Fun & Creative Play-Based Learning
“The very existence of youth is due in part to the necessity for play; the animal does not play because he is young, he has a period of youth because he must play.” – Karl Groos
Children learn best through non-directed play while being able to make choices about their activities and interests. Here are some examples of what children are learning through play and activities you might see in these different areas of development.
Art at EEC is processed based which builds on a child’s cognitive skills, decision making skills as well as creativity and imagination. Materials are provided for the children to create art and there is not a model to follow or a specific desired outcome. They can express themselves through these open-ended activities and create true art that is meaningful to them.
Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills involve movement of the smaller muscle groups in your child's hands, fingers, and wrists. Activities such as playdough, stringing beads, coloring, puzzles, painting and cutting help to strengthen and refine your child’s find motor skills so that they will be ready for writing and small motor tasks as they get older
Social Emotional Skills
Building Social Emotional skills in preschool is one of our biggest focuses. Children learn conflict resolution skills, self-regulation, to follow multi-step directions, self-help skills, friendship building and independence as well as an awareness of their feelings and how to express themselves and communicate with their peers and their teachers.
Language & Literacy
Language and Literacy skills in preschool help build the foundation and skill set needed in order to learn to read later. Literacy activities increase and build expanded language skills such as vocabulary, phonological awareness, print awareness, letter knowledge, self-expression, and comprehension. Singing, reading, playing, talking and providing writing experiences all contribute to a child’s language and literacy skills and is how they learn best. Children will be exposed to fingerplays, songs, environmental print, writing activities and books in our language rich classrooms and environment.
Math in the preschool years sets the basis for beginning to understand numbers and patterns before the more abstract math of elementary school begins. It involves learning about measuring, sorting, building, noticing patterns, making comparisons, and describing the environment, as well as counting and knowing the names of shapes. Children participate in centers and with manipulatives such as blocks, tangrams, sorting bears or unifix cubes that let them explore these math concepts and the world around them. Children in the prek class begin using graphs to display and compare information visually.
Outside Play & Gross Motor Skills
Gross motor skills involve movement of the larger muscle groups, like the arms and legs. Outside, your child will work on these skills by riding trikes, climbing the dome, going down the slides, climbing the ladder or rock wall and running with friends. Sand and water play is also included daily and the "mud kitchen" is a favorite place to play! Our playground includes an area for riding trikes and playing basketball, a sand area with the dome climber and structure with a bridge and slides, a garden to help grow plants and eat from and our courtyards which extend our classroom activities outside.