Curriculum

Zoo Sprouts Curriculum
The Zoo Sprouts program fulfills its educational philosophy through a strong nature-based and child-centered curriculum. Our unique curriculum is based on national programs, such as Growing Up Wild, Project Learning Tree Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood, Zoo Phonics Language Arts Program, and Creative Curriculum.

We value spontaneity in activity and taking advantage of "teachable moments." We also know that many people, especially young children first experiencing regular activity away from home, benefit from knowing what will happen next. We maintain a loose but structured schedule, with predictable events throughout the day (such as snack and group experiences).

Sample Classroom Schedule
The following is an example of a possible classroom schedule:
  • Arrival
  • Free Choice Time (Inside)
  • Morning Snack (Breakfast)
  • Active Outdoor Play
  • Group Time (Outdoors – Weather Dependent)
  • Animal Exploration (Outdoors – Weather Dependent)
  • Free Choice Time (Inside)
  • Lunch (Inside or Outdoors; varies)
  • Rest Time (Inside)
  • Afternoon Snack (Inside)
  • Small Group Exploration (Outdoors – Weather Dependent)
  • Active Outdoor Play
  • Free Choice Time (Time Dependent)
  • Departure
Unique Learning
Throughout the day, we offer experiences that may be different from other child-centered preschool programs in that:

  • Children have daily experiences with plant life;
    • We grow plants in the classroom and out
    • We maintain and care for our playspace flower beds and rain garden
    • We explore wooded and grassland areas
  • Children have daily experiences with animals;
    • We visit animals at Sunset Zoo
    • We assist zoo keepers in the care of animals
    • We experience small animal visitors in our classroom
Our program does not take field trips. We ARE the field trip: we have nature trails, outdoor playspaces, forested spaces, and open fields…to explore. Oh yeah, we have tigers, bears, chimpanzees, and many, many more. We don’t have to leave to find adventure!