In every classroom at Villa di Maria are some very tiny, very cute visitors: tadpoles! When Directress Jessie Braud discovered an abundance of the tiny creatures at her parents’ unopened swimming pool (and after a month straight of record-breaking rainfall in St. Louis), she took it upon herself to save as many as she could. The mass email exchanges that followed between Jessie and the other Directresses and Assistants was heartwarming; everyone agreed to adopt the tadpoles, giving them homes in every classroom for children of all ages to observe, care for, and learn about.  Continue reading “Tadpoles!”

The Best St. Louis Summer Camps


Are you ready for summertime? It’s just around the corner for Villa di Maria students – can you believe it’s the very last week of school?! If the end of the school year has snuck up on you (as it has for many of us), and you’re scrambling for summer camp ideas, rest assured that the St. Louis area is full of them. Below, a comprehensive list of the best summer camps in the area.  Continue reading “The Best St. Louis Summer Camps”

Gardening with Children


It’s officially planting season in St. Louis! The risk of frost has long since passed, along with a very wet early spring. The benefits of gardening on people of all ages are many; getting out into the garden on a regular basis keeps you active and improves hand strength and dexterity, can boost your mood, reduces stress levels, and even help regulate your immune system. Gardening teaches responsibility and cause-and-effect, as well as a great appreciation for nature and its workings. Plus, if you decide to grow vegetables, your children are more likely to eat them if they aided in planting them in the first place! Below, some tips on getting into the garden with young children.  Continue reading “Gardening with Children”