A Place of Wonder
Our Caterpillar Classroom offers a nurturing learning environment for our youngest students. The classroom is an open spaces with a door connecting to the front courtyard. Outside, the children help tend the garden, play on the playground, or in the garden, and help with community project work in the science area.
We emphasize the importance of play for young children in their early years. Play allows the Caterpillars to develop self-regulation and cooperation skills. It also helps them develop complex language and vocabulary, problem solve, and think flexibly. Through play, they can make scientific, mathematical, and social discoveries early on. We know that children who play, work in groups, and form social relationships will be more successful in their later years.
As your child begins to walks more, runs, and jumps, our educators observe and analyze their interactions with the environment, materials, and each other. Our teachers use these observations to recognize your child’s interests and create projections based on your child’s curiosity and their teachers’ intentions. With many toddlers possessing at least 50 words by this age, educators observe your child develop their expressive language skills and witness an increase in their ability to remember events. Empathy, pretend play, and social roles are explored as teachers support your children as they navigate their first relationships and begin to create their own identity.
While their fine motor skills evolve the children dig and pour in the sensory table, paint, scribble, and express graphically on an easel, paper, or other materials. The world is full of things to discover for the Caterpillars as they move and dance to music, discover insects, leaves and flowers, and begin sorting and collecting things they find in the playground. Our children spend the majority of their day outside (or with an open classroom door facing our front courtyard), and interact heavily with multi-age youth during our community lunch and activities.
Here a sample Daily Schedule for our sweet Caterpillars (modified with input from families and depending on season):
Caterpillars Daily Schedule
8:30-9:30a Arrival in Garden with Water Play | Garden Activities
9:30a Circle time | Good Morning Songs (Alphabet Songs, Stories)
9:45-10:10a Art Center | Learning activity of the Day
10:10a Potty + Diaper changes | washing hands
10:30a Healthy Snack
10:45a Outside transition for garden activities (watering/water table play/harvesting/compost tumbler check, etc)
11:30a After changing clothes we transition to the playground
12noon Healthy Lunch outside
12:40p Transition to the inside for diaper changes and getting read for nap time
1-3p nap time with Music and essential Oils
3:30p Healthy Snack
4pm- Transition outside for pickup and active play