Beginning Preschool for Our 2 ½‘s

April 23, 2015
  • photo 1Beginning preschool is an exciting time and a time of anxiety for both children and their families. Parents are trusting their precious children with strangers and praying that they chose the right school for their child. The children are suddenly put in a situation where their parents are not their primary caregiver and they are not the center of attention. If Mom or Dad exhibits any signs of anxiety, the child just knows this cannot be a good thing. At Little Footprints, this process begins at 2 1/2 years of age. The children start school in either September or January depending on where their birthday falls. When the children first start at Little Footprints, we anticipate that separation anxiety will be an issue for many of the students and parent. Therefore, we always begin with an open house to allow time for everyone to explore the classroom, get to know each other and feel comfortable in the new environment. Next is a one hour orientation for both children and parents. This is probably the hardest day for all because the children and parents are separated for the first time. In order to assure plenty of loving arms to comfort the children, Little Footprints provides extra teachers in the classroom for as long as needed. We also allow for several more days of shortened class times to allow a slow transition into this new experience. A typical day for the 2 1/2’s begins with puzzles and play dough. The children have free choice among these two activities while all the children are arriving at school. Once everyone has arrived and most are settled, the class will clean up and go to a short circle time. Circle time is a time for singing, games and stories. Although the focus of the class is not academic, we are still able to teach basic academic concepts through games and activities. The children also learn simple school routines and develop the ability to allow someone else to be the center of attention.

    After circle time, the children enjoy a time in the gym or outside depending on the weather. They have the opportunity to choose from many different gross motor activities. Indoors the activities could include a slide, balls, small trikes, jumping balls, parachute games, and a sit and spin. Outside, the children have access to a sandbox, play set, trikes and chalk. On especially beautiful days, the class will enjoy both the inside play area as well as the outside area.

    Next, the children enjoy a simple snack of juice, water and crackers. They are taught how to thank God for their snack as well as talk quietly with the children at their table. They are also encouraged to use good manners when asking for more to eat or drink. Finally, the children have time to play with the various selection of toys in the classrooms. The selection includes a kitchen area, floor toys, books to “read,” puzzles and a various selection of blocks, houses and play people. During play time, one of the teachers engage the children one-on-one in an art project. The other teacher spends time on the floor playing with the children and helping them learn to use their words and negotiate through conflicts. Of course she also is busy taking children to the bathroom and changing diapers.

    With so many fun things to do and new friends to play with, the children usually adjust to the preschool environment very quickly. What a joy to it is for us to watch these children grow and mature over the course of a school year!

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Little Footprints
Little Footprints Learning Center is a ministry of Millington Baptist Church in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. We offer a safe, nurturing preschool for 2 ½ to 5 year old children. We strive to provide a quality education in a loving Christian environment and invite you to browse our website to learn more about our program. If you have any questions or wish to have a tour of our facility, feel free to contact us.