They think they're only playing.

Art Project

CPNS offers 2, 3, and 4 days-a-week core programs. Click here for more on class schedules, age eligibility and fees.

Each class consists of a balance of adult-led group experiences and long blocks of child initiated play. Our large group activities consist of story telling, reading, singing, special guests, sharing, announcements etc. During this time, your child will become comfortable with the expectations of a formal learning environment. Through both these types of learning, they will develop self-control, frustration tolerance and the ability to follow directions and to delay gratification. They will learn to cooperate with others and understand the benefits of doing so. They will learn how to ask for help and how to be helpful. They will develop a broad understanding of their world on which they can base all future academic endeavors.

While your child plays, our teachers will gently guide their growth and development, allowing them to learn all they need to know to succeed in kindergarten and beyond. On your workday you will have the opportunity to observe your child as he/she navigates our campus and tries out different activities.

Art Project

Indoors they may choose one or all activities in these rooms:

  • Music: dancing and playing with instruments, storytelling with felt boards, or launching off to outerspace with their imagination while listening to a CD
  • Snack: a hands-on experience where our kids help prepare and serve real food to themselves and pretend food to their dolls
  • Block: building materials, dress-up clothes and props, puzzles and table toys are waiting to be played with
  • Art: a daily changing teacher-curated experience, including painting, cutting, pasting, or manipulating play dough
  • Creation Station: cut, glue, or color; many cards have been painstakingly created at this table and brought home with pride or given to a cherished friend

All these activities offer your child a time and place to practice her fine and large motor skills, self expression, problem solving skills, decision making, time management, social skills, negotiation, effective communication, etc.


Outdoors, your child will enjoy:

  • Climbing structures: can be moved and recreated into countless different bridges, ladders, & obstacle courses
  • Playhouses: range from a rustic log cabin that has been used as Daddy's wood shop to a dainty cottage that houses a kitchenette and can serve make believe pies & cake
  • Water/sand area: ideal for creating rivers, moats & volcanos, children also have built complex factories and worked together to design a land of dinosaurs
  • Tricycle path: the children quickly learn the rules of the CPNS road as they navigate on trikes & trailers, plasma cars, or wagons
  • Shady trees: ideal for climbing or laying under
  • Lush grassy areas: for bouncing & kicking balls, running, hopping, sliding or skipping on

Exploring this space provides the perfect place to practice balance and gross motor skills, improve strength, and explore textures and scents.

Our 2-day morning class is generally for our youngest students, introducing them to school. The 4-day afternoon program is well suited as a transition year between preschool and kindergarten, with more focus on multi-day art projects, field-trips (averaging one per quarter), interactive show and tell, and weekly music with Teacher Katie, a very talented alum of CPNS.

Additional Programs

With Teacher

Rather than attempt to teach children the subjects they will be introduced to in kindergarten, we emphasize the readiness aspects of learning. Through adult-directed play, children participate in large and small groups that concentrate on the social, emotional, physical, and intellectual skills needed for kindergarten.

Pre-K’ers begin and end their day with large circle time when they will have lunch, musical activities, story sequencing, and community visitors. They are encouraged to raise hands, wait turns and problem solve with peers. In small group time students have an opportunity to explore different curriculum at an individual rate. Language Land, Body Blast, Fabulous Foods, and Science Scene challenge the children on many levels and keep learning fun!

All in all, it is a very enriching 2 hours that can be added to your child’s core class time.

Summer Camp

At our half day Summer Camp your child will experience water play, block room fun, wadding tools, messy science, creative art, story telling, singing and group games.

The majority of time is spent outside. After a morning of free choice exploration, all share in a quiet group time while eating lunch; they listen and participate in stories and discussions on topics that further the curriculum theme of the session. After lunch they return to self directed learning and end with a closing group activity.

Everyone loves Summer Camp at CPNS - it’s relaxed, fun and interesting.

"Remember the Mystery Box! And the Teddy Bear toss. Sometimes you don´t know a girl or boy and you get to know them when you do the Teddy Bear toss. Oh yeah, and we learned green light foods, we made granola, healthy soda..."Maya & Mailey, Pre-K Alum at 6 years old
"As an elementary school teacher with 35 years experience, grades K-6, I applaud parents who allow their children to benefit from a play-based curriculum in preschool. Child development studies show, and teachers know, that children engaged in a program which uses play as a medium for learning are more likely to enter kindergarten with a solid emotional, social, kinesthetic and academic foundation. Children who have ample opportunity to interact with their peers and engage in a variety of hands-on activities begin elementary school excited about learning. They tend to develop their imaginations, become divergent thinkers, and exhibit enhanced social skills at an early age. Play is the work of the young child, and students who have the opportunity to participate in the CPNS curriculum are well prepared for future academic success."Katherine L. Wolfe, Teacher, Arundel Elementary School, San Carlos

  • Carlmont Parents Nursery School
  • 751 Alameda de las Pulgas
  • Belmont, CA 94002
  • 650-593-4155
  • Contact Information