The Picassos Class is for children age 15 months to 2.5 years and is designed to be a welcoming and joyful introduction to a child’s preschool experience. The classroom will have a maximum of 12 children with 2 co-teachers and an assistant.
The class focuses on developing our youngest learners’ sense of curiosity as they explore their desire to investigate the world. Each day, children have the opportunity to engage in playful and hands-on experiences that support a child’s sense of wonder as they engage in sensory and art experiences, listen to stories, sing and dance, and explore the classroom environment. Through these daily experiences, the children build their fine motor skills, their cognition, and their self-concept. Every day, the children also visit our large, indoor playground where they are invited to climb, run, slide, swing, and build the gross motor skills that are central to their larger development.
We understand the importance of helping toddlers develop a feeling of security as they transition away from their homes and into their first group setting. The teaching staff focuses on supporting families and children through a gentle and individualized separation process. When you enroll, the teachers will reach out to you and discuss your child’s experiences being away from home, your feelings on your child attending preschool, how you anticipate your child will cope with being away from home, and will work with you in designing a visit and transition schedule that fits your family’s goals.
The toddler program at Creative Scholars is designed to support the growth of the whole child; teaching staff supports this age group’s growing desire for independence and their growing capacity for understanding and interacting with others that will help them become caring, inquisitive, and confident individuals.
Snacks, an organic lunch, and diapers and/or pull-ups are included in the cost of tuition.
My name is Cathy Shumaker, CS teacher since 2009. I am one of the teachers in the toddler classroom also known as the Picassos. My favorite perk about working with this age group besides the high-fives and hugs are getting to know each child and watching how they each make sense of the world around them. I have taught school/preschool for over fifteen years in Michigan, Maryland and Illinois. My degree is in Early Childhood Education from Hillsdale College in Michigan. I have four children ranging in ages from 10 to 20. My favorite place to visit is the beach/ocean and I love to swim. I am inspired by Walt Disney’s words, “Around here, we don’t look backwards for very long… We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” because I know that curiosity in how things work keep us engaged in learning.
Hi! My name is Allison Ristaino and I am a floating aide at Creative Scholars. I can usually be found working with the Picassos classroom and the Mozarts classroom. I received my bachelor’s degree from Smith College in 2014 as a Theater major with a concentration in writing. I have experience volunteering in a preschool for children with special needs in my hometown of Westwood, Massachusetts, and love to spend time with and care for my nephews who are two and five years old. In my spare time, I enjoy taking classes in improvisation and sketch comedy and performing in comedy shows. I also love to sing and do arts and crafts!
The building area provides the children in the Picassos Classroom the space and the materials to repeatedly stack, line up, and knock over objects. Toddlers learn through hands-on play and repetition and our large block area provides the children with the materials needed to see how high they can build, how loud of a crash they can make, and how the materials interact with each other.
The Picassos’ Classroom is designed to change with the interests and needs of the children. Toddler development is rapid and varied and is a time of huge language growth. Through the exploration of real, authentic, and interesting objects, the children are able to learn about the world with all of their senses as their teachers provide rich language descriptions of what they are experiencing to support their development. These experiences vary each year and with each group of children’s interests, but include such things as plants, fabrics with interesting textures, artifacts from the field museum, or shared objects from home.
The book-nook in the Picassos’ Classroom is one of the spaces most visited by our toddlers. Here, the children gather alone, with friends, and with teachers as they fall in love with reading and books. The children choose book after book to be read to them; as the year progresses you will see the children looking at books alone or with their friends as they point to pictures and recite familiar and repeating text from their favorite stories. This area also allows the children a quite space to explore puzzles and soft toys.
The classroom and the play space are designed to create opportunities for the toddlers to explore the concept of cause and effect and to build connections. The concept of cause and effect provides the curious toddler the foundation to begin understanding that they have an effect on the world, which helps build their confidence.
Art in the toddler room is a sensory experience and one that children experience from head to toe. Children are invited to explore finger paints and other materials in new and exciting ways such as by painting saran-wrap covered tables, squishing play dough and clay, or by using different objects to make prints with paint. This exploration spills over to the sensory table where children are invited to experiment with water, beans, sand, and more.
While the children spend time in our indoor play space strengthening their gross motor coordination and balance, our youngest learners need more opportunities to strengthen these muscles and are provided with opportunities to do so in fun and engaging ways within the classroom through songs, jumping, and more.