Cognitive Development
Gan Nitzanim employees will follow the child’s lead in their interactions and in developing an environment that is rich in opportunities for exploration and interaction. They will use open ended questions to aid in the children's problem solving and enhance their creative ability. Staff will use a combination of play based materials along with teacher facilitated practices. Purposeful play-based learning enables children to investigate, ask questions, solve problems, and engage in critical thinking. Play is responsive to each child’s unique learning style and capitalizes on his or her instinctive curiosity and vision. The environment will then be set up to encourage the children to challenge their abilities, expand their interests and develop relationships.

With our integrated play-based philosophy children are learning concepts that reflect on high order thinking and problem solving strategies. With scaffolding and adult support children can explore properties that can extend and enrich their individual interests and the selection of activities and materials/manipulatives we provide allows them to improve their language and cognition through the articulation of their ideas and the use of multiliteracies to express them.

Social-Emotional Development   
Progressive learning environments and practices, focused on play-based learning, encourage children’s self-expression, communication, self-regulation and their ability to deal with stress. As they learn how to remain and return to a state of calm in stressful situations, they are best able to control their emotions, pay attention, ignore distractions, and understand the consequences of their actions. Gan Nitzanim staff model best practices, positive language, and foster an awareness of their own ability to self-regulate their emotions. To encourage self-regulation we strive to create an environment where every child feels safe and supported to find a variety of ways in which to express their emotions. We work to teach the children to recognise their emotions and to discover ways in which to deal with them affectively and calmly. Gan Nitzanim‘s physical set-up also meets a child's needs in becoming independent and self-reliant.

Physical Development
At Gan Nitzanim physical well being is supported through food, physical activity, and sleep. Gan Nitzanim shall provide a healthy atmosphere in which the children will be encouraged to develop healthy habits. Nutritious foods will be provided every day in order to encourage proper eating habits. These foods are in line with guidelines set out by the ministry and Canada’s Food Guide. Every child is encouraged to sample the food and expand their flavour palate. Gan Nitzanim provides positive eating environments with regards to portion sizes that are responsive to children’s cues of hunger and fullness.

At Gan Nitzanim we strive to provide equal opportunities for all children to find the active and quiet time that meets their individual needs. Large and small muscle control equipment and toys will be provided. We make use of the playground each day, weather permitting. Nap time is offered for two hours per day following lunch for the Pre-nursery and Nursery rooms and rest-time for the Kindergarten classes.

We value that every child needs time to engage in physical activity to keep their bodies healthy. The children receive both indoor and outdoor gross motor play and physical activity is increased while sedentary activities are decreased. Our weekly sports program introduces early sports education and active play to the children as young as the toddler group. Active play both indoors and outdoors strengthens functioning in perception, attention, creative problem solving, reasonable risk-taking, and physical exploration so that children can gain individuality, self control, competence, and learn to persevere.

Hebrew Language
The main emphasis in the pre-school program is the development of Hebrew letter recognition and vocabulary growth. The students will learn the Hebrew vocabulary through the daily use of colloquial Hebrew, and will be encouraged to utilize their acquired vocabulary. The children will learn about Israel, their Jewish heritage, as well as customs and holidays.

Religious Prayers and Customs

  • The appropriate blessings over food as well as Netilat Yadaim for the washing of the hands will be said before snack and lunch time each day.

  • Morning prayers otherwise known as Birkot Ha’shachar will be learned (Modeh Ani, Adon Olam, Ve’ahavta, Shema Yisrael, Torah Torah, and birchat tzitzit).

  • Daily and holiday customs are part of the child`s Judaic development.

  • A special significance is given to the performance of Mitzvot.

  • Parashat Ha`Shavuah – each week in both Nursery & Kindergarten the highlights of the Sidrah are reviewed. This fosters a love and knowledge of the Torah.


Music & Drama
Musical and dramatic experiences enable your child to express him/herself through responses to sound, melody, and rhythm. Each Gan Nitzanim class will experience both on a weekly basis. Through the use of different manipulatives such as musical instruments, puppets, ribbons and acting etc. each child learns about different composers and the stories behind each musical piece. Themes covered are colours, holidays, animals, creation of the world, etc. Emphasis in both areas is given to Jewish music and themes.


Yoga has been introduced into the kindergarten program. It is a time for all the children to take a few minutes to re-group, breathe and stretch their bodies. Yoga enhances:

  • Physical flexibility

  • Refines balance and coordination

  • Boosts self-esteen and confidence

  • Strengthens the mind-body connection. Many of the poses are named after animals, which adds to the enjoyment of the lesson for the children as they love animals and the sounds /movements they make.



7770 Bathurst Street, Thornhill

(Located inside Beth Chabad Israel Synagogue)