Our 3-5 circle time begins with a big circle where our friends can now say good morning in English, French, Japanese and Sign. Our special helper of the day then helps the educator discover what day it is and then takes a peek outside so he/she can update the weather board. The special helper then gets to sing a song by himself or with the group. We then have a friend come up and share their favorite toy, stuffy or treasure with us and answer questions from their friends. We then sing some songs or work on some new sign language songs before moving to our smaller group circles.

Our smaller circles are called the Koalas, Pandas and Grizzlies. The groups separate the children into different age groups and allows educators to focus on more age appropriate skills. The koalas pick up where they left off in the infant/toddler centre, working on colours, shapes and felt stories. The Panda group handles more intermediate tasks like letter/number recognition, longer felt stories and more difficult games. The Grizzly circles goal is to polish off the 4.5/5 year old's Kindergarten preparedness. They spend the first half of the year strengthening their alphabet/number recognition and then in January they begin completing their lower/upper case letter books as well as playing even more complex games.

When Jenn's Little Bears first started operations Jenn brought her dog Scooter in once in a while for short visits to see if the children would be interested in having pet companions in the centre. It didn't take long to realize how much the kids love Scooter (and now Tonka as well) so dogs are a regular fixture at Jenn's Little Bears. Having pets at the centre has offered us the opportunity to teach the children empathy towards pets and other creatures that crawl, hop or fly, as well as how to approach dogs in settings outside the centre. Scooter and Tonka are very patient throughout this process and don't get upset when fallen on or tripped over! Above you can see a photo we took when the children decided that Scooter and Tonka needed to read during story time!

Infant / Toddler Program

Every Friday both centres go for a walk together, usually to the Kelly Rd. park or to the Galloping Goose trail. Big friends from the 3-5 centre are partnered with a little friend from the infant and toddler centre. This helps introduce our infant/toddler friends to the "big kids" in the 3-5 centre and moving to the "big centre" becomes less scary! The 3-5 children also learn how to make new friends and take care of their little buddy! At the park the children meet new friends who are also visiting the park, and they get to explore in a different space. On the trail friends are taught to move to the side of the path when a bike is riding by and they also learn to ask if they can pet dogs on the trail, and to wait for an answer before petting to ensure the dog and owner are OK with it! The children get to see many interesting sights like wildlife or wildflowers while they find a great walking stick or collect some acorns.

Jenn's Little Bears is committed to teaching the children about the environment and treating it responsibly and respectfully.

Our 3-5 year old children also learn how to sort their leftover lunch materials. We have 5 different bins we can put refuse in and the children learn how to decide which bin their item should go in. We have paper, plastic/tin, and drink container recycling, composting for our fruit and veggie peels and finally the garbage can for items we cannot reuse or save! Every morning our 3-5 children bring a fruit or vegetable to share for shared snack. All leftover peels and seeds get composted. We are proud to say our morning snack creates no garbage!

3-5 Program

At Jenn's Little Bears our main goal each day is to get each child closer to being Kindergarten ready and to have fun doing it along the way. This includes circle times which begin in the infant/toddler centre where the toddlers sing songs and play games which teach them the basics like colors and listening to stories.

Jenn's Little Bears is committed to teaching the children about the environment and treating it responsibly and respectfully.

Our infant/toddler group learns how to sort their leftover lunch materials. We begin teaching them that plastics can go in the sink to be washed and food items can be placed in the compost bucket. We have paper, plastic/tin, and drink container recycling, composting for our fruit and veggie peels and finally the garbage can for items we cannot reuse or save!

Ben runs a sports program on Wednesday mornings with the 3-5 year old children. The group is split in half each group gets a 30 minute session. The program starts with a brief warm-up followed by stretching. After everyone is all stretched out we play mini games to teach the children fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and basic sports skills. If there is time we move on to sports specific skills such as passing, shooting or throw-ins for soccer. If it is a baseball day we work on base running or hitting a ball off of a tee or by pitching depending on the group.

Ben runs a sports program on Thursday mornings with the infants and toddlers. The program starts with a brief warm-up followed by stretching. After everyone is all stretched we play mini games to teach the children fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and basic sports skills. If there is time we move on to sports specific skills such as passing, shooting or throw-ins for soccer. If it is a baseball day we work on base running in the right order or hitting a ball off of a tee or by pitching depending on the group.