We want to help kids enhance and develop their self-esteem, social skills, physical skills, and intellectual capacities.
Self-chosen activities within the classroom—from art, blocks, manipulatives, science, library, dramatic play and music (approximately 1 hour). Discovery Time’s purpose is to empower children to choose from a wide variety of activities designed to spark their curiosity, build skills, and support interest. Teachers support children as they develop initiative in choosing activities, gain independence in doing the activities, move toward cooperative and socio-dramatic play, and develop a fascination for letters, numbers and counting, colors and art media, shapes, and more. Skills gained during this time include an increasing attention span, learning to take turns, developing the fine muscles of the hand in preparation of writing, working on hand-eye coordination, and increasing conversation skills.
Children express themselves via songs, musical instruments, finger plays, stories, and dancing (approximately 15 minutes). Large Group’s purpose is to is to introduce children to the large group setting which they will experience in elementary school. They follow a teacher-directed activity which is developmentally appropriate, fun, and allows them to move and to learn about rhythms and concepts at the same time.
We serve a variety of delicious snacks “family-style.” The children sometimes cook their own snacks (approximately 15 minutes). In addition to providing nourishment, Snack Time’s purpose is to give children real-life opportunities to count napkins and cups, pour their own water, and participate in making the food. We hope Snack Time promotes independence, socialization, confidence, and responsibility and helps children recognize that they are an important part of their group.
Large Muscle Play
We play outdoors every day in both of our developmentally appropriate play yards (approximately 35 minutes in EACH yard). Large Muscle Play’s purpose is to allow children to move and choose activities that will continue to develop the muscles of their core, legs, arms and torso—improving balance, coordination, and developing physical confidence. These activities give children the opportunity to develop friendships and stimulate language as well. One of the fundamental reasons why outdoor play is critical for young children in our early childhood program is that many of the developmental tasks that children must achieve—exploring, risk-taking, fine and gross motor development, and the absorption of vast amounts of basic knowledge—can be most effectively learned through outdoor play.
Time for playing a game, talking, reading, science experiments (approximately 15 minutes). Small Group’s purpose is to introduce children to more teacher-directed activities with groups small enough to encourage each child to participate. We support children as they learn to speak and listen, to take turns, and to cooperate while learning new concepts.
Each class has a visit from our Yoga Master once or twice a week. Yoga is a wonderful activity that helps children find their breath, calm their bodies when excited, and maintain focus for extended periods of time. We know that giving children varied opportunities to “cross the midline” through movement helps them to make neural connections that improve learning and fine motor and large motor coordination.