Prairie Flower's Preschool program operates from Labor Day through May.
We offer a Morning Song preschool program, Monday through Thursday from 8:45am-12pm with 3-day and 4-day options. And a River Song afternoon extended care program on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 12:00-2:45pm for children enrolled in the morning preschool.
Rhythm of the Day
Rhythm is central to all we do at Prairie Flower. Carried along through verse and song, daily rhythms include preparing snack, playing, tidying, singing, eating, washing, listening to stories, and playing outside. In the security of this rhythmic context children feel free to participate in a wide variety of experiences.
Weekly rhythm creates predictability-- the child anticipates "painting day" and "bread-making day" or "porridge day." These activities change with the seasons, reflecting the rhythm inherent in the natural world. The morning is longer than other preschool programs to enable a satisfactory length of time for indoor and outdoor playtime and to allow for comfortable transitions through the morning's activities.
Morning Song Preschool program is from 8:45am - 12:00pmMonday — Thursday. River Song Extended Care program is from 12:00 - 2:45pm on Tuesday & Thursday.
Morning Preschool Program: Afternoon Extended Care Program: 8:45 - 10:00 outdoor playtime, welcome 12:00-12:30 outdoor playtime circle, then to the woods 12:30 - 1:00 lunch & wash dishes 10:00 - 10:45 circle time & story telling 1:00 - 1:30 indoor playtime, songs, & stories 10:45 - 11:15 snack & wash dishes 1:30 - 2:30 quiet time with lavender & music 11:15 - 11:50 indoor work & play 2:30 - 2:45 indoor playtime & parent pickup 11:50 - 12:00 outdoor play & Pickup
Outside Activity and Play Time "Oh, where do you come from you little flakes of snow."
The children are taken outdoors to experience the natural world in all its different seasons. The trail walks along the little creek, the wagons, wheel barrows and trowels come forth and the sandbox and garden transform daily as the children bring their own impulses into play. In our contemporary society, there are trends toward decreased time and places to play, and increased time spent watching TV, video, or computers. Young children, instead, need an environment and lifestyle to fully develop their sensorimotor functions that are necessary for intellectual function later.
Children who have fully experienced the seasons out of doors can enter very deeply and comfortably into later studies of plants, animals, the weather and the earth sciences.
Story Time "Mother of the fairy tale take me to your shining land"
The storytelling nook has been fashioned from branches and a fallen tree at the bottom of the hill. After the children have had ample play time in the natural setting, we walk to this specific area for a fairy tale, folk tale or nature story. After having heard a particular story for several days the children may out the story or the teacher might tell it using puppets. The children relish trying out different roles and enjoy dressing up in simple cloaks and scarves to create the cast of characters. Stories are carefully chosen for their theme and their use of language. Nothing stands between the children and the story-no books or tapes are used during storytelling. The child's own ability for inner imagery is strengthened.
This capacity for inner imagery is crucial for grasping the written word later in reading.
Circle Time "Let's make a circle like the circle of the sun"
As the children gather in a circle, they are led in songs, poems, and seasonal finger plays, integrating their desire to imitate what they experience. There is a healthy flow between large and small movements, hearty and quiet voices, quick and slow actions, and movement in all directions. Circle time repeats each day with elements changing with the nuances of the seasonal transitions and the needs of the group. This continuity allows the children to fully enter the world of circle time with their unconscious movements and participation in song.
During this time many faculties are exercised, giving emergence to foundational skills essential to language arts development, such as:
Small motor skills related to reading and writing depend on the mastery of these movements.
Indoor Activity and Creative Playtime "Rinca, ronca, rosey ray. Welcome, welcome this good day"
The children have a long period during which they join in a daily activity such as painting, making the day's nutritional snack, or seasonal crafting. There is ample time to follow their own imaginative impulses and to play with the many natural materials and playthings in the room, and look at books. Playtime ends with everyone tidying up the room and putting all the toys carefully to rest.
Preschool aged children learn about the world through taking in many experiences and then "practicing" them through imitative play.
Snack Time "Blessings on our food and blessings on our friends"
Providing children with wholesome, warm food in a lovely atmosphere is valued as very important for their physical and emotional development. The snack table is set beautifully with placemats and napkin rings in place. After a verse of thanks for our food and friends everyone eats delicious organic food. Various grains that are nourishing to a growing body are emphasized. Our food comes from Wheatsfield, a natural food store in town. After snack the children wash their own dishes in warm, soapy water.
A sense of thankfulness, eating manners, and "as it should be-ness" are fostered through snack time.