Tinker Tree’s “Learning Branches” program – the branches that help children grow from toddler to school ready. Ages 19 months to 3 years old
Tinker Two's: The Learning Branches
Tinker Twos is Tinker Tree’s “Family Care Curriculum” adapted specifically for 19 months to 3 years old children. This time in a child’s life is for branching out beyond babyhood and early toddlerhood and becoming social-emotionally prepared school-ready children.
Our Philosophy, Curriculum, and Our Day
Many developmental experts find that mixed age grouping provides a diverse, organic learning environment that enriches all areas of development. This also serves as opportunity for children to interact uniquely with our
- We all take care of babies.
- Take care of our bodies.
- Take care of our home(…and these will take care of you.)
Our play-based program honors what has been identifued as best practices for “school readiness,” a responsive environment, structures and routines, gentle guidance about good citizenship, opportunities to investigate in free play.
- September/October/November: Autumn, Harvest, Study Apples and Pumpkins, leaves and “school.”
- December, January, February: Snow facts, love, gifts and sharing, animals and trees in winter, evergreens, peace heroes, Dr. Martin Luther King, Lunar new year and the moon.
- March, April, May: Spring! mud, daffodils and flowers, eggs, preparing for and celebating Earth Day.
- June, July, August: Summer! The ocean, bugs, bees, birds and creatures of the woods, rain and clouds. MLK’s march on Washington and of other heroes in peaceful activism.
Social Development: Life is best when we get along well with others. At Tinker Tree, we use the word “peace,” to help children understand that state of being: safe, gentle, calm, aware, and in harmony with the world around. We discuss the magic of manners, cooperation, and sharing. We offer support to build skills and about how to speak up for ourselves, and to understand each other’s feelings. Older children are given appropriate responsiblities for their age and encouraged to help little ones. We help children to understand that peace is important to their future, and that it is precious to keep!
Emotional Development: At first, this is about the separation experience. Saying goodbye, and trusting “mommy comes back,” managing the feelings of missing someone. Children are supported with a low ratio, regular relaxation lessons (reflexology, yoga, deep breathing, singing, sensory play, talking it out) through our day. We label feelings without judging them, and help the children through the less-happy feelings with songs and hugs. Resilience and the spirit of “you can do it,” “get back up!” and “we are here for you,” are part of our playroom culture.
Cognitive Development: Tinker Tinker Tree has an extensive toy collection, featuring bObles Tumbling Animals that allow us unlimited stages and courses for play. We also have a large selection of recycled materials available for open exploring and interaction. Open-ended toys allow children to widely explore new ideas, and to try something familiar in a new way. We believe in making offers of materials, and the children may take the play in any direction they like. Sensory and water play, dough, art materials engage mental processing in fun-to-touch experiences. Teachers contribute with conversations and guidance to expand on what is happening as approprate.
Language Development: We are a bi-lingual program, English and Spanish. Tinker tree has a very large, accessable book collection for the children at all times. Reading and storytimes are are at circle times and mealtimes, and many more through the course of open playtimes. Writing and drawing are offered to the children daily. We use American Sign Language in songs and fingerplays and use signs to communicate. We sing, and sing, and sing.
Physical Development: Our day is active, with exercise built into our day by moving and lifting the furniture, obstacles and active group activities like dancing, stretching and yoga, and parachute play. We play outdoors daily at local parks. Fine motor development is also encouraged through toys and small-muscle games, sensory work, and art.
Art at Tinker Tree: Recyling and repurposing things we accumulate helps us put tangible experience to our philosophy, and show how art is important as a way to connect and communicate ideas, think outside confinements, relax and be mindful. Much of our art is created as a group, and decorates our playroom. These processes are reminders to “speak for the trees,” and recycle paper and “remember the rivers and seas,” and pass on the plastic.
Music: Singing is a big part of our culture, and “music time,” is all through the day. It is wonderful for helping to move routines, set reminders, call the group to order, welcome friends and say goodbye. Songs give voice to feelings and help keep the calm and lift the energy. And it’s fun and good for you.
We use all non-toxic cleaning supplies in my home. We adhere to all the NYS standards for disinfection and cleanliness with an earth-friendly twist. We use electrolyzed water, vinegar, steam, organic soaps and herbal-essential oil based hand sanitizers to keep healthy.
- Composting our food waste with our indoor “worm condo” and by giving it back during collections at our Greenmarket is both interesting scientifically and teaches an important way we can help heal earth.
- We work to reduce paper towels as much as we can in care. We have washable towels that we reuse again and again and we compost paper towels used for drying hands, and make art with the rolls
- Meals from scratch are healthier and reduce food waste and packaging waste. We use curbside recycling for our paper, plastic, metal and glass and are always looking to reduce our footprint down to a goal of zero waste.
Meals at Tinker Tree
As a mother, I take food very seriously. I have a great deal of gratitude for GrowNYC and our local greenmarkets. I love being able to offer the freshest and healthiest foods and support local farming. This gives us a wonderful and delicious way to discuss harvest and seasons interact with our food as a part of nature. What we can’t source at the greenmarket is all natural and organic as much as possible. We never serve artificial ingredients or GMO products to the children.
Spending time outside is crucial for healthy development. We make several offers for outdoor play daily and time for both the playground and for open playtimes in a grassy places.
We help parents and children with milestones associated with this age group that is full of new-things and learning experiences
Learning to cooperate and care in this bridge to a more formal classroom environment
Learning in a developmentally appropriate environment
Visit our enrollment page for more information or to set up a call