Tag Archives: pre-kindergarten

How will our garden grow?

IMG_1105We are blessed to be able to share the joy of gardening with our preschoolers, thanks to the lovely garden that was built by one of our dads, Mike Van Fleet.  In addition to providing the children with a wonderful sensory experience, gardening offers another hands-on opportunity to explore science, math, language and visual arts.

In addition to playing (planting) in the dirt, the children learn patience as they wait for their vegetables to grow, responsibility as they see how necessary their care is to the garden and IMG_1103teamwork as they learn to share the garden with their classmates.  Gardening helps our little ones learn where food comes from and are fascinated in seeing the vegetables pulled from the ground.  Young children are usually willing to eat the veggies because they helped to grow them.

We would like to give special thanks to the Denton, Schmitz, Wicke, Kaufman, Paugh, Bissmeyer, Haggerty, Burt, Fletcher and Van Fleet families for their generous donations to our garden.  We would also like to thank our gardener extraordinaire, Mrs. Hendrickson, who is helping to ensure that our garden will indeed grow!

Excited to see our peas sprouting after only one week!

Excited to see our peas sprouting after only one week!

First day of school

to fast friends, all in one day

fast friends, all in one day

First day with our youngest class..from apprehension to

First day with our young Star class.            From apprehension to

The first day of preschool brings a good deal of excitement, but also a little trepidation.  For little ones who are entering a school setting for the first time, this day can be a little intimidating.  Even returning students need time to get back into the routine of school.  Some children may be sad to leave an old school and friends, but through loving guidance they learn the joy of embracing a new experience and IMG_20140812_113124 forming additional new friendships. Already on the first day, we watched the children forming special bonds with their teachers and new friends, and these friendships will only continue to grow. It is encouraging to see how warmly young children reach out to each other.

Today, we enjoyed another first day at St. Paul’s United Methodist Preschool.   After a few tears (mostly from moms) and lots of hugs (for both children and moms), we began the first step towards a wonderful learning adventure.  All of us at St. Paul’s understand parents feelings about leaving their little ones, as we are all moms and have lived through this ourselves.  We come to each school year ready to provide lots of hugs, love and understanding, and provide tons of fun and wonderful learning experiences.

So to all our wonderful parents out there.  Thank you for sharing your precious children with us.  We will do our absolute best to provide all they need while they are in our care.


Welcome packets coming soon!

August 1st update: Today is the day – Welcome letters being sent today!  School begins August 12.  We are looking forward to another amazing year at St. Paul’s United Methodist Preschool!

Water day at St. Paul's United Methodist Church VBS

Water day at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church VBS

It is hard to believe that the lazy days of summer will soon be over.  We hope all of our preschool families have enjoyed their family vacations, hanging out at the pool and reading a book or two. The first of August is just around the corner and it is the the date when our preschool teachers send out their welcome letters.  They are currently busy getting their classrooms ready for another exciting school year.  Enjoy the rest of your summer and look in the mail for your letters the first week of August.


Just a reminder…we request no backpacks be brought to school. All new students will receive a St. Paul’s UM Preschool tote bag.

Summer fun at VBS

Summer fun at VBS

Returning students – Don’t forget to bring your tote bag from last school year.

Mark your calendars for Meet Your Teacher night on August 11, where you will meet your child’s teachers, pay the first full month of tuition and fees and have the option to purchase school shirts and additional totes.  See you soon and feel free to contact the Director with any questions.



Making good friends at preschool!

Making good friends at preschool!


Soaring – Discovering the wonderful world of books!


website57The addition of Soaring to our pre-k program has been well received by the children and their parents.   Soaring is the Monday enrichment class that allows children to continue their discovery of the wonderful world of books.

Reading is such an important skill to develop in children.  The more young children are read to, the greater their interest in mastering reading. Reading out loud exposes children to proper grammar and phrasing, and helps young children develop vital language skills.  It enhances the development of their spoken language skills and their ability to express themselves verbally.

website64Through books, children learn about other people and places, both real and imaginary.  Through stories, they meet new friends and characters.  Books can encourage children to be helpful, kind and show how to resolve conflict. At preschool, story time is a group activity that offers children the opportunity to sit quietly and be respectful in a group and also socialize and share with each other what they have heard.

Our Soaring class continues to nurture this skill in a fun filled day.

Soaring allows the children the opportunity to…website9

  • Hear the story “Not a Box” and discover a box is just a       box . . . unless it’s not a box. From mountain to rocket ship, a small rabbit shows that a box will go as far as the imagination allows.  The children are allowed the opportunity to see where their imagination takes them.


  • website13Share an adventure with Harold and the Purple Crayon.






  • website225Discover the world of science as they make a cloud and hear the story,      What Are Clouds?





  • website33and so much more

Watch as our children soar ahead and discover the joy of reading.



Should we teach our children to share?

website38cornRecently I read an article about whether we should teach children to share.  This had me ponder the value in teaching this vital, yet sometimes difficult, social skill to our preschoolers.  In a preschool environment, every day the teachers share their attention, experience and love, in addition to their classroom toys and materials with each and every child, and hopefully impart upon them the joy they will find if they pass this gift of kindness on to others.

website34Learning to share in a preschool environment is so much more than simply encouraging a child to share a specific toy and is never about forcing a child to give up a favorite item.  As we encourage the children to share classroom materials with other children, they also learn the value of cooperation.  The expectation to share everything in the classroom allows a child the opportunity to figure out how to play collaboratively with another child.        Sometimes it may be taking turns, but many times, the children discover a way to play together.  This encourages creative thinking and also provides the child the opportunity to expand the very necessary social skill of playing and interacting with others, which will help them to be a well-adjusted person in the world.

Sharing in preschool is not just about giving up a special toy.  Sometimes they need to share a Crayonkids8teacher or a friend’s time with another person, or share and pass markers, glue or even snack during craft or snack time.  These opportunities reinforce simple courtesy toward others.  We watch as children, on their own, notice another child who may be in the need of something and offer to help their friend.

At St. Paul’s Preschool we also strive to show the children the joy that is received when we share our time and resources with others.  The children are so excited to collect food for our Free choicechurch pantry, to create and give away beautiful centerpieces for church activities, and create and deliver valentines to special individuals around our church community.  Our children show appreciation for others who share their time and talents by preparing special thank you letters for parents and special people who come to school.

So yes, because the benefits are so far outreaching, we will continue to teach our preschoolers the joy that comes from sharing.

Celebrating Mrs. Hoffsmith 20th year teaching at St. Paul’s

Mutual love

Mutual love

Mrs. Hoffsmith has been teaching at St. Paul’s..
This is her 2oth year.
Her extraordinary worth and value
have been made so abundantly clear.

St. Paul’s is so blessed to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Liane Hoffsmith, lead teacher of the Crayon Kids.  Words alone cannot describe the value of this special person.  However, an excerpt from a letter sent by a parent does it well.  “What can be said about Mrs. Hoffsmith?  It could be said that she is quiet, soft spoken and gentle.  It could be said that she is gracious, slow to anger and filled with goodness.

Handprint quilt from the Crayon Kids

Handprint quilt from the Crayon Kids

It could also be said that she is a magnet for 3 and 4 year olds.  But none of these statements do her justice.  The legacy of a teacher is something that is difficult to measure.  The greater learning isn’t reflected in just academic achievement. It is shown by a child’s confidence and their ability to work well with other children. A child’s belief that the word is a genuinely good place is a tribute to the way all children are warmly received into Mrs. Hoffsmith’s classroom and into her life.


Simply stated, Mrs. Hoffsmith shows both children and parents what it means to love and be loved in everything she does.  Thank you, Mrs. Hoffsmith for loving all the children you’ve taught for the last 20 years.  Crayonkids12You are a gift to treasure.”


Diversity in the preschool classroom

Mrs. Monier's students share their All About Me poster with her classmates

Sharing her All About Me poster with classmates

Young children are so eager to share in each new experience and so willing to accept the wonderful differences in our world.  Children are excited to learn about how we are all the same in many ways, but how each person is also unique and special.

Preschool children begin to notice differences among people…some are short and others are tall, some have blue eyes and others brown..they notice skin color, eye shapes and hair color.  Diversity also encompasses children’s individual interests and capabilities, cultural differences, age and gender difference and language differences.

As children are discovering these differences, it is important to embrace the diversity in the classroom setting as it helps the children feel content in who they are and helps them feel valued.


Comparing fingerprints

Comparing fingerprints

A young child who learns to embrace diversity will embrace this concept as an aspect of life that they value. Preschoolers love to learn songs and dances from other cultures and sing and count in different languages. They enjoy activities that help them think about and discuss the concept of fairness, as this is a familiar issue for young children.  It is especially rewarding for children to learn about the culture and language of one of their classmates and their families.


St. Paul’s United Methodist Preschool is proud to be a place where all children are celebrated and valued.




Celebrating Lei Day

Celebrating Lei Day

Working together

Working together





The Best Thing About Easter….

Pastor Janessa reading "The Best Thing About Easter"

Pastor Janessa reading “The Best Thing About Easter”

The mission of St. Paul’s United Methodist Preschool is to prepare preschool children for kindergarten by providing for physical, social, intellectual and creative growth in a safe, loving Christian environment.  We also strive to contribute to their character and spiritual development through song, activities, direction, discussion and chapel time opportunities throughout the school year.  During Christmas and Easter our teachers and pastors will provide appropriate ways for children to learn and understand the Christian meaning behind these celebrations, as well as, provide joyful activities the children enjoy.



Special cousins enjoying an Easter snack

Special cousins enjoying an Easter snack

The children regularly share their hearts and love for others by creating centerpieces for Church events, collecting food for those in need, delivering Valentines and singing to the Church’s seniors. We hope to be a blessing to each child and their family as they go into the world to be a blessing to others.  Thank you to Pastor Janessa for sharing a very special Easter story with the children, and to all the parents who helped in our Easter celebration.       Happy Easter!


Little bunnies getting ready to hunt for eggs

Little bunnies getting ready to hunt for eggs


Centerpieces the children made for church.

Centerpieces the children made for church









Spring has arrived….

Showing tender loving care

Showing tender loving care

Spring has arrived…

Spring at preschool is such a wonderful time.  It is so rewarding to see how much the children have grown and matured since school began in the fall. We have been blessed to experience each new adventure as our preschool friends have explored and learned.

Summer is just around the corner, but there are many new discoveries still to come before we send off our pre-k bunch to kindergarten.  As spring has arrived, it is now time to wake up our sleepy hibernating bears,  time to plant our spring flowers,  time to experience storytime with Mr. Bill from Bear Canyon Library, time to learn how to love and be kind to all of God’s creatures, including wiggly, squiggly worms.

But most important, it is a time to appreciate all the wonder that is spring and all the love and goodness worms2in our world, as we teach our precious little children about God’s great love as we celebrate the Easter season.

Happy Spring….


Spring break – Enjoy, relax and read a book!

We hope all of our preschool families will enjoy spring break next week.  It is a perfect time to enjoy the wonderful outdoor weather of Tucson and relax and share a great book or two with your preschooler.

A wonderful activity to share with your children this weekend is the Tucson Festival of Books, where Words and Imagination come to life. And you never know, you may run into one of your favorite teachers!

See you all again on Tuesday, March 25 (24th for Soaring).


Sharing a book with a friend