Our Daily Rhythm
Young children feel best when their world is rhythmic with the activities of the morning unfolding in the same way each day; one activity flowing into the next in such a way that the children know what to expect. By providing this predictability, we provide comfort and security; eliminating the need for much discipline having removed the uncertainty that can stress young children. Instead of instructing the children as to what's coming next, we find that by singing a familiar song each day, the children take their cue to transition.
Our daily schedule is as follows and is adjusted seasonally and according to the children's needs, and state requirements:
8:15 drop off (temperature check) handwashing, free play inside, baking and snack preparation.
9:30 pick up toys, bathrooming and hand washing.
9:45 Puppet story, circle time, movement, songs and games
10:00 snack followed by clean up (wash dishes, sweep)
10:20 free play (inside or out), and a selection of crafts or watercolor painting, followed by setting table for lunch.
11:40 clean up, change clothes, handwashing.
11:50 lunch, followed by clean up (wash dishes, sweep)
12:30 outdoor free play
12:45 - 1:00pm dismissal
Our snack menu is a daily of rotation of vegetables, fruit and nuts. We bake daily either muffins or buns.
The children participate in the baking and help set and clear the table for our meals.
* We believe that it is important for the children development of self-esteem, and a sense of belonging to be part of the food preparation and set up and clean up before and after meals. Thus, being responsible and being an important part of the community.
Our lunch: Parents pack a healthy lunch for their child. Children bring a water bottle each day.
* It has been wonderful to see the children trying new foods after seeing what each family sends for their child lunch. The children feel a connection to their family and home while eating at school. Some parents send a loving note in the lunch box for their child to see when they open it up.
We are in the garden rain or shine. The seasons are our curriculum and the children get to experience this by spending most of the day outside. Gaining much life experience out in nature with water, mud, sand, and surrounded by plants, animals, chirping birds, and sunshine.
Storytelling and songs are an integral part of our days at Open Arms Playgarden. We use stories to bring up difficult subjects in an imaginative and gentle way allowing us as a community to explore themes such as gratitude, bravery, generosity, and overcoming fears.
Using storytelling curatively encourages healthy communication, conflict resolution, and offers opportunity for processing emotional needs. The story is repeated daily for a week giving the children the chance to truly live into the story and the imaginative images that they've created themselves. The following week we invite the children to act out the stories with teacher guidance allowing the children to inhabit different characters and archetypes.
Developing the imagination through story telling is a precursor to memory and auditory development necessary for literacy. We sing and rhythm throughout the day. Rhyming and singing provides an opportunity for sound, syllabus, words and sentence recognition all in preparation for later academic learning.
Maayan has overseen the playgarden for fifteen years and has over seventeen years of experience in early childhood education. She has completed four years of Waldorf teacher training at the Center for Educational Renewal held at the Summerfield Waldorf School and Farm.
She is the mother of two children ages 17 and 21.
Maayan is joined at the playgarden by three experienced and caring teachers who share in the daily rhythm.
Juliette went to a Waldorf school as a child, she remembers the feeling of love and being nurtured in a beautiful, calm safe environment.
With her personal experience she contributes to our school home environment by baking with the children and spending time listening and helping them feel love and cared for.
She is loving and patient and connects with the children with her warmth.
Juliette is talented in seeing each child individually and the school as a whole thus helping bring harmony to our day.
Juliette is a preschool teacher in the process of completing a degree in early childhood education.
Desiree is our school director and one of the teachers. She has experience working in outdoor, play based schools and is passionate about social and emotional learning.
Desiree is able to be present for the children, modeling communication and supporting their social and emotional development.
She observes the children and brings the children what they need to reach their developmental milestone.
She loves animals and the outdoors and has compassion and love for all the children.
Desiree has a degree in early childhood education from Sonoma State University.
Sasha was a parent at the school for many years.
Now that her children are in elementary school, she has joined us as a teacher.
She has her preschool and CA teaching credentials.
Sasha is a wonderful teacher with a calm and loving presence,
She sees the children for who they are and is always available to help them with their needs.
Maya is a parent volunteer. Maya is a parent at the school helping out when needed. She is kind, loving and a wonderful addition to our school community.