Wee Friends is tucked into a quiet residential neighborhood in South Bend. We occupy two houses (next door to each other) that have been redesigned for exclusive use as early childhood classrooms.
The Wee Friends Preschool Classroom
Our preschool house serves 16 children with 3 full-time teachers. The classroom is distinctly divided into interest areas that encourage the children to form small work
groups in a natural way.
Our reading area has thousands of books that are seasonally rotated to keep them interesting. The table work area is filled with a variety of puzzles and learning materials. Our housekeeping area has everything that young children need to support their imaginative play, including an “upstairs bedroom”. This area is always changing as the teachers change materials to enhance current study topics.
Our kitchen island is where children enjoy WeeSprout (bowls of fresh cut veggies) and water breaks throughout the day. The kitchen space is used daily to prepare fresh and nutritious meals for the children. The island is where we enjoy afternoon snack.
Our oval rug is where many small group gatherings occur. In this space, the full-sized piano and instruments make it a natural choice for music and movement time. Also, there is a message board that is used for children to brainstorm and give input on classroom studies. This floorspace is also used for a variety of block building and other manipulative play.
The “habitrail” area is uniquely Wee Friends! Our two story gross motor area was custom built to provide active preschoolers with a safe space to move their bodies. There are jumbo duplos with balance beams, large hollow blocks, and built in opportunities to crawl, jump, slide, climb, and swing.
Our art room is filled with interesting materials that are arranged to encourage independence and creativity. There is an easel area that pairs two children side by side as they create art. There is a large fish tank to help create a tranquil and safe atmosphere for children to experiment. There is a small art loft (not pictured) for anyone who would like some alone time. The art table is often used in the afternoon for small group journal time.
Our woodworking and science areas are located in the front of our house. There are real tools and wood pieces available for children 4 and older. Our science area has a sensory/light table, projector, and currently houses our Anole Lizard, Kai. Each child also has a full sized cubby (not pictured).
The Wee Friends Infant Toddler Classroom
Our infant and toddler house serves 8 children with 2 full-time teachers. The classroom is spacious and is specifically designed to create a homelike environment.
This classroom includes a large indoor gross motor area especially built for our older infants and toddlers. Children can move as much as they need in this space! There is daily dancing and singing, as well as regular balancing on giant duplos, rocking, and playing with balls & scarves. The mirrored ballet bar (pictured right) is wonderful for babies just learning to pull themselves up.
The housekeeping space is large and is well stocked with a variety of practical life materials: pretend food, dishes, dress up clothes, bags/purses, babies, blankets, books and much more. There is fish tank at eye level for even our youngest children to enjoy.
Since early exposure to books is critical to early childhood development of literacy, Wee Friends has a quiet and cozy reading area filled with hundreds of books and teachers that enjoy reading aloud.
Wee Friends values rest time, especially for our infants and toddlers. We have a dedicated napping room where children can sleep on their own schedule in a quiet and darkened environment. Our napping room is equipped with cribs that meet all new safety standards. As the infants grow into toddlers, they transition into our Montessori beds. The Montessori beds are designed to give young toddlers independence while simultaneously creating a feeling of security.
When you enter the front door, you will find individual cubby spaces for each child.
Coming soon…Our Outdoor Learning Environment