ANIMALS | July 9-12
ANIMALS | July 9-12
July 9th-12th, Monday - Thursday
Ages 3 - 6
*Potty training required
This week’s theme is “All about Animals.”
Each day we will learn about a new animal native to Logan Canyon. We will learn about habitats, adaptations, and the difference between predator and prey. Your child will have fun dressing up as some of the animals or playing detective as they follow tracks and other animal signs.
This summer camp is based out of our Nature Preschool space at the Nature Center in Logan Canyon. Give your knee-high naturalist the freedom get outside and play! Each day we will learn something new through nature-themed crafts, engaging stories, games, and creative nature exploration.
Drop Off & Pick Up
Parents bring children to the gate at the River Trail head between 8:55 – 9:05 am. Please be sure that the child has used the toilet right before leaving for school. At this point, parents are free to leave or walk to the nature center with their child. At 9:05 we will begin our walk to nature center building. Parents and younger siblings are asked to spend no more than 15 minutes with the Little Explorers Camp before departing, unless other arrangements have been made with the teachers.
Parents will pick children up at the gate between 11:55-12:05 pm. Parents are encouraged to arrive early and meet us on the trail if they like. Parents are also welcome to walk to the nature center building for pick up if they like. Please do not arrive later than 12:05 pm! We do not have a policy for late pick up but please keep in mind that teachers have schedules to maintain as well.
Active Outdoor Play (often in small groups)
Children will play in the outdoor play area. Play area activities include the mud kitchen, climbing, water play, fort building, digging, raking, fine motor activities, and dramatic and imaginative play. Children are encouraged to choose whether they would like to play with others or on their own, and to respect their peers.
Children take part in conversation, create journal entries, engage in yoga and movement activities, listen to stories, sing songs, and participate in other whole-group activities.
Teachers and children eat “family style,” serve food, converse, and enjoy each other’s company. Teachers often read a story to the class during snack. Children clean up from snack as they finish eating and may look at books as they wait for others or go directly to free choice time or music.
Choice Time (indoors or outdoors)
Children have a block of uninterrupted time to choose an activity among the different areas of the classroom. This allows children to lengthen attention spans and to develop competency with an activity.
Classroom activities for children to choose from during choice time include Montessori-style materials, which are demonstrated by an instructor and are then available for children to use on their own. All materials are well kept and children are taught to respect each item and put everything away after use. Some examples include:
· Blocks and building (e.g., the use of wood blocks or hollow blocks)
· Art activities (e.g., painting, drawing, cutting, glueing)
· Sensory activities (e.g., water play, clay, sand trays)
· Practical Life Activities (sorting, pouring, spooning, tweezing)
· Science and discovery activities (e.g., observing an animal or experimenting with salt & ice)
· Writing activities (e.g., tracing letter in sand trays, creating a book or drawing a picture story)
· Reading activities (e.g., listening to a story or reading to a teacher or peer)
· Dramatic play activities (e.g., building animal homes or pretending to be a veterinarian)
· Math and manipulative activities (e.g., puzzles, using counting objects, playing a matching game)
· Music and movement activities (e.g., playing instruments, singing, dancing, poetry)
· Games and focused activities (e.g., sorting rocks, matching colors)
Adult-directed activities such as science experiments or looking at maps occur in small groups. These activities allow children the opportunity to ask more questions, and allows the teacher to evaluate each child’s needs and interests. This is an opportunity for more concentrated learning, especially for those preparing for Kindergarten. A basic early literacy program will be presented one day a week. This program will focus on letter and sound recognition, word recognition, syllables and the joy of reading.
Clothing—Dressing for Success
Discovery-based learning can be messy. For this reason, it is important that children come dressed for messy, outdoor play. Clothing that can be covered in mud, paint, sand and other materials of discovery-based learning is necessary every day! Freedom from restrictive clothing is also necessary. Tight clothing, fancy dresses, and costumes get in the way during active play. Children also need comfortable, protective shoes with gripping soles for running, jumping, and climbing. Exposed toes are discouraged, as are shoes that slip off easily.
Layers of clothing for changing weather and moving from outdoors to indoors are needed for children to enjoy the variety of activities offered throughout the day. You should expect your child to be outside every day.
General Rules of Behavior
· Respect staff, visitors and other children.
· Keep hands and feet to oneself.
· Obscene and inappropriate language or gestures are not acceptable.
· Children will only leave the room or group with an adult.
· Respect and take good care of the equipment, toys and other people’s belongings.
· We ask that children bring only what will fit in their backpacks, as toys will only be allowed during free-play times.
· No toy guns, swords or knives are allowed. We encourage children to play kindly and will not discourage them from using natural objects such as sticks as knives or other useful tools in an imaginary camping or hunting game.
Positive discipline allows children to solve their own problems with the guidance and modeling of preschool staff. Children learn to use words instead of hitting and pushing. We will use redirection, removal from the group, or if the child is violent we may find it necessary to call a parent for pick up. The staff strives to work closely with parents to make the camp experience the best that it can be for each child and family. In extreme situations where behavior is detrimental to the learning atmosphere on a continuing basis, a child may be asked to stay home for a day or two while the teachers work with the parents on a plan to help the child function more appropriately at school.
Our “Safe Place” is a spot where children and teachers can go whenever they need time to regain composure and/or spend a few minutes alone. We practice breathing and calming techniques and try to remind each other of these whenever we sense the need. Emotions are normal and we encourage children to take responsibility for their words and actions, to own their emotions and learn to guide themselves through difficult moments.
Animals at Camp
Animals play a large part in our curriculum and we will have visiting animals as well as permanent “critters” at the nature center. Please notify your child’s teacher of any animal or other allergies your child may have, or other concerns you have regarding animals. We do encounter dogs with their owners as we walk to and from preschool. If your child has a fear of dogs, please let us know so that we can be sure to help them feel safe, (pick them up or stand between them and the dog). Please do not bring pets to preschool.