Seedlings

In Seedlings, hands-on sensory experiences in Play, Nature and the Arts (think melting crayons, befriending worms and building moats in the sand) spark passion, grow confidence and encourage curiosity– skills that serve children well in their future academic lives.

But life isn’t all about academics… In this mixed-age environment, children also learn skills that help them lead more meaningful connected lives out in the world. Skills like creative problem solving, conflict resolution, communication, empathy and respect for others. The element that ties everything together is community. 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.

Painting rocks 2

Seedlings Preschool for 3-6 year olds 

A play-based learning environment that nurtures imagination, science and nature exploration, arts expression and literacy, while giving children and parents tools for empowered communication and peaceful problem-solving skills. Adults practice parenting skills through hands-on participation and receive ongoing mentoring and support. Seedlings is a drop-off program with a parent cooperative component.

Childcare License #50-51-1611005

Little Seedlings ages 2-3

Are you interested in our Little Seedlings transitional program?

Learn more

Based on the latest early childhood research, Seedlings and 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.

Attending an Intro to Seedlings meeting is the first step in the Seedlings application process. In this required meeting, 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. Note: this meeting is for adults and babies in arms only. No older children, please.

Great discoveries

Seedlings is a drop-off program with a parent cooperative component. There are multiple part-time options with four sessions that can be combined for a full-time schedule (8:30am – 3:00pm). 

Two Day

Monday & Tuesday 

Morning, Afternoon or Full Day

Three Day

Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 

Morning, Afternoon or Full Day

Five Day

Monday – Friday

Morning, Afternoon or Full Day

Mix and Match

A magic combo of any of the Seedlings sessions to meet your families needs.
“No one stumbles upon Seedlings by accident. We’ve all come together as a community looking for something more, and we’ve found a home here together. A treasured space, not just for our children to grow and explore, but a community of families each seeking this one-of-a-kind experience for our children.” Jennifer S.

Seedlings mom

Attending an Intro to Seedlings meeting is the first step in the 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.

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.

Are you ready to jump in?

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