About Us

Wonderland Activities Center is a Children’s Activities Facility providing session based drop off classes for toddlers and preschoolers. Classes are theme based with a curriculum focused on learning through play, art, literature, games, and music.

Classes cultivate positive peer socialization, classroom skills, and an early joy of learning. Themes are chosen to help children explore and learn about the world around them and include animals, seasons, weather, science, holidays, family, and early academic concepts and skills. The inspiration behind our program is to provide fun and educational classes that help children learn about the world around them, grow academically and socially, and gain confidence and independence.

Choosing Wonderland

Is A Wonderland Class Right For my Child?

There are many options for children's education and entertainment and it's important to pick a program that meets your needs, expectations, and personal philosophies. Here we have provided information about our program that should help you decide if a Wonderland class is the right fit for you and your child.

Licensing and Type of Center

Wonderland Activities Center holds a Children's Activities Facility license. This is designed for play spaces and other session based facilities that offer classes such as art, ballet, drama, and camps. We are not a day care and should not be used as child care. We offer session based classes that are meant to enrich a child's play time and socialization with fun and educational activities.

The Wonderland Classroom

The Wonderland Activities Center facility is designed to function as a classroom appropriate for toddlers and preschool age students. We have a creative play area on one side, and a classroom setting on the other with child-sized tables and chairs. Class time is spent doing focused activities like dress-up and imaginative play, creating with play dough and art materials, table top activities, games, manipulatives, and participating in circle time. 

Behavior Goals

At Wonderland we strive to teach children proper and polite behaviors. We model and guide children toward behaviors that are respectful toward themselves, others, the classroom, and the environment. We offer children opportunities to express their thoughts, feelings, and needs in a positive and effective manner. We assist children in learning and implementing social skills to help them share, take turns, work together, and communicate with friends.

Behavior Guidance

During play, social interactions, and teacher lead activities we guide children's behaviors and interactions with verbal reminders (bottom on your seat, gentle hands please), choices (Tom is playing with the red truck now. Would you like to pick another truck or come play blocks with us?), and prompts (If you want a turn say "turn please!").

When a child becomes frustrated—does not want to sit on his or her bottom for circle time, cannot make an acceptable choice, or repeatedly uses rough hands with friends or takes toys, we move into a self-chosen time out. We usually refer to this as "Let's take a break until we're ready to (insert acceptable behavior)." The child can return to play as soon as he/she chooses to leave the time out for an acceptable activity. We will check back with them or they will tell us when they're ready to play nice/use their words/join an activity.

Our method of verbal reminders, choices, prompts, and self-chosen time outs is extremely effective for most children and involves the child in learning to regulate their behavior, recognize their behavior, calm themselves/curb their own impulses, and choose appropriate replacement behaviors.

Teachers will remain in contact with parents letting them know what behaviors or goals we are working on with their child and what methods we are using to help them play and join our activities in an acceptable manner.

What Is My Child Learning?

During play time, children are offered the opportunity to use their imagination, express their interests, and socialize with friends. Teachers guide this play by taking advantage of teachable moments, encouraging the children to express themselves, and helping the children learn skills for sharing, taking turns, and playing constructively with peers.

During circle time, children are offered the opportunity to come together with their friends for fun and educational group learning. Through songs, books, puppetry, and games teachers introduce information about the week’s theme (seasons, holidays, weather, animals, nature), early academic skills (numbers, counting, colors, classifications), classroom skills (sitting, listening, taking turns), and verbal skills (increasing vocabulary and expressive language).

During snack and lunch times, children are offered the opportunity to sit with their friends over a healthy meal. Children practice sitting properly in chairs, drinking from a cup, using a washcloth to clean messes, tasting new foods, using polite table manners, and engaging in conversations with teachers and peers. Our meals are prepared in-house and served family style.

During art time, children are offered the opportunity to create something representative of the day's theme and practice fine motor skills. Children will be exposed to a variety of art medium including paper, glue, tempera paint, watercolors, stamps, markers, and crayons. Art projects are designed to support the theme and range from creative freedom of the artist to an opportunity to follow instructions and directional words.

During gym time, children are encouraged to burn off some energy with gross motor play. Children will build on skills such as balance, aim, and coordination while enjoying activities from riding cars to bean bag tossing to parachute play. Gym time will include open play as well as structured games.  

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Classroom Readiness

Is My Toddler Ready For The Classroom?

These skills and abilities are an indicator that your child is ready for group play and learning. Being ready sets your child up for a successful, confident, positive experience.

Yes, my child can!

             If not, practice at 1 seated meal per day.

If not, practice sitting in a chair for the duration of each meal. Once the child leaves their seat then they are finished and their dishes are cleared. They should remain at the table for long enough to consume their meal, but not be asked to remain longer during adult conversation or social lingering.

If not, practice leaving it at home whenever you leave the house to go on outings, run errands, attend classes, etc. Drop off is not the time to take the item away!

If not, remind your child to remove their sucking item from their mouth each time you see it outside the home. Remind them of your chosen rule: We only suck at home or a designated spot at home such as their bed. We follow the rule, “Only food is allowed in your mouth at school.”

If not, practice labeling your child’s feelings and actions. Remind them to use their words so you can help them. Give them simple words and phrases such as “help please” “more” “all done” “my turn”. If your child is nonverbal continue with the labeling and encourage them to point or “show me.”

If not, practice calling them to activities such as sitting at the table, coming for a diaper change, or picking up toys rather than fetching them and carrying them to each activity.

If not, practice when you clean up. Set out a bin and ask them to fill it with the blocks or the toy that goes in the bin. Bins are a great starting point for toddler clean up.

If not, encourage them to play in certain areas or with playmates. If they are resistant, use this time to stay close to them, bond, and help them feel safe until the separation anxiety naturally subsides.

If they are, this is bad timing to begin a drop off class. Try waiting three months or when the anxiety/preference noticeably subsides. Starting when they’re ready sets them up for a positive initial experience!

If they are, practice at home and in small group settings where you are one on one with your child and can manage the play and teach replacement behaviors before introducing them to a larger group setting.

For skills you need to work on with your child, please allow 3 weeks to three months of practice time before starting our program.

Classroom Hygiene Practices

Practice having your child cough and sneeze into their elbow. Applause and praise are a great response when they do it correctly!

Remind your child to ask for a tissue or come to you when their nose is running instead of wiping it on their hand or sleeve. Washing their hands every time they use them as a tissue is a quick and effective way to help them remember.

All hand washings are not equal! Please practice our method of:

Water first, then soap.
You may have to shut the water off briefly so they can properly clean their hands before rinsing the soap away.
Scrub wet soapy hands, fronts together, the back of each hand, then interlace fingers to squeeze, squeeze, squeeze.

Home Social Skills vs Class Social Skills (Something you may not have thought of)

Taking a toy out of Mommy's hand is common and usually acceptable in the home. Mommy has no problem sharing her blocks. Taking a toy out of a peer's hand in class or any social situation is not acceptable and can be hurtful. Start practicing this at home:

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Enrollment Process

For additional information, clarification or questions on any of the following policies, please contact Wonderland Activities Center.

The Enrollment Process

The Enrollment Confirmation Timeline

How To Enroll Online

Payments

All payments must be made by cash or check. Make checks payable to: Wonderland Activities Center.

Payment Refunds/Partial Attendance

Please contact Wonderland Activities Center for any additional questions, concerns or special needs you may have. Thank You.

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Policies & Procedures

Visiting Wonderland Before Your First Drop-Off Class

Toddler Program Orientation: We hold an orientation for our toddler program before the start of each new session. This orientation is a great opportunity for parents to attend a demo class with their child and enjoy open play, a circle time, and an art project. Teachers are available to discuss and answer questions about the program. 

Family Visit: Family Visits are a great opportunity for you and your child to become familiar with our classroom, enjoy some play time, and ask questions about our program. Family Visits are by appointment only.

Drop-Off Procedure for Your First Wonderland Class

Separation: Please be quick, confident and reassuring at drop-off time. Assure your child you will return soon, give great hugs, and send the child into the classroom or to a teacher. (Tip: Children do not yet understand time frames so try an activity familiar to your child like, "Mommy will go get coffee and be right back" or "Mommy will run to Target and then be back.")

Attending in Increments: Your child will attend only one hour of their first class so both parent and teacher can get an idea of how they will adjust. After this first shortened day, your child may attend in increasing increments that you and the teacher have discussed. If a child cries continuously for 30 minutes, we will call you to come pick-up and shorten their stay time for the first few days. 

What if my child isn't separating well? If your child has attended the program for three consecutive weeks (or 6 classes) and you have followed our separation techniques and attendance increments, and your child still has not adjusted to the drop-off program, we will cancel the enrollment and refund the remainder of your payment.

Drop Off & Pick-Up Procedure

What to Bring to My Child's Class

Toys, Snacks, and Security Items from Home

Potty Training & Diapering

Attendance & Make-Up Days

Illness Policy

Allergies

Medications

Parking

Transportation

Celebration of Holidays

Please contact Wonderland Activities Center for any additional questions, concerns or special needs you may have. Thank You.

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Wonderland Instructors

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Community

Jahn Elementary School

We love volunteering and helping out with Jahn events and activities when we can. You will see us yearly providing free themed art projects at the Back to School BashJahn Pumpkin Patch, and North Pole at Jahn!

Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce

Wonderland Activities Center is a member of the Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce. You will see Wonderland providing fun art activities in the kids' tent at Burger Fest every year! 

Belmont Business Committee

Wonderland Activities Center is a member of the Belmont Business Committee in which we partner with other small businesses on Belmont to benefit the neighborhood, participate in fundraisers and collections for charities, and open our doors for the annual Bunny Hop!

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What are people saying about Wonderland Activities Center?

"Wonderland has been an amazing experience for my 3 year old daughter. She has flourished there, becoming more independent and making friends. Ms. Jodi and Ms. Kendra are so wonderful with the kids and Ms. Jodi is very responsive and approachable. The center is always very clean and well organized. I'm so happy we found Wonderland, my daughter is always asking to go to school she loves it so much. It is also very affordable for what is offered in the neighborhood, very worth the price."

—Aimee, Roscoe Village mom of one

 

"My daughter has been going to Wonderland Activities Center for the past 10 months. From day one she ran in and has never looked back. Her verbal skills exploded after entering this session based drop off class. It amazed us! She has really flourished in Wonderland. It amazes us how much she has learnt, the little facts she'll take home about different animals, shapes, numbers, colors and probably the biggest surprise, when she recognizes a book in the library or bursts into a song that she learnt at school. Miss Jodi and Miss Kendra are so sweet, kids are very drawn to them and you can feel the lovely warm cozy atmosphere they've created that makes these kids love it so much."

—Barbara, Roscoe Village mom of two

 

"Miss Jodi and Miss Kendra are wonderful. Our 2-year old daughter had only been exposed to a full-time nanny, so we were not sure how she would handle being dropped off. We started her in Wonderland Activities' Creative Players class and by week 2, our daughter had settled in comfortably. We have noticed a significant different in our child's social skills too. She is now noticeably more outgoing, less shy, expresses herself more effectively both verbally and with actions and is more comfortable with other peers of similar age. Both Miss Jodi and Miss Kendra are great with children and the activities and lessons they conduct with the children are fantastic. They are fun for children, yet also are educational. I highly recommend Wonderland Activities to parents of toddlers."

—SY.T., Lakeview mom of one

 

"Miss Jodi and the staff at Wonderland Activities Center are as good as it gets. My daughter was 18 months and had very little drop-off experience. Jodi made the separation as easy as could be...for both of us! She helped my daughter's overall independence (she no longer cried going to the gym daycare, with babysitters, etc. after starting Wonderland). A year and a half later, my daughter still attends a weekly class and loves every second - she can't get in the door fast enough. My daughter also has a food allergy and I never worry while she is at Wonderland as Miss Jodi is on top of it."

—Allison, Roscoe Village Mom of two

 

"I drop off my boys and have free time to myself, to do anything from running errands, meeting a friend for coffee, going for a pedicure, going to a doc. The best part is knowing that my guys are safe and having a great time with Jodi at Wonderland."

—Susan, Lincoln Square mom of twin boys

 

"I've spent a lot of time trying to teach my 3 year old son how to read.  After a while, both he and I just found our "teaching sessions" frustrating. I wanted him to sit and practice his letters, he wanted to run off and play with his trains. I was thrilled to find out that Wonderland Activities Center was now offering an Early Readers class.  I signed him up immediately. After just a couple of lessons, I noticed that his attitude towards reading has completely changed. He now gets excited whenever he sees any street sign, any billboard. He tries to sound out the letters and words. After a few more lessons with Miss Jodi, he is now reading some three letter words. While I thought the progress was pretty remarkable, I was pleased when his preschool teacher made a comment about his reading skills being ahead of most kids his age. I believe this is one of the best investments I've made in my child's early education."

-- Yana, Roscoe Village mom of three

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Employment Opportunities

Lead Teacher

JOB DESCRIPTION

Salary Paid with PTO
M-F 9 - 2
3 Orientations per year
Family Visits
Special Events
Teacher parent communications: in person, email, phone
 

JOB DUTIES

Classes are taught by two teachers. Teachers share responsibilities of leading guided play, circle time, art projects, gross motor activities, music and movement, classroom management, snack and lunch preparation, assisting with potty needs, classroom set up and clean up, and communication with parents. 

This position offers the opportunity for growth. For those who are inspired, there are opportunities to contribute to or design your own curriculum. If you have any special skills, we would be happy to incorporate them.

REQUIREMENTS

Associates Degree or higher in ECE or field related to education and childcare.
Minimum of one year experience as a lead teacher in a classroom. 
Certified in CPR and First Aid.

Experienced with developmentally appropriate practices and have a strong understanding of toddler development.
Experienced with communicating with parents to keep them informed on their child's activities and progress.
A cooperative and dependable co-worker.
Able to follow procedures and keep our classroom, clean, organized, and safe.

Assistant Teacher

JOB DESCRIPTION

Hourly Pay
M-F 9 - 2
3 Orientations per year
Special Events

JOB DUTIES

Engaging with the children in meaningful play.
Assisting with classroom set up and clean up.
Preparing materials and activity centers from lesson plans.
Snack and lunch preparation. 
Helping with classroom activities.
Assisting children with potty time.
Leading small group activities.

REQUIREMENTS

One year experience in the field of education/child care.
Certified in CPR and First Aid.
 
A cooperative and dependable co-worker.
Able to follow procedures and keep our classroom, clean, organized, and safe.
Proficient understanding of toddler development and care.

Substitute Teacher

JOB DESCRIPTION

All our classes are taught by an experienced lead teacher so anyone coming in to join us as a substitute would have the main job of assisting the lead teacher and keeping the children happy and engaged with classroom activities. We do some activities in small groups so a substitute would have her own small group within the classroom at times throughout the day. 

We are in need of substitutes to take the place of a second classroom teacher when one of our teachers is out for the day or longer scheduled vacation. We also schedule substitutes to function as additional teachers at the beginning of our sessions when we have new students joining our program who will require extra attention and TLC when transitioning to their first drop off classroom experience. 

Substitutes should be the type of person who can easily jump right in and take direction on the job. They should be patient, caring, fun, flexible, and ready to do what is needed. An understanding of children 2 -3 years old will be necessary to assist with classroom play, learning, and social skills. 

Those on our substitute list are contacted with dates when a substitute is needed. They can reply to work the dates or inform us if they are unavailable. All substitutes come in to work one paid day when hired to receive a bit of training and get to know our teachers and program.

REQUIREMENTS

One year experience in the field of education/child care.
Certified in CPR and First Aid.
All substitutes will receive the required background check.

APPLICANTS SHOULD EMAIL THEIR RESUME TO jodi@wonderlandactivities.com

Why Work For Wonderland

Wonderland is a small business nestled in the family friendly neighborhood of Roscoe Village.

Perfect work schedule for parents with children in school. Hours allow availability to drop off and pick children up from school.

Opportunities for parents with toddlers to receive discounts to enroll their child in class during their own work schedule.

Great for those continuing their own education through afternoon/evening classes.

Single classroom facility creates the perfect teaching environment without interruptions and a close supportive staff working as a team.

Stable part time job for professional teachers with hours easy to work around family, personal time, continuing education/pursuing a degree, or supplementing income.

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