The Sea Otter class provides a safe and fun environment where young children can learn self-help skills, such as putting on and taking off their coats and shoes, serving and cleaning up their own snack, and helping to put the toys away when they are finished playing. Children are also beginning to master the ability to separate from their parents, which is handled in an individual, respectful manner with each family.
We foster independence with a day of simple structure that includes Hello Circle (to greet friends and start thinking about the day's activities); Choice Time, when children are free to move from center to center choosing to do activities that interest them (including a housekeeping center and dress ups, an art center, a math center with puzzles and small manipulatives, play dough, a texture or water table, a construction center with blocks and cars, a drawing center, and the snack table); Story Circle (for stories, puppets, dance, movement, and musical instruments); Outside Play (on our great playground); and Goodbye Circle (when each child sits on the teacher's lap and sings goodbye to his or her friends). Children learn about life and the world around them through basic themes. We also work on many social skills. The children learn to take turns, to share ideas and listen to other's ideas, to take risks and try new things, and to trust others outside of their family. These skills guide the children toward being capable and successful in a child-centered environment.