I offer many fun, exciting, and educational activities daily, such as singing together, listening to music and dancing, going for walks and outings to the playground or library, gardening and harvesting in my organic garden, hanging out in the backyard with the play structures, cooking, baking, playing dress-up, playing with play-dough, making various crafts indoors and out, and having daily storytime. However, Sunshine Dayhome is a play-based program, where we follow an emergent curriculum. Children learn through play, and so large blocks of time are left open daily for the children to explore, interact with, and learn from their experiences and the nurturing, stimulating environment here.
Whenever possible, we will be playing outside together. We might be in the park, the backyard, or on walks in the neighborhood. Some examples of indoor activities are playing with play-dough, blowing bubbles, cooking or baking together, doing crafts, beading, reading stories, and singing or making music together. A few outdoor activities we do include scavenger hunts, snow painting, sidewalk chalk, nature walks, making tracings or rubbings, and playing in the backyard or at one of the many nearby playgrounds. The Idylwylde library is very close, and we visit there weekly, also.
I believe that is is extremely important for children to have the time and space to create their own games and give them their own unique voices. For this reason, I offer wooden toys, or toys made of natural materials such as felt, instead of electronic, flashing lights, beeping, loud-volumed electronic toys that hinder creativity and open-ended play. While we do many structured activities daily, I find it very important to allow room and flexibility for free-play, or downtime, where the children may choose their own activities, goals, and timelines. Children inherently know what they need in order to grow, learn, and develop.
8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Drop-off time; dancing to music; getting integrated into the new day
8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Morning free play period
9:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Free play (outside if weather permits), one structured activity offered
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 a.m.
Lunch and clean up
12:30 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Nap and quiet time
3 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Wake-up; free play (outside if possible)
3:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.
4 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Afternoon activity offered; free play until pick-up time!
This reflects the rhythm of our, day, though it is flexible to meet the needs of the children. If it is a beautiful day, nap may be a bit late. During the winter, we attend one or two playgroups each week, and sometimes visit the library as well. The community playgroups we go to each week, at Idylwylde and Avonmore halls, allow the children and myself time away from the house to interact with other children and new toys. We are fostering a sense of community, and broadening the friendships and opportunities I can offer. Each playgroup is at a community hall. There are generally tables and chairs set up on the periphery for adults to converse at and children to enjoy snack, and the main area of the spacious room is filled with toys for all ages. The children can get some gross motor activity in by running or using a ride-on toy (especially valuable through our long winters!), engage in dramatic play at the kitchen and dress-up centers, or develop their social and fine-motor skills interacting with the play cars, dinosaurs, and other toys. In the summer, we can instead be found at local parks and green spaces, enjoying the nurturing outdoors!