Early Learners

Two toddler students use sidewalk chalk on the playground.

Program Overview

The St. Paul's Early Learner program is designed to help students develop independence and confidence while sparking interest in pre-academic concepts. Teachers foster a warm and welcoming environment that encourages students to explore, investigate, and ask questions. Learn more about the Early Learner curriculum, special classes, and a typical daily schedule below. 

Toddlers at St. Paul's get plenty of time to play and dig in the big playground sandbox.
St. Paul's Toddlers Teacher Student Ratio is 1:6

Tips to Prepare for Early Learners

  • Practical Life Skills: practice sitting in a chair during meals, dressing themselves, caring for personal items, washing hands
  • Books to Help with Separation: "The Kissing Hand" by Audrey Penn, "Bye-Bye Time" by Elizabeth Verdick, and "Penguin Misses Mom" by Michael Dahl
  • Summer in the City: Sign up for Tiptoe into Toddler summer camp to get ready for the classroom!

Explore What Comes Next

Early Learners Academic Highlights

A toddler student holds a baby doll and pretends to feed it with a bottle.
Taking Care of Babies

While bathing their baby dolls, changing their diapers, and swaddling them in soft blankets, students are strengthening several core skills. This unit encourages toddlers to follow multi-step directions, take responsibility, practice fine motor skills, and build their social-emotional learning. Plus, it’s fun to see these Early Learners be such big kids in the classroom! 

Two students mix milk into a bowl of mashed potatoes.
Thanksgiving Foods

Early Learners practice their cooking skills so they can help their families prepare the Thanksgiving feast. First up is conquering mashed potatoes. Students learn sequence, measuring, and cause-and-effect in this activity. The bonus: the gratification and excitement of eating what they've made together!

A student smiles brightly while riding a red tricycle around the playground.
Early Learners Outdoor Play

Early Learners get to enjoy plenty of sunshine during daily outdoor play. This dedicated time outside gives students a chance to exercise and practice their social skills. Whether students are playing in the sandbox, zooming down the slide, or riding trikes, they are encouraged to be curious, get messy, and explore.

A teacher helps a toddler student walk on eggshells

After learning about chicken eggs from some backyard chicken owners, they then get to crack eggs to feel the shell, yolk, and egg white with their hands. Teachers discuss eggshell architecture, and students conduct a physics experiment to see if eggs are stronger when upright in the carton or when lying on their sides. Walking on eggs can be messy, but it sure is fun!

A toddler student pours vegetables into a crockpot
Friendship Soup

Students each bring in a vegetable that starts with the letter of their first name to contribute to their “Friendship Soup.” Crosby brings corn, Naomi brings noodles, Mira brings mushrooms, etc. They all get to smell and taste their soup, and their collaborative cooking introduces some basic math, reading, and time-telling skills. 

A student holds up a live worm with messy hands.

After learning about plants and gardening, Early Learners explore live worms in their classroom. What do they have to say about worms?
“It feels mushy!”
“He likes to curl inside the dirt!”
“The worm likes crawling on my fingers ... it tickles!”

At St. Paul's, our mission of developing confident learners, ethical leaders, and compassionate, engaged citizens is evident in each classroom, and the work and play that happens here serves each student for much longer than their time at St. Paul's. Mindy Stephenson, St. Paul's Early Childhood Division Head

Ready to take the next step?