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Acorn Infant / Toddler Program

Acorn Hero

Do you believe it's never too early to begin nurturing and establishing a spiritually-based sense of growth and development? Then Acorn is for your family!

Principia’s Acorn Infant/Toddler program supports Christian Science parents and children (up to and through the age of three) by providing early social and learning experiences outside the home and family.

Why Acorn?

The abundance of psychologically- and physiologically-based parenting guidance on the internet and in bookstores is often overwhelming—and contradictory. In contrast, Principia’s Acorn Program provides a positive, spiritually-grounded forum for Christian Science families to connect with each other and with experienced educators to discover the joys and rewards of early childhood.

As a community, we explore how to support our children’s growth on the basis of spiritual unfoldment, rather than external triggers of development. Principia's Acorn program offers parents information and strategies relating to creative play and learning, character education and independence, discipline, and communication.

About Acorn

Our Acorn program, staffed by loving and experienced teachers, has supported St. Louis-area families since 1975. 

These activities and resources are available as part of the Acorn experience:

  • Tuesday play-ins (ages 1–3): In our recently renovated Acorn space in the Preschool building, we engage in play-based activities to help children gain knowledge about the world we live and work in. We create with a variety of art materials and develop our language and social skills as we sing songs and practice positive interactions with friends. Children learn to cooperate, collaborate, and develop communication skills, which are 21st-century skills integrated throughout a Principia education, beginning with Acorn. Parents or guardians help supervise the children and have opportunities to interact with each other.

  • Weekly parenting seminars: Offered on Tuesdays during play-in, these interactive, parent-focused discussions are facilitated by Early Childhood Principal Dorothy Halverson. Occasional presentations by guest speakers are videotaped and shared online. 

  • Wednesday and Thursday morning Acorn Sprouts (ages 2–3): These classes are based in our Acorn classroom and are an excellent initial school experience for toddlers. Students engage in hands-on experiences, often using natural and recycled materials, to encourage creative thinking and a sense of wonder and discovery. A major component of the Acorn program involves investigating the easily accessible woodland areas on our campus. Children explore the creeks, ponds, and trails, learning about the seasonal cycles and animals that live in these habitats. In order to participate in Acorn Sprouts, families must also participate in Tuesday play-ins and weekly parenting seminars. 

  • Toy library: The Acorn program offers access to a well-stocked toy library, from which enrolled families can borrow toys, puzzles, and books for two weeks at a time.

2021–2022 Program Costs

Play-in* $700
Play-in—plus one additional Acorn Sprouts class for ages 2–3 $1,500
Play-in—plus two additional Acorn Sprouts classes for ages 2–3 $2,200

All Acorn options are payable in 10 equal monthly installments and include the weekly parenting seminars and access to the toy library.

*A second-child discount is available for play-ins. 

Acorn Online

For families not living in the St. Louis area, Acorn Online provides a number of resources to support and enrich this special time. Sign up to receive age-appropriate articles.

Meet the Team

Excited Early Learner