Research has proven that children learn best through play. We have integrated many play time opportunities into our daily schedule to ensure that children are offered the chance to explore new experiences at their own pace. Even when planning structured crafts, activities and games, we still provide open ended resources for children to create their vision!
Morning Structured Free Play - This is a great way to get everyone settled in in the morning. Free play encourages children to think outside the box with the resources that we provide for them. The teachers offer about 4 different table activities for their group to chose from. Any time that allows for peer interactions is important to children's social-emotional learning.
Circle Time - This is a structured part of our day that typically lasts 15-20 minutes. This is a teacher directed time as the teacher engages the children in music, learning activities and a story. Reading to children teaches them about the world around them. By listening to a teacher read, children learn new words, learn how to structure sentences and learn how to use words correctly. Reading also guides a child's imagination. Reading to children teaches them about relationships, personalities and real life situations. Reading fairy tales helps children how to learn to distinguish what is real and what is not. There are many benefits to this portion of our morning.
Show & Tell - Show tell is a great experience for preschool aged children. It helps children strengthen their communication and language skills. This time also increases their self-confidence as they get up and talk in front of a group of children. Children who may be shy, quickly come around when they get to talk about something they really enjoy! Show and tell also encourages the use of descriptive language and story telling.
Barn Time - This unique part of the program offers so many benefits to children of all ages. Just simply watching an animal's behavior triggers curiosity. We are able to meet so many of the CT ELDS just by being in the barn! Children are able to practice both fine and large motor skills by doing the following - touching the animals, grooming the animals, scooping up droppings, filling water bottles, carrying water buckets, feeding the animals and much more! This is also a teacher directed part of our day that lasts between 15-20 minutes. Many of the standards that preschool aged children need to meet include being able to take direction from adults and show an interest in a topic over a period of time. While we facilitate a 8-10 minute discussion, children learn factual information about the farming industry followed by 10-15 minutes of direct animal interaction. Please visit the "Farm Animal Learning Page" for more benefits of learning.
Crafts/Activities/Games - This part of our day is either teacher directed or open ended. Often times, we will show a picture of what the end product could look like and allow children to choose from resources to create the image they envision. This time of the day encourages creativity, critical thinking skills and independence. Children love seeing the end product of what they've created and are often times very proud of their work! Doing arts and crafts also guides children's fine motor skills as they're picking up small craft items to piece together a picture or use writing tools!
Outside Free Play - All outside play is child directed with an occasional structured game or exercise. Outside play creates endless opportunities for creativity and imagination! We provide many resources for large and fine motor skill exercises such as balls, frisbees, jump ropes, a sandbox and water tables. Outdoor play allows kids to explore nature at their own pace, promotes problem solving skills, and it builds a great immune system! We play outdoors all year round.
Writing Practice/Shape Recognition - This is a part of our afternoon schedule. These activities can be either teacher directed or child directed. We engage the children in different related exercises every day that encourage their learning of letters, colors, shapes and numbers. We do activities that involve sensory items, writing tools, finger tracing, painting, searching books to identify letters and much more! These activities are important and our goal is to make sure by the time children are ready for kindergarten that they are able to identify the basics.
Child Care Center