We have year-round programming for children and all are welcome! During our "Teacher Holidays" we always offer childcare for 7-years and younger. See the calendar for specific dates.
Nursery – up to 2-years
Our youngest children are cared for in the first-floor Nursery. Here we create a warm, accepting atmosphere where trust is formed, helping our tiny ones to be comfortable and happy. Children will have time for exploration and plenty of cuddling. Parents are asked to leave a cell number at the Information Desk. If a child is unhappy and cannot be comforted in a reasonable period of time, you will be contacted. Another option is for parents and babies to view the service in the Cry Room, directly across from the Nursery.
Parents often ask, “When can my child move out of Nursery into Childcare?” This is a case-by-case call made by the Director of Family Ministries in consultation with the Nursery staff. It depends in large part on their ability to stay the entire time without parents present. We also take into consideration attendance in Childcare and the ratio of child-to-adults (3-to-1). Once your child has turned 2-years, let’s talk!
Childcare – 2- and 3-year olds by Sept. 1
A warm, loving year-round staff helps our little ones transition from home to church. Children will have lots of time for free play. Though this is primarily play time, it includes World of Wonder, a take-home program with monthly themes that helps them explore their world through stories, art, movement and music. Parents are welcome to stay with their child until they feel comfortable in this setting.
Preschool – 3 to 5-year olds (pre K) by Sept. 1
Chalice Children is based on the philosophy that a preschooler’s spiritual development is related to their own direct experiences. Through dramatic play, creative expression and interactions with others, children come to know their church as a community of people who come together in a sacred, special place, and their world as a place of wonder. Our morning program includes a friendship circle, story, music, chalice lighting ritual, and a snack. Theme-based crafts are provided, as well as time where children may explore and participate as they choose.
Kindergarten – Must be 5-years old by Sept. 1
Our Houses, Our Homes is a curriculum designed to help Kindergartners feel at home in the world. It explores the concepts of birth and death that are presented with age-appropriate learning experiences that include a visit from a pregnant mom to hear a baby’s heartbeat, watching the journey of a butterfly from its beginnings as a caterpillar, and a visit to Lone Fir Cemetery to honor the full cycle of life. There is also an opportunity to create a village of houses in which the children get to paint and decorate large boxes that become their homes for a few Sundays during the year. By exploring being at home in their church, we hope children will experience the spirituality of family and a larger understanding of community. Parents provide essential support by assisting in the classroom throughout the year for this very labor intensive, but very fun, curriculum.
1st & 2nd Graders
Treasure Hunting will be the focus for our 6– and 7-year-olds. Each week, through games, crafts, songs and stories, children will explore themes which illustrate Unitarian Universalist Principles. For example, the first week the children will treasure hunt among themselves to find people “who have curly hair,” “who have a sibling” or “who like chocolate ice cream.” The story and discussion that follow the hunt emphasize the idea that Unitarian Universalists treasure people’s differences and similarities. This lesson illustrates our first Principle (see inside front cover).
Themes focus on treasuring our own and other’s thoughts and feelings, exploring our Unitarian Universalist faith, our world community, and the interconnected web of life.
3rd & 4th Graders
A Stepping-Stone Year addresses children who are taking their first structured steps in forming religious identities and concepts. Younger children may identify with their church or have religious experiences that will influence their religious thinking, but they are not ready developmentally to understand and articulate these concepts until they reach around age eight or nine; hence, A Stepping-Stone Year.
A Stepping-Stone Year focuses on these important religious questions: How did the world begin? How did life begin? How can I live so as to make my life worthwhile? Why do people die? What is right and wrong? How can I make decisions? How does Unitarian Universalism shape my life?
This year we have a variety of opportunities that we hope will appeal to the wonderful world of pre-teens. We are calling it Popcorn Theology. We have chosen clips from a wide variety of movies, including Back to the Future, Star Trek Generations, Heaven Can Wait, and Dances with Wolves just to name a few. The idea is to open up conversation about how our choices affect the future, finding inner peace, the concept of a soul and being open to the “other.” There will also be hands-on projects and social justice exploration. The goal is to mix it up! Be sure to check out the weekly emails so you are kept up-to-date.
Check the calendar for the 5th/6th Movie Nights. Kids can be dropped off or parents can stay.