SUNFLOWERS:  Preschool  and  Before/After School Program

Sunflower preschool classroom located upstairs from the Bluebell Cottage

Sunflower preschool classroom located upstairs from the Bluebell Cottage

A Child's Nature provides an integrated full-day childcare program for preschool children (3 to 5 years old) in the Sunflower classroom at the Pine Hill Waldorf School in Wilton, NH. The daycare is open 6:45 am to 5:30 pm, year-round.  
For young c
hildren enrolled in Pine Hill's lower grades or in local public schools, an  Extended School Day Care Program is offered by A Child's Nature before or after school with our Sunflower class. 


 
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Sunflower Preschool  (ages 3 to 5 years old) 

We Care for every part of a Child's Nature -  

Guided by the principles of Waldorf Education, A Child's Nature strives to educate the whole child: heart, hands, mind and spirit. Each child finds within themselves a competent, capable individual able to step out into the world with confidence. 

Preschool outdoor adventures

Preschool outdoor adventures

NUTRITION  Natural foods, a natural lifestyle  –  A Child's Nature  is committed to teaching children about healthy eating. We serve nutritious food, such as whole grains and fresh vegetables, every day. Older children participate in preparing these meals. This helps them cultivate an appreciation for wholesome, unprocessed food. Lunches are brought from home, and teachers encourage the children to eat their “good growing foods” before snack items. The children's growing bodies also need a healthy balance of activity and rest; we provide active play in the fresh air and sunshine, movement indoors, and peaceful nap times.  

CREATIVITY  Artistic experiences, imaginative play –  Our program strives to inspire creativity. We do this by encouraging imaginative play and engaging in daily artistic activities. The children play with simple, natural toys such as cloth dolls, wooden animals and blocks, acorns and shells, which leave room for the child to live into the play. The children experience a variety of the arts: watercolor painting, drawing and modeling, singing and movement, sewing and finger knitting, stories and puppet plays. In addition, we participate in a wide range of beautiful festivals and celebrations, which also inspires the imagination.

COMMUNITY Purposeful work, shared fun – Young children learn about the value of community by being a part of their immediate community, their family and group of friends. Our program includes many opportunities for the children to engage in purposeful work together, copying the teacher and helping each other in all the daily tasks of living. The children enjoy sweeping and washing soapy dishes, building play houses, baking bread for all to share. The center as a whole comes together as a community celebrating many special times throughout the year, some with just our families, like our Soup Nights, and some joining the Pine Hill School, like their Holiday Fair.  A Child's Nature also plays a role in the wider local community, participating in local events such as the Milford Great Pumpkin Festival and Wilton's downtown summer festival.

Nutrition & Community:  Baking bread for their morning snack and to share with the toddler class. 

Nutrition & Community:  Baking bread for their morning snack and to share with the toddler class. 

ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS  Daily outdoor adventures –  Our program is inspired by nature and strives to help children develop a life-long interest in the natural world.  Our campus allows the opportunity for children to experience a true "forest classroom." Our beautiful play areas and forest trails provide the perfect backdrop for nourishing the nature-loving spirit within every child. 

There is no use of electronic media or computers in any of our classes; our children are much too busy playing and working, indoors and out. They learn language and other skills best through interaction with teachers and friends.  

 

 

A TYPICAL SUNFLOWER PRESCHOOL DAILY RHYTHM  

Creativity: Artistic experiences like carving soap 

Creativity: Artistic experiences like carving soap 

6:45 am  Arrivals begin in Bluebell Cottage: Teacher-facilitated free play An early breakfast from home may be eaten.
 
8:00 am  Move to the Sunflower Classroom: Preschoolers move to their classroom in the main school with their teacher.
 
 8:00 am  Visual Arts / Living Activities and Free Play:

  • Monday:  Watercolor painting
  • Tuesday:  Baking bread (at 10:10 am after snack)
  • Wednesday:  Chopping vegetables for soup
  • Thursday:  Laundry & Seasonal crafts
  • Friday: Cleaning toys / classroom

9:00 am  Room Clean-up.

... and lots of imaginative free play

... and lots of imaginative free play

9:25 am  Seasonal Movement Circle:  Active movement, seasonal songs, verses and games. The circle changes frequently.

 
9:40 am  Prepare for Snack: Bathroom and hand washing.
9:45 am  Warm Morning Snack: Blessing and finger plays. Food is provided by the center and cooked by the preschool class.

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

10:10 am  Puppet Story: Seasonal story /songs performed by the teacher with simple puppets and props.

Environmental Awareness: Outdoor work

Environmental Awareness: Outdoor work

10:45am   Prepare for Outdoors: Dress for weather.
10:00 am  Outdoor Time: Free play and outdoor work in the play yard, walks together in woods/fields, or to the biodynamic farm next door.

12:00 am  Prepare for Lunch: Bathroom and hand washing.
12 :15 pm  Lunch:  Blessing, conversation. Food is brought individually from home.

 1:00 pm  Story time and Rest time: Storytelling or reading by the teacher (mainly fairy tales), lullabies, and naps on mats. 
2:00 pm  Quiet Activities: Arts & crafts, books, puzzles for non-sleeping children.
 3:00 pm  Gentle Awakening: Singing, putting away mats, bathroom and hand washing.

 3:30 pm  Afternoon Snack: Blessing.  Food is brought from home.

... and Outdoor play, all year round

... and Outdoor play, all year round

4:00 pm  Outdoor Free Play: Inside when too dark or inclement weather.

5:00 pm  Classroom Clean up and Reading. 
5:15 pm  Prepare for Pickup by Parents.
5:30 pm  Final good-byes.

 

 

 A Sunflower Circle Time

Preschool circle time:  Seasonal games, like a-tisket a-tasket for Valentine's Day 

Preschool circle time:  Seasonal games, like a-tisket a-tasket for Valentine's Day 

 OPENING SONG (For gathering children, Circle holding hands):
Let’s make a circle that is round like the sun.  
Let’s make a circle that includes everyone.
(Seasonal songs, verses and games follow this introduction.)

MAYPOLE DANCE  (Young children just circle around the pole, wrapping the ribbons around it, and they bend up and down with the hey-diddle-dees.)

We’re dancing, we’re dancing, around the May pole high.
With colors of the rainbow, our ribbons do fly.
Dear children take a ribbon please.
Today May flowers all are we.
Around, around, around, a garland we will weave.
Hey diddle dee, hey diddle dee, come join me please.
Hey diddle dee, hey diddle dee, come join me please. 
Around, around, around, a garland we will weave. 

BRANCH of MAY (Use real flowers, like forsythia, or tissue paper flowers taped on a branch)
Here’s a lovely branch of May, a branch the fairies gave me.
Would you like to dance with me, with a branch the fairies gave me.
Dance away, dance away, holding high the branch of May. 
Dance away, dance away, holding high the branch of May.

Seasonal festivals, like Maypole dancing to welcome spring

Seasonal festivals, like Maypole dancing to welcome spring


 

Extended School Day Care Program:

Open Before School from 6:45 am, 
After School until 5:30 pm 

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Young children enrolled in the Pine Hill lower grades can join our Sunflower Preschool class for extended school day care, before or after school.  In the afternoon, the Sunflowers all enjoy various crafts, baking, and outdoor free play together. They also have a snack brought from home.

Older school children up to age 10 may form a separate after-school group in the grades classroom across the hall.  More involved artistic activities and more challenging games, homework time and outdoor time will be planned for the older students, depending on their ages and needs.