Little Seedlings

Little Seedlings is a first taste of social and experiential learning for two- to three-year-olds. From dressing up in capes and silks to exploring outside with bubbles, sand and water, children get to choose. Class exploration is anchored in hands-on, sensory experiences in play, nature and the arts. 

Together, families learn skills that help them lead more meaningful, connected lives as they grow. Both children and parents have opportunities to practice creative problem solving, conflict resolution, communication, empathy and respect for others. As with our Seedlings program, Little Seedlings students and parents form the heart of the Sunflower community, supporting each other in learning and in life.

The application period for Fall 2017 has ended.
Join our email list to learn more about Seedlings, including potential availability options for Fall 2017 and the application process for Fall 2018.

Little one through a window

Little Seedlings program for 2-3 year olds 

 A transitional program that bridges the gap between parent/child classes and our full Seedlings program. The class encourages more independence in a longer program, two days a week. Parents start the year attending with their child. Each class includes parent participation and ongoing mentoring and support.

Seedlings ages 3-6

Seedlings Parent Cooperative Preschool 

Learn more

Based on the latest early childhood research, Little Seedlings classes promote the social, emotional and intellectual development of each child. We use the Guidance techniques of child development expert Dan Gartrell and draw inspiration from early childhood educator and author, Bev Bos. Particular attention is given to respecting the individual, nurturing problem-solving skills, and creating a sense of cooperation and belonging. Seedlings is a family-friendly program– both parents and children are given the support and nurturing they need to grow.

Sunflower’s Educational Model The Sunflower Model is a developmentally based philosophy of social, emotional and intellectual learning that involves parents as facilitators in their child’s educational experience. The pillars of the model are Respect for the Individual, Learning Through Experience and Learning Within Community. We teach these concepts through hands-on experiences in Play, Nature, and the Arts. Our goal is to grow children and adults who are reflective thinkers, respectful communicators, confident innovators, creative problem-solvers, empathetic peacemakers, passionate players and lifelong learners.

Reading stories

Sunflower was the first “home” Serena (our daughter) and I felt most comfortable in as we navigated life as new mom and baby out in the Boca Raton/Delray Area. It is a unique environment where I have felt open and safe to grow as a parent and person, a place that I know my daughter loves to come to and explore who she is as a child growing up in this ever-changing world.

Saskia M.

Little Seedlings Mom

Attending an Intro to Seedlings meeting is the first step in the Little Seedlings registration process. In this required meeting, led by a member of the Sunflower Staff, parents learn about Sunflower’s educational philosophy and tour our indoor and outdoor classroom spaces. If you have questions about anything Sunflower-and Seedlings-related, this meeting is where you’ll find your answers.

Find an Intro to Seedlings meeting

Here

Why Families Choose Seedlings

Hours of NATURE exploration each day
At Seedlings, every day is filled with nature play. Children gain gross motor skills, good balance and a strong sense of their physical body when they have a large outdoor area with a variety of surfaces and levels in which to play. Sunflower’s nature playground is the perfect place for children to explore, take risks and learn all about the world and how it works.
RESPECT for EACH CHILD, freedom and choices
Children know what they need to explore and discover– often better than we adults do. At Seedlings, children choose their own activities and direct their own play. Each child’s development is unique. We respect that and give them freedom to make choices within a safe environment.
Children practice problem-solving + conflict resolution skills and develop a strong voice
Children learn to stand up for themselves and their feelings when they are encouraged to take part in problem-solving situations, rather than a teacher deciding what should happen.
Lots of hands-on science experimentation
In our outdoor classroom, children experiment with all manner of materials, from sugar cubes to colored water, oil, cornstarch, rice, chalk, paint, water and sand. We use magnifying glasses, beakers, mirrors, and objects from nature to encourage their exploration and learning.
Time for imagination and social emotional learning
Pretend play builds language, social emotional and thinking skills, and nurtures the imagination. Children make sense of their world, gain understanding and feel safe by playing it out. Seedlings gives children the space, time and freedom for this complex play.
ART all day, every day
Process-oriented art focuses on the experience of creating, rather than a finished product, allowing children room to explore and learn from the materials. Children develop fine motor skills when they play with play dough and arts and crafts materials or practice cutting and drawing.
Live music and singing
Most preschoolers love music, and it’s been shown to forge neural connections in the brain, especially when children actively participate. Seedlings is filled with opportunities for music, dancing and singing.
Math and early literacy the way preschoolers learn best – through PLAY
Block play stimulates learning in all domains of development: intellectual, physical, social emotional and language. Research shows that block play is fundamental for later cognitive success for learning math and numbers. Children get excited about books and stories when they can add their own thoughts and ideas along the way. By taking dictation of children’s stories we validate their ideas and model writing.
Sunflower’s Learning Garden is the best kind of interactive laboratory for children
Gardening engages children by providing an interactive, sensory-rich (and edible!) environment to observe, discover, experiment, nurture and actively participate in learning.
Seedlings creates lifelong learners
Seedlings gives children a solid foundation in social emotional, physical, and intellectual skills. It nurtures imagination and gives them freedom to explore, create and kindle their innate love of learning.
BONUS REASON
Because Seedlings is good for parents too! 

Through parent education and the support of our close-knit COMMUNITY, Seedlings helps you become the parent you want to be.

Respect for the Individual

  • Children choose their own activities and are encouraged to express feelings and opinions.
  • Parents receive resources, mentoring and support to make their own choices about what works best for their family.

Learning Through Experience

Emphasis on hands-on, sensory experiences in Play, Nature and the Arts, including opportunities for process-oriented art, music, science, nature exploration, and dramatic play.

Learning Within Community

  • A cooperative program with parents and teachers working together to provide an inspiring, supportive mixed-age learning environment.
  • Teachers work with children and parents to develop good communication and conflict resolution skills.

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