Music is a natural conduit through which young children learn to express themselves, awaken creativity, build self-esteem and enhance future aptitudes in learning areas such as Math and Science.
We make use of music daily and in various forms: learning a new song, moving to melodies, exploring new instruments and simply listening to music while painting all contribute to developing a base for musical knowledge.
We also incorporate a dedicated Music Specialist into our Music Program. This weekly activity has been designed to offer enriched age-appropriate music experiences, starting with our 14 months olds through to our Pre-Kindergarten.
We also offer beginner Piano and Suzuki Violin lessons. Children are able to enroll in private weekly lessons with a professional instructor. Depending on the number of students enrolled, there is a small concert performed in the Spring.
Storytelling has been an important mode of communication and learning throughout the ages. Exchanging information, developing ideas and gaining inspiration through others are all crucial personal skills that we begin to develop at The Learning Tree.
Young children respond naturally to storytelling. It is a “hands-on” exchange of information that transport them to a magical place in which they learn life lessons relating to important values and how we care for each other.
It is for these reasons that we have a dedicated Storytelling Program with its own Storyteller Specialist. It is truly amazing to witness her skills and experience the children’s facial expressions, as well as their genuine and complete engagement, during this special time.
Yoga’s primary benefits are concerned with attaining both a physical and emotional state of well-being. It is about finding and maintaining a balance within oneself. We believe that in our modern world, it is crucial to equip young children with the tools and skills necessary to help to achieve and maintain appropriate coping mechanisms throughout their life.
Yoga can be one of these tools. Children are never too young to learn yoga and are always eager to participate.
As such, Yoga is a weekly activity conducted by a professional instructor specializing in children’s yoga.
Our Computer Program, carried out in a dedicated Computer Lab, is designed to introduce the children to the wonderful and ever-important world of computers. We begin with playing games that familiarized them with the various components, such as the mouse, keyboard and screen.
We then introduce children to programs that focus on skills such as recognition of various colours, shapes, numbers, letters of the alphabet, as well as concepts such as sorting, classification and right-left sequencing.
Our Computer Program begins at the Pre-School (3 year olds) level and continues on through to our Pre-Kindergarten (4 year olds). It is fascinating to see how quickly children use computers as a tool and acquire computer proficiency.
It is vital to incorporate a gross motor skills program into a complete curriculum. A myriad of games and activities takes place in the gym that develops young children’s instinctive love of physical activity, consequently contributing to their fitness, health and general well-being.
These include running relays, manoeuvring through obstacle courses, playing team games, ball bouncing, beam balancing, riding scooter boards, hiding under giant parachutes, wiggling through hoops and going through tunnels.
Each class has a designated daily time to visit the gym, allowing for gross motor activities to take place even when there is inclement weather and we cannot go outside.
The gym is also used for our yoga, ballet and hip-hop classes, as well as the Tête-Aux-Pieds gym class conducted by specialists.
We believe that a Science Program deserves a dedicated place as an enriched extra-curricular activity when planning for a young child’s complete preschool experience. It is a subject area that promotes critical thinking and logic, necessary tools for enhancing future educational experiences.
Scientific knowledge is cumulative. To learn new things, children build on what they already know. It is therefore important that children are introduced to early presentations of biology, physics and chemistry.
Science mixes well with a young child’s natural sense of curiosity. Children learn through their senses – smelling, tasting, touching, hearing and seeing. Science uses all of these senses and is also lots of fun! The science program helps children learn about things like photosynthesis, the different forms of water, and various other environmental occurences. Science also teaches children how to learn. It uses cognitive skills and promotes creativity.
By using the imagination, creativity, testing, experimenting, observing and concluding, children get ideas that help them learn basic facts and rules about the world around them. Science is about learning by trial and error, not giving up, following steps, and coming up with results. Science uses many math skills, such as estimating, measuring, comparing, and categorizing. It helps children come up with their own answers and ideas based on empirical method. In addiction to science as part of the curriculum within our classrooms, interactive demonstrations are conducted by specialists from outside the daycare, who come in to display introductory experiments.
It uses cognitive skills and promotes creativity. By using the imagination, creativity, testing, experimenting and observing, children get ideas that help them learn basic facts and rules about the world around them. Science is about experimenting – learning by trial and error, not giving up, following steps, and coming up with results. Science uses many math skills, such as estimating, measuring, comparing, organizing and observing. It helps children come up with their own answers and ideas rather than being given to them.
One very popular science event is when we hatch baby chicks. We have an incubator that monitors both humidity and temperature. The children take an active role in all aspects of this exciting event. The entire center becomes involved when the momentous hatching day finally arrives. It is a true hands-on learning experience.
Our Dance Program includes Ballet and Hip-Hop, providing an excellent introduction to the world of dance. It helps to stimulate coordination and listening skills, balance, music interpretation, creative movement and motor development. Children choose to participate in either Ballet or Hip-Hop.
The Dance Program helps to develop an enjoyment of music and movement, as well as fostering a positive self image. The children are introduced to basic ballet and hip-hop techniques and most importantly have a lot of fun at the same time!
We invite the parents to watch a demonstration class in December, while in June we put on a more complete recital and performance to which families are invited.
The Wizard of Oz, an annual Spring production of our Pre-Kindergarten Drama Program, is an adaptation of the classic film and has been a tradition at The Learning Tree for the past 15 years.
The Drama Program allows our four year olds to express themselves through movement and storytelling. It is an enchanting way for preschoolers to interact in a group and at the same time learn about individual roles.
Teaching Drama requires a lot of planning, patience and creativity; the results are well worth the efforts. The children are introduced to the various components of putting a production together: team co-operation, language expression, movement, dance, art and math skills are all combined in this exciting event. Each child decides their level of participation and the outcome is an all-encompassing, uplifting experience for the children, staff and parents alike.