Outdoor preschools are rapidly gaining in popularity. In the Seattle area, just a few years ago, there were only a handful. This Parent Map article now lists over 25 in the Puget Sound region. They are typically a play-based preschool, where students spend 50 – 100% of the class day outside, year round, regardless of […]
When you start looking at preschools, you discover a whole world of jargon you never knew: play-based, emergent, teacher led, benchmarks, coop, Waldorf, Reggio Emilia, and so on. It can be overwhelming. And to make it more confusing, different people use words differently.. two schools that both call themselves “child-led” or “play-based” may look very […]
In a play-based preschool there are several activity centers, such as blocks, dress-up clothes and toy kitchens, easels and creation stations, sensory bins and more. This post covers what skills children learn with each of these types of play.
In a play-based preschool: The teacher sets the stage with engaging materials and supplies for fun activities. Then the children explore through play: observing, experiencing, wondering and discovering. The teacher is nearby to observe, ask questions, make suggestions, or play along. But each child decides which activities to do, which toys to play with, what to do with them, and for how long. Play is spontaneous, fun and creative, and the focus in on process, not product. Play is done for its own sake, not to accomplish a task. It involves lots of exploring of possibilities, experiments, trial and error, and repetition which reinforces learning.
If you’re trying to choose the best preschool for your child, you’ll find lots of helpful resources here on: determining your needs / goals; researching options (learn about all the different types of preschools), questions to ask, and how to make the final choice.