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BLUEBELLS: Infants and Toddlers  
   (6 weeks – 3 years)

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The sweet little Bluebell Cottage surrounded by flower beds and a natural playground with a picket fence is the home for our Infants and Toddlers (ages 6 weeks to 3 years old).  This open-plan, post and beam building has space for the toddlers’ active play and a quiet cozy corner, a large table for art activities and eating together, and even a kitchen. We have separated off a portion of the cottage to provide a more protected area for the babies’ cribs and floor play.

 

 

Infant/Toddler Program

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Our littlest babies are cared for according to their own natural rhythms.  They spend time in the arms of the teacher, who delights in smiling, talking, and singing with them. There is plenty of “floor time” on our cozy, warm rugs for gross motor development.  Simple toys offer a chance for tiny hands to learn to grasp and throw.

As they mature, the mobile crawling infants tend to fit into a group rhythm of two naps a day, eating  and playing together. A strong rhythm nurtures the infants, as it does all young children. These mobile babies love our simple sturdy wood structures for learning to pull-up, cruise, walk and even climb.  Teachers engage the babies with lap games, doll play, songs and nursery rhymes. Time outdoors allows the infants to get fresh air, experience different textures of grass and sand, and move more freely.  

As the older walking infants are ready, they can gradually participate in more of the offered activities, joining their toddler friends for meals at the table, circle games indoors, and more adventures outdoors on the playground. 

 

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The adventurous toddlers find an environment that invites them to climb, run, crawl, and jump, all under safe and supervised conditions. Their hands are busy with table setting, folding laundry and washing vegetables. Each day they enjoy a seasonal circle of song and movement specially designed for them. Artistic activities include coloring with beeswax crayons, watercolor painting, play dough and simple crafts. The toddlers have plenty of free play time, indoors and out. 

 

 

 

A Typical Bluebell Toddler Daily Rhythm   

 

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6:45 am  Arrivals begin in Bluebell Cottage: Teacher-facilitated free play (inside the cottage or outdoors in the play yard). An early breakfast from home may be eaten.
8:30 am  Free Play Indoors, (outdoors in warmer weather). Living or Artistic Activities: 

  • Monday: Folding laundry
  • Tuesday: Crayon drawing
  • Wednesday: Play-dough modeling
  • Thursday: Watercolor painting
  • Friday: Collage

9:00 am  Morning Snack: Hand washing, blessing. Food is provided by the center and cooked by the preschool class.

  • Monday: Rice, butter, tamari & Sunflower seeds
  • Tuesday: Oatmeal, butter, maple syrup &  Almonds (chopped)
  • Wednesday: Home-baked spelt bread, butter & Cheese
  • Thursday: Farm vegetable soup & Bread
  • Friday: Millet, butter, tamari & Sesame seeds

 9:30 am  Clean up: Diapers, self-toileting, hand washing, classroom cleaning (sweeping, washing, scrubbing).
10:00 am  Free Play and Circle Time: Movement, seasonal songs and verses. Circle changes monthly.
10:30 am  Outdoor Time: Free play in the play yard, walks together in woods/fields.
12:00 pm  Lunch: Story by teacher with puppets or props. blessing. Food is brought individually from home.
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:30 am  Prepare for Nap: Diapers, self-toileting, hand washing,
1:00 pm  Rest Time: Lullabies, naps on mats.
3:00 pm  Gentle Awakening: Books, diapers, self toileting, hand washing.
3:30 pm  Afternoon Snack: Finger plays, songs, blessing. Food is brought from home.
4:00 pm  Living or Artistic Activities: 

  • Monday: Music, rhythm instruments
  • Tuesday: Washing vegetables for soup
  • Wednesday: Tempera painting or other media
  • Thursday: Various projects
  • Friday: Cleaning

4:30 pm   Free Play Outdoors or Indoors
5:30 pm  Final good-byes: Classroom cleaning and close up. 

Blessings we sing before our meals

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Morning Blessing  
Good Morning, Sun. Good Morning, Sun.
(Verse and gestures)
Here are grandmother’s glasses,
Here is grandmother’s hat,
And here is the way she folds her hands,
Just like that.

Earth who gives to us this food,  
Sun who makes it ripe and good,  
Dear Sun, dear Earth, by you we live,
Our loving thanks to you we give.

(Spoken) We ask for a blessing on our meal time, and for peace upon the Earth.  
Blessings on our meal.

Lunch Blessing
Oh, the Lord is good to me
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need,
The sun and the rain and the apple seed,
Oh the lord is good to me
.

(Repeat with apple tree)
(Spoken) We ask for a blessing on our meal time, and for peace upon the Earth.
Blessings on our meal.

Afternoon Blessing
Blessings on the blossom,  
Blessings on the fruit,  
Blessings on the leaf and stem,  
Blessings on the root.

 (Spoken) May our meal be blessed.

 

Lullaby from Peter Pan (a favorite for rocking the babies)

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Tender Shepherd, tender Shepherd,

Won't you guard my tender sheep:

One in the meadow,

Two in the garden,

Three in the nursery, fast asleep,

Fast asleep, fast asleep.