A Typical Salamander Nature Awareness Preschool Day

The following may vary with park location, weather and students:

  •   • Arrive at Salamander class with lunch in backpack, ready for activity in nature, regardless of the weather.
  •   • Greet the teacher and share how your morning is going.
  •   • Outdoor play and exploration while others arrive.
  •   • Say good bye to parent or caregiver.
  •   • Gather for circle time with singing and sharing.
  •   • Walk together, stopping to explore.
  •   • Play under trees, or in a creek, with each other and what we find.
  •   • Eat a healthy lunch packed by mom or dad.
  •   • Listen to a story, and probably more playtime.
  •   • Walk back to pickup area. Say goodbyes.
  •   • Leave Salamander class with parent or caregiver

Daily rhythm of the Parent and Child Class

We meet for a series of classes, in order to bring comfort in repeatability to the children. Because we are a nature awareness program, no two days are alike. We have a predictable rhythm, yet flexibility to allow the children time for imaginative play and investigation of what they find in nature. Please leave toys at home or in your car. Turn off cellphones and share this time with and observing your child.

Parent and Child preschool classes meet once per week, for two hours in the morning. The parent brings their child a water bottle and a healthy snack. Parents also bring their own water and snack and anything needed for a sibling.

Children and parents should wear clothing appropriate for that day's weather, long pants, sturdy shoes, sunscreen and a sunhat. We recommend keeping a spare change of clothes, especially for your child, in your car. You will help your child with any bathroom needs. The teacher will carry supplies and a first aid kit.

Daily rhythm
Arrival — The teacher will greet you and your child. Please take your child to the bathroom beforehand if needed.
Play — Children will play while waiting for others to join, parents are supervising their own children.
Circle — Gather together in a circle for songs and sharing lead by the teacher.
Walk — The teacher will lead, stopping for children explore nature along the way. Parents can try to fall back and let their child walk ahead.
Free play — Time for the children to interact with nature, other children, and the teacher. Parents can focus on observing their child.
Snack — Say gratitudes together, then have snack brought from home and talk or hear stories.
Walk — Back to meeting space for closing circle time.
Goodbye — Children and parents say goodbye to the teacher. You are welcome to stay to play in the park!

A three year-old who can run and jump and climb and twirl and sweep and turn a somersault is much better prepared to enter the world, and meet that world with equanimity and purpose in later life, because this child lives in balance and with capacities for moving through the world in freedom.

-- Cheryl Sanders

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