Morning Garden

The Morning Garden program is a gentle start for children three to four years of age.  There is a three-day morning that runs from Monday to Wednesday, and a second two-day morning that runs Thursday and Friday.  There are a few spaces reserved for families who need five-day child care from Monday to Friday.  Lunch and afternoon care are available.  In each Morning Garden class two teachers work together with a maximum of twelve children.


     Morning Garden is a homelike space, free of loud colours and clutter.  Toys are simple and made of natural materials in order that the child’s sense of fantasy may be fully developed.  Morning Garden is developed around daily, weekly, and seasonal rhythms.  Children can anticipate daily activities and are given a chance to “breathe” in and out (there is a balance in individual/group, restful/active activity). A great deal of importance is given to free, imaginative play in Morning Garden.  It is through play that children develop capacities for the future: creativity, problem solving skills, cooperation, flexibility, and imagination. 

The program begins as the children arrive around 8:45 am in the Morning Garden classroom. As parents and children are greeted by the teachers, the morning begins with free play until all the children have arrived and said their goodbyes to their parents.  There is a lovely song-led transition where everyone gathers for circle, which is a group activity of seasonal songs and verses.  Children and teachers then sit down for a healthy snack of rice, porridge, vegetable soup, or homemade bread with fresh fruits and vegetables. Children join their friends in free play while both teachers are busy caring for the classroom and observing the children.  As play begins to subside the children are called to the table to take part in the day’s activity, which could be beeswax modelling, painting, drawing or bread kneading.  Old Gnome calls the children from their play to make the room beautiful once again, and everyone gathers for a short story told through puppetry. Children gather for a transition to outdoor play where they busy themselves with seasonal tasks (raking, shovelling, gardening), building with wood, or playing in the sandbox.  The children are encouraged to explore freely each changing season and the play possibilities that it brings, including splashing in puddles, rolling in mud, and sliding on ice.  The morning ends as children and teachers sing goodbye to one another, and parents/caregivers arrive to pick up the children at 12:15 pm.

For an overview of how our Morning Garden Program meets the needs of the 3-4 year old child, see The Nursery Child