Beth Hillel’s Early Childhood nursery program is a developmental program for children ages 2-4 where children learn through play, hands-on activities, and art. In the safe and inviting classrooms and outdoor areas, the children are encouraged to make choices, participate in both inside and outside activities, and explore and discover their environment. Through independent play, large and small group activities, and role modeling, students learn social-emotional, motor, and cognitive skills to help them develop the skills they need to succeed in life. All of the classrooms provide ample time and space for art, science, cooking, motor development, dramatic play, manipulatives, and literacy. Each classroom also has a library as well as a “quiet” or “zen” space that the children may use at any time.
Our nursery program puts a strong emphasis on developing students’ SOCIAL and EMOTIONAL skills; the children learn how to be independent, play cooperatively, solve problems, and build resilience. The teachers help nurture friendships between the children by emphasizing playing safely, communicating effectively, and developing empathy. Our program is structured with predictable schedules, routines, and expectations that provide a sense of comfort.
The children have opportunities to develop their GROSS MOTOR and FINE MOTOR skills. Particular importance is placed on gross motor skills like jumping and pedaling a bike. On the yards, each child has whole-body opportunities to explore different parts of our play structures, sandbox, swings, open grass area, and track for tricycles, scooters, and wheelbarrows. Fine motor skills like holding a crayon and beginning scissor skills are important for pre-writing skills. In the classrooms, the teachers thoughtfully introduce a variety of developmentally appropriate tools and materials to help the children develop their fine motor muscles.
The children begin to develop number and letter sense and learn important executive functioning skills such as focus, self-regulation, and self-control to nurture their COGNITIVE growth. The teachers include scientific thinking, pre-mathematical concepts, and literacy-based curriculum into everyday planning and activities.