Preschool: A Foundation for Creating Experiences with Young Children

As Lowell Area Schools wrap up their first full week in session, those in Curiosity Corner Preschool and the Kent ISD Great Start Readiness are finishing their first week of school as well.  Both of these programs take place at Bushnell Elementary School.  Preschool has become a way for pre-kindergarten aged children to get used to learning in a group with peers and without parents.  

If you’re looking for things to do with your preschool-aged, or younger, children there are quite a few groups offering opportunities in the Lowell area.  Get out and have some fun with your kids and meet some new friends!  

Learning the Ropes

Some of the first steps taken in preschool include adjusting to time away from parents while also learning classroom rules.  But don’t think preschool all hard work; there is also play.   And learning through that play.  Kids have fun in preschool classrooms.  At this age, children develop so quickly that positive changes in learning and growing can be seen weekly.  

Curiosity Corner parents volunteer in the classroom at least six times throughout the school year.  This helps keeps the cost of preschool down, gives parents the opportunity to see what happens in the classroom and encourages them to stay involved in their child’s learning.  

Mingle with Others

If you have children who are newborn up to starting school, Tots on Track for School (TOTS) offers an hour long play group twice a week on Tuesday and Wednesday.  TOTS is an extension of Curiosity Corner preschool which offers families a way to interact with other parents and kids.  

The program starts September 20 at 9:30am, and sessions are held in the Runciman building on High Street. Spend some time playing, doing art projects, singing, enjoying a snack and more!  There is a small $1 per child cost.  

Finding activities to do with your children can be a challenge.   TOTS is a great way for parents (or grandparents) and children to have fun and learn in the process.

Educational Classes

GymnasticsTOTS also offers classes for children two and a half through beginning school age.  Parents remain with children during the class and are encouraged to participate.  This year, learning opportunities for families include Educational Gymnastics, Fall Fun, and Kids in the Kitchen.   The full list of classes can be found on this flyer.  Some of these classes start this week.   To check availability, register or ask questions call 616-987-2693

Check Out the Library

Sensory Toddler Time and Family Storytime participants at the KDL’s Englehardt Branch learn through activities involving music, movement, and, of course, reading.  Sensory Toddler Time starts at 6:30pm on Tuesday evenings.  Family Storytime happens at 10am Thursday mornings.

Toddler TimeOn Tuesday evenings, kids 18 months through age three (and siblings) are welcomed with a caregiver.  The first 20 minutes of the program are structured instruction with a librarian, including music, reading a board book and listening to a story.  The last part of the session involves activities revolving around  Play with a Purpose.  The five practices incorporated into this concept are reading, writing, talking, singing, and playing.  Parent-child interaction is encouraged and beneficial in establishing pre-reading and pre-writing skills.  

Many graduates of Sensory Toddler Time move to Family Storytime on Thursday mornings.  It begins with 45 minutes of librarian-led activities including music, movement, reading aloud and listening to books.  The program concludes with a craft based on the day’s topic.  While adult participation is advocated, the children are given more opportunities to try things on their own with supervision.  

These two library programs aid children and parents in getting ready for school settings and group activities with peers.  Visit the KDL website for the full schedule of events for children under six.  

Blast from the Past

The Lowell Area Historical Museum’s Museum for tots program occurs on the second Monday of each month October through March.  Children birth through age 5, along with a caregiver, can come between 10:30-12:30 to create a take home activity and learn about the past.  Activities should take about 30 minutes to complete and cost $1 per child.  

Learning about history can be fun!

Get Out in Nature

Those interested in getting out in nature should look into the Wittenbach/Wege Center.  They offer a Tiny Trekkers program for kids ages 3-6 along with a parent or caregiver.  The four week class has a different theme each week.  Kids and adults will listen to a brief lesson and spend some time outside on the trails exploring and learning hands on about the week’s topic.  

The fall session of Tiny Trekkers is Monday or Thursday with morning or afternoon times both days.  The first class begins on Oct. 10 and the cost is $20 .  Space is limited to 10 kids per class and the registration deadline is Oct. 5.  To register contact Courtney Cheers at [email protected] or call 616-987-2565.  You can also check out their Facebook event for more information.  

Live, Laugh, and Learn

Experiences are often more memorable than tangible things.  And exposing kids to a variety of activities helps explore the world around them.  The Lowell community offers a several opportunities to get out and create memories with your young children.  

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