Enjoying some sandbox time in the shade.
Click on a topic to see what kind of learning is happening and what materials and equipment I have to enhance that play . All activities offered align with the Illinois Early Learning Developmental Standards for Preschool.
During our interview I can show you the standards that are being met.
What Children Learn - Blocks (pdf)Download
What Children Learn - Dramatic Play (pdf)Download
What Children Learn - Fine Motor (pdf)Download
What Children Learn - Magna-Tiles (pdf)Download
What Children Learn - Process Art (pdf)Download
What Children Learn - Reading & Story Time (pdf)Download
What Children Learn - Science (pdf)Download
A large backyard secured by a 5’ privacy fence and locked gates.
We have 3 distinct
backyard play areas:
14’x24’ pergola covered concrete patio for ride on toys
Large, open grassy area for running, jumping, dancing, obstacle courses
19’x31’ rubber mulch play area with climbing equipment, sandbox, kitchen area, wooded play area, rock garden, play house.
Our art is based in the process of making art, not the end product.
Children have access to a wide variety of art materials.
Please note that not every child is creative in the art area. Some children are creative and create in many different areas. Some children are creative when it comes to block building, making music or playing in the dress up area.
I offer a consistent, predictable routine with large blocks of time dedicated to open ended play.
Children thrive with consistent, predictable routines and knowing “what comes next”. A familiar routine helps them feel secure and reduces anxiety. A well-planned, regular routine helps with positive behavior by meeting their basic needs for eating, sleeping, active and quiet play, alone time and community play.
1. Children learn through play. Children learn and develop cognitive skills, physical abilities, new vocabulary, social skills, and literacy skills.
2. Play is healthy. Play helps a child grow and counteracts obesity issues facing many children today.
3. Play reduces stress. Play is joyful and provides an outlet for anxiety and stress.
4. Play is more than meets the eye. Play is simple and complex. There are many types of play: symbolic, socio-dramatic, functional and games with rules - to name just a few.
5. Play and learning go hand in hand. They are not separate activities. They are intertwined. Think about them as a science lecture with a lab. Play is the child's lab.
Listed below are links to information I put together about what children are actually learning in the different areas of my child care. In the links you will find pictures related to the area, a list of what the children are learning, what equipment and materials I have that support and encourage that learning, and a breakdown of how many Illinois Early Learning & Development Standards for Preschool that are being met. I have specific standards broken down in each category that you can look at during the interview process. I was fortunate enough to be selected to be part of the focus group that helped field test the standards.
A play based, emergent curriculum is first and foremost, not a free for all.
It is not unplanned. A child centered environment does not mean a teacher absent environment. It is child initiated, teacher framed. Plans and activities are developed and tweaked based upon the children's interests. It is my job to observe, ask open-ended questions, and bring in materials and equipment that help expand the children's knowledge and experiences. Throughout our day, the children have many opportunities to make choices regarding their play. Art materials are always accessible, we have plenty of time for reading, time for developing listening skills, group interaction, and learning responsibilities and rules. Children are still learning about colors, shapes, ABC's, counting, and sizes.
What are the benefits of a play based, emergent curriculum setting? - play improves ones mood, reduces anxiety and aggressive tendencies, promotes better sleep, and makes children happy
Nikki Goethals - Denver Child Care Examiner
1. Cognitive Development: The construction of thought processes, including remembering, problem solving, and decision-making, from childhood through adolescence to adulthood. In other words, cognitive development is the emergence of the ability to think and understand.
2. PhysicalDevelopment: (large & small motor)
Gross (or large) motor skills involve the larger muscles including the arms and legs. Actions requiring gross motor skills include walking, running, balance and coordination. When evaluating gross motor skills, the factors that experts look at include strength, muscle tone, movement quality and the range of movement.
Fine (or small) motor skills involve the smaller muscles in the fingers, toes, eyes and other areas. The actions that require fine motor skills tend to be more intricate, such as drawing, writing, grasping objects, throwing, waving and catching.
3. Social & Emotional Development: Social-emotional development includes the child’s experience, expression, and management of emotions and the ability to establish positive and rewarding relationships with others (Cohen and others 2005). It encompasses both intra- and interpersonal processes.
4. Language & Literacy Development: Early language and literacy (reading and writing) development begins in the first 3 years of life and is closely linked to a child’s earliest experiences with books and stories. The interactions that young children have with such literacy materials, as books, paper, and crayons, and with the adults in their lives are the building blocks for language, reading and writing development. This relatively new understanding of early literacy development complements the current research supporting the critical role of early experiences in shaping brain development.