A Typical Salamander Nature Awareness Preschool Day

NOTE: Salamander School is following the Santa Clara County Health orders regarding CV-19 and CA childcare modified guidelines. We meet by the bathrooms and everyone washes hands before class.

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

Because we are a forest preschool, 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. Be off your cellphone when picking up your child.

  •   • Arrive at Salamander class with lunch in backpack, hat on, 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.
  •   • Eat a healthy snack from home.
  •   • Walk together, stopping to explore.
  •   • Play under trees, or in a field, with each other and what we find.
  •   • Use the bathroom and wash hands.
  •   • 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 participants join us once per week, for two (or three) hours in the morning. The parent brings their child a water bottle and a healthy snack (or lunch). Parents also bring their own water and snack and anything needed for a sibling. (Check with teacher before bringing 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 or first aid 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.
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.
Snack — Say gratitudes together, then have snack brought from home and talk.
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.
Lunch (only if doing 3 hour class) — Say gratitudes together, then have lunch brought from home and talk or hear stories.
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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