WHAT IS PRESCHOOL?
Preschool is a child’s first formal introduction to education. It is a place where children have the opportunity to expand and explore new things. Preschool provides an environment where the process is the focus, rather than the product. Mistakes are expected and accepted, for this is the way we all learn. The activities for our preschool programs are designed to engage children in meaningful activities and experiences.
The following information explains the benefits of these:
This offers children hands-on opportunities to develop Self-Help Activities These activities are integrated throughout the day and foster independence as children learn to take responsibility for their bodies, personal belongings, classroom materials, and the environment. problem-solving skills and such concepts as counting, sorting objects, and matching/identifying simple shapes.
Science activities offer children many hands-on opportunities for observation, exploration, investigation, making predictions, and experimentation. Through simple activities children build a foundation for future scientific learning.
Sensory materials are often a favorite of young children. Sand, water, play-dough, shaving cream, and cooking projects all help children to understand their environment through touch, smell, and taste. These activities also provide opportunities for language development, understanding spatial relationships, small-group activities, and fine motor development. These activities can soothe an angry child and comfort one who is upset. There is not a right or wrong way to use these open-ended materials: thus, they offer children a sense of success.
Literacy activities provide children with meaningful interactions with books and print. Books give children the opportunity to respond to various forms of literature, to follow simple story lines, to predict outcomes, and to retell a familiar story. Children develop their literacy skills by reading books, writing stories, retelling stories using props, and listening to a variety of books on tape.
These activities are integrated throughout the day and foster independence as children learn to take responsibility for their bodies, personal belongings, classroom materials, and the environment.
Fine Motor Activities
This helps children improve small muscle development and hand-eye coordination. Hand-eye coordination is a critical skill. Children need their hands and eyes to learn. If they are to write, color, button, zip, and cut they must be able to have the two working together.
Gross Motor Activities
All children need opportunities to move and use their bodies. Very young children do so constantly as they experiment with what their bodies can do and where their bodies will fit. Just as they use manipulative toys, they like to put their bodies in, on, under, over, through, behind, and around. Gross motor activities give children the opportunity to use their large muscle groups – as well as their imaginations- as they engage in fun, healthy exercises such as running, jumping, and climbing. Outside play promotes physical development such as balance and coordination and body awareness and control. It has been shown that independence, early success in school, and positive self-esteem often go hand in hand with successful motor development.
Snack time encourages healthy eating habits, promotes informal conversation, and builds social skills. Proper table manners and courtesy phrases are modeled and encouraged during snack time.
Young children love to dress up and pretend. This is an important part of their learning, as they are practicing and reviewing their past experiences, as well as furthering their understanding of the world around them. Dramatic play activities help children express themselves, role play, practice life skills, improve social skills, build vocabulary, and solve problems through interactive and imaginative play.
Circle time activities are designed to stimulate children’s thinking, enrich their language and social skills, develop their listening skills, and expand their attention span.
Art activities help children creatively express their thoughts and feelings. They help reinforce fine-motor skills and concept development in areas such as colors, shapes, and size relationships. Our art activities focus on the process of the task and not the final product. Art is about encouraging creativity in children. Open-ended art activities and materials give children opportunities to develop their own ideas and use their own designs.
Music activities promote children’s listening skills, creative expression, and social skills. As children move to the beat of the music, they explore and practice important developmental skills. Singing helps children develop new vocabulary, practice words they already know, create and imitate sounds, recognize and repeat patterns and compare sounds to each other. The addition of movement aids in large muscle development by allowing children to use their bodies to express themselves.
Block play gives children experience with many different concepts, such as shape and size discrimination, spatial relationships, number skills, balance, organization, cause and effect, and classification. Cooperative play skills, problem solving, and creativity are also promoted in block play. Through block play and block construction, children experiment with their own ideas and turn those ideas into tangible 3-dimensional objects.
Story time is designed to help children develop an appreciation and enjoyment of literature. Reading activities enhance children’s vocabulary and comprehension skills as well as expand their understanding of concepts and content.