The Threes class builds upon the work begun in the Twos, continuing a loving and gentle atmosphere, a soothing pace, and many opportunities for activity, imagination, and extensive creative expression. The focus of the class is to foster an environment that supports the children’s growing self-confidence, while providing a comfortable way to open themselves emotionally and intellectually to the world that surrounds them.
During the Threes year, our children continue to explore social relationships with their peers, engaging in more cooperative and group play activities, and beginning to form special friendships. Their intellectual curiosity is also blossoming. By encouraging questions and investigation (rather than simply providing immediate answers) our Threes teacher fosters their desire to find things out for themselves. The joy of simple discoveries at age three helps lead to inc confidence and the ability to deal constructively with a more complex adult world.
Our large Threes classroom accommodates a broad spectrum of play and activity areas: from large- and small-scale manipulation with blocks, tiles, Legos, cars, and dollhouses; to role playing with dress-up clothes, kitchen toys and baby dolls; to music, using a wide variety of percussion instruments; to art, where paints, crayons, markers and stamps are available; to quiet areas for books. As fine motor skills have advanced considerably for the Threes, their manipulatives are smaller and more complex, and the variety of always-available toys becomes wider, to catch their expanding interests.
A Day in the Life
The Threes begin their day with the option of exploring a special tabletop activity set up for that morning, or diving right in to whatever activity area excites their imagination. The Threes enjoy a period of free play sufficient to accommodate the increasing complexity of their social play activities.
In addition to the art materials always available during free play, the Threes also have art-focused days, which concentrate on specific art projects that further the current theme or introduce new materials and techniques to the children. Every spring the Threes class holds an art show as a showcase for the year’s art work.
Play-driven themes (planets, dinosaurs, butterflies, etc.) introduced throughout the year help inform a more extended mid-morning circle time. During Circle, the Threes also get consistent opportunities to practice speaking to the group and listening attentively to their peers, beginning with discussions of their weekend activities, and expanding later in the year to more detailed show-and-tell sessions during which they also gain conversational experience by asking and answering questions.
Snack time provides the opportunity to continue their conversational development in a less-structured, more free-wheeling vein, while refueling for the second half of the morning. As they complete their refreshments, the children clear their spaces at the table and settle into the book area to wait for the rest of the class to finish.
The Threes day ends with active play outside (or in the gym during inclement weather), providing a physical outlet for their energy and encouraging the further development of their gross motor skills with running, climbing, sliding, tricycle riding, ball play and sandbox play.