At Singing Tree we work hard to create a rich program that incorporates all that a child needs to grow in a holistic way. Our mission is to provide the children in our care with “A Home Away From Home.” It’s a place of comfort, nurturing, acceptance and love. We flow with the seasons and create a curriculum that reflects Mother Nature’s expression throughout the year.
We love what we do, and we love the children in our lives. We feel confident in the care that we provide, as we put our whole selves into the time we spend with the children. That said, we are always striving to improve. We stay informed, study and work together as a team to grow towards excellence.
We believe that children learn first through imitation of those around them. As care providers, it is our responsibility to be positive, healthy role models worth copying. We use our own example to teach the values of kindness, patience, generosity, strength, confidence etc. In this way, we take our own self-care, self-improvement and self-awareness to be very important.
We consider ourselves guides that create a safe, beautiful environment, for children to grow and learn. We are observers that meet the children where they are, in the moment. These needs might be a hug, kind words, simple instruction and even the space to make self-discoveries. We believe that the child, who makes self-discoveries, integrates these lessons in a much deeper level, then when told by an adult.
Nutrition and Sleep are the building blocks of a child’s healthy well-being. We believe that healthy eating and sleeping habits begin at birth and carry through into adulthood.
Our daily menu is created with this philosophy in mind. All food is home made with love. We offer balanced meals using fruit and vegetables, eggs, lentils, rice, homemade pizza, quesadillas, muffins and so much more. Our lunch menu remains consistent weekly but we vary our snack menu day to day (we provide a morning snack and afternoon snack)
Mealtimes are an important part of our day and we attempt to create a calm atmosphere where your child can enjoy and digest their food and have a positive experience around what it means to come together at mealtime.
Sleep gives the body time to rest and rejuvenate. Quiet time at Singing Tree is a sacred time. Every child is given his/her own blanket, pillow, yoga mat and space to sleep or rest. The children who have outgrown naps sit on their mats reading or doing puzzles. It is a quiet time for relaxation and stillness.
We aspire to create an environment that is inspirational and beautiful. We take great care in choosing what toys and activities the children are exposed to. We understand that the children in our care are in their formative years and it is our responsibility to create an environment that is appropriate, stimulating and enjoyable for their various stages of development.
It is a space where children can learn about home life through taking part in the functions of a home such as cooking, and cleaning. Children can cut vegetables, help serve the meal, take responsibility in putting their leftovers in the compost bin, and dishes in the dirty dish bin. This is but an example of how the children take responsibility for themselves. When children take part in these activities they feel like they have a purpose. Not only can they imitate the adult, but actually take part in daily tasks and contribute to the running of the household. This builds on their confidence and sense of belonging in the flow of everyday life.
Nature and the Outdoors
Children are happy when they are outside. The fresh air, the room to move, the trees and abundance of opportunity for play is vital for their well being and provide the children with a rich experience of the natural world around him/her.
Weather permitting we spend lots of time outside, usually visiting one of the various parks surrounding us in the morning, and enjoying our backyard in the afternoon.
Free play is a very important part of a child’s day. It allows them to delve into their imaginations, process things learnt or experienced. In observing children at play you notice them problem solving, creating games and scenarios that are self-directed. In this way they learn to work, create and build together as a group. It is a beautiful thing to witness how children play, and it is often the time when their unique gifts and passions begin to emerge.
Our daily rhythm includes lots of movement games, play and yoga to aide development, increase body awareness and expend energy in positive ways. We know that growing bodies and minds need all kinds of opportunities and challenges for optimal development. Balancing, kicking, digging, jumping, building, dancing and more are always part of our day.
At around two years of age the child wants to feel a sense of independence. We hear it in their words when they say: “I can do it all by myself.” We observe our children in our care, to see when they are ready, for steps towards independence. When we see these signs we guide them towards indpendently putting their coats and boots on, cleaning up toys, toilet training, helping others, etc… These transitions become fun, and learning activities that build up the child’s self-confidence and self-reliance.
Flowing with the Rhythm
In our experience children are happiest and most relaxed when they feel held in a consistent, stable rhythm. Our rhythm of the day is made in a way that most naturally meets the needs of the children. It is based on the ideas of having structured time and free time, times when we are all together as a group and time for individual exploration.
Children thrive when they know what to expect. It makes them feel safe. Our rituals throughout the day create this sense of security. We use snack, lunch and circle time as an opportunity to come together as a group. We light a candle to signify a space of calm and quiet, it’s akin to taking a deep inhale. At this time we share verses, songs, stories and puppets. The children love these moments, and it’s amazing to see their engagement. These rituals help us flow within the structure of our daily rhythm. These rituals help the children know what to expect, and they flow through the day without needing much instruction, they know the rhythm, and flow with it seamlessly.
At Singing Tree we thread song and music throughout the day. We sing, while washing hands, walking to the park, picking up toys. This brings a sense of joy and pleasure as we move through the day.
We love celebration and find that nature offers much inspiration for our festivities. Each season offers opportunity for new ideas, themes, feelings and lessons to emerge. We are inclusive of other cultural/religious celebrations, and appreciate the opportunities that our nature based program allows.
Birthdays are a wonderful time to celebrate and we are happy to celebrate your child’s birthday. The day is celebrated with a special book, a crown to wear and a treat for everyone to share.
Handwork is an important aspect of childhood. It helps with their hand-eye co-ordination and to strengthen their hands for future writing. Our program includes painting, play dough, beadwork, seasonal projects and more. We also knit, felt, sew, and make toys in front of the children. This gives the child the realization that much can be done with our hands and that not everything comes from a store. Our hands are a great resource, and are capable of so much! To us making things makes us happy.
We hope that this was useful information for you to understand us, and our philosophy in learning. We love the children in our care, and their parents.
The Singing Tree Team