Growing Up offers children an enjoyable experience socializing with other children of the same age. A small group of five or six children a day enjoy a 9am-4pm day. Children can attend a minimum of two days. Parents provide snack, lunch, diapers, wipes and a change of clothes.

9 am      Welcoming and choice of activities
9:30       Snack time and also our time for greeting, and discussion
10:00     Art, music and choice of activities including dress up
11:00     Outdoors including walks in the neighborhood and races
Noon      Lunch
12:30     Choice of activities
1:00       Calming –self reading
1:15       Story Time
1:30       Nap
3:15       Waking Up
4 pm      Going Home

The initial first half hour is getting comfortable with each other and settling into the environment.

Snack time:
Snack is a great time to engage the children in ideas and interacting as a group. Often times we talk about food, how many children have apples etc. Writing the children’s names on the easel becomes an integrated and fun activity while enjoying a healthy snack.

Choice of activities:
Children listen to music while finding their choice of play. This is really a great time for them to explore the materials and develop their meaningful play. Materials are manipulated to construct and create. Various styles and materials of art are explored. Dancing, yoga, tumbling and movement are all used to experience flexibility. Changes in styles and tempos of music are used to create an interesting and exciting place to play.

There is a castle outside for dramatic physical play. Trampoline, tunnel, walking board, basketball, trikes and baseball all to encourage gross motor movement. The children learn games, songs and participate in running, skipping, sliding, and marching all created to further coordination and a childs awareness of themselves in relation to others and the gravity of the earth. The play is often decided upon spontaneously influenced by the weather and emotional needs and desires of the group. We may decide to take the bus to the park up the street, go for a walk to get a bagel, mail a letter, etc. The idea is to keep enthusiasm, spontaneity and meaningful learning an integral part of the day.

Conversations as well as simple manners are encouraged at the table. Occasional sharing of food, warming an entrée and trying to stay seated are all part of the time.

Calming-self reading:
Children choose their own books to peruse. Looking at their favorite book while doing pretend story reading supports pre reading.

Story Time:
We choose a few books to read out loud that are related to current interests. Value of modeling reading, expression and creating visual pictures before napping is important.

The children have their own pillow made for them and enjoy a cozy place to sleep with restful music playing. In the beginning of the year there is often a transition time to adjusting to sleep with a group but care is taken to help the children adapt to a restful nap.

Waking Up:
Often this can be the most difficult adjustment of the day. Coming around to going home tends to take a while.

Going Home:
Families come in to take their child home and brief highlights of the day will be provided.
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During the daily schedule there are lots of washing hands, potty learning, getting dressed, learning how to open lunches and care for the toys that we use. These self-care organizational skills are encouraged in developing successful independence and developing physical proprioceptive abilities.

Preparation for the process of potty learning is done on an individual basis reacting appropriately to where the child is, in development. Communication and exchanging information between parent, child and Growing Up is important.

Behavioral challenges are in abundance with this age group. Mine, my momma and I want to do it and no are part of the language that defines the child’s self-identity. All very normal and sometimes a creative challenge. If behavioral difficulties do arise i.e., hitting, biting or excessive pushing your assistance will be requested in gaining your child’s cooperation and various ideas will be discussed.

The children choose between a variety of developmentally appropriate materials specific to this age group. The materials are related to the enhancement of various styles of music, self-exploring art, pre math, pre reading, science through nature and dramatic play.

Every day, weather permitting, we go outside sometimes it is just the back yard. Often we go for a walk to 24th Street- making neighborhood stops maybe to visit the music store or to look in windows. Getting to know the neighborhood and the people around is an important part of the puzzle for children to learn how they fit into the world socially. Friendliness and safety are factors in the event. We return home after a few races or songs on the front sidewalk. These types of outings are done after the children are acquainted with Growing Up and know the "rules of the road."

Growing Up does about 4 field trips a year in which parents can accompany the event. Fire House, Pet the Bunny, Discovery Museum and a surprise ending location are all part of the fun. We also have Tooth Brushing Week. Parents that wish to share their talents with the children or provide an activity for a particular holiday or such will be appreciated.

Conversations with parents as well as parents knowing each other is so important to feeling connected with the continuum of being a parent to your childs first learning experience outside of the home. Growing Up supports parents concerns and interests in a number of ways.

In the morning when the child is being brought in conversation about the previous nights rest, health, or a parent travel is some of the thoughts included in the time. When the parent arrives to take the child home going over the health, food eaten or emotional feelings, relationships with the other children is important. Letting a parent know how their child has felt emotionally during the day as well as some insight as to how the children got along is shared.

Longer conversations about particular subjects can be shared either by arranging to talk by meeting, a phone call or email. The families as a whole are communicated frequently by email including information about the past week and upcoming events. Photos are taken during the day so that you can get a snapshot of the activity and mood of your child and friends. A picture does say a thousand words. Communication can build trust and security that your child is receiving the care and learning experience that you envision.