Both Toddlers and Preschoolers have a daily schedule that includes free play and structured activities, small and large group times, indoor and outdoor play, and also rest or quiet time. The winter and summer schedule switch at daylight savings time each fall and spring. Parents are always welcome to visit the center at any point throughout the day. We appreciate advance notice so that your child can be prepared, however it is not required. The various parts of the day are as follows:
Free play time: Offered for two long periods of time each day. During “free play” the children are given choices of activities such as dramatic play, unit blocks, sand table, puzzles, art projects, legos, math manipulatives, science activities, water table, books, music, dancing, and drawing.
Group clean-up: Follows each free play. Each child is expected to help clean up to learn cooperation with others and responsibility in the community. This time also provides natural educational opportunities such as sorting and fine & gross motor skills.
Whole group meetings: Held each morning and afternoon. Toddlers meet for a shorter period of time, sitting on a large rug, recognizing who is at school, singing songs and reading books and poems. The Preschoolers sit on their own pillows each covered in a different cotton material. The pillow colors are the primary colors of the calendar and also brown and black, which are valued colors in our community. At the meeting the preschoolers participate in such activities as talking about the calendar, describing the weather, identifying jobs, counting and graphing attendance, sharing their thoughts and ideas, listening to others, storytelling, and singing songs.
Meal Times consist of breakfast (for children who arrive before 8:30), and two substantial snacks each day such as yogurt and fresh fruit, English muffin pizzas, cheese and crackers, etc. Lunch is brought from home. We do insist on healthy, non-sugar, non-junk food lunches. Teachers sit at the tables with the children during meal times to facilitate interesting conversations and promote appropriate table manners. The children are encouraged, but not forced, to eat their food. They are also encouraged to clean up their space by wiping up spills, putting leftovers back in lunch boxes, and cleaning their area. After lunch, teeth are brushed to encourage good dental hygiene.
Rest Time is after lunch for at least 45 minutes for preschoolers and 1 hr. for toddlers. Children may sleep longer if they wish. Older children who do not sleep are expected to stay quietly on their mats for the 45 minutes. After that they may get up and play quietly with a teacher. We ask that families bring their child’s pillow cover and blanket home to wash every weekend and return them promptly on Monday. Extra blankets are on hand and provided in case a child’s is forgotten at home. Stuffed animals and books from home are welcome for nap. Other toys from home usually cause conflict so we ask that they remain at home.
Bathroom Times - Children are encouraged to use the toilet before going outside, before nap, and are reminded as necessary throughout the day. In case of accidents, or any other normal reason why a child might get wet or soiled, please always keep a complete change of clearly labeled clothing in your child’s cubby. Socks and underwear are particularly difficult to keep track of when they are not labeled.
Outside Times - For 20 minutes to an hour in both the morning and afternoon, we go outside. We have a playground in the back of the building with climbing structures, slides, a large sand box, raised garden beds for planting, tricycles and a track to ride around on. We also have access to a large fenced in yard on the side of the building where we can enjoy other gross motor activities such as soccer/footballs and large parachutes.