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Welcome to YCC Trillium

The Young Children's Community is a place that supports both individual development and learning how to live harmoniously in our community. Our days will be filled with opportunities for baking, exploring, developing independence, acquiring new language and challenging motor abilities, just to name a few. I am happy to welcome your child to our sweet community and I look forward to the year ahead.

"Joy, feeling one's own value, being appreciated and loved by others, feeling useful and capable of production are all factors of enormous value for the human soul."
~Dr. Montessori

Annie Botsford


Room Parent

Lindsay Smith

Annie Botsford, YCC Guide
Annie Botsford, YCC Guide
Emily Palmer, YCC Support
Emily Palmer, YCC Support
Grace Bishop-Schaub, YCC Support
Grace Bishop-Schaub, YCC Support
Katie Burley, YCC Support
Katie Burley, YCC Support

Classroom Highlights


Happy Thursday Trillium families!

So hard to believe this is the penultimate Classroom Highlight of the 2023/2024 school year. What a special year it has been. With so few transitions in and out of the classroom (we welcomed our buddies Marcus and Levi and watched our pals Leo and Everett make the journey to Primary), we have collectively been a part of a very tight-knit, peaceful group. At this point in the year, our Workcycles are often like a choreographed dance and your kiddos are practically siblings. I find so much joy in reflecting on the year and how far we all have come. Thankfully, our class will not be changing much at the start of the summer program in June. For most, our beautiful journey together continues. :) 

Tomorrow is Grandparents and Special Friends Day! I look forward to spending time with your beloved family and friends.

Thank you in advance for letting me know if your child will go home with their visitors or someone else. We typically eat lunch at 11:30, but there is no lunch provided tomorrow. A robust snack is planned for 9:00 but know that your child might be hungry when they are picked up.

Lastly, the Dance of the Cosmos is on Friday, June 7th. I find this tradition to be the sweetest way to close out the school year. I'm excited to celebrate the end of this chapter with all of you. 

Have a lovely afternoon


Hello dear families! I hope you all are having a lovely Thursday. 

A big shout out to Lindsay Smith for organizing Teacher Appreciation Week in the Trillium Room. Emily, Grace, Katie and I have felt especially loved and are so grateful for all of the treats. Thank you for showering us with your love this week and every week!! It is felt and appreciated. 

Tomorrow is our buddy Marcus's second birthday! Since joining us, Marcus has added so much to our little community. His love of fruit and Emily is incredibly profound and contagious :).  Welcome to the two crew, Marcus! 

A reminder that we are just over two weeks out from Grandparents & Special Friends Day! On Friday, May 24th, your child's grandparents, and/or special friends are invited to our classroom for a half day of fun. I enjoy this event every year and am looking forward to spending time with some of the important people in your child's life! 

Lastly, Happy early Mother's Day to all of you incredible mothers! I hope you have a beautiful weekend.




Happy Thursday Trillium families!

Along with the buds on the trees, the plants in our greenhouse are sprouting! This week, we have been venturing out to the hoop house to water the young plants. The children have loved doing this and we are all looking forward to reaping the rewards of our hard labor. Delicious pesto to come! 

In other news, May Day is next Wednesday! For those of you that are unfamiliar, on the 1st of May, the entire school joins together in celebration of spring. The Kindergartners make flower crowns and dance around the Maypole as the rest of us sing Wild Mountain Thyme and the May Day Carol (we have been practicing these songs at school). Be sure to look out for adorable pictures of this in Waypoints next week. It is such a heartwarming tradition and before you know it, your kiddo will be skipping around the Maypole! 

The Corries Will Ye Go Lassie Go {Wild Mountain Thyme}

May Day carol

This past weekend Willow joined the growing number of two-year-olds in our classroom! We celebrated her birthday on Monday by singing and enjoying the banana bread she made to share. We sure love you, Willow!

Lastly, I'm resharing the link for our flower and playdough signup. As always, your contribution is greatly appreciated.


Happy short Thursday Trillium families! 

To start, a quick reminder that there is an early dismissal today. All children must be picked up between 11:30 and 12:00pm. 

This week I had the pleasure of visiting a Montessori school in Houston, Texas. Upon my return I am feeling both inspired and incredibly grateful for our community. My observations sparked many new ideas but also reenforced just how good we have it. I look forward to putting some of these fresh ideas into action and making what is already great even better! 

While I was gone, our sweet Zazie turned two!! Zazie is the purest embodiment of love and passion, and we are so lucky to have her as a member of the Trillium Room. Happy birthday, Zaz! 

It is time for another flower sign-up! Please click here if you are interested in providing our classroom with flowers. As I've said before, flower arranging is a beloved lesson, and your contribution is greatly appreciated. 

I am also sharing a sign-up for playdough! Unlike flowers, this sign-up is biweekly. Making playdough could be a fun activity to do at home and bringing their creation into school is another way for your child to feel like a contributing, valued member of our community. 

In summation, I love our school, I am thankful for you, and I am so happy to be back with the kiddos!


Happy Thursday Trillium families!

To start, I want to voice my immense appreciation— It was so nice to share a moment with you at conferences. I feel more grateful than ever to be in this partnership. 

annie_travel_sensory_toys.jpgAt conferences, the topic of traveling with a one/two-year-old came up so I thought I would share some ideas of (small) things you can bring on your journey in hopes of keeping your child occupied. Stickers are always a safe bet. The kids love to peel and press them. A notebook and a pad of stickers could keep your child busy for quite some time. If you are on a plane and have some control over the situation, tempera sticks or crayons could also help pass the time. Below is a picture of some of the sensory materials we have in the classroom that are travel friendly.

Pop-its, some kind of magnetic board, or a kaleidoscope are fun options. Something as simple as a "mystery bag" could go a long way. Put some open&close containers and/or sensory toys in the bag and make a fun game of feeling inside without looking. This activity is often a hit at school. Lastly, bring along a lock and key. Use twine to attach the key to the lock and watch your child work endlessly to pop it open. 

I wish you all a wonderful spring break! Good luck to those of you who are traveling! I look forward to hearing about your adventure when we return in April. Until then, I will miss all of your kiddos tremendously!! 

See you soon,
Annie Botsford


Happy March Trillium families! 

annie_air_travel_language_sets.pngWith many of you headed out of town for spring break, we have been talking a lot about travel in the classroom. I recently put an aircraft language set on the shelf which has led to discussions about travel via airplane. Between this and the constant air traffic over our school, planes have been a hot topic lately. Below is a picture of the forementioned language set.

Flower arranging has also been very popular! Big thanks to those that have brought in flowers. The children love it, and our room has been looking oh-so-springy. 

Along with this beautiful weather, we had Aberdeen's birthday as a reason to celebrate this week! Happy second birthday, sweet lady. What an honor it has been to watch her learn and grow. 

Lastly, a reminder that conferences are next Thursday and Friday. I truly love the opportunity to connect with each of you. And is there any better topic than your brilliant, joyful toddler?! I think not! 

For those of you that are traveling in the coming weeks, I hope you have a wonderful adventure. There is something so magical about seeing the world through a toddler's eyes. 


Happy Thursday Trillium families!

I hope you all had a lovely long weekend! I enjoyed the extra day off by sharing a meal with friends and running with my dog. This beautiful weather has done wonders for my overall mood. Hopefully you are feeling that sense of levity, too. 

With spring nearing (), I have brought flower arranging back into our environment. This is a beloved lesson that really brightens up the classroom this time of year. With that said, I am linking a sign-up where you can choose a week to supply us with flowers. The current sign-up spans until spring break – I will send out a new one upon our return in April. Thanks in advance for your contribution! Photos of beautiful arrangements to come. 

In other bright news, Emmett's family welcomed a sweet baby girl, Peyton, into their family last week! Everyone is healthy, and happy. If you haven't already, please consider contributing to the Smith family and Superson/Smith/Summers family Meal Trains.  

Next Thursday (2/29) is our spring semester Montessori Toddler book discussion. We will be focusing mainly on chapter 7, "Putting It Into Practice", but all questions and comments are welcome. The book is a great starting point for further discussion. I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation last fall and hope to see you all there! If you are interested in signing your child up for aftercare, please click on this link. Sign-up will only be available until Monday (2/26). 

Lastly, attached to this email is an updated recall list of children's items. It is worth looking over. 

Enjoy the rest of this sunny day!


Happy February Trillium families! 

The month has been off to a great start in our classroom. On Monday we celebrated Emmett’s second birthday and yesterday we celebrated the birth of Zazie’s little sibling! There is so much to be joyful about. Meal Train info to come. 

In the past few weeks, I have had several conversations regarding toddler footwear which has inspired me to share my thoughts here. Putting on shoes and boots independently is a skill we teach at the toddler level. Lately, I have been loving the brand Ten Little. These shoes open wide and have a bendable sole which the children can successfully manipulate. While this particular brand has my endorsement, there are many other brands that work just as well. When purchasing the next size shoe for your child, keep the previously mentioned qualities in mind. 

When teaching the children how to put on their shoes, I first show them how to open the straps and pull the tongue out so that there is a "big hole" for them to put their foot into. Some children prefer to sit when putting their shoes on and some like to hold onto something and step into their shoes. Regardless of the method, we talk about how we need to put our toes in first, and then push our heal in. When our whole foot is in, we fasten the straps by "pinch, pull, press"-ing. I repeat this phrase so often that it wouldn't surprise me if you hear it at home. When teaching a child to pull off their shoes/boots, I sit behind them and place my hands on top of theirs. Together, we grab the Heal and the Toe Box and "push". Overtime, your help will be needed less and less. Remember, it is okay to let your child struggle before stepping in to help. They can do so much when given the opportunity. 

A reminder that TCH is closed Friday, 2/16 and Monday, 2/19 (Presidents' Day). 

As always, thank you for sharing your precious little people with me! 


annie_ch_1.gifHello Trillium families! I hope you all are having a lovely Thursday.

We have been greatly enjoying the snow here at school. With the forecasted rain, we are soaking up these winter conditions while they last. As with anything, toddlers are incredibly resilient, and this bunch has handled the cold temps and uneven walking surfaces like champs. That being said, we (kiddos & adults) have worked hard to shovel pathways on our playground. These walkways have made outside time much more enjoyable. There is even a set of snow stairs that leads up and over the hill. The children love shoveling, eating snow, and making snowpeople/snowballs. Personally, I find toddlers navigating through snow tunnels to be incredibly cute. Enjoy the attached photos of our "Toddler Snow Farm".

Valentine's Day is just around the corner! While we do not hand out Valentines in the YCC, we do use beets to make pink, heart-shaped pancakes! This is something I look forward to every year – although every day feels like Valentine's Day when spent with these affectionate little people. Examples of pink-pancakes-past below. 

In general, I try to expose the children to as many Holidays as possible. We have a large collection of holiday language card sets which not only help prepare the children for what they might see but expand their understanding of the world. It is never too early to pass along this knowledge and show respect for the many different things people believe in. All that said, if your family has a particular belief or tradition that you would like to share, please let me know. I want you and your child to be well represented in our classroom. For further information on "Incorporating Holidays into the Classroom", I encourage you to read this blogpost written by Nido Guide, Jeanette Kania.  



Happy Thursday Trillium families!

Reunited and it feels so good! Post Holiday Break, the children are happy to be together and in their routine. The morning Work Cycle has been extra productive lately (so much scrubbing, painting, gluing, washing, stacking, reading, sweeping, mopping (etc.) to be done!!). As always, you are welcome to come observe this beautiful chaos. 

Something that has been of particular interest the past few days is this Mystery Box!


I stumbled upon it in the school "donation pile" and knew we needed to have it! To open it, the carabiner with the attached key must be removed from the table leg below. Currently, this mysterious box contains pretend doctor equipment (and one very real stethoscope also found in the donation pile – score) and has been another fun way to incorporate new language into the classroom. If your child comes home talking about otoscopes, pagers, and suture scissors, this is why.

Another popular subject as of late has been babies! With the baby room being just across the hall, we have lots of run-ins with TCH's smallest members. I recently made a language card set of babies doing things (sleeping, feeding, bathing, crawling, smiling, crying) which has been a hit. I try to have the environment reflect the current interests of the children so do not hesitate to let me know what has been of interest at home. 

On an exciting note, our buddy Nolan just had his second birthday! It is a Trillium tradition to have the birthday kiddo bake and share a treat with the class. We love the opportunity to celebrate the life of our pals. 

Lastly, a reminder that TCH is closed next Monday, 1/15, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. School will resume the following day. 

Annie Botsford


Happy final Classroom Highlights of the year, Trillium families!

To start off today's Highlights, I want to thank you all for a wonderful 2023. It has been a pleasure partnering with you this year. I have watched your children face obstacles, work together, push physical and cognitive “limits”, and experience moments of great joy and pride. Thank you for your continued support along the way! Team Trillium wouldn't be able to do it without you. I look forward to more collective growth in the coming year. 

A few logistical things to wrap up…

  • I am sending home all extra clothing (outdoor gear included) today and tomorrow. Please take stock of your child’s things over break and send back what you wish upon our return. 
  • You will also be receiving an updated (and oh-so-adorable) roster. This might be a fun thing to look at with your kiddo over the break. Two weeks is a long stretch without your pals in toddler-time!
  • One final reminder that tomorrow is an abbreviated day followed by the Seasonal Sing at 11:30am. Please park and pick up your child from our classroom between 11:15 and 11:25 – then head down to the gym for some festive singing if you so desire!
  • If you happen to do some closet cleaning over Winter Break and come across any items you wish to donate, the Trillium Room is now accepting toddler-sized clothing. In particular, we are in need of socks, snow pants, jackets and boots.

With all that out of the way, I want to wish you a lovely Winter Break! Regardless of how your family spends the coming weeks, I hope your days are filled with love and joy. Please reach out if you have any questions or updates while we are away; I will be checking my email periodically. 

Lots of hugs to your kiddos!! I will miss them all!! 



Thank you for the delicious Harvest Feast. We raised our cups full of golden apple cider and cheered to express the joy of being together.

We have started to read books about Christmas and Hanukkah. If I want to be honest I need to clarify that it is Shea who reads the books everyday to his little book enthusiasts gathered around him or occupying his lap.

We have been slowly learning  holiday songs. So far we covered “O Hanukkah, o Hanukkah!” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”, “Jingle Bells'', and “Deck the Halls” . Years ago I had the honor to work with Christy Burich, known as Miss Christy from Music Together. She gifted me with a CD recorded by her,  celebrating winter holidays around the world. We listened to Ukrainian Bell  Carol, stroke drums and danced with shakers to African Processional Jambo Rafiki and bounced to Australian song “Six White Boomers“. We learned from Miss Christy new verses to “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” which  so far is our favorite. Don’t be surprised if you start singing the song and your child starts  jumping…  It goes like this: 

We wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas, we wish you a merry Christmas, and a happy New Year.

Let’s all do a little clapping, let’s all do a little clapping, let’s all do a little clapping and bring some good cheer! 

Let’s all do a little: twirling, laughing, singing, jumping, and hugging and bring some good cheer!

Our Thoren known to many of you as TJ turned two years old during the Thanksgiving Holiday. We celebrated TJ’s birthday last Friday with a banana-chocolate chip cake that Shea, Tj, Max, Avery, Peyton, and Adrian made together. We lit a birthday candle for TJ and sang: “Happy Birthday”. And we lit the Menorah as well, because TJ is very fond of it! 

Before we depart for holiday break we will celebrate the season with festive songs from many cultures. Our Seasonal Sing starts at 11:00 in the gym , on Friday - December 15.  Lunch will not be served on this day and your children will be ready to be picked up between 10:40 and 10:55. Please let me know if you are planning to attend and in this case you can pick up your child from the classroom. If you are planning to skip the Seasonal Sing, your child will be ready to go home in the carline.


Hello Trillium families!

It has been lovely being back with your kiddos after the short Holiday break. The children were thrilled to be reunited on Monday and have been extra affectionate and concerned for each other's well-being the past few days. Toddlers so often remind me of the good in humanity. They do not hesitate to get a tissue for a friend, rub the back of a sad peer, or join hand-in-hand when walking down the hall. It’s the sweetest thing and I feel so lucky that I get to witness these beautiful interactions every day. 

Not only were we psyched to see one another upon our return, we were psyched to see the SNOW! Team Trillium has been taking full advantage of the white, fluffy stuff: sledding, making snow angels, shoveling, the list goes on. Thank you for continuing to send warm (labeled ;)) outdoor gear – appropriate clothing makes outside time much more enjoyable. I encourage you all to bundle-up and get outside on the weekends! Young children handle the cold better than you might expect. ™

In other fun news, Levi Cook is officially joining our class on Monday! Levi has been visiting our classroom this week and already feels like a Trillium member. As we welcome Levi, we say goodbye to our buddy, Leo, who has moved up to Alison’s Primary class. We are so excited for Leo, but will miss him greatly. 

Lastly, I want to remind you all that Friday, December 15th is an abbreviated day, followed by campus closure for winter break. Dismissal time for YCC will take place between 10:40am and 10:55am. Please park and come pick up your child from the classroom. Once you have your child,  head down to the gym for the Seasonal Sing which starts at 11:00am. Lunch and nap will not take place on this shortened day. After a few, rejuvenating weeks spent at home, we will return to school on Tuesday, January 2nd. Looking forward to another beautiful year with all of you!

Annie Botsford


Happy Thursday, y’all!

To start, I want to thank you for participating in conferences. It was wonderful to share a moment with each of you. I feel more grateful than ever that I get to spend my days with your little humans. What a loving, passionate, and hard-working group they are. 

A reminder that next Tuesday, November 21st, is our classroom Harvest Feast. Please write your name on all containers/dishes you send, and I will make sure they make it home with you at the end of the day. Thank you again for your contribution! 

We have recently been talking about traditional Thanksgiving foods in the classroom. Just like with Halloween, I want to prepare the children for what they might see this upcoming Holiday Break. There is currently a language set with images of different Thanksgiving foods on our shelf, as well as a few books about gratitude. Regardless of how your family chooses to spend the days off, I hope they are filled with love and joy. 

Another big thank you to those that bought a book for our classroom at Horizon Books Day last weekend! The new books have already received a lot of love from the children. 

Lastly, I want to leave you with this video of a child putting on her jacket. Perhaps this is something you can work on at home over the Holiday. ™

Sending so much gratitude your way!


Happy November Trillium families!

As the temperature drops and snow starts falling, we will continue to go outside every day at school. Please make sure you are sending warm outdoor clothing that is well labeled (especially gloves!!). I have found that silver sharpie works great on dark colored winter gear. Historically, it has been easiest to keep a set of winter clothing at school. That being said, let me know what works best for your family and we will accommodate. Once there is snow on the ground, I will start sending your children home in their boots. We will keep a pair of indoor shoes in their cubby. 

Thank you to those who came to our Montessori Toddler book discussion last week! I love these opportunities to talk philosophy with you all. If there is enough interest, we may hold another book club in the spring. Stay tuned! Even if you are unable to attend, I highly suggest taking a look at the book. It is a great resource and might spark thoughts or questions that you would like to bring up at conferences.

Speaking of conferences… Please sign up if you have not already! I look forward to meeting with each and every one of you. 

I also want to remind you that Horizon Books Day is right around the corner! Please stop by and pick a book from the Trillium basket on Saturday, November 11th. ™

Lastly, if you chose to celebrate the holiday, I would love for you to send me a photo of your child dressed up in their Halloween costume. I plan to send out a virtual Halloween parade with all of the adorable pictures.


Happy Thursday Trillium families!

I hope you all are having a wonderful week! As I said in my last Classroom Highlights, we have been embracing Fall in our little community. An easy way to explore this bountiful season is through food. This week we have made pumpkin chia seed smoothies (so delicious and so messy!) and applesauce waffles. Preparing food is a wonderful way to spend time with your child and provides a reason for collaboration as well as the opportunity for your child to contribute to the health and happiness of your family. In our classroom, I pre-measure all of the ingredients needed in our baking/cooking projects to support the success of the children. We use bowls with grippy bottoms to make stirring easier, and provide kitchen instruments/utensils that are functional and child-sized. Not only does baking/cooking provide a rich, sensorial experience for your child, it can lead to many other things. Washing dishes, sweeping, mopping, setting the table, or starting a load of laundry are great follow-up activities! Feel free to reach out if you would like more food related ideas.

In other fun news, Trillium recently welcomed another flower into the classroom! Marcus Daisy joined our community and the children have been eager to show him the ropes. We also had the privilege of seeing Everett off to Primary where he is currently thriving (although he still checks in with his old buddies on the playground ™).

Lastly, I want to remind you all of a few upcoming events:

  • Join us on Thursday, October 26 from 4:00 - 5:15 to discuss The Montessori Toddler, by Simone Davies. We will be focusing on Chapter 5: Raising A Curious Child Who Feels Seen And Heard. I encourage you to read this chapter before our chat. Childcare is available and you can sign up for it here. You must register before Monday, October 23. I’m looking forward to seeing you all there! 
  • Horizon Books Day is Saturday, November 11! This is our annual book fair and Horizon gives 10% of all sales that day directly to The Children’s House - even when you purchase gift certificates. This is one of my absolute favorite school events. The children love on our books so intensely that they often need replacing. Please stop by Horizon and stick a book in the “Trillium” basket! We (adults and children alike) so appreciate it!
  • Please check Waypoints tomorrow for conference sign-up! 

A friendly reminder to read Waypoints each week. I suggest syncing our Family Calendar with your personal calendar so that you stay up to date on everything happening here at school, especially our learning opportunities that are designed just for you. ™


Hello Trillium families!

I hope you all have been enjoying the unprecedented October beach weather! It does look like we are in for some cooler weather in the coming days, so I will be sending home your child’s extra clothing in exchange for warmer outfits. Please send two or three weather appropriate outfits back to school on Monday.

Despite the warm weather, we have recently been embracing the change of seasons in our classroom. There are currently several fall-inspired books on our shelves, as well as some seasonal puzzles and manipulatives. We have also baked pumpkin bread, made pumpkin waffles, and raked leaves into a big, jumpable pile on our playground. I have included a few pictures of these seasonal activities below.

I find that seasonal materials lead to fun, relevant conversations with the children. Many have expressed that they have picked apples or pumpkins, and a few have brought up the costumes they plan to wear for Halloween. The “spooky” decorations seen in yards and grocery stores this time of year can be really alarming for YCC aged children and repeated conversations about these things helps demystify them. One and two-year-olds live in a reality-based world and Halloween is a very abstract concept. I make a point to explain that the decor and costumes they see are just pretend.

On an exciting note, the Trillium Transparent Classroom is now up and running! Earlier this week I tagged your children in photos from the past several months. If you did not receive these photos, please let me know. I have found that Transparent Classroom notifications sometimes take a while to show up. From this point forward, expect to get tagged photos of your child every Friday. Yay!

Lastly, I want to remind you all of a few upcoming events:

  • Our annual Fall Festival is this Saturday, 10/8, from 11:00am - 1:00pm. Please join us for a meal and fun, fall activities! In an effort to make this event zero-waste, we ask that you bring your own plates, bowls, cups, utensils and napkins. 
  • Next Thursday, 10/12 is a half-day. Carline will take place at 11:30. 


Happy Thursday Trillium families!

What a wonderful start to the school year we have had. Your children have adjusted nicely to the new faces and routines. Every day artwork has been made, bread has been baked, water has been poured, and floors have been mopped. It has been an absolute delight. Throughout the school year, I will use classroom highlights to delve into the recent interests of our classroom and relay any pertinent information. 

Thanks to all of you who attended the back-to-school parent night a few weeks ago. As I said then, I believe community is the most important part of your child’s experience here at TCH. With that said, do not hesitate to reach out to me at any point this year. I am committed to each of your families and here to support you and your child in every way I can.

Another thing brought up at the back-to-school night was the Young Children’s Community Songbook. A big thanks to Caitlin Early for sharing it with me so that I can share it with all of you! I will send it in a follow-up email as it is too large to be included in this one. 

Next Tuesday, September 26th, is our classroom picnic! Please join us for a fun time on the YCC playground between 5 and 7pm. Any questions regarding the picnic can be sent to Trillium room parent (AKA Emmett’s mom), Lindsay Smith. I look forward to seeing you all there!

Finally, I want to thank you all for contributing to the well-being of our little community on a daily basis. I so appreciate your continued involvement and commitment. Together, we can create a rich, cohesive experience for your child.