Three-year-old children are busy, energetic and independent children who want to “try it all.” Our program offers a wide variety of experiences with lesson plans that include many opportunities for physical growth as well as academic enrichment. At age three, we introduce learning centers in the classroom and at given times in the day allow the children opportunities to choose how they want to spend their time. The activity centers encourage dramatic play, block building, music, art and science.
The teacher-directed activities are used to encourage and stimulate language, small motor and gross motor skills. Each teacher uses a “circle time” every day for the children to come together as a group to share events, communicate and enjoy stories.
The time on the outside playground is an opportunity for group games and gross motor enhancement. Teachers help the children see and name the changes in the seasons and use leaves, small stones, pinecones and other elements of nature to take inside for art projects.
Our three-year olds love music and art and are always encouraged to use rhythm instruments, to march in their own parades, and to express themselves with a wide variety of art materials. We display their projects in the classrooms and encourage parents to display them in the home and offer encouragement.
Hester’s teachers encourage and stimulate language by reading stories, using the flannel board to tell stories, and by constant engagement in conversations with the children. We ask many open-ended questions that give the child a chance to engage in conversation and learn to listen.