Explorers: Children turning 1 by December 31
Explorers is designed for children and their parents/caregivers to participate in a play-based program together. The children have the experience of playing with each other in a school atmosphere. There is a specific routine to the morning, which includes free play, snack, story and music time. Our goal is to provide a positive first school experience at Larchmont Temple Nursery School.
Wednesdays and/or Fridays 9:15 am - 10:30 am
Toddlers: Children turning 2 by December 31
Our Toddler program provides an opportunity for positive peer socialization in a group setting. The children learn to kindly interact with each other in a supportive and nurturing environment. Our program provides a happy learning environment that fosters confidence, independence and exploration. The Toddler program lays a foundation for a smooth transition into the Nursery (3s) program the following year.
Our Toddler program is designed specifically to meet the children’s individual needs. For many children, this is the first time they are in a classroom with their peers. They learn to connect with others through play and example (modeling). We encourage the children to develop language and communication skills needed for them to feel confident and comfortable. The relationships that they build with their teachers and classmates help them in many ways. They aid with the process of separating from their parent or caregiver, while also fostering the children’s independence. They also help to lay the foundation for developing new friendships, relationships, and skills to communicate with adults other than the children’s primary caregivers.
The Toddler program provides many varied and enjoyable experiences. During story time children are engaged in learning about the world around them. Books are selected that are about situations that are familiar to them as well as based on the interests of the children. By looking at visual images and listening to the words, their scope of knowledge broadens. Creative projects are introduced on a regular basis. Free Play offers an opportunity for children to focus on areas of interest to them as well as to help them learn to use classroom centers and their materials appropriately. Children are frequently encouraged to use their senses to explore new and varied materials.
Tuesday and Thursday 9:15 am - 11:45 am
Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:15 am - 11:45 am
Monday - Friday 9:15am-11:45am
Nursery: Children turning 3 by December 31
Our Nursery program allows children to learn through experience and interaction. We encourage children to ask questions, experiment with new materials, solve problems, and learn social skills. The Nursery program is filled with projects, activities, and explorations based on the interests of the children. We encourage the children’s developing curiosity about their world and their enthusiasm for learning. The role of the teachers is to guide the children through explorations and social interactions.
The school day consists of various activities including: free play, story time, morning meeting, snack, gross motor play, specials, and goodbye meeting.
During free play, all areas of the classroom are available to the children. There is usually one area of the classroom with a unique activity available on that day. Examples include: cooking, curriculum-related art projects, or experimental sensory materials. Some work/activity areas in the classroom include: block building, dramatic play area, sensory table, art area, library book area, puzzles, light table, and open-ended materials/manipulatives. Everyone is encouraged to participate in these activities.
We introduce structured activities and discussions that are connected to the emergent curriculum through exposure to literature, cooking, science experiments, and games. A variety of different books are read to the children and through this, language and ideas are developed and generated, resulting in rich discussions.
The children learn about Judaic holidays through stories, cooking, and related projects. They also participate in our school-wide mitzvah programs.
Monday - Friday 9:00am-12:00pm
Pre-K: Children turning 4 by December 31
Our Pre-K program builds on the experiences from our Toddler and Nursery programs. The school day consists of various activities including: arrival time, morning meeting, snack, free play, story time, gross motor play, specials, and goodbye meeting.
Our Pre-K teachers provide rich experiences that allow the children to practice their ability to attend to and participate in group discussions, follow multi-step directions, and follow through with classroom routines and responsibilities. The idea that children are part of a classroom community and with that comes specific responsibilities is something that each classroom works to help the children understand.
Within the emergent curriculum, the studies become more elaborate, last for longer periods of time, and incorporate kindergarten readiness skills. We give our Pre-K students the confidence and experiences needed to make a smooth transition into a traditional kindergarten setting.
Monday - Friday 9:00am-12:00pm
The Toddler, Nursery, and Pre-K programs incorporate specials/enrichment activities including Music, Art Studio, and Nature. Our music teacher comes on a weekly basis and includes songs that are both familiar as well as new. This is a participatory way for the class to build a positive sense of community, support language development, improve memory, and expose children to important pre-literacy skills. We also have a visiting animal specialist who teaches the children about a variety of animals, animal adaptations, and animal habitats. The children attend the Art Studio weekly to work in small groups on open-ended art experiences. In addition to traditional art materials, the children have the opportunity to work with unconventional materials, found materials, and loose parts. All of these enrichment programs give the children rich sensory and language experiences.
The children spend time on the playground daily. Playground equipment encourages young children to challenge themselves, build strength and gain coordination while climbing, sliding and balancing. Spacious, open areas covered with woodchips provide a safe space for the children to run and engage in energetic play. A large sandbox is available for creative, imaginative, and tactile activities. We also have a mud kitchen, which allows the children to engage in open-ended pretend play while outside and an outdoor classroom where classes often read stories, have discussion or eat snack.
When the weather is not appropriate for outdoor play, the nursery school has a large, bright, carpeted indoor play space filled with play equipment, obstacle course equipment, and large blocks for gross motor play. Children engage in similar activities to those that they experience when they are outside.
LTNS began our Mitzvah Curriculum in 2006. Our goal is to give our students and families the opportunity to participate in hands-on mitzvah activities that enable children to give back to the community and take part in Tikkun Olam (repairing of the world) in meaningful ways.
Over the course of the years we have made brown bag sandwich lunches for Midnight Run, baked Thanksgiving pies for a local soup kitchen, recycled and made our own paper for Tu B’Shevat, created Mishloach Manot packages to share around Purim, given Passover cards to senior citizens through Dorot, and held a Pajama Drive (when we raised over 150 pair of pajamas last year!).
As the children participate, these projects and partnerships become a core part of who they are and how they choose to participate in our world. Working together, as a community, toward greater good helps build relationships with one another and with people that we don’t know, and gives the children a strong sense of meaning in their lives.