Curriculum

Infants (6 weeks to 15 months)

The Huggy Bears Classroom

Our Huggy Bears receive high-quality infant care in an enriching, engaging environment. Each child has a primary caregiver, allowing them to develop a special relationship of mutual trust and respect to ensure a positive child care experience.

The Huggy Bear class members are all loved and well cared for by our dedicated staff, whose interactions are personal, rich with conversation, and tailored to individual needs and developmental stages.

Huggy Bears learn through play and exploration, and our curriculum gives them learning experiences that best suit their individual developmental stage, whether it is sitting up, holding a bottle, cooing, shaking a rattle, taking their first steps, or developing sleeping and eating habits.

We read books; engage in finger play; work on sensory activities, and also learn simple baby sign language. Outdoor activities like water play, daily walks, and time on the Harkness play lot also helps the Huggy Bears learn about their outdoor environment.

We value partnerships with every family and collaborate to meet our families’ needs, beliefs and priorities. We ensure that all Huggy Bears have a wonderful day, providing parents with daily notes and pictures to keep them well informed on their infant’s day.

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Toddlers (15 months to 2 years)



The Bumble Bees Classroom

The Bumble Bees class at Harkness House provides a developmentally appropriate, exciting, and creative environment for toddlers.

We focus on language acquisition, art, sensory, science, and early math skills, all while playing and having fun!

Bumble Bees also participate in Harkness House yoga classes, music, gross motor skills development, and engaging outdoor activities.

Each Bumble Bee is assigned a primary teacher, allowing our toddlers to feel safe and loved while giving parents a consistent person to contact about individual needs and goals.

Our teachers engage the Bumble Bees at their developmental stage and offer multiple opportunities for enrichment.

We communicate daily through conversations, phone calls, monthly newsletters, and our own detailed journaling system to make sure you know all about your toddler's day.

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Ages 2 to 3

The Quackers Classroom

The Quackers are an inquisitive group of two and three year olds who love to learn at Harkness House!

The Quacker program is a developmentally age-appropriate environment where children are provided with daily opportunities to explore the world around them.

Quackers learn socialization skills, problem-solving, and self-help skills so that they are able to gain self-confidence. The class enjoys learning about colors, shapes, letters, numbers, name recognition, nature, animals, and more.

Each day is a busy, fun-filled adventure with walks, painting, reading, singing and just being silly Quackers.

Quackers also participate in Harkness House yoga classes, music, gross motor skills development, outdoor activities and optional Tumbling and Spanish classes.

All Quacker parents can learn more about their child’s day through our detailed journaling system, which describes the day’s activities and more.

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Ages 3 to 4

The Junior Explorers Classroom

The Junior Explorer class offers your child a rich preschool experience with the purpose of building an educational foundation.

The classroom environment enhances your child’s love of learning and also provides them with skills that include pre-writing, pre-reading and pre-math.

Our Jr. Explorer day is also filled with fun activities such as adventure walks, singing, artwork, and classroom jobs to learn responsibility. “Line leader” is the most exciting job, and we all have to learn how to take turns.

Junior Explorers have the opportunity to take Spanish classes, tumbling classes, swimming, and yoga. The Jr. Explorer class also takes several field trips a year to destinations like Wagner Farm, the Chicago Botanic Gardens and more.

You will hear all about your child’s day through our daily emails and monthly newsletters.

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Ages 4 & Up

The Senior Explorers Classroom

The Sr. Explorer class is an enriching, fun-filled place for your child to learn and grow. Our goal is for your child to be prepared for the structural change from preschool to kindergarten.

The Sr. Explorer program features a weightier academic environment that includes, but is not limited to, language, literacy, math, letter-sounds and associations, and familiarity with words and book concepts.

Sr. Explorers have the opportunity to take Spanish classes, tumbling classes, swimming, and yoga. The Sr. Explorer class also takes several field trips a year to Wagner Farm, the Chicago Botanic Garden and more.

You will hear all about your child’s day through our daily emails and monthly newsletters.

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