A day with Noah’s Ark Preschool follows a natural flow that begins and ends with outside play. The flow of the day is a framework that gives structure and consistency to the routine but also gives sufficient space for the children to choose play that meets their individual needs; alone time or group time, active or quiet play, needing assistance or striving for independence. Their play is centered on monthly themes that are close to experiences relevant to their world such as gardening, camping or family.
Each day children at Noah’s Ark Preschool might participate in the following:
- Outdoor play is very important for children each and every day. Our large and naturally designed playground was created to allow free imaginative play, foster creativity, have children engage in their own projects, socialize, run, jump and swing – for 1-2 hours a day depending on the weather.
- Block Play is a wonderful part of how we encourage children in developing an entry into the world of mathematics (numbers, quantity and space) geometry (points, lines and angles) shapes (rectangles, squares, triangles, spheres) problem solving and self expression. Plus, it is pure fun!
- Cooking is done with all ages from one to five. Cooking is science and chemistry (ingredients change and have specific reactions when combined), math (measurements, counting, fractions, sequencing), problem solving, improves fine motor skills (stirring, whisking and pouring), social interactions and increased vocabulary. Cooking time might include making ice sculptures, pancakes, muffins, play dough, edible dirt and much more. A feast for their five senses.
- Art is a process for young children and not a product. We feel children should be exposed to all forms of media from paint to play dough and glue. There is no right way or wrong way to allow children to express themselves in art forms. Art should be open ended, no sample to follow, unique and creative, entirely open to the child’s interpretation, a plethora of materials and tools the children can learn to explore and create. For more on this topic, check out this article in NY Mag about preschool art.
- Building: In building the children have access to Legos, Magna Tiles, Kinex, Lincoln Logs, Duplos and many others to create and build whatever they can imagine.
- Dramatic Play is a wonderful place for the children to pretend play. Children are given possible play scenarios through books and then supplied with all the needed props to take those seeds of ideas and grow them into stories with their friends. The mud kitchens outside are also a wonderful place for children to explore what they see enacted at home. Pretend play fosters wonderful social skills, vocabulary and self esteem.
- Chapel and stories from the Bible are the glue that holds our day together. Luke 2:52 tells us to train up a child in the way they should go! For us this is a truth we weave into the children’s spiritual growth as well as daily life skills. To treat others with kindness, to be responsible for their own choices, to share and to treat others the way they would like to be treated.
- Readiness in literacy is a huge part of our day. Our goal is to equip our children with all the needed skills to read and write when they are developmentally ready. This includes exposure to many opportunities to practice small motor skills, have books and pictures available daily, to learn to classify by color, shape and sequence, to draw and write in unlimited ways.
- Fluid Play is the part of their day that the children can get messy in the best of ways. The can easel paint, watercolor paint, finger paint, play in water, sand, rice and play dough. In this play children can experiment with materials and there is no right or wrong way to their play! Imagination and sensory play abound.
- Snacks and Lunch times are shared with friends and teachers at a table sitting down to enjoy the meal and conversation. Meal times are a wonderful place to practice good manners, social conversation and relax and enjoy the foods they eat. Noah’s Ark focuses on healthy foods choices. Please see our handbook for more details!
- Rest Time : Children need a time to allow their bodies to rest and regenerate after a hard morning of play. Rest time also teaches children to be comfortable in a quiet mode, learn down time and to emotionally unwind. Children are encouraged to have a blanket, snuggly and pillow. Lights are dimmed, music is played and teachers rub backs and encourage the quiet rest.
- Life Skills: Woven into all our daily activities are daily life skills children need to know. How to clean up their own messiness. To help others. To be sanitary in washing of their hands at potty times and meals times. To be aware and responsible for their belongings at school. To learn to dress and undress themselves as appropriate. To take care of the materials at Noah’s Ark and use them in the proper ways. To develop an appreciation of outdoor space and the nature around them. To make wise choices that will help themselves and their friends.
Recently, our boys have been reading every sign that they see to figure out the letters and the word! They enjoy school and learning. We appreciate all the effort from each teacher that has led to their enthusiasm!
– Thomas and Jan Denney