Teddy Bear Day Care – Ypsilanti

Teddy Bear Day Care and Learning Center

Friday Brunch!

by Leslie - July 17th, 2015

The kids are just finishing up their Friday brunch, and it was a huge hit. I thought for sure that there would be leftovers for the teachers, but the kids devoured everything–as they should! The original recipes are linked below, along with details on the modifications I made.

Baked Oatmeal: I followed the procedure, eliminated walnuts & vanilla extract, then used a frozen berry medley in lieu of hucklberries

Vegetarian or Turkey Sausage (Kroger Brand, pre-cooked)

Carrot Cake Balls: we got a little creative with this recipe and subbed raisins for the dates & used syrup instead of vanilla



Summer Program 2015

by Leslie - May 12th, 2015

We hope you all are ready for an incredible summer, filled with new explorations, lots of outside learning, and just plain fun! For those families who are new to TBDC, there are no major changes from our school year program–just some minor logistical details to go over. Please find these details included in the newsletter and as always, please let one of us know what we can do to help ensure the best summer for your children.

2015 shirts

Summer field trip shirts are in! Once you have paid the recreation fee, please see Leslie.

Please note: for security purposes, we do not publicly post the field trip calendar. Hard copies are available at the center, or you can email Leslie for an electronic version. 

School newsletter

Friday lunch schedule

Fall Newsletter

by Leslie - September 12th, 2014

TBDC’s Fall Newsletter

Summer Program Details

by Leslie - May 27th, 2014

We have been working so hard to put together the most exciting and unique summer program ever–and let me say, we couldn’t be more excited to share the details! Please find the field trip schedules below. We are so excited for a summer full of adventure and learning!

Summer newsletter

Pre-Toddler, Toddler, & Preschool field trip calendar

Pre-Kindergarten & School-Age field trip calendar



T-shirts for the summer program are in the office. When your family pays the recreation fee then you will receive it.

summer shirts

Kindergarten Information Night

by Leslie - February 19th, 2014


With so many options in our community, selecting the right elementary school for your family is quite the challenge! Join the TBDC learning community on Wednesday, March 5, at 6:30 PM.

Our guest speakers include the principal of Bishop Elementary (houses Lincoln Multi-Age & Spanish Immersion programs), Laura Holliday (admissions representative for East and South Arbor), along with TBDC families who have gone through the kindergarten selection process. This event is open to the public, so please share with friends!

Please RSVP here in order to ensure a space.

Winter & Spring 2014 Calendar

by Leslie - January 15th, 2014

Hi Families!

I have created a Winter & Spring 2014 Schedule showing all of the field trips, after school events, and class parties. A new calendar will be made for the summer and handed out in May. Please print a copy for yourself.




How Do Adults Cry?

by Leslie - November 21st, 2013

Last night I was saying goodbye to a student and his mom. He had a pouting look on his face, so I asked him what was on his mind, and he stuck his thumb in my face. After a short discussion I learned that he had slammed his thumb in the car door and that his thumb nail was going to eventually fall off. Having been through a similar situation, I showed him my thumb that had survived a similar fate. When I explained to him that his thumb nail would also grow back, he replied, “But I cried when it happened!” In an attempt to reassure him, I also shared that I had cried when my thumb was stuck in a door. He looked at me bewildered and asked, “But Miss Leslie, how do adults cry?” It took me a moment to get there, but I soon realized that this young man believed that adults do not cry.

As adults, we often find ourselves hiding some emotions (e.g., anxious, sad, upset, worried, disgust, etc.). The reason being, is that we often think of these emotions as negative. We want our children to know that we are the strong rock that can bring comfort to them when their knees are bumped or when they are scared of the monsters in their closets. I often hear kids refer to their family members as super heroes; so it’s our natural inclination to keep up that tough exterior. But what would happen if our children saw their superheroes appropriately express and cope with their big emotions?

I would argue that it’s important for our children to see their superheroes emote.  Let’s chat first about what happens when we attempt to hide our emotions. First of all, no matter how great of a job that we think we are doing at masking the emotions our children still know that something is wrong. When we feel our feelings, there is not only the outward emotion (crying for sad, smiling for happy) but we also experience a physiological response. For example, when you get angry your muscles may tense up or your temperature may increase. This is your body’s fight or flight response—it’s gearing up to survive a perceived threat. So even if we stop our tears, our children can still sense that we are sad; this stress is easily transferred to our young ones. Children are very egocentric and when they sense that something is wrong and they don’t know why, then most times they will assume that problem is a result of something they have done. Secondly, when we hide our emotions from our children, we are non-verbally telling them that crying should be avoided. I would much rather have a child cry when she is upset, as opposed to her throwing a temper tantrum. Crying can be a great first step in processing difficult situations.

So how can we help our children learn how to healthily process big  emotions? First of all, just like we do when they are infants, talk to them about everything. If you are sad, let them know why and what you’ve done or plan to do in order to fix this problem. Hiding tears when you have obviously been crying will not do you, or your child any favors.

Next, when you see your child displaying a big emotion, let them know it’s OK by saying something like, “It’s OK to be sad (angry, jealous, disappointed, etc.),” while then offering an appropriate outlet such as crying, squeezing a pillow, listening to music, drawing a picture, etc. All these outlets are natural responses. When we have appropriate outlets for these big emotions, it becomes much easier to process if you don’t feel ashamed by it.

Sometimes adults experience big emotions as a result of an adult problem (divorce, death of a loved one, or an argument with a friend). Some adult problems are just that: adult problems. We certainly don’t want to use our children as confidants for these big problems—they’re too complicated of issues for children to understand. When instances like this arise, we want to stress to our children that we’re not upset because of them, and let them know that we are doing our best to deal with it.

Whatever you call them, big emotions or negative emotions, these are all an important part of the human experience. It is my goal when working with children to help make them the happiest and most effective people that they can become. In that process, I want them to understand their own emotions, and the appropriate ways to deal with them–I want them to learn how to feel.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. When you were a child, how did your family teach you about these big emotions? Does this differ from how you handle them with your family?


Connecting Cooking with Curriculum

by Leslie - September 18th, 2013

Thank you to those of you who were able to attend WCAEYC’s workshop last evening on cooking in the early childhood classroom. I hope that my passion for the topic served as inspiration for each of you. In turn , I’d like to say thanks to the participants, because we had some really great conversation and resource sharing. As promised, I have shared my resources and presentation, along with some of the ideas that were shared.

The PowerPoint from last night

Recipes we discussed (& some we didn’t get to)


Follow up on discussions & questions


Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas!

Born This Way

by Leslie - May 6th, 2013

Much research has gone into temperament, or “the inborn characteristic way that infants interact with the world around them.” Temperament theory was first discussed by the Greek physician, Hippocrates. He believed that our moods were caused by body fluids. Mood and temperament research has come a bit further since then, but Hippocrates was on to something.

Modern research began in the early 70s by Alexander Thomas and Stella Chass. These two followed 133 infants into their adult lives, and examined characteristics such as regularity of their habits, their reactions to changes in their routines, their responses to caregivers and strangers, what kind of moods described their disposition, and so forth. After years of observation they found that most people could be categorized into one of three temperamental styles:

  • Easy: about 40% of children are believed to have this temperament
  1. Moods are usually positive & seldom explosive
  2. Regular in basic routines such as sleeping & eating

  3. Adapts easily to new people & situations


  • Difficult: about 10% of children are believed to have this temperament
  1. Cries often, with intensity, and expresses other negative moods

  2. Irregular in basic routines

  3. Reacts to change with difficulty & slowness


  • Slow-to-warm-up: about 15% of children are believed to have this temperament
  1. Has both positive & negative moods, which are usually mild

  2. Moderately regular in basic routines

  3. Reacts negatively to new people & situations initially, but successfully adjusts over a period of time


  • Other: about 35% of children are believe to have this temperament. They display a combination of the above characteristics.

Thomas and Chass’s research had one very important implication for the field: temperaments are something we are born with, not something we learn or pick up along the way. Mary Rothbard and her colleagues picked up where this piece left off. They found that for some people, the basic temperamental patterns presented early in life remain with us. For others, however, the degree or intensity of temperament style shifts, as infants, toddlers, and young children grow and change in daily encounters with family and other caregivers.

So what’s the real world implication of all of this? We, as parents and caregivers, must know what temperament category our children fall into. Equipped with this information we then should try to create an environment that works with, rather than against, the child’s temperamental style. For example, we ought not expect a slow to warm up child to walk into a classroom and easily integrate himself into play; or a difficult child to adapt easily to a new morning routine.

Many children fall into that other category. We must be especially in-tune to these children. Perhaps your other child does fine integrating herself into small groups, but not so well in large groups. Or perhaps she really loves books, so dropping her off at school during circle time may be best.

Temperaments vary somewhat throughout our lives and the environments we are in, but generally speaking they are something with which we are born. Therefore, it is important that we pay attention to clues that infants give us as to what their temperaments are. When we tune into these, we can be the best possible caregivers.


Burgers to Suit!

by Leslie - May 3rd, 2013

Warm weather means one thing in my household: grilling out! I’ve been working on a good, versatile burger recipe for us, and I think you and your family will enjoy my efforts–no matter what your preferences. There are so many different directions you could take this recipe. I look forward to hearing your favorite way.

As far as the “meat” goes, think outside of the box. I really like ground chicken so that’s why I use, but feel free to substitute ground turkey, ground bison, soy chorizo, or vegetarian “meat” crumbles. Veggie and cheese combos are endless too. For now, here’s my favorite: chicken, spinach, mushroom & Parmesan cheese.


Spinach & Mushroom Chicken Burgers

Time investment: about a half hour (including prep & cook time)

Makes about seven full size burgers


1 1/2 pounds of ground chicken

1/2 of a large onion, diced

2 ounces of mushrooms, diced

3 ounces of fresh spinach

3 ounce of Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

2 teaspoons of low sodium soy sauce (you can use any type you have on hand, or even a pre-made teriyaki sauce)

1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (may want to adjust this according to preferences)

1/2 cup of bread crumbs (I had whole wheat Panko in my pantry, but use what you have)



Have a little kitchen helper tear spinach leaves into small pieces. While your helper is doing that, dice onions and mushrooms (I usually buy the pre-sliced mushrooms to make this easier).

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, add about a tablespoon of fat (butter, olive oil, coconut oil, whatever your family prefers). Saute the onions for about three minutes, or until they just start to turn translucent. Then add the diced mushrooms to the pan for about five more minutes. Remove onions and mushrooms to cool.

Once mushrooms and onions have cooled a bit, add all ingredients to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Using hands mix all ingredients very well. Then form into balls, based on the size of the buns you will be using. Keep in mind that a serving of meat should be about the size of a deck of cards.

From here you can grill the patties, cook them in the skillet you used for mushrooms and onions, or broil them.

Grill: Grill over medium heat for five to six minutes per side

Skillet: Cook over medium high heat for five minutes per side

Broil: Broil on one side for about four minutes, then flip and broil for about three minutes


Notes & Pictures

chicken burgers ready for cooking

I prepared my patties on a Sunday and then stored them in a Tupperware container. I trust raw meat in the fridge for about five days–we grilled them on a Tuesday for dinner. You could also store them this way in the freezer for a few months.

chicken burgers on the grillOnce the burgers were done cooking, we put some shredded Swiss cheese on the top of them to melt, and also put the buns on the grill to toast.

chicken burger w/ corn Grilling & corn on the cob go hand-in-hand, in my opinion!