A Typical Day at Nature Preschool
We value spontaneity and take advantage of teachable moments. We’re also big on routine. Young children feel secure with structure and they benefit from knowing what will happen next.
“Play is the work of the child.” – Marie Montesorri
At Elachee's Nature Preschool, we follow a loose schedule interspersed with predictable events throughout the day, such as snack and group experiences.
A Peek Inside Our Daily Routine
- ARRIVAL: Class begins each day inside the Elachee Nature Preschool classroom. Adults dropping off their students take the children inside to sign them in for the day, and to assist in putting away backpacks and extra clothes. Students then participate in one of the morning activities.
- GROUP MEETING: Students join in conversation, engage in music and movement activities, listen to stories, sing songs and participate in other whole-group activities.
- MORNING SNACK: Teachers and students eat family style – preparing and serving food, then enjoying time together.
- OUTDOOR GROUP EXPLORATION: Students begin their daily outdoor exploration by trekking through Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve. Activities may include hiking the trails, playing in the forest and exploring small creeks.
- SMALL GROUP: Teacher-directed activities occur in small groups, giving students the chance to ask more questions and allowing teachers to evaluate each child’s needs and progress. This setting also gives teachers the opportunity to focus on a particular skill set, promoting individualized learning.
- FREE CHOICE TIME: Students have at least 60 minutes of uninterrupted time to choose an activity among the different interest areas within the classroom. As a result, students develop longer attention spans and gain competency with specific tasks.
- LUNCH: Students gather together to enjoy lunches they bring from home. Elachee Nature Academy is a peanut-free facility.
- REST TIME: Students may rest each day after lunch. We provide a resting mat and sheet for each student. However, children may bring a favorite blanket, pillow or stuffed animal that will fit into their individual cubbies.
- AFTERNOON SNACK: This is generally a grab-n-go snack, easily taken outdoors.
- OUTDOOR PLAY: Students enjoy supervised, unstructured play time in the Nature Playscape each afternoon.
- ENDING GROUP MEETING: Students and teachers gather on the carpet to reflect on the day’s activities and to say goodbye before heading home.