This month: Eric Carle Inspired

Our author of the month is Eric Carle. We are currently painting in Eric Carle style, which includes water-based paint to create streaks, patterns, layering, polka dots, etc.

Here is a video about Eric Carle and his famous book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”. At 2:00 mins you will see him showcasing his unique painting style.

We studied Carle’s illustration techniques in our classroom and with the help of local illustrator and parent Michael Connor we began painting like Eric Carle does. Look –  no pen/pencil lines.  So much fun!


Wonderfully painted in Eric Carle style, little CNS artists!



Collecting Seeds at Kettle Cove Beach

This is a staple field trip every year and a favorite among children and their guardians. We explored Kettle Cove beach (in Cape Elizabeth) and its surrounding trails. The kids walked the trails in their socks to collect seeds.


We also collected nature’s finds along the way, like rocks, sticks, pretty leaves, apples (yes!), animal feathers, empty cans, bottles, pieces of garbage, flowers, shells – their bags and buckets filled up quickly.

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After a picnic with kids and parents at the beach the kids enjoyed playing in the little stream, feeling the sand underneath their feet, balancing on wooden wiggly beams, inspecting the seaweed and discovering new objects, running and climbing on the bridge, and playing imaginary games of sea captains, boat builders and beach ballerinas. Life is fun when it’s at the beach!


We spotted students continuing trying out the “does it float or does it sink?” method, like L. with the yellow boat. Jumping in in and out of the pools of water was a favorite of course as well.

A field trip means that parents are invited to join, which is a highlight for the children, and it makes especially the new students like C. feel more comfortable while we still get to know each other and while we learn, discover, and play together in those early weeks of school. We had a full outdoor classroom with at least one parent per child present at this field trip. Woohoo! It was FUN! Thanks for coming out in one of those last nice September days!

Welcome to a new fun-filled year at CNS

We are back in school and the first month went by so fast! With full enrollment, we were busy getting to know the new families and FALLing into our school routines.

After the new students settled in during their first week, the children worked on drawing their self-portraits and writing their name. These are used for the children’s’ birthday calendar in the classroom. Here are a few examples of the little artists:


The kids turned into scientists and discovered what floats or sinks and why.  They also made boats with loose parts like popsicle sticks, paper, thread, glue, sticky tape, toothpicks, and other materials. This was such a fun project!


We received a donation of flowers from a family’s wedding. How wonderful! Immediately we could turn this into a flower anatomy science project. Words that we used were: scientist, investigate, dissect, flower arrange, petal, stamen, pistil, stem, hollow, journal, still life, self-portrait, frame, fossil, magma, dormant. The children chose their flowers, cut the stem to a length that would fit the vase and arranged them in the little glass vase. A beautiful gift that the children could bring home to give their parents.


The children organized their cubbies and part of that is their art box; each child has their own that gets filled with arts and crafts over the year. But first, they transform the boring looking shoe boxes into their very own exquisite art boxes.


We also learned each others’ and the family members names. We started practicing giving each other messages, an important part of our social-emotional studies.

In the first weeks, we heard this question often during circle time: “What is your superpower to help the world?”

Our children love math! We were recognizing numbers and how they are used – calendars, temperature, counting, time, age, weight, height, etc.

We also read lots of books about animals, in particular, the ones we may see in our Southern Maine community and their habits… including tracks, eating preference, where they live, habits and scat of course. This prepared us especially for the upcoming field trip to Kettle Cove beach.

Lots of chalk, dress up, fairy houses and games. The children loved the warm September weather and we spent as much time outside as we could.


CNS Earns NAEYC Accredidation

The Children’s Nursery School is proud and excited to announce that we have earned accreditation through NAEYC, The National Association for the Education of Young Children. This rigorous process was a wonderful opportunity to highlight our exceptional teachers and high-quality programming that have been beloved by Portland area families for over 40 years. 

The Children’s Nursery School is a cooperative preschool which means that parents and teachers work together to meet the unique needs of the children and bring in the special skills and abilities of the families to enhance our program each year. Over the past four decades, this program has been honed and refined with the efforts of each new cohort. 

Our co-op is led by two extraordinary teachers whose inspiring work has earned us not only the NAEYC accreditation but also the highest rating with The State of Maine’s Early Care and Education Quality Rating System.  This program is anchored in meaningful school traditions and community connections and infused with inspiration from many Early Childhood philosophies and the world around us.  We delight in and follow the children’s natural curiosity and we practice communication tools to support strong social and emotional development.    

We welcome community partnerships and involvement through several events during the year which can be found on our website and our Facebook page