin's song), to smell fragrant flowers and the rain-soaked ground, to touch (a fuzzy caterpillar or the bark of a tree), and even to taste (newly fallen snow or a raindrop on the tongue). Children who spend a lot of time acquiring their experiences through television and computers are using only two senses (hearing and sight), which can seriously affect their perceptual abilities.

Finally, what better place than the outdoors for children to be loud and messy and boisterous? Outside they can run and jump and yell, and expend some of the energy that is usually inappropriate – and even annoying – indoors.

When parents and teachers think back to their own childhoods, chances are some of their fondest memories are of outdoor places and activities. Such memories might include a favorite climbing tree or a secret hiding place, learning to turn cartwheels with a friend, or playing tag with the family dog. Maybe there was the smell of lilacs, the feel of the sun on the first day warm enough to go without a jacket, or the taste of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a blanket spread on the grass. Children usually share the values of the important adults in their lives. When we show an appreciation for the great outdoors, the children in our lives will follow our lead.

Rae Pica has been a movement education consultant for 20 years. An adjunct professor with the University of New Hampshire, Rae is the author of 12 books, including Experiences in Movement, Moving, & Learning Across the Curriculum, and the recently released Moving & Learning Series.

Activities for the Great Outdoors

  • A nature walk is a great way to enhance children’s appreciation of the natural environment. Ask them to tell you what they're seeing, hearing, and smelling. Encourage them to touch – to discover the smoothness of a rock, the roughness of bark, and the fragility of a dried leaf. For young children, these are science experiences.
  • Set up an obstacle course with old tires, large appliance boxes, and tree stumps. Moving through it will teach important concepts like over, under, through, and around.
  • A "listening" walk makes for a wonderful sound discrimination activity. As you walk with the children, point out the sounds of birds, passing cars, whistling wind, even your footsteps on the sidewalk. What sounds can the children identify on their own? Which are loud and which are soft? Which are high and which are low? What are their favorite sounds? Bring along a tape recorder so the children can try to identify the sounds at a later time!
  • Bring the parachute or an old sheet outside and play parachute games (shaking it, circling with it, making waves with it, or bouncing foam balls on it).
  • Bring a portable boom box outdoors and let the children experience the joy of dancing in a natural environment!
  • Try "water painting," in which children paint the side of a building with a brush and a bucket of water. It exercises arms and upper torso while also teaching about wet and dry, light and dark, and evaporation.
  • Chasing bubbles gives children a chance to run!

Hug a Tree and Other Things to Do Outdoors with Young Childrenby Robert Rockwell, Robert Williams, and Elizabeth Sherwood. Gryphon House, 1983.


Sharing Nature with Children by Joseph Bharat Cornell. Ananda Press, 1982.


The Great Outdoors: Restoring Children's Right to Play Outside by M.S. Rivkin. NAEYC, 1995.


The Outrageous Outdoor Games Book by Bob Gregson, Fearon, 1984.


The Outside Play and Learning Book by Karen Miller. Gryphon House, 1989.



Importance of Outdoor Play

by Sara Ipatenco

Playing outside is one of the greatest joys of childhood, but it serves a larger purpose than just being a way to have a good time. Spending time outdoors is a crucial part of healthy growth and development, according to the National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play. Improving your child's health and well-being might be as simple as sending him outside to play.

Physical Benefits

Playing outside is a good way for your child to get some exercise. With one out of three children overweight or obese, being active is critically important for the health of children, and playing outside gives your child plenty of opportunities to be active. Children who don't get enough exercise are at an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, according to the National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play. Outside play helps your child gain motor skills as well. Running, jumping, rolling down grassy hills, building dams with sticks and collecting rocks improve your child's physical development so that he gains muscle strength and builds strong bones.

Mental and Emotional Benefits

When your child plays outside, he's most likely running, leaping, skipping, yelling and laughing. Playing outside gives your child free time to pursue activities he enjoys, which makes him happy and less stressed, according to the National Association of Early Childhood Specialists in State Departments of Education. Taking a break to play outside gives your child an increased focus in the classroom and can reduce behavior problems as well. Regularly spending time outside can lower your child's risk of anxiety and depression too.

Cognitive Benefits

Playing improves your child's memory, thinking skills and ability to learn. The National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play reports that playing improves your child's gross motor skills, which increases his ability to process and remember new information. Playing also enables your child to block outside information that might distract him from learning new things on his own and in the classroom. Spending time outside allows your child to discover new things and make sense of the world around him as well.

Social Benefits

While playing outside alone is certainly beneficial, when your child plays outside with other children, he is learning about relationships and how to behave as a member of a group. Spending time outside as part of a larger group of children allows your child to make friends, resolve conflicts and express his feelings. He also learns how to follow rules, and he gains self-control skills.


Kids love to play outside!  And teachers love outdoor time too.  It’s a relaxing, stress-reducing, tension-relieving part of the day, and a time when much development and learning take place.

Physical development is evident outdoors as children learn about their bodies in space, practice important physical skills, and exercise and strengthen muscles.  Children also learn social skills – cooperation, turn taking, being on a team.  And kids learn about the world around them: they observe changes in plants and the differences in the seasons; they watch living things such as worms and crickets; they learn about the earth by collecting rocks and leaves.

The outdoor environment is an extension of the classroom.  This part of the daily is planned in St. Paul’s daily routine whenever the weather permits.

The environment includes equipment that helps encourage learning.  For example, climbing equipment helps children develop their motor skills and judgement about what they can safely do; trikes and other riding toys develop balance and coordination; the sand area is used for creating cities and harbors and for exploring the properties of dry and wet sand.

Classroom equipment will be brought out for the children to use.  Easels allow for outdoor painting, sensory tables filled with water to bath baby dolls and wash cars and wagons to take baby dolls for rides. Time spent outside is a valuable part of our day.

Please visit our calendar section for a overview of April school events.


Coffee Filter Butterflies

You will need:

Coffee filters

Water colors or food coloring diluted with water

Pipettes (eye droppers)

Googly eyes


Craft sticks

Mix your food coloring with a small amount of water in small containers

Using the pipette drip drop the colors onto the coffee filters.  Hang filters up to dry.

Once dry cut filters in half.

Switch the two halves around - so the circle sides meet.  This will give them more of a butterfly wing shape.

Now scrunch them up in the middle and prepare the craft stick with glue.

Place the craft stick on top of the wings.

Add a bit of glue to the craft stick and add some googly eyes.

Finally, glue a little string under the craft stick to make little antennas

Magic Paint

You will need:

1 Tablespoon baking soda

2 Tablespoons water

4-6 drops food coloring



Mix 1 tablespoon water and 1 tablespoon baking soda together.

Dip your paintbrush into the baking soda water mixture and then make your mystery picture on a sheet of paper.

Let the paper dry completely.

After the sheet is completely dry, mix together 1 tablespoon of water and 4-6 drops of food coloring.

Using a brush, paint the water and food coloring mixture over the mystery picture. 

Rainbow Sand (or salt)

What you will need:

1 cup sand or table salt

2 teaspoons powdered tempera paint

Plastic zip bag

Plastic bottle

Drawing paper

Pour sand or table salt and powdered tempera paint into a plastic zip bag.  Shake bag for 30 seconds or until the color is evenly blended.

Repeat the above step several times to create different colors.

Store leftover sand in a plastic zip bag or in an airtight container.

You can now use the colored sand or table salt to fill a plastic bottle with the different colors or on a piece of paper draw with white glue and then sprinkle different colors over the glue lines.

Paint and Peel

You will need:

Sheet of paper

Painter's tape

Tempera paint



Have your child print their first name on a sheet of paper leaving space between each letter or if it's easier have them make one letter per sheet of paper for their name.

Using the painter's tape, tape over each letter overlapping a bit so tape will stick to the paper you will be painting.

Have the child paint all over the paper with the tape name and let completely dry.

Once dried, carefully peel the tape way.

Glass Gem Sun Catcher

CLEAR Elmer's glue

Glass gems (can be found in Dollar Store or craft store)

Plastic container lid

Ribbon, yarn or fishing line

Lay the container lid on a table upside down, so it makes a little tray.  Fill the bottom of the lid with the glue.  (Use only clear glue).   Make sure the entire lid is filled with the glue.

Have the child place the glass gems in the glue, flat-side-down, until the lid is full.

Squeeze more glue on top of the gems so they'll be nice and secure.

Set the sun catcher aside somewhere o dry completely.           

Once completely dried, peel the lid off your sun catcher.

Using ribbon, yarn, fishing line thread through a hole between the gems.  Hang from window with suction cup.


In the office at both the McKnight Center and Ferguson Center we have a list of commonly available snacks that are free of peanuts, tree nuts and eggs.  We invite you to stop in and take a look at this list.  You can also access the list by going to: http://snacksafety.com/snackguide.


                                   SNACK IDEAS


Some parents have asked for suggestions on what type of snacks to bring for their child's snack day.  Here is a list of some simple snack ideas. 

Trail Mix - a mixture of whole-grain cereal, dried fruits, sunflower seeds and dried coconut flakes.  You can also add in raisins, cranberries and pretzels.

Small box of raisins

Fruit - please remember that grapes if served MUST be cut in half.  Bananas, apple slices, berries are all good choices.

Mini bagels with cream cheese

String cheese

Yogurt tubes


Whole wheat pretzels and crackers

Crackers and cheese

Chips and salsa




Carrots and ranch dip


Marshmallow Pinwheels

You will need:

1 package (3 oz) Jell-o Gelatin, any flavor

1/2 cup warm water

1 1/2 cups Jet-Puffed miniature marshmallows

Stir gelatin mix and water in medium micowaveable bowl.  Microwave on High 1 1/2 minutes until gelatin is completely dissolved.

Stir in marshmallows.  Microwave on High 1 minute or until marshmallows are partially melted.  Stir with whisk until marshmallows are completely melted.  Pour into 8-inch square pan sprayed with cooking spray.

Refrigerate 45 minutes or until set.  Run sharp knife around edges of  pan to loosen gelatin layer from pan.  Starting at 1 edge, roll up gelatin layer tightly.  Cut into 1/2 inch slices.  Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

Fruit-Yogurt Bites

You will need:

1 1/2 cups plain yogurt

1/4 cup whole milk

2 teaspoons honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup blueberries

1/2 cup strawberries, quartered

1/2 cup raspberries

In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, milk, honey and vanilla and whisk until smooth.

In an ice tray, distribute fruit in each of the cube molds.

Spoon yogurt mixture over fruit, filling molds completely.  Freeze for 5 hours, or until frozen solid.

Baked Apple Slices

You will need:

1 Granny Smith apple- peeled, cored and sliced

2 1/2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar

1 pinch ground cinnamon, or to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Spread the apples slices into the bottom of a small baking dish. Whisk the water and cornstarch together in a small bowl, pour over the apple slices and gently stir.  Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the apple slices.

Cook in the preheated oven until apples are tender, about 15 minutes.

Apple Raisin Snack Wraps

You will need:

4 flour tortillas

1 apple, diced

1/2 cup raisins

4 tablespoons peanut butter or any other type butter

Spread each tortilla with the butter spread

Sprinkle apples and raisins from the middle to one edge.

Roll the wrap from the edge with apples and raisins toward the side with only butter spread.  The butter spread helps hold the wrap closed.




Planting a Rainbow - Lois Ehlert

The Twelve Days of Spring - Deborah Rose

Let It Rain - Maryann Cocca-Leffler

Press Here - Herve Tullet

Dragon's Love Tacos - Adam Rubin

Owl Babie - Matin Waddell

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus - Mo Willem

Dear St. Paul's Preschool Families I would like to welcome you and your child to St. Paul's Preschool.  This 2015-2016 school year marks our 44th year as an early childhood educational center.  I have been a part of this program for the past twenty-one years, first as a classroom teacher (15 year) and most recently as the director (seven years).

It is important for you to know that we view you as your child's first and most important teacher!  We want to work in partnership with you as we share information about your child and make decisions together about your child's care.  This helps us be able to provide consistent care between home and school, resulting in your child feeling comfortable, safe and respected within our facility.  Good working relationships with families enable the teaching staff to be more responsive to each child's needs.

Our program philosophy clearly states that "parents are an integral part of our program.  Their input and information about their child is continually sought and valued.  Parents are involved in every part of the St. Paul's program."

We ask that you walk your child into the classroom each day because the teaching staff and I enjoy sharing information and saying hello to you.  Each class will have an area displaying your child's work.  Please visit this area often with your child!  At eh end of each day, a staff member will give you a summary of what has happened during the day so we encourage parents to arrive at least five minutes before dismissal time.  If you are a working parent and cannot pick your child up after class, a detailed and personal email will be sent to you by the teacher after class enabling you to receive the same information about your child's preschool day.

There are many ways to become a part of the program.  Here are a few:

*Become a member of the Parent of Preschoolers (a parent group which meets once per month in the evening)

* Become involved in our annual fund raiser, the Santa Express (Many activities to prepare for this major event can be done at home)

*Become a classroom volunteer (party parent, library parent, classroom helper, equipment and repair helper and/or field trip chaperone)  These positions are detailed in your Parent Handbook found on our website: www.stpaulspreschoolumc.org

*Attend an Open House evening event during the year

*Attend a Family Sing-a-Long event during the year

*Record "books on tape" for our classroom listening centers. (This can be done at home)

*Share your family's culture with the class (special foods can be sent for snack time, special games, songs and dances can be taught, and special ceremonies or traditions can be explained)

Volunteering in the preschool is so important for your child.  Your involvement early in your child's life sets him/her on course to succeed academically because you are showing that you value education.  Staying connected to the school can give parents ideas of how to expand what their child learns in school.

Being involved with St. Paul's Preschool also helps parents connect to other people.  You will be able to make new acquaintances, get to know friends better and help your own self-confidence increase.

Volunteer sign up sheets will be given out at the Parent Orientation meeting in August.

Please remember that St. Paul's Preschool has an Open Door policy.  Parents and family members are welcome to visit at any time during the school day.  We encourage you to contact the office (412-486-5591/preschool.office@stpaulsumc.com) or your child's classroom teacher to set up a time if you would like to spend the day with us!

Together we can provide the very best learning and growing environment for your child!


I'm looking forward to knowing you and your child this year!

Laurel Webster

Laurel Webster, St. Paul's Preschool Director




Accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children