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The Children’s Garden School has provided a social and emotional  curriculum, taught in ways that honor and nurture children’s developmental needs and strengths to encourage competent and well-developed children since 1977.

The Children’s Garden provides children with a rich curriculum and nurturing atmosphere that celebrates uniqueness, promotes self-esteem, and encourages cooperation based on mutual respect. Our classes explore our unique natural setting, and integrate social skills, literacy and math readiness, science, cultural enrichment, and the creative arts in an emergent, play-based environment.

We know young children are curious, they use all their senses, they love to explore, they practice new words and skills over and over, they model and imitate, they often take risks fearlessly and they are physically active. Our wonderful staff are well versed in engaging children, and providing them with space to integrate their learning and play play play.

We value each child as a unique, creative individual and a caring cooperative member of our school. Our program has been developed to support and encourage the child’s natural growth. We work to create a passion for learning, reinforce positive attitudes about themselves and others, teach them to find their voice while respecting themselves and those around them and to appreciate and respect the natural environment.

The Children's Garden Student Experience

The Garden has a long tradition of preparing our students for being good community members, great citizens and strong leaders. We often have teachers and administrators from our local elementary schools check in with us regarding their students, and they unanimously say that they can easily recognize a Garden preschool alum, as they are the class leaders, have a love of learning, are confident, find their teacher’s eyes when they are talking to them, and are very comfortable sharing what they have learned in front of their peers. This is something that we take a lot of pride in, and is basically, a summary of our goals for our students. We had one parent report to us that she volunteered in her son’s kindergarten class at a local elementary school. She noticed when she was filing papers in the students’ mailboxes, that a few of the mailboxes had 5 times the stickers on their mailboxes than other children. When she asked why her son and a few others had more stickers than others, the teacher explained that each student received a sticker when they stood in front of the class to share what they had learned. This parent looked at the mailboxes with so many more stickers than the other students and realized that those mailboxes belonged to her son and 4 other Garden grads. We are so proud of how our preschoolers transition to elementary schools, larger class sizes and how they take on a leadership role in their new school environment. Our Gardeners transition easily to elementary school because of play-based social emotional education.

In our lovely Garden setting, with small class sizes, we have the opportunity to work with our kiddos one on one and build a bond between teacher and student, developing a sense of trust and comfort for the child to grow and learn. We start in the Ladybug class, modeling to our students how to invite others to play, how to take turns and how to invite ourselves into other’s play. Our Bugs will come to a teacher and say, “He won’t let me play”, and the teacher will go over to the ‘he’ and guide the students through the problem solving of learning how to say “can I play with that when you are done?”, “that didn’t feel good when you said that I couldn’t play” “can I build the tower with you?”, etc. We recite our news and enjoy how our family recognizes the importance of our story as they read our news back to us. Our beloved puppets come down off the mantle to model interactions on the playground and in the classroom. The puppets ask our students how they are feeling, they act out the struggles that come when learning to share and they act out inappropriate behaviors. We often find that when ‘Baby Burpee’ reenacts inappropriate behavior at circle time, the student that Burpee is copying, is often the first student to advise Burpee on how to be a better citizen.

Our Ladybugs begin the year learning how to separate and realize that there are other children in the world. From the first day of Ladybug class, we ask our students to find our eyes. We introduce our Bugs to reciting nursery rhymes in front of their peers and we ask about their feelings. When we act out the classic nursery rhymes and make our little take home books, we learn the excitement of ‘reading’ our books and sharing what we have learned. The teachers model mutual respectful behavior and conflict resolution. It is so lovely to watch these skills develop and grow in our kiddos. At the end of the Ladybug year, our students typically connect to one other student who is their best friend, their one comfort or connection at school, who emboldens them to attend each day, and who is the only person that they want to play with.

Moving on to the Cricket class, our students feel an increased sense of comfort at the school, having 1 or 2 of the same core teachers from their Ladybug year in their Cricket year. They begin to pair up, and enjoy good guy/bad guy play, chase and tag, hide and seek, dragons, princesses and dinosaurs… We regularly write our names, look at the calendar, check the weather and feature a letter of the week with a sound basket and rainbow letters. We practice writing numbers 1-10 and begin looking at patterns. We enjoy learning about Folk and fairy tales, eagerly discussing similarities and differences in versions of a similar tale, acting out those tales and beginning our own version of storytelling as we make stamper books and dictate our own stories based on an original tale. We continue daily practice of ‘finding my eyes’. We often have a circle that is student led, where we check in with our neighbors, ‘how are you feeling’ and learn to use different words and signs to describe our emotions.

We join a ‘team’ as we move from one best friend to a few friends and learn to share friendships. Often, our Crickets have a hard time ‘sharing’ their one friend that they have from the Ladybug class. They will approach the teachers to say that “Suzie doesn’t love me anymore. Suzie broke up with me. Suzie is not my friend anymore.” All these phrases are expressing that Suzie is playing with someone else. We work with the Crickets and learn that people can have more than one friend. In the Cricket class, we are also using our words to say that we want some alone time and reading our classmate’s facial and physical body language to understand what a person is feeling, and knowing how to approach and offer support, checking in with each other, finding out how they are feeling and working together to figure out how to help each other. Our Second Step curriculum begins in the Cricket class and behavior modelling and problem solving takes full center stage. Birthday circles are not only celebratory, but a wonderful opportunity to talk about how the circle is an opportunity to celebrate the person of honor. We learn about circle behavior, “Eyes – watching, ears listening, mouth quiet and body still”. We find the Cricket class is the ‘busiest’ as our students have moved on from parallel play in the Bugs class to learning how to share and take turns.

The Honeybee class is a cumulative experience of all that we have learned. Our students have joined to become a ‘team’ of the whole class, working together and playing together to find wonderful team opportunities. We easily find each other’s eyes and often ask for help from our classmates to build a tower, join a game or even open a snack container. Our Bees are proud of what they have learned and what they are capable of and raise a hand willingly to share what they know. This is a year of ‘reporting’ when a Bee will come up to a teacher and say that ‘so and so is feeling sad’ and the teachers guide the reporter to go and find out what is wrong and how can they help. Another student might report that ‘someone won’t let them up on the climber’. In the Bug and Cricket class, the teacher might ‘walk the students’ through the problem solving, but in the Honeybee class, the teachers typically ask, ‘what did you say to solve the problem?’, or “I know you know exactly what to say to work that out!” When the Bees do work together to problem solve, they feel proud and accomplished. The Bees will often comment on how they miss seeing Baby Burpee at circle time, not realizing that Baby Burpee is not needed to model misbehavior and problem-solving strategy, as they have already figured it out.

We write our names daily, begin to sound out our classmates’ names, learn the months of the year and the days of the week. We begin simple arithmetic, learning the plus, minus and equal signs. We begin to read and make maps, we work a lot with patterns, and we do weekly poetry recitations. Our Bees research and present reports from special persons to world culture reports. They learn how to use a clear and loud voice and to ask for questions and constructive feedback. Often our alums will tell their 2nd and 3rd grade teachers that they are comfortable making a presentation and the teachers are blown away that they have already done such a project in preschool. They learn how to ‘interview adults and other students for information. In late spring, we often have recent Garden grads return to the Honeybee class so that the Honeybees can ‘interview’ them about their Kindergarten experience. How do they like it? How is it the same? How is it different? and what is their favorite thing about kindergarten?

By the time that these kids go on to elementary school, they have problem solving skills, they know how to read other student’s body language and facial expressions, they know how to approach and check in with their peers, they know how to invite themselves to play and invite others to play, and they have the confidence to present what they have learned. They have a curiosity to learn more about something that interests them. They enjoy sharing what they know and love to act out a story. Although they have come from a pre-K class with a student to teacher ratio of 5 to 1, they are comfortable and confident to move into a larger classroom, knowing that they have the social emotional skills to enter any situation.

Our Garden Grads are definitely points of pride. We have had alums suggest the idea of a ‘friendship bench’ at their elementary school where a student can sit during recess if they are lonely, feeling down, or just want a friend. We have had alums suggest art projects or festival celebrations to their class to honor cultural festivals. We have had several alums get involved with charitable organizations in their neighborhoods and towns, and others suggest projects that help and build their community. What an exciting accomplishment for our alum friends! We have had several alums come back to be big kid helpers in class. And we love to have middle school students help us out at in person events, and high school students be recognized as our Garden Grads. We so love reinforcing the idea of community building from our 2 and ½ year olds to parents to grads and alums.

We are proud of the strong leaders and responsible and contributing citizens that come out of our program and know that they not only have a strong foundation and love of learning, but a toolbox packed and ready to transition to elementary school and beyond.

At this time of year, as our Bees are beginning to visit next year’s Kindergarten classes, we typically begin to see some strong emotions in our students. They are realizing that their time at The Garden is winding down and they can’t imagine what their new school is going to be like. The staff at The Children’s Garden are well prepared to help our kids (and their parents) through this transition. Over the next few weeks, we will have circle discussions about feelings, questions that might arise, and reminiscing about our time in the Honeybee class, Cricket class and Ladybug class. We read a story called, “Our Class is a Family”, that talks about ways that we will always be part of each other’s lives and we bring in a Garden alum to talk about their transition to kindergarten and tell us how Kindergarten is different from The Children’s Garden. The last few months of the Honeybee class are full of celebrations, fun events and lots of team bonding, gestures of friendship, appreciation, and the recognition of the special time we share together.

Sadly, our Honeybee Parents cannot be a part of these circles, as we understand that this is a huge transition for the adults as well. We understand. The staff is also going through emotions, saying goodbye to such beloved students and families. But now is the time to start making plans. Get those auction group events that you won on the calendar! /; We hope that we will see you all at Apple Fests and Homecomings in the future. We hope that our graduates can come back and visit us as Big Kid helpers next year. We plan on being a part of your memories and your lives for years to come, and we want this community that you have built to stay close. You guys have done such a remarkable job of staying tight, getting together, and building community during these last three years of a pandemic. The staff is impressed with your stamina, resourcefulness, and your stubborn nature about making things ‘normal’. Your room parents, Andy and Jeanette, have made sure that every t is crossed and every I is dotted to give the Honeybee families a year of amazing memories. Don’t let the memories stop on June 10th!

My daughter graduated in 2000, and until her class went off to college, we still had Mom’s and kids camping trips every summer. We rented a group site and divided up the food and drinks, craft projects and beverages. We started, getting the kids to bed, and then returning to the campfire for a glass of wine. When we get together now, the kids join us around the campfire for ‘adult bevvies’ and lots of reminiscing about The Garden. We attend all the kids’ college graduations, dance at each other’s kids’ weddings and continue our friendship through the ups and downs of life. We formed this community when we most needed it, as parents of toddlers, and we found that this community of friends is one that we always need and appreciate, as parents of elementary students, middle schoolers, high schoolers, and beyond.

For me, I realize that when I chose The Children’s Garden as my daughter’s preschool, I was immediately placed with parents who had similar values of education, similar ideas of the importance of social emotional play-based education, and I am still friends with all of those parents that had similar values.

When a child is 5 years old, each year is 1/5 of their entire life, which may explain why it goes so slow. As we become adults, the days go by so slowly, but those years start to fly by faster and faster.

Keep going guys, keep up the community. You have made it through a pandemic! You can surely get through Grade 12 and beyond!

Attachment and Bonding

For many children, The time spent at The Children’s Garden School is their first time away from parents or family. This is a huge step for both children and families. 

It seems counter-intuitive to think attachment is something that children are learning as they go off to school, but in fact it is a foundational lesson essential to a confident child. The ability to tenderly say goodbye to their loving caretater, and trust that they will be just fine, and in fact able to have a great time exploring, learning, making new bonds gives children the confidence to individuate, and start their personal educational journey!

Larger picture, secure attachment builds optimistic attitude toward life, self confidence, and greater resilience to stress, stronger immune responses, and refines brain development creating nuro-pathways that lay strong the foundation for learning. 

Here are some ways the teachers at The Children’s Garden nourish bonds and attachment with our preschoolers: 

  • We understand that like a muscle, strong attachment is something that is built over time, it takes hard (and sometimes uncomfortable) work. It takes thoughtful care to build up, and maintenance to tend. 
  • We provide a safe, loving atmosphere where children are seen as the unique person they are. We actively work with with the individual child to cultivate mutual respect. 
  •  We explore and enjoy the world together in simple ways — reading and singing together, exploring the forest trails, or playing together on the playground.
  • We include our students in everyday jobs and chores. They enjoy a great sense of belonging when taught how to make a positive contribution. We Include ways that are scaled to a child’s age and abilities.
  • We are sensitive to your child’s stage of development. We nurture emerging skills with toys, games and interactions geared to your child’s abilities. The success children experience during play builds confidence and self-esteem.
  • We celebrate and applaud preschoolers’ growing attachments to others — classmates, siblings, teachers, and caretakers. To feel secure in love, preschoolers need to know we aren’t jealous or resentful of their attachments with others. 
  • The consistency of our core staff, is rare indeed, and the bonds we are able to build over our three years of programming is powerful. By the time of graduation, our staff is often in tears, as we see your children as part of our own, and we too become attached. 

They are leaving home.

The move feels so big. Sometimes it’s bigger for you. And sometimes it’s bigger for them. Pre-school, Camp, College. Doesn’t matter. It feels huge, transformational. But even though it feels like it’s one big move, that’s actually not the way it happens. Leaving home is really done over years in the smallest of steps. Mundane steps that you don’t see as the runway to independence. It is a runway that was built brick by brick – with every goodbye and every goodnight. You and your child have been building the muscles for departure with every hello and goodbye; we are apart AND we are connected.

With each drop off and pick up at school, your child will be building the capacity to hold his or her world and be held by yours—building the muscles to hold all of that in your child’s heart. You forget that in addition to the many things your child is learning at school, they are also learning attachment.

Attachment is one of the most important things we learn—and, unless there is a problem, one of the most invisible things we learn. Attachment is learned in the everyday back and forth of life. We teach it with peek-a-boo when they are babies and hide and seek when they are older. We teach it with every good night and good morning. We teach it with every mistake and every repair. It is hard to see because it changes shape all of the time. As a parent, attachment means being ballast—leaning to the side of the boat that needs to be brought to balance. Sometimes it looks like holding and soothing and picking them up in your arms, wiping away tears. And sometimes it means holding the line, having the hard conversation, making them stretch.

But at each milestone of stepping out and away, your child will walk on their new legs of attachment and feel them for the first time, again. They will wonder, “Can I do this? Can you? Will you remember me: Will everything be okay when I return? If I forget you, will you still be there? Who am I without you?” They will feel joy and pride in their new steps away, and fear and sadness at the loss of the more secure time they felt before. It is both. And holding both is really hard to learn. It takes most adults until mid-life to really have the ability to hold two truths in their arms at the same time and most kids can’t. They swing wildly between the poles—one day all excited and proud about the new adventure and the new friends, and the next day full of despair at the prospect of leaving.

And here’s the paradox for parents. We think that leaving home and the big milestones of our lives are about independence—but they are really about CONNECTION. Whether they are two, ten or twenty, your job is the same. You are already good at it. It is simple but not easy. You keep up your job as ballast. You help them hold both by holding the other: the other truth (yes, I will remember you), the other emotions (I know it’s hard, but you are learning so much), and the other end of the rope (I’ve got you, and you’ve got this, we are doing great, even if it doesn’t feel like it).

So, as you send them off to school and to their new lives. Remember this. They are learning so many new things, but they are also, most importantly, learning attachment. They are learning how relationships hold over space and time. They are learning that love and care and trust can stretch far and wide. They are learning that they exist, even when you can’t see them, and that you can hold them in your mind and heart—and they can do the same. They are learning that they carry all of the love and knowledge and resourcefulness of home in their own legs—that they can stand on their own feet and feel the sturdiness of them. And they are learning that home is woven through every cell
of their bodies.

Copyright 2015 Gretchen L. Schmelzer, PhD

Download this article here.

Developmental Milestones

Explore the physical, cognitive, language and social and emotional milestones of a three, four and five-year-old child.

Language and Literacy

It is our belief that children’s experiences with speaking, listening, reading and writing in the preschool years lay the groundwork for reading success in elementary school.  When children are immersed in meaningful language and literary experiences throughout the day, they are exercising their capacities for thought, curiosity, imagination and empathy.  At The Children’s Garden we provide a learning environment that allows children to explore the world of reading and writing within a child-centered context and through explicit teaching activities in the major components of a literacy program.

Children come to us with their own unique strengths, prior language and learning experiences and preferred learning styles.  Our goal is to provide instruction and experiences that both support and challenge all children.  We strongly emphasize oral language, as it is the familiarity with the English language that will allow the child’s eventual decoding to be error free and reading to be fluent.  

Oral language development underlies phonemic awareness (the ability to hear and manipulate discrete units of sound; phonemic awareness provides the foundation on which phonics instruction is built) which is why we encourage children to memorize, recite and perform songs, poems, rhymes, chants and story excerpts.  Most children who have internalized many language patterns are very phonemically aware.  The research on phonemic awareness reinforces the need for teachers to do more “playing” with language.  Songs, poems, rhymes, chants and quality literature must permeate the early literacy environment.

Research also indicates that approximately 20% of young children may experience difficulty in developing phonemic awareness.  Emphasizing oral language and engaging all children in short active mini lessons can make an important difference for these children’s success in decoding print.  For the remaining children, these activities will strengthen their development as successful readers and writers.  Research has shown that early readers who skip the step of phonemic awareness is the most powerful determinant of the likelihood of failure to learn to read because of its importance in learning the English alphabetic system and in learning how print represents spoken words.  

Some of the components that build this solid literacy foundation are seen in activities at developmentally appropriate levels in all three classes at The Children’s Garden.  We stress the use of language as a communication tool by encouraging the children to speak in full sentences when we “read” the calendar, by using their names frequently and by writing their “news” to send home each week.  We work with all children in chants, rhymes (nursery rhymes, etc.), classic poetry (collected in our Poetry Anthologies in the Honeybee class), and rhythmic games that emphasize pattern, repetition and rhyme.  We work with the children in singing and signing songs.  We provide the children opportunities to recite or sing the poems and songs in solos, duets, trios, quartets and glee clubs!  We play phonemic “games” at circle time.  We listen to classic folk and fairy tales, myths and stories, then dramatize them and sometimes film them with the children writing the “movie credits”.  We model writing as we record the children’s own language in “news”, as we write out the “class schedule”, and as we write the Birthday Book pages with the Honeybee class.  We make individual “little books” and sometimes do group book writing or group “brainstorming” at circle to encourage expressive language and to connect it with the printed work and the reading process. We encourage the students to make their own books and ‘read’ them aloud. We work on letter recognition by teaching the children to recognize the letters in their own names first, making “name tickets”.  We add written words to our art projects in titles or as labels.  We create child illustrated “alphabet books”.  We read storybooks aloud and model and encourage oral storytelling or oral presentations. We use a “pocket chart” to familiarize children with the printed word, to improve high frequency word recognition, to introduce them to basic sentence structure, punctuation and left-to-right progression.  We assist children in taking tasks to completion.  At The Children’s Garden, we regularly review and edit our bookshelves that include classic myths, poetry books, folk tales, and picture books, to maintain diversity and social emotional stories in our library. The reading nook is stocked with sturdy books for the children to explore and books are regularly used as reference and stories are read aloud in every class to model the enjoyment and power of the written word. In all of our work our goal is to ensure that the tone of the experiences we offer remains fun, playful, interactive and creative within a context of learning that is meaningful to the child.

We strive to keep our parents abreast of the work we are doing in order to engage them as much as possible in the experiences that the children are having.  We use a combination of newsletters, the kid news and photos and videos in the weekly Garden Gazette, display charts and themes in the pickup area to promote discussions and our presentations at special events (Apple Sing-A-Long, Harvest Celebration, Winter Celebration, Mom’s Day and Dad’s Day) to share the classroom learning.

Our Garden grads, especially if they have been here for more than one year, experience the joy and excitement of learning.  Their exposure to rich and varied language experiences strongly supports them as evolving readers.  Together with your support these children will leave The Children’s Garden positively engaged in the learning process and believing in themselves.

Black History Month

The Children’s Garden is proud to celebrate Black History month in thoughtful, age appropriate ways.  Please view below for a few examples of how we fold Black History Month into our curriculum. 

With our Ladybugs; 
We pull from books such as “Shades of People”. This easy read pairs candid photos with simple text to help children begin to recognize the beautiful diversity of people in our world. 

With our Crickets; 
As a class we practice noticing and appreciating our physical attributes, including skin, eye, hair color and texture. We read books such as “All the Colors We Are”. This book offers children a simple scientifically accurate explanation of how our skin color is determined by our ancestors, the sun, and melanin. 

With our Honeybees; 
We take the opportunity for each of our Honeybees to do a Special Person Report on a black American In honor of Black History Month. This can be someone in the past, or someone current day, who made the world a better place through their contributions to society. 

During this time we also invite families up to our office to check our wonderful collection of books that explore black history, skin color, and stories revolving around black lives. These books are for parents, caregivers and students to enjoy. 

If you are looking for further information on talking to children about Black History month, race, or simply how to find more great books, please see the below links. 

Body Rights

When children indicate that they don’t want to be hugged or kissed by friends and family we need to respect their reactions. In this way, they learn that being touched is their own choice, not another’s; that their bodies ‘belong to them’. 

We read and discuss a few different books to the children:

Your Body Belongs to You by Cornelia Spelman

Do You Have a Secret? by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos

I Said No! by Zack and Kimberly King

Your Body Belongs to You conveys a few simple ideas in simple language: a child’s body is his or her own; a child has the right to decline touch – no matter how innocent; and the parts of a child’s body covered by a bathing suit are never to be touched by others except in certain circumstances. (Doctor, Parents, Babysitter or Teacher helping with toileting or bathing)

Do You Have a Secret? helps the children distinguish between good secrets (surprise birthday party, present) and bad secrets (secrets that make you worry or not happy on the inside – a secret about someone who has hurt you) Who are the grown-ups that you can trust to tell a secret to? Telling makes the uncomfortable feeling stop and makes the actions that are hurting you stop.

I Said No!  talks about several different scenarios of ‘green flag’ encounters and ‘red flag’ encounters. We discuss the age appropriate examples in the book and have a group discussion of ‘what should you feel, say and do?’  If this makes me feel upset or uncomfortable, I should say ‘no’ and do ‘get the heck out of there’ and tell an adult.

During this curriculum unit, we give each child the opportunity to use their ‘power stance’ (legs strong and sturdy, stern look on their face, arms crossed or out in front of them with a strong voice, saying “Stop it! I don’t like that!” or “No”) We instruct them to go to a safe place and tell a grownup that we trust. We have one on one time with each student and talk about where their safe places are and who their trusted grownups are. We also practice different comfort levels of greetings – Hug, Handshake, High Five or a Hello Wave

These books are all available on Amazon and we suggest that the discussions are reinforced at home – you can talk about the family names that you use for private parts and that any time anyone touches those parts when a parent is not present is not okay. Help them talk about what feels good and what feels bad (such as being tickled against their will). This leads to confidence in their own perceptions. Perhaps you can discuss personalized scenarios of good touch vs. bad touch, good secrets vs. bad secrets, (any touching that has to be kept secret is not good touching) or your own method of appeasing Great Aunt Sally who you only see once a year and thinks you need to give her a big ol’ smooch! In the classroom, we discuss options that the children are comfortable with and suggest “I’m not comfortable to give you a hug right now but can give you a high five or a handshake!” “Maybe later”

If your children tell you someone has touched them in ways that make them uneasy, pay close attention. Find out exactly what happened to cause their discomfort and protect them from contact with the person involved while you figure out what’s going on. Reassure them that it is right to talk about such things, that you take their discomfort seriously, and that you will keep them safe.

World Culture

In a world that is so rich with traditions, flora and fauna, architecture, and natural beauty The Children’s Garden feels that it is extremely beneficial to introduce our world’s different cultures to our students.  The more that people realize we as people are more similar than different, the better our world will be to live in.  It is important to celebrate all the differences between countries and people in our world. Beginning appreciation and respect for different peoples and cultures is an important part of The  Children’s Garden curriculum.  We feel Children, families, and teachers have the opportunity to learn from each other.

The Children’s Garden celebrates our worlds cultures in many different ways.  First, we honor each traditional celebration in all cultures of the world.  We invite our families who celebrate a tradition from their family to share it with our students at school.  For example, we have had families share Hannukah, St. Lucia, Chine, Diwali, Chinese New Year, Passover, Kwanza, and more.  The children enjoy learning about how other children around the world explore family life, arts and culture, customs and festivals.

Another way that The Children’s Garden embraces world cultures is by having each student in the Honeybee class present a World Culture Report at the end of the year.  They get to choose any country in the world and then research facts such as geographical specialties, architecture structures, holiday traditions, education, foods, music, arts, currency, government, and more.   It has been a highlight of the Honeybee year to see the confidence that each child has grown as they stand in front of their peers and teachers and give a fun and interesting report.  The work in the Ladybug and Cricket class that share the different traditions around the world culminates into our older children’s level of curiosity for the knowledge of our entire world.

For more World Culture Report information including important dates, overview and sample videos, please visit our world culture page.

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Celebrating the Art of the Children's Garden Student

Our beloved Art Show is a favorite event at The Children’s Garden held each spring. Over the course of the school we curate meaningful artwork from each student. We wanted to share a little information about how some of the pieces are made:

From the Easel

Each year, we choose a few pieces from each child from their easel paintings to show a sampling of what they do in their moments of totally free and spontaneous art creation. We love them!

Directed Drawing

For our directed drawing projects, a teacher will work with a small group of children, guiding their drawing step by step, and putting all of the shapes together. (e.g. “Let’s all draw a circle for Belle Amie’s head, now add two smaller circles for ears, etc.”) The children often look at their work with amazement that they are capable of doing such complicated drawings made up of simple shapes.

General Information

The Bugs and Crickets are often less inhibited with less fixed ideas about art.  Their paintings generally are more expressive than the older children. The Bees are gaining more fine motor control and are becoming increasingly more skilled with detail. Most preschool art is experiential and experimental. The goal is the process rather than the product. The children use high quality paints. The matting and the naming give the paintings an arresting presentation. We always encourage the ‘framing’ of art with a black teacher pen to instill in the child’s mind that the work is complete, it is important, and it is a masterpiece in this moment in time.

We work very hard to give every child the experience of each project offered. Sometimes they just don’t get it done if the absences have been frequent or untimely. With the younger children, we are a little more willing to let them determine whether they are comfortable doing a project, and if we can’t entice them, we may let it go.

Finally, some of the most creative, wonderful, and exciting art your child will ever do happens during the Preschool years. Treasure it! This is because children this age are so full of life and all see themselves as Artists! Many parents choose to have the large paintings professionally framed. We know of these paintings hanging in Seattle law offices, at Microsoft, at Swedish Hospital in Issaquah, as well as in many homes we visit.

Viva l’art, Viva artiste!