Parent's Day Out @ Main Street Preschool
Parent's Day Out is a popular gateway to our community at Main Street Preschool. Designed to be a 3-hour respite for parents meeting from 9 am to 12 pm twice weekly, we serve children aged six months through 2 years.* Because we meet such a wide variety of developmental needs in this program, schedules are tailored to meet the needs of the individual child as much as possible.
Often, we are asked if we utilize a formal "curriculum" for this age group. The simple answer is, "No, we do not teach from one published curriculum in our daily activities during PDO." However, through annual training events, our staff have accumulated many developmentally appropriate activities to enrich the minds, hearts and bodies of our littlest learners at Main Street. Here is a small taste of some of our teacher guided play:
Fine Motor Play
Some of our favorite offerings are varieties of fine motor play. In addition many toys that encourage children to develop these skills, you might also see teachers in guided play doing the "Clothes Pin Drop."
We know that children learn through use of their senses. We provide as many opportunities for children to hear, see, and touch the world around them as possible. Providing ways for them to practice pinching small items that they can then taste or rub accomplishes both a sensory experience and fine motor play.
It is our joy to help our PDO babies make friends with others. While the vast majority of their play will be parallel in nature (and appropriately so), they still enjoy having one another to share toys with, crawl after in the play structure, and even look at books alongside.
Small caregiver to child ratios often allow us to complete small art projects with our babies. Allowing them to color, paint, stamp or place stickers on a colorful piece of paper as they are able gives them a great sense of accomplishment.
Making Learning Fun (and Safe)
Perhaps our first priority here at Main Street Preschool is to make learning a fun experience. For our smallest learners, this often includes helping them through separation anxiety and all of the first experiences of being away from home. To that end, it is one of our primary goals at PDO to make our babies safe and secure here at school. (Read our blog post on Tearful Goodbyes to learn how we help children manage separation anxiety.) Having a trusting, loving relationship with their first caregiver goes a long way to first impressions of what a learning environment is like. We strive to make that first impression a happy and positive one.
*those children who do not meet the school year requirements of being age 2 by September 1st of each year