Explore Our Program

Curriculum Themes

Fall

September 6–16 Getting to Know Myself and My Classroom
September 18–30 Getting to Know My Family and Friends
October 2–14 Leaves are Falling
October 16–28 Apples and Pumpkins
October 31November 11 Community Helpers
November 13–22 Family Togetherness
November 28December 9 Holiday Celebration!

Spring

January 9–20 Winter Wonderland
January 23February 3 Animals that Hibernate
January 29February 3 Chinese New Year
February 6–17 Love and Kindness
February 19–24 Dental Health
February 26March 10 Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss!
March 13–17, 27–31 Beginning of Spring
April 3–14 Spring Animals
April 17–28 Celebrate our Earth
May 1–12 Celebrate Good Times!


Dance

Our ECRC dance program is offered to all students. Dance classes are child-centered and focused on creative movement. The class attempts to integrate the academic curriculum of each classroom through movement and music activities. Students learn how to move and how to express themselves through movement. They learn how to work together in small or large groups, discovering the connection between their mind, body, and emotions.


MusicPlay

Our MusicPlay program is provided by the University at Buffalo’s Graduate School of Education music education program.

Young Children and Music

Musical sounds surround a child, even before the moment of birth. Whether a child is listening to music, singing a song, or moving creatively to the sounds around them, music is a vital part of a child's life. Young children often create music as a part of their play experiences, thus sustaining imagination and creativity. Furthermore, music enables children to express feelings and release energies and emotions in new and novel ways.

Early childhood is an opportune time to reinforce children's natural music abilities. Although music is not a language, music is learned in much the same way that a language is learned. Children need to hear and experiment with extensive amounts of language before they actually learn to speak, read and write. Imagine placing a child in a school setting where they were asked to read before they had been exposed to a wide vocabulary and developed a speaking vocabulary of their own. In the same way, children need to hear a wide variety of music and experiment with it before they can sing accurately, chant rhythms with precision, and eventually read and write music.

What to Expect in MusicPlay Classes

MusicPlay provides a rich music environment for children. Classes expose children to a wide repertoire of songs and chants. Many of the songs are performed without words, which helps children focus on the musical content. Teachers model simple, creative movements and encourage children to move in a sustained, continuous, and relaxed way. Props such as scarves, balls, egg shakers, and hoops are utilized to help children engage with the music and movement.

Class activities are orchestrated to create a playful environment where music becomes the toy. Children are encouraged to interact with the music in whatever way they feel most comfortable. Correct responses are not required from the children. Instead, each child's uniqueness is valued. Any vocal or physical response the child makes becomes part of the activity and a springboard for creating a music dialogue. Facilitating music interaction and building upon children's natural responses are key components of a MusicPlay class.

Depending on their own individual stage of development and temperament, some children will be active participants, while others will prefer to watch and absorb. Although a child may appear to be simply playing with or staring at the teachers-important music learning is taking place. Children are actively listening to a wide variety of music that provides the foundation for later music responses. Eventually, children begin to give random responses to the music, including their own "dances" and vocal babble. Gradually the movement responses become rhythmically accurate and the vocal explorations begin to sound more like music. As this occurs, children's music vocabulary grows in leaps and bounds and they attain the music readiness for audiation - the ability to comprehend music.


Visual Arts

Our visual arts program, provided by Jeanett de Jong from Explore & More Children’s Museum, invites and inspires children to look at the world around them and through the eyes of an artist. The question of "what do you see?" can last a lifetime. The children learn to use their senses and focus their perception to learn about and and interpret all that’s around them through the world of art. With practical application, children create a sense of "mastering by doing", whether through painting, drawing or any medium and/or technique needed to facilitate one's self-expression. Guiding steps will help children to build their own visual and verbal language.


Yoga

Yoga is child-centered class, incorporating the practice of mindfulness and utilizing the imagination through imagery. Children learn poses, stretches, and sequences of movement, while discovering their breath and how it connects with their body and mind. Students learn to self-regulate, collaborate and problem solve. Each yoga class integrates the curricular theme of the preschool classroom.