3's and Young 4's
Student Teacher Ratio 6:1
The Thrilling Threes and Young Fours Program
Our 3-4 year-old program welcomes 15 to 18 children with the guidance of four dedicated teachers. This year is a captivating journey into social and emotional development as peer interaction becomes increasingly important. A year of excitement and growth awaits, encompassing social, emotional, cognitive, and physical milestones.
At the art table, we kick off the school year by introducing a diverse range of art materials. This fosters comfort and familiarity with various mediums. A spectrum of paints such as watercolor, tempera, glitter, foam, and puffy, along with an assortment of painting tools (small brushes, large brushes, toothbrushes, sponges, flowers, branches, etc.), come into play. The creative journey continues with glue and collage materials, including fabric, yarn, colored paper, tissue, and nature's treasures. As the year progresses, projects evolve in complexity. The art table is not just about creativity; it's a platform for honing fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination.
Our classroom tables host manipulatives and sensory materials, offering a dynamic learning experience. Manipulatives like puzzles, Legos, alphabet blocks, and magnet mazes nurture fine motor skills, sequencing, cause and effect, as well as shape and color recognition. Meanwhile, sensory materials like play dough, gak, shaving cream, flour, and cornmeal, contribute to sensory awareness while sparking scientific exploration. Teachers are always present to guide and extend the learning process.
Each day, our circle time is a harmonious blend of reading, singing, and interactive activities. Stories align with current themes and relate to real-life situations, fostering self-esteem and emotional understanding. Felt board stories, puppets, finger plays, musical instruments, and dance engage our group in joyful moments of learning. This is a perfect setting to practice listening, focusing, and taking turns.
Eating snack together is a very popular time. Healthy foods from at least 2 food groups are offered and water is offered to drink at snack and throughout the day. Children learn to serve themselves food and pour their own water. It is a great time to talk about healthy food and eating habits and to learn to take turns. There is lots of wonderful conversation that happens at this time. Teachers sit at each table, join in on the conversation, and support the children’s emerging skills.
Gross Motor Skills
Our outdoor space is a playground for gross motor skill development. Running, climbing, biking, and digging all contribute to building these essential skills. Exploration in our yard reveals natural treasures and offers opportunities to interact with the environment. In our sand yard, climbing structures challenge children's agility and strength. Indoors, activities like dancing, parachute play, stretching, and yoga further develop gross motor skills.
Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills are developed while children use manipulative materials such as puzzles and Legos. The writing table (available daily) is a place where drawing and working on letters can improve fine motor skills. Assorted paper, envelopes, stencils, rulers, scissors are provided to stimulate interest and creativity. Crayons of all sizes and pencils (regular and colored) are provided. These work on the grip children need for writing. Research has shown that felt pens do not help develop the muscles in the hand needed for writing so they are only offered occasionally. The art table is another area where fine motor skills are used and developed.
Children are working on language development and social skills daily. Our program is set up so children have the opportunity to talk and play with each other and develop relationships. Children who need support with social problem solving skills are guided by teachers who use appropriate modeling and language. Through this process teachers help children find solutions. Teachers spend a lot of time talking and listening to children and will ask open ended questions to extend play to promote language development, positive social interactions and thinking skills in children.