Our Philosophy

“If it’s not in the hand, then it’s not in the head or the heart!”

– Bev Bos, renowned Early Childhood Educator & Advocate

We believe that all children are naturally curious and learn best through doing.  

We focus on child-centered learning that is meaningful and effective through thematic, hands-on, student-created projects.  And, we insist on plenty of time for deep, imaginative play.

Program Highlights

    • Small class size (12 max.)
    • Daily 1.5 to 2 hours outside in our Adventure Play-yard
    • Safe, natural toys
    • Research-based learning time & play time
    • Daily writing, math, & science naturally integrated through play and investigations.
    • Cooking
    • Arts & crafts
    • Gardening
    • Daily nature hikes (We dress for the weather!)
    • Organic, Local snacks
    • Certified, experienced teachers
    • Pediatric first aid & CPR certified
    • Certified ‘Eco-Healthy’ child care facility!

A fun, safe place to learn and grow!

More About Our Program

Tools of the Mind

We use a constuctivist approach to teaching academics.  This means that we teach specific skills to each child and once that child nears mastery, we then stretchtheir thinking and skills by introducing a higher order skill/concept.  Famed child developmental researcher Lev Vygotskly called this the “Zone of Proximal Development”.  The Zone of Proximal Development is where learning/doing something entirely new occurs. A child will then construct (or build) on prior knowledge and experience.  We prefer to think of skill building much like building a house – you have start with a strong foundation all while keeping the big picture in mind! We incorporate this sequential skill building approach daily through our thematic units, circle time, snack math, natural science, and music.

American Sign Language (ASL)

Research has shown that ASL connects to a completely different part of the brain as opposed to just visual or auditory learning.  We teach (and use) approxiamately five new ASL signs per thematic unit. We see an increase in comprehension, memory, and fine motor skills by using ASL.

Daily Nature Hikes-

There’s no such thing as bad weather – just bad gear!

Kids also love to play!

Did you know that kids are learning while playing?

But, not all play is equal.  When child engages in deep, dramatic play (the kind of play that makes the day fly by…) he is fully engaging his developing brain.  At Papoose we foster deep play through our thematic units, natural, kid-powered toys, and through continual modeling and questioning. As a result, Papoose students are curious, self confident, who become socially and environmentally aware. Students are guided to respect individual differences, problem solve, and actively participate in taking care of their classroom and community.  All this through Play!

Snacks & Food

  • Organic Snacks
  • Lunch
  • Table Manners


Two snacks are provided by our program daily: We serve one organic snack in the morning and one in the afternoon. Snacks are usually one whole grain and one seasonal fresh fruit. We serve local, organic, seasonal fruits and vegetables from Mountain Bounty Farm which is part of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).


Parents provide their child’s lunch. Please send a frozen cold pack in your child’s lunch.  For a suggested menu and portion sizes please visit the Foodpage. On occasion we may have a child with a severe allergy, such as a peanut allergy.  We make every effort to accommodate allergies and special diets.

Table Manners

We serve snacks and lunch in a communal dining setting with children eating off of stoneware plates and using metal (child size) utensils.  Staff eats with the children while modeling appropriate table manners, good conversation, and excellent eating habits.  We believe that children learn best by doing!

Children in our  full day preschool program also brush their teeth after lunch with their own toothbrush that we supply.

Papoose Preschool Checklist

Everyday your child will need:

  • Lunch; think main dish, fruit and vegetable.
  • Refillable Water bottle to keep at school.
  • 2 complete sets of extra clothing, suitable for the weather, to be kept at school (tops, bottoms, underwear, socks) in a labeled ziploc.
  • Overalls and long sleeve shirt for our adventure play yard.
  • Rugged, well fitting shoes for hiking and outdoor play (must have closed toe and heel strap, please no laces, flip flops or  crocs).
  • Blanket and “snuggly” to keep at school.
  • Sleep mat & pillow (we have organic cotton mats/pillow combos that we sell at our $35 cost)


Winter & Foul Weather Gear

Preschool Clothing/Foul Weather Gear