At Sunnymont-Westside, we believe children learn best through play. Our teachers plan a curriculum with specific learning goals in mind, and providing students with many opportunities for play and exploration. In our indoor and outdoor classrooms, you'll find a variety of materials, activities and learning centers available for children.

Here is what your children might find on a typical day:

Playdough Table. Tactile activities provide children with a chance to develop their sensory processing and increase their dexterity. This is also a great place for some children to ease into the classroom by looking around and observing what is going on.

Dramatic Play Area. This is a wonderful play area that we change through out the year. It might be a house, a doctor's office, a post office, or a kitchen. By playing out the adult roles they see around them, children build identity and self-esteem, as well as enhancing cognitive development.

Group Time. Each class has one or two group times per class session, led by the teacher. Everyone sings, dances, listens to stories, talks about classroom issues, and experiences being part of the large group while honoring children’s individual needs with flexibility in how children participate.

Manipulative Activities. While manipulative activities happen all over the school, at least one table inside or outside is set aside for a manipulative activity each day. This table offers activities such as patterning blocks, pegs, puzzles, beads, and building sets, offering many different ways for kids to work on their fine motor skills and consider cognitive concepts such as patterning and matching and grouping different objects.

Library. We have a library corner where we have plenty of books, both fiction and non-fiction, for children to explore and listen to.

Science Center. At the science center children get to explore life science. We might be growing plants, studying ants, sand and rocks, checking out birds’ nests, or hatching silkworm caterpillars. Science curriculum is abundant in our outdoor classroom as well. For example, plants provide smells and textures to explore. Turning over a rock or a stump offers a chance to study the little animals living underneath.

Art. As young children explore art, they learn about color, shape, form, technique while building coordination and creative expression and practicing fine motor skills. Our goal is to have children explore a variety of techniques and media for both two and three dimensional art at a weekly indoor art activity. Art may also be offered outside, in the form of easel painting, dancing, collage art, painting tree stumps or our playhouse, chalk drawing, or other outdoor arts activities.

Writing Center Here the children find paper and tools (pencils, crayons, chalk, scissors, hole punches, tape, and staplers) so they can create, explore, and practice drawing and writing as they become interested in these skills.

Guinea Pigs. The children help care for and feed our guinea-pigs, and make sure they're supplied with plenty of treats and cuddling. Caring for an animal helps children learn to nurture, be gentle, and take responsibility.