Little Thinkers Preschool

Little Thinkers Preschool promotes movement and nature-based learning rooted in the values and culture of Columbia Athletic Club and the Pacific Northwest. Children engage with each other and with staff in a constructive, creative, safe environment to prepare them for a lifetime of healthy living and learning.

Schedule and Tuition

Ages 3 & 4 meet every Monday and Wednesday from 9am to 1pm.
Tuition is $285 per month for Members and $315 per month for Non-members.

Ages 4 & 5 meet every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9am to 1pm.
Tuition is $340 per month for Members and $370 per month for Non-members.

Our monthly tuition includes two 30-minute swimming lessons per week!
All students will be billed monthly for ten full months of tuition (September – June).

Teaching Philosophy

Little Thinkers Preschool believes that play is a child’s work and that it should be used as their primary learning tool. Just as adults take pride in their accomplished work, we strive to make each child go home with a sense of accomplishment in the “work” they’ve completed that day. We also know how important being outdoors and being active inspires children’s play. Therefore, we make it a priority to head outside each day, rain or shine! Children need to get dirty, feel the grass in their toes, appreciate the way rain smells, and of course collect bugs in jars.

Children also need to move! The gym is a perfect place to release pent up energy, play group games, explore special relationships, and dance. All these things inspire their “work play” and cultivate their spongy growing minds. As teachers, we like to incorporate many movement-based activities including dance parties, yoga, and swimming lessons! One of the many things that make Little Thinkers unique is our access to Columbia Athletic Club’s indoor pool. Our students receive swimming lessons two times per week in private classes with just our students. Through these classes, students learn fundamental components to success in swimming with a focus on safety, fun, and positivity, providing them with a technical skill set that they can depend on for the rest of their swimming life.

Learning and self-expression through the arts is a style embedded within our program. Through activities such as crafting, painting, singing, dancing, acting, and playing instruments, your children are exposed to many different artistic mediums to develop their fine motor skills, enhance their sensory based learning, and explore different creative methods of self-expression.

Another big focus at Little Thinkers is to build confidence and independence in our students; confidence to solve problems like sharing, taking turns, what to do when someone has sat in your spot, using words instead of screaming, hitting or shoving — by the end of the year, these problems that were once so huge in their minds become smaller and easier to handle.

Curriculum

At Little Thinkers, we strive to:

  • Provide a print-rich environment with a strong emphasis on early literacy skills and a love for books
  • Teach our students about numbers, letters, and shapes and provide cognitive games that make learning a joy
  • Teach our students about weekly themes through class discussions, projects, games, learning activities, books, songs, etc.
  • Provide swim lessons two days per week and many other opportunities for large motor development
  • Teach about life cycles and introduce the children to natural science, curiosity, and discovery

Child Safety

The safety of all the children in our care is incredibly important to us at Columbia Athletic Club. Here is a closer look at some of the things we’ve done to ensure a safe secure environment for everyone:

The Silver Lake facility is fully equipped with security cameras and each department follows strict evacuation procedure for potential emergency situations. Such emergencies include altercations, fire, earthquake, theft, power outages and facility threats. Although we hope that these types of situations rarely if ever take place, the employees of the facility understand the importance of being prepared at all times.

Each employee has received CPR and first aid training. The club has two AED units, one at the front desk and the other in our tennis building. First aid kits are readily available throughout the facility, as well as fire extinguishers. All incidents are recorded with a Club Incident Form. Any minor injuries (knee scrapes, bumps etc.) that may occur during your child’s in preschool will be shared with parents in full detail upon pick up. Club staff in all departments will know our preschool hours to increase awareness of young children present in the facility.

To maximize child safety, enrollment is capped at twelve children maximum per day. Ms. Lisa will also have an assistant present throughout the school day. Our classroom is located right next to the Kids Club. The classroom is equipped with a hand washing sink and the children have full access to a child size bathroom located in the Kids Club.

Daily Routine

Each day will follow a consistent routine, keeping a healthy structured environment. Please note that this routine may adjust over time based on the pulse of the classroom. However, here is a good idea of what the day will have in store for your child:
9 – 10am: Free play/structured art, sensory, science, or cooking project
10 – 10:30am: Circle time (songs, stories, finger plays, creative movement, and class discussion
10:30 – 10:50am: Large motor activity (gym, outdoor play, dance party, etc.)
10:50 – 11:25am: Lunch
11:25am: Group A leaves for swimming lessons
11:25 – 11:55am: Group B practices cognitive skills/free play
11:45am – 12:15pm: Group A swimming lessons
11:55am: Group B leaves for swimming lessons
12:15 – 12:45pm: Group A returns to class to practice cognitive skills/free play
12:15 – 12:45pm: Group B swimming lessons
12:55pm: Pack up to head home

Our Teacher

Ms. Lisa Junkers began working full time with young children in 1994, she has worked as both a teacher and administrator. She received her degree in Early Childhood Education and continues to seek out training as a way of staying current as issues and trends in the field change and develop. Lisa loves to read and spend time with friends and family. She enjoys nature, hiking and gardening. These are interests she shares with the young children in her care.

FAQ

Some parents have asked about how children change for swim lessons. As described above, the class is split in two groups for lessons. A maximum of six children is with one teacher. We take the children to the women’s locker room to change in and out of swimsuits. Only the teacher helps with dressing and undressing. We encourage self-help skills; this also becomes part of the curriculum. Children learn confidence as they complete tasks for themselves. Parents are more than welcome to attend swim lessons.
Parents have asked if they can join us during the school day. We do have an open door policy. You are welcome to join us; we only ask that you plan it ahead of time with Ms. Lisa. Some children have more difficulty when their parent is present; please keep this in mind when considering this option.
We have also had questions about immunizations. At this time, immunizations are not required. We leave this decision up to parents. As for illness, we keep a strict policy of admittance only if a child has been without fever and has been non-contagious for 24 hours or more. Please use your best judgement with coughs and sniffles.

School Supplies

Bring daily:

  • Water bottle
  • Lunch (we are a nut-free facility)
  • Jacket for outdoor play
  • Backpack

Keep In cubby/classroom:

  • Swimsuit
  • Change of clothes
  • Goggles (optional)
  • Hair brush and detangler (optional)

Contact Information

For more information regarding tuition, teaching philosophy and curriculum, please contact Kids Club supervisor Lisa Junkers at 425.745.1617 ext.2235, or via email: lisaj@columbiaathletic.com.