Four Pillars of the Program
At Hammondsport Children’s Center we believe in the power of PLAY! Now don’t get me wrong…This is serious business. In fact, it is the serious work of child development. Young children learn through exploring their environment with all of their senses. They taste, touch, squeeze, watch and listen. They bang, throw, kick and roll using their bodies to learn about space and energy. They tease and joke and laugh to learn about others and gain social skills. They experiment with materials to learn the basics of science. They develop language and literacy skills through storytelling, music, books and rhymes. All of this PLAY is fueling their brain development and laying a foundation success in school and life.
Infant development – Just a word about our amazing infants… The first year of life is the fastest period of development in the life span. Babies are my specialty. We pride ourselves at tuning in and getting to know each infant in our care. We assign a primary caregiver so that a secure relationship with the child and the family can develop. When babies feel secure they can explore and expand their play and interest in the world around them. Babies here at the Center are included in all of fun experiences we provide. They might be on the lap of a caregiver or in a stroller riding along to the town square. We follow their lead and honor the schedules that parents request for napping and eating. We encourage breast feeding and support mothers in their choices. We practice tummy time and freedom of movement. We limit time in seats and swings.
We focus on 4 pillars of the program
Project Play occurs throughout the year but we really have time to embellish our work during the lazy days of summer. Kids start a project and can build on it until finished. During our summer enrichment program there is a weekly theme that fuels project ideas. During “Things that Go” we might build a rocket ship and write stories about space exploration. Forest week gave us a chance to build our own little forest in the fort and stock it with forest animals made of paper mache’
The Arts– Our kids have daily opportunities for creative play with arts and crafts. They can participate in a teacher directed art project or just explore with paints, crayons, scissors, glue and everyone’s favorite – GLITTER! We experiment with clay, sculpture, sidewalk chalk, etc. Right now, we have a visiting artist who is sharing her theatre talents with our kids. She helped them dress up for the Dr. Suess Parade and she is teaching an older child the fundamentals of script writing! Come see our play productions later in the summer.
Science– Is all around us and children are naturally curious about how things work and how things grow. My favorite science project is the Children’s Garden. Here we learn about composting, recycling, soil basics and how things grow. We feed the birds and keep the bunnies away from the lettuce. But science is also present in our cooking projects, water play or chemistry experiments. We have a science corner where we explore bugs, hatch butterflies or build volcanos. Did you know you can power a Hot Wheel car with magnets?
Music and Dance – We sing and dance everyday. Lullabies are an important part of our naptime routine. Sometimes in the late afternoon you will catch us shaking our sillies out or relaxing with Yoga for toddlers. Dance Party is always fun where the kids get to bust a move! Or pick up an instrument and join the marching band! Sometimes during the morning, I hear classical music playing in the background. It has a calming effect on the toddlers but we don’t usually play music as background because it distracts from the play at hand. During morning circle time, the toddlers have some favorite songs they sing and some finger play activities. The older kids have a circle time routine that includes songs about making friends, what’s the weather, etc. Oh, we make a Joyful Noise!