Our Robins Playgroup Program provides a safe, nurturing and creative environment for children to learn through free play. Our program serves as a transition for children and parents from a home to a school environment. We provide a very gentle first school experience for children between ages 2 – 3 in a classroom equipped with age-appropriate play objects. Young children are deeply influenced by their environment and live deeply into it, and for this reason we strive to create a peaceful environment filled with regular daily and weekly rhythms and routines.
We start our morning with a delicious fruit snack and follow this with a circle of beloved nursery rhymes, movements and finger puppet activities. A warm midmorning snack is prepared each day, and where possible children are encouraged to be part of this process, whether through observing or helping to mix dough and wash dishes. We do not give instructions but let the children join us out of their natural propensity for imitation. Our midmorning snack is a time of joining together - a sense of family – where we share a blessing and a simple healthy snack.
We do wet-on-wet painting with the children, and we bake muffins and make playdough during the nursery week. Beeswax crayons are always available for the children to colour with during the morning. Complicated crafts which inhibit the children and are not age-appropriate are not attempted.
We end each morning with a puppet story, during which the children sit together quietly on a carpet and listen to a short seasonal tale told with small felted puppets and objects taken from nature.
Free play – both indoor and outdoor – is an important part of the nursery experience, where children have the opportunity to explore play objects and make social connections without adult influence. At least one teacher spends as much time as possible on the floor so that she is close to the children at all times.
The class includes up to eight children per morning with two teachers in full attendance. The program is half or full-days and runs five days a week.