Our school was established in 1970 and we are happy to report that we are now getting children of happy former students. What is the Tots & Blocks Spirit that has made us the area’s most exciting pre-school for over 40 years?
It starts with the philosophy that children are curious, energetic, sensitive individuals. With this in mind, we create a nurturing, respectful and developmentally appropriate environment that allows each child to advance socially, cognitively and physically.
Our outstanding staff of early childhood professionals are certified by the State and most have been with us for over 5 years. Assistants are high school or college graduates who come with high recommendations and also remain with us for a many of years.
You and your child are invited to visit us any weekday between 10 and 11 or between 1:15 and 2:15. During your visit, you can see the 5 classrooms in action and we can discuss your expectations and personalize your understanding of our school.
Each month teachers, children and parents explore a social science theme and the entire school bursts with the sights and sounds of that theme. Parents receive “The Tots & Blocks Times” from the office to alert them as to what’s going on. The individual classroom teachers also send home their own newsletter so parents are kept up to date on their child’s class activities (Show and Tell, an alphabet letter they’re studying or what happened when they tried a sink and float experiment).
Example: A January theme may deal with the new weather pattern we are currently experiencing. We learn what animals do (grow thicker coats, sleep, travel etc) and our art projects, science experiences (ice fishing Tots & Blocks style) and co-created stories deal with this topic. We take a picture of a tree to see how different it looks this month compared to its appearance beginning in September. An animal print in snow (shaving cream) is another favorite activity. Since these activities are dynamic and hands on children are naturally involved because they are active learners.
Four to Five Year Old Age Group
Letter sounds (phonics) are introduced as part of each theme – usually 2 letters/month. During January, we may do Ww, make a whale in art and prepare waffles in science. We practice writing the letters as well as our names in upper and lower case letters. Scissor skills are encouraged as well as independent reinforcement work for all of the areas we have covered. Taking turns at speaking as well as with materials becomes pretty routine with extra help offered as needed. The children have access to a computer for reinforcement and games.
Once a week the pre-kindergarten classes have un reunion (meeting) in the lobby. We learn how to introduce ourselves, count to 10, describe the weather, learn politeness phrases and things of interest to the children. We are amazed at what they retain from week to week and what carries over to home.
Three to Four Year Old Age Group
Activities for this age group reflect their more limited attention span and need for individual assistance and nurturance. For many children, this is their first experience away from home, and we recognize the challenges this poses to the child and his parents. Socially, children learn the difference between sharing and taking turns, how to approach another child to initiate play and how to form a line and stay in it. Cognitively, we discuss colors and shapes, number concepts (not just counting), name and alphabet recognition. Different art media are used to develop fine motor skills and create a sense of accomplishment and pride.
All groups come into the lobby daily for music. Starts with familiar tunes like the ABC song and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to get the children comfortable with different musical instruments the keyboard sounds and how to follow her lead. We add in seasonal and holiday songs as appropriate and even some contemporary music the children ask about. In December our 4-5 year old groups perform on the stage of a Middle School in Old Bridge on a Saturday. Friends and family are invited to attend. Our 3-4 year old groups do a Show in early Spring. Our children going on to Kindergarten have a Graduation Ceremony in June.
Home and School
All parents are invited to “Take a Peek” during a week in October to see their child in her classroom.
- September – Parent/Child Orientation with Teacher and Assistant WELCOME TO SCHOOL
- October –“Take A Peek Week” – Parent Visit during class time, Professional Photographs
- November – Lessons on friendship and giving thanks
- December – Older Classes’ Holiday Concert at an Old Bridge Public School
- January – Take a mascot home for the weekend and journal your time together with text and photos. Will share with the class and pass on to next child
- February – Specially prepared eggs and incubators allow us all to become parents to baby chicks
- March – Younger Classes’ Spring Concert at an Old Bridge Public School, Parent Conferences
- April – Annual Event of a Lollipop Tree emerging from the ground and providing a pop for all. One harvest & it disappears into the earth for another year.
- May –Graduation Pictures, Publication of a 48 Page Color Year Book Featuring Photos of all children working and playing
- June –Graduation for Older Classes
Stop by and visit our facilities…
Morning Session or Afternoon Session
- 9:15am – 9:35am or 12:45pm – 1:05pm – Greet children, flag salute, attendance, presentation of lesson and materials
- 9:35am – 10:25am or 1:05pm – 1:55pm– Free play,projects, computer and individual assistance
- 10:25am – 10:40am or 1:55pm – 2:10pm– Clean-up,story and discussion
- 10:40am – 10:50am or 2:10pm – 2:20pm– Individual hand washing and snack (provided by the school)
- 10:50am – 11:10am or 2:20pm – 2:40pm– Older classes – music / Younger classes – playground
- 11:10am – 11:30am or 2:40pm – 3:00pm– Older classes – playground / Younger classes – music
- 3:00pm – 3:15pm– Prepare to go home, reflect on day, bus children escorted to vans
Once a week Mrs. Meyers comes into each of the four and five year olds classroom for French. We learn how to introduce ourselves, count to 10, describe the weather, learn politeness phrases and things of interest to the children. We are amazed at what they retain from week to week and what carries over to home.
All groups come into the lobby daily for music with Mrs. Jones. She starts with familiar tunes like the ABC song and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to get the children comfortable with the keyboard sounds and how to follow her lead. We add in seasonal and holiday songs as appropriate and even some contemporary music the children ask about. In December our 4-5 year old groups perform on the stage of a Middle School in Old Bridge. It is a wonderful experience for all concerned. Our 3-4 year old groups do a Show in early Spring. Our children going on to Kindergarten have a Graduation Ceremony in June.
Home and School
- All parents are invited to “Take a Peek” during a week in October to see their child in her classroom.
- November – School wide parent-teacher Conferences with a choice of day or evening appointment
- December – Older classes performance
- February – “Tots & Blocks Sings” – a CD created by the children with Mrs. Jones available for purchase
- March – Younger classes performance, school wide Conferences
- April – A Yearbook which is a pictorial compendium of all our activities from September. Each child has their picture in at least twice and parents are photographed at birthday parties, Halloween etc.
- May – Science Fair – held on a Saturday for full family participation- a chance to do science experiences with your child and teacher as well as make and take opportunities
- June – Graduation
Our beautiful, modern, air conditioned building is designed to meet the needs of young children. Each of our 5 classrooms has its own bathroom, emergency exit, carpeted area for group sharing, child level furniture, coat and school bag (provided free) hooks. Glass portholes provide easy viewing for parents.
We visit the playground on as many days as the weather will allow. Our entire playground is cushioned by several inches of pea gravel. Once outside, children head for the rock box, multiple slides, mini camper, rope ladder and twirl and bounce equipment.
Tots & Blocks Programs
Perspective enrollees must check with the office regarding available openings at the time of registration. Some classes may already be fully enrolled.
Programs / Hours:
* Half Day Morning Program - 9:15am – 11:45am
* Half Day Afternoon Program - 12:45pm – 3:15pm
* Full Day Program - 9:15am – 3:15pm
Early Parent Drop Off 8:30am for a small additional fee.
Children bring lunch & have afternoon program until 3:15pm.
Depending on your location, Tots & Blocks is able to provide mini van service one or both ways right from your door to and from school. Our drivers have Commercial Drivers Licenses and have been carefully screened and road tested. Additionally, we have an attendant on board to monitor the children. They have been with us for a long time and will ensure that your child’s trip on the Comet, Moonbeam, Galaxie or Milky Way is one of the highlights of his day. Van service fees can be added to your monthly tuition check.