The Sandlot

  At The Sandlot, we believe that the foundation laid during the early childhood years make a lifetime of a difference.  Studies have proven that children who receive well planned, high quality early childhood instructions learn more and are better prepared to master the complex demands of formal schooling.  
 
The sandlot offers an exciting learn through play curriculum for children ages 18 months to 5 years of age. 

Ages 4.2 to 5 years, not enrolled in school (Pre-Kinder)- Children in this age group will participate in all of the following listed below along with our preschoolers, as well as participate in an introduction to early reading and writing. The children will learn how to be more self sufficient with their self help skills, preparing them for formal schooling.  A few things they will master: toileting, proper hand washing, self-dressing, table manners, and learn to sit for longer periods of time.  Each child will have the opportunity to partake in leadership roles and learn to become more patient while working with the younger children.  They will also have the opportunity to take on more responsibilities, like helping to set the table, help younger children to dress or wash hands, or helping the staff with small duties. Everyone will always have an opportunity to be a leader.

One of our main focus's will be on their ability to make good decisions even when their peers may not be.  They will practice on how to always be a great member of their community and to try to always remember to make good decisions.  The children will continue to be encouraged to work on conflict resolution among all of their peers, with minimal verbal direction from staff.

While working on Pre-Kinder ready skills, the children will also learn to follow more complex directions, raise their hand until called on, and learn to wait to start on projects until they have been given instructions. Some nights they will be given homework so that both parent and child can get used to the idea of setting up a routine that they will have to comply with once they start kindergarten.

Ages 3.5 to 4 years---  (Preschoolers)- At this age, the children will continue to experience the joy of self-expression in several areas.  Such as music and movement, arts, crafts, combined mix age group circle time, games, dramatic play, outside play, blocks, science and supervised play areas.  All activities planned will support preschoolers cognitive, physical and social-emotional development.

Field Trips will play a big role in an effort to bring our community to our classroom.  Each week, your child will have the opportunity to participate in an offsite field trip that will allow them to explore other environments.  Throughout their day when out in our community children will have blocks of time to explore their environments and to dig into projects that interest them.   

Typically children in this age group are always on the move and are becoming more and more independent.  At The Sandlot, we help them to develop their manipulative and coordination skills with tons of activities.  Just to name a few: puzzles, sticking stickers,cutting, free expression, poetry and songs.  Overall, we believe that play is focused on helping children develop self-care skills, as well as help encourage them to become independent so they will be successful once they graduate on to formal school.

Ages 2 to 3.5--- (Young Preschool-)- In this age group, children grow and learn at a very fast pace; they are usually excited and challenged by the new world that they discover over and over each day.  Young Preschool children want to touch, smell, taste, hear and test everything for themselves.  With this age group we will cover the areas of social emotional, cognitive and Physical learning and make sure they have plenty of opportunities to have as much of a hands on experience as possible. Unfortunately, all field- trips will not be offered to children under the age of 3, however, there will be field-trips available that will be suitable for all ages to attend.

Because children in this age group need patience and guidance, learning how to interact with their peers and making positive choices will be re-taught each day.  We will focus on language skills and experience how to resolve conflicts between all of our peers.  Here at The Sandlot, we will provide many opportunities for the children to learn to use their words, participate in plenty of arts, dramatic play, fine motor skills, gross motor skills, science, math, music and movement. Children learn best by experiencing and by doing so the best way for them to learn is through play.  Please do not expect to see worksheets or ditto sheets from your child when in this age group.

All young preschoolers will be encouraged to start and complete the potty training process both at home and while here at school.  When both staff and parent have decided the child has met all signs of potty training readiness, together staff and parents will begin the process.  Here we use a very relaxed potty training approach, followed by tons of positive reinforcement.

Our goal is to provide the children with the most enhanced learning methods so that they will be well on their way to join the older preschoolers and have the foundation needed when the time comes.

Ages 16 month to 2 years Toddlers- By this age, most of the children have already had their first EVERYTHING.  With this group we introduce the children to activities which helps them express themselves through, imagination, sound and through experimenting with color, texture and shape. We  strive to help  the children to understand their emotions and develop their relationships with other children through empathy and concern. Toddlers have a very rapid developmental sense of themselves; which is characterized by physical movement, language acquisition and the exploration of social relationships as well as imaginative play. 

In addition to group circle time with the rest of their peers, Toddlers will have additional time reserved for stories, rhymes and songs within their own age group or grouped with an older child as their leader. They will have separated play time with age appropriate toys that will enhance tactile and visual stimulation. Our play room is designed to encourage physical skills such as sitting, standing and walking. An environment of bright colors and appropriate toys provides optimum stimulation for the toddler’s growth. As the child matures, the learning materials grow more complex. Music is an important element of the curriculum for every toddler, youngest to oldest, so this will definitely be a great group experience for them all.

Some of the other areas that will be incorporated with this group will be art, large motor skills, and dramatic play.   We guarantee that your toddlers’ day will be filled with plenty of things to explore, items to see, and a large number of objects to touch.

TO the ARTIC we Go! 

Pictures above and below on the left: 


We decided that ice is very cold to touch, especially when we added water to the container. No body wanted to keep their  bare hands inside it too long!

Pictures above and below on the right: 

Here we used salt to see what would happen to the ice.  We discovered that the ice got colder and actually melted slower.  We didn't have the best temperature gauge, but it was a very cool experiment for the kids to participate in. 

 In a reading during circle time, we learned that many animals that live in the polar lands are specially adapted to survive in freezing temperatures.  We all knew for sure that when we stuck our bare hands in the ice that we could not stand it for long. 

We also discovered during our reading that most animals that live in the arctic have oily fur and a layer of blubber to keep them warm.  
In the picture below, we experiment with a bag of (fat) blubber by putting our hands inside of the bag  and then putting our hands into the freezing cold water.  Every child agreed that it was survival of the fattest. They realized that having the layer of blubber over their hands made it possible for them to keep their hands in the freezing water for as long as they wanted.  

 

In the picture below:

Living in beautiful Morgan Hill, it was very hard to recreate snow, so this was the best we could do to make our own.  Snow angles anyone?? 

 

Learning about our senses at the Monterey bay Aquarium

Can we SEE a sea star?  Yes

Can we HEAR a sea star? No

Can we TASTE a sea star? No

Can we TOUCH a sea star? Yes

Can we SMELL a sea star? No 

 Here we learn that glue is sticky!

Art and painting can be a very effective means of representing ideas and feelings held deep inside. We keep instruction and direction to a minimum for this reason. Every child will have his or her very own style, which will  be honored and encouraged. 

 

 

Playdough

Visit to our friendly paramedic ambulance

 

I want to be a firefighter

Dramatic Play