Gross Motor Skills
Tummy Time is Fun Time! Babies are encouraged to lift their head and chest, reach for toys and roll to increase their core muscle strength and balance. Soft balls and toys are used to encourage reaching and crawling. We have push toys and other classroom equipment to encourage standing and walking.
Fine Motor Skills
Outdoor Play & Physical Activities
Friends Academy has a beautiful campus. Your child will enjoy walks in our covered strollers. Stroller walks provide fresh air and social interactions with other members of the Friends Academy community as they stroll around campus. The children explore their environment with their bodies. They attempt new gross motor and fine motor activities with assistance. The children begin to sustain structured physical activity for blocks of time.
Music and Movement
Music is enjoyed throughout the day. Our class is equipped with musical instruments, toys that sing and encourage children to interact. Our teachers dance, sing and inspire your children to join in the fun! Once a week, children enjoy music with a visiting professional music teacher.
Story Time: A Magical Experience
Your child will enjoy teacher read alouds. Story time is often enhanced with puppets and props to bring the story to life. Many board books and vinyl books are available for your child to explore on independently or with the caregivers. Trips to the Lower School Library provide exposure to a variety of literature and encourages a love of learning.
The toddler and pre-nursery program serves children ages 18 months to 2+ years.
In small groups, teachers focus on helping children interact and explore the sights, sounds and textures around them. Children are encouraged to learn at their own pace in a place they can feel secure. Age-appropriate toys and equipment make discovery fun. Play is the work of children. Our program offers developmentally appropriate activities designed to stimulate the interests and wonder of each child. Each activity is designed to be fun and engaging while having an educational value.
Gathered Meeting – You don't have to be a star to shine
Each day the toddler and preschool classes engage in a meeting time. This meeting cultivates a sense of community and respect for one another as well as working to develop language skills and self-confidence. The children have the opportunity to share experiences, sing and count. They begin to learn about seasons, holidays, weather, the calendar, and much more. As a group, they work on problem solving, sharing and cooperation.
Story Time: Nurtures Love for Books and Reading
Children will enjoy group story time. This group activity helps develop language skills, teaches sequencing, and provides response time to stories. Children will also be encouraged to enjoy our classroom library where they can find lots of age-appropriate books. Exploring with books helps develop pre reading skills such as holding a book up right, turning pages and expressing thoughts about the pictures and illustrations in the books. Trips to the Lower School Library provide exposure to a variety of literature and encourages a love of learning.
Health & Wellness
Health and wellness activities foster a sense of well-being and environmental awareness.
Children participate in individual and group physical activities indoors and outdoors. Children are encouraged to attempt new movement undertakings and take appropriate risks that require physical movement.
- Yoga: A simple introduction to yoga is done in our indoor play area. Yoga’s benefits are improved strength, flexibility, concentration, body awareness, relaxation, self-control and a feeling of well-being – and best of all it is fun!
- Nature Hikes: Children will explore our wooded campus; learn about animals and plants native to our beautiful grounds. Nature projects will incorporate their explorations.
- Gardening: Our garden boxes and other planting provide a wonderful opportunity to introduce children to gardening. The children will nurture seeds and seedlings and harvest herbs that appeal to the senses. The process is rewarding and they will gain respect for the origins of their food.
Gross Motor Development
Gross Motor Development- activities promote physical movement and large muscle development.
- Music & Movement: Children love music and can’t help moving to a song when they hear it! Music & Movement provides opportunities to explore feelings and relationships while developing listening skills, motor skills, and creativity. Best of all our teachers join in the fun by marching, singing, dancing and using musical instruments.
- Outdoor Play Time: Children will climb, play, run and jump on our playgrounds. Playground time is part of our daily ritual. Through the use of balls, hula hoops, sand tables and other outdoor equipment, the children learn to kick, throw, carry items, run and walk at different speeds and develop balance.
Fine Motor Development
Fine Motor Development- activities help develop smaller movements and intricate abilities.
- Art Time: At this age, art is all about process, the product is secondary. Art provides children with a wide range of sensory experiences and promotes eye-hand coordination and of course creativity.
- Blocks/Puzzles/Manipulative: Children will build, touch and experiment while developing eye-hand coordination and problem-solving skills.
- Dramatic Play: Our dramatic play corner encourages children to imagine and imitate the world around them. Children can play independently or share their playful side together. Items in our play kitchens have lids and tops that encourage fine motor manipulation.
- Meal time: The children practice using spoons, forks and open cups. We have a variety of healthy snacks for the children to enjoy.
- Library: Story time at the Library focuses on early literacy as it helps children develop a joy for learning language and a love of books.
- Music: Music, rhythm, and dance help young children to build memory skills, listening and vocabulary skills. Group activities promote social skills and teach children a variety of concepts as they sing about various topics. An introduction to basic instruments will help the children keep the beat. Our weekly music lessons with a specialized teacher will not only build skills but it will bring enjoyment and smiles to all!
- Physical Education: Classes have the opportunity to use the Friends Academy field house gymnasiums. Children enjoy running, jumping, throwing, and catching balls, hula hoops, Frisbees, and group activities. Gym time is extra special on the days when the weather prevents outdoor play.