What Children Need

When I opened The Stone House Preschool in 2004, in part I was motivated by my own sons. My oldest son was 4 and I wanted him to have a rich play experience at preschool. Then after completing the Waldorf inspired course, LifeWays, I realized there is so much more that children need besides play for quality care in a preschool setting.

We are very intentional at The Stone House in how we care for your children. We have special routines that may go unnoticed unless you happened to pop in at that moment. A favorite among children is lavender foot baths on a muddy day…(even children who don’t have muddy feet will claim, that yes indeed, their feet are muddy enough for a foot bath!) Another is a soothing back rub at nap time. Wake up time is equally as soothing, sometimes with a light hair brushing (who doesn’t love getting their hair brushed?!) And sometimes it’s quiet story time one on one with a caregiver. These are just a few things to mention.

Other things that children need for quality care are listed below. The following list was developed by educator, Lisa Gromiko.

Two-and-a-half year olds need:

Humor
Tenderness
Predictability
Simplicity
Repetition
Time for transitions… so they are peaceful and calm
Time for toileting experiences… so that it is pleasant and happy
Time for diapering… with singing and smiling

Lots of interaction with adults including:

hugs
rocking
modeling social exchanges
modeling play
modeling kindness

Time for hand washing with singing and joy
Time to allow children to put on/take off their own shoes
Not being expected to fully participate in circle time
Monitored space and time to attempt to work things out with each other
Adult tolerance for the words “mine!” and “no!”
Predictable rest times
Space to play without interference from older children
Encouragement, opportunities for autonomy
Lots of potty breaks
Simple gestures for circle time
Quiet times
Adult encouragement and patience with simple rules and procedures such as sitting in the chair during snack
Adult guidance for not pushing, hitting, biting
An adult being able to take a child having a tantrum for a walk outside
“Special Tools” in an adults apron pocket such as a finger puppet or picture book
Toys such as blocks, cars, tea sets, and places to climb into

Kindergarten Children Need: (This list is for 5 and 6 year olds. The three and four year olds who are in our care would have many needs from both lists. )

Humor, Tenderness, Empathy
Understanding around frustration about “little” children
Security of knowing that adults are aware of what the younger children are doing
Protection of their play space
Guidance in how to integrate younger children into play
Large building materials
Privileges such as washing dishes, and using certain “teacher” items
Adult modeling and support of working with conflict with younger children
Adults modeling patience, tolerance, and compassion for younger children in their tantrums
Being little themselves
Participation in care of the environment
Space away from younger children
Adults being available for them (

You may notice that learning “ABC”’s and numbers is not on this list. It wasn’t an omission. Why waste time on something the children will readily learn at a later age? It doesn’t get them more ahead, more advance, and doesn’t make them smarter. In fact, if anything, it turns them off to “schooling” all together.

We like to wait until the time is right. For now, we will concentrate on the important things at this time and place.

So happy you’re with us. Enjoy your holiday. I hope it is warm and wonderful, full of cozy good things!

Warmly,

Sarah

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