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FIRST STEPS PRE-SCHOOL ART PROGRAM
First Steps pre-school art program meets once weekly for 1 ½ hours and is designed for ages 2 ½ – 5 years. During this time a routine is followed to help our youngest artists feel comfortable and know what to expect. Former Wichita Collegiate Great Beginnings’ teacher and artist, Kate Pepper, developed the First Steps curriculum. Kate’s carefully designed lesson plans are thematic units of study that follow weather, holidays, seasons and animal studies. For instance, a typical fall thematic unit would include Native American projects, pumpkins, leaves, harvest and a friendly scarecrow. Our youngest artists have fun experimenting with different media while improving hand-eye coordination, pencil grip, problem solving, sequencing and following directions.
Upon entering our room, children will have center time, which may involve the sensory table, play dough, puzzles, matching and sorting games and imaginative block play. After center time children are called to group time and listen to a book that correlates to the thematic unit of study. Children also enjoy finger-plays, songs, games and a snack during group time (Each child needs to bring 2 boxes of whole grain, nut free crackers for each semester for snack. Our favorites include: Teddy Grahams, Goldfish, Pretzel Sticks, and Cheezits) After group time, children work on a tracing/coloring worksheet, participate in a “mini Monart” guided drawing lesson and cut and glue (collage) the subject of the day. We create at least three works of art each week!
Kate and The Art Park instructors specialize in helping you and your child feel comfortable in our classroom. First Steps is a wonderful transitional class before beginning a formal pre-school program. Please be assured your child’s safety, security and comfort are important to us. We will do everything we can to help your child feel at ease in our classroom. We recommend making an appointment before the first day of class to bring your child to meet the teacher and see the classroom or check out the virtual tour on our website.
Verbally preparing your child ahead of time also makes the first day go smoother. For instance you might say to your child “Mommy will take you to art class and drop you off. After a short time, I will be back to pick you up and I can’t wait to see the pretty picture you are going to make.” For most children, a long, drawn out good-bye just adds to the anxiety and makes them even more upset. A fast farewell works best. For some children, the second or third week is harder than the first because they realize you will be leaving and that this is a regular event. This is normal and nothing to be worried about.
Some children take several weeks to feel comfortable in a new environment, but with consistency between both parents and teachers your child will soon be happily walking in the door! We will also call you during class with an update if your child was upset when you left.
We look forward to helping your child prepare for school!