play your way through the day
We create monthly calendar based on themes and events and multicultural holidays during that particular month. We also feel like it’s important to follow the children’s lead and will expand on topics they show interest in. We provide lots of hands on activities and field trips and have community visitors come in when we can.
According to proponents of the concept, play enables children to make sense of their world. Children possess a natural curiosity to explore and play acts as a medium to do so. In the book Einstein Never Used Flash Cards, five elements of children’s play are listed:
3-5 Daily Room Schedule
**Generalized schedule, open to change and flexibility
Research shows that the first five years are some of the most important years in a child’s life. As teachers, our role is to facilitate the play environment where children can develop concepts as well as learn how to be independent. It is also our job to provide a stimulating and emergent environment where positive reinforcement and encouragement make learning possible. We provide a combination of structured and unstructured activities relying heavily on learning through play and taking advantage of teachable moments. Children gain knowledge through exposure to different activities and experiences.
Play is sufficiently important to the United Nations that it has recognized it as a specific right for all children. Children need the freedom to explore and play. Play also contributes to brain development. Evidence from neuroscience shows that the early years of a child’s development (from birth to age six) set the basis for learning, behavior and health throughout life. The child’s neural pathways are influenced in their development through the exploration, thinking, problem-solving and language expression which occur during play episodes. According to the Canadian Council on Learning, “Play nourishes every aspect of children’s development – it forms the foundation of intellectual, social, physical, and emotional skills necessary for success in school and in life. Play ‘paves the way for learning’”.
Learning occurs when children play with blocks, paint a picture or play make-believe. During play children try new things, solve problems, invent, create, test ideas and explore. Children need unstructured, creative playtime; in other words, children need time to learn through their play.
According to researcher Charles E. Pascel, “Play is serious business for the development of young learners. This is such an important understanding. A deliberate and effective play-based approach supports young children’s cognitive development. When well designed, such an approach taps into children’s individual interests, draws out their emerging capacities, and responds to their sense of inquiry and exploration of the world around them. It generates highly motivated children enjoying an environment where the learning outcomes of a curriculum are more likely to be achieved”.
 Einstein Never Used Flash Cards, Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Rodale Inc., ISBN 978-0-08-023383-3
 Fisher, K., Hirsh-Pasek, K., Golinkoff, R.M., Berk, L., & Singer, D. (2010). Playing around in school: Implications for learning and educational policy. In A. Pellegrini (Ed), Handbook of the Development of Play (pp. 341-362). New York, NY: Oxford Press.
 Fact Sheet: A Summary of the Rights Under the Convention on the Rights of the Child”, Article 31, http://www.unicef.org/crc/files/Rights_overview.pdf, accessed February 11, 2010
 Mustard, Fraser. “The Early Years Study”
 Playing and Learning, Beverlie Dietze, Diane Kashin,2011,Pearson Prentice Hall, ISBN 9780135125464
 Canadian Council on Learning (Early Childhood Learning Knowledge Centre), “Let the Children Play: Nature’s Answer to Early Learning”, Lessons in Learning (Ottawa: CCL, 2006), p. 2
 Einstein Never Used Flash Cards
 “With Our Best Future in Mind