A Day at Open Arms

Arrival and Outside Play

  • We greet and welcome each child and family as they arrive and visit with parents as needed.
  • Time to run, jump, climb, ride tricycles and bicycles, do chalk art, bubbles, play and laugh.
  • If weather does not permit outside play, we do active adventure songs in the classroom or use the church fellowship hall.

Play and Discovery

  • Children engage in play and visit activity centers which may include play dough, dramatic play, art, games, blocks, science discovery, sensory table, puzzles, fine motor manipulatives, doll house, Puppet Theater and a variety of toys. Children freely move from one area to another as they create, discover, explore, work puzzles, problem-solve, pretend and socialize.
  • Children are given a five-minute alert before clean up time. After five minutes, children “freeze,” sing a cleanup song and music plays while toys are put away.


  • Next, the children sit on small circles, each of which has the child’s name on it so they can learn the letters of their names and meet new friends as the circles are moved around each day.
  • We talk about the calendar (patterns to work on beginning math skills), weather, seasons, count girls and boys, learn the letter or number of the week, introduce the theme and have music.
  • We have our weekly Bible story. This is a time where we can discuss honesty, kindness, humility and many other good character traits. Once per month, Pastor Nettleton of Saint John’s tells the story upstairs in the sanctuary. Small offerings can be brought on chapel days, and they will go a new charity we choose each year.
  • We take a restroom break, wash our hands and return to the classroom for snack.

Snack time

  • Parents provide the snack and drink each day for the entire class and teachers.
  • “Snack tags” with photos help children learn to recognize their names and to know where to sit.
  • Grace is said before snack and we practice table manners, courtesies and enjoy free conversation.
  • The children clean up their own space and find a spot for quiet reading or play time until snack is over.

Second Circle Time and Academic Centers

  • We have circle time and activities about the theme of the day. Activities include stories, pictures, music, finger plays, games, science experiments or other appropriate theme-related materials.
  • This is a time for learning group skills, language skills and discovering new information.
  • After theme circle, children return to the tables for specific centers. Age-appropriate projects may include coloring, cutting, drawing, writing, painting, gluing, creating, listening, following directions and development of fine motor skills.

Show and Tell

  • The child who supplied the day’s snack brings show and tell and is leader for the day. Items are kept secret so we can have a “guessing game” to figure out what the child brought. This is great for building language skills, and students bring everything from stuffed toys to live chickens and sheep!

Goodbye Time

  • We sing a goodbye song to each child, hand out cuddle buddies, prize box rewards, stickers and hugs.
  • We head to the playground for outside play and dismiss each child one by one to their parent/guardian.

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