Honey Bears      Two to three-year olds

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The Honey Bear program is planned to meet the special needs of two to three-year-olds, a safe and enriching environment where children can increase their independent thinking, creating, exploring and building relationships with other young children. We strive to form a partnership with parents that will ensure that each child receives the very best care while in school with us. This partnership begins with open communication and mutual respect between families and staff. Parents are welcome to visit at any time. (Unfortunately during COVID we are only allowing parents on campus to pick up children outside, not in any of the rooms).

The Honey Bear classroom serves young three-year-olds. In this room, there is a set schedule for the day including circletime, stories, independent and group work, snacks, play and naps. Written records are kept on each child’s day at our center including eating, sleeping, and toileting patterns as well as anecdotal notes about daily happenings and developmental landmarks. We email these reports to parents daily along with a selection of photos and videos.

Goals for three-year-olds in our care include: Respecting each child as a unique and special person; attending to each child’s physical and psychological needs; fostering and developing a relationship with a caregiver the child can trust; providing a safe, healthy and developmentally appropriate environment; creating opportunities to interact with other three-year-olds; and supporting children in their exploration and use of all their senses. Written records are kept on each child’s day at our center including eating, sleeping, diapering and potty training patterns as well as anecdotal notes about daily happenings and developmental landmarks. We email these reports to parents daily.

Honey Bear teachers plan and coordinate curriculum around the routines, events and themes that have meaning in a three-year-old’s life – holidays, what parents do at work, birth of a sibling, a trip to the dentist, transportation (Buses, trains, planes), etc.  Curriculum themes are designed to include opportunities for children to develop appropriate cognitive, physical, and social/emotional skills through small and large group activities, self-selected and self-directed independent activities, teacher-initiated activities, time indoors and outdoors, quiet times and active times. Activities are planned around weekly themes and are summarized on monthly calendars sent home with each child.  Included on the calendar are special events, songs, finger plays and a sampling of developmental activities used during the month.

 

The variety of activities and materials used in the Honey Bear Classroom allows children to explore their environment at their individual developmental levels.  To encourage the development of the whole child, Honey Bear teachers select developmentally or age appropriate activities from seven main areas of concentration. The activities include thinking, muscle coordination, imagination and problem-solving skills which form the building blocks laid in preparation for formal education and higher reasoning used later in life.

Pre-School Learning Skills – In preparation for formal education, children practice counting by rote, naming

     shapes colors, body parts, months and days of the week, animals and sounds; learning directional concepts

     (up/down, over/under, etc); singing alphabet songs and rhymes, matching games (color, shape and pictures)

     and block building. Story time, large group circles, puppets, lotto games, pre-writing skill development,

     calendar activities, ABC games, name recognition, and talking, talking, always talking.

Large Motor – Jumping, swinging, climbing, digging, riding, dancing, moving and exercising. Simple obstacle

     courses, mini roller coasters and outdoor games.

Sensory Experiences – Finger and easel painting, playdoh, sand and water play, messy tray activities;

     scooping, sifting and pouring, all focused on encouraging language and creative dramatics.

Pre-Math and Science – Pre-math skills, counting and sorting; numbers and sets; sequencing games; rote

     counting. Hands-on science experiences where the children explore their environment with all their senses.

Music, Movement and Dramatic Play – Honey Bear teachers use a variety of musical and dramatic play items

     to enhance their large motor and language arts curriculum.  There is a musical wall to engage with, hand-held

     instruments to play, costumes to wear, tumbling tools (foam blocks, scarves, etc), extra large balls, rings and

     hula hoops.

Spanish – Simple Spanish words are used throughout the day (colors, counting, body parts, hello/goodbye)

Self-care – Brushing teeth, washing hands and faces, combing hair dressing taking on/off and hanging up a

     jacket, serving lunch, making a snack, pouring juice, putting toys away, cleaning up own messes (helping to

     sweep and wipe tables), following multi-step directions, and continuing to develop conflict resolution skills.

Swim Lessons – During the summer months we offer swim lessons for an additional fee at the YMCA pool.  We typically offer three 2-week sessions with half-hour classes Monday through Thursday.