When choosing a preschool for your child you have to consider curriculum options. One choice is a focus on play-based learning. At Dairy Road Discovery Center in West Melbourne, Florida this is our curriculum of choice. Learn more about this learning style and why we believe it’s the best choice for preschoolers.
What is Play-Based Learning?
Play-based learning is a form of learning where children are encouraged to actively engage with their peers and the world around them. While traditional approaches to learning emphasize academic skills and test preparation, playful learning lets children experiment and express their individuality. Children are given opportunities to practice their skills through role-playing, simulation, problem-solving, and other game-like situations.
This type of learning is perfect for preschoolers because it allows children to see themselves as experts and investigators. They experience and experiment with the same challenges they face in real life. This helps children develop confidence and build self-esteem, among other necessary life skills.
The Value of Play
If you are a parent deciding which type of preschool curriculum is best for your child, it is vital to understand the benefits of quality play. Children learn best through first-hand experiences. Playing helps them improve motor skills, language acquisition, and communication skills. Since play requires children to work together, it supports social skills and cognitive development. Allowing children time for structured play also encourages rule-following, concentration, and close listening skills.
Will My Child Be Kindergarten Ready?
Yes. Evidence overwhelmingly shows that preschoolers who learn through a play-based curriculum instead of a traditional academic-based curriculum pass cognitive milestones at the same rate. A study by the Gesell Institute for Human Development compared cognitive assessments of preschool-age children from various decades throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. Results that children’s rate of development has not changed even as curriculums have become more academically rigorous. Most importantly, through preschool, your child becomes used to the school environment, comfortable engaging with children and teachers, and excited about learning.
How Teachers Promote Learning Through Play
So, how do teachers apply a play-based approach in preschool classrooms? In a play-based classroom, there are different areas that students have ample time to explore throughout the day in unstructured play. These may include a kitchen area or a sensory table with wooden blocks and other tactile toys. Here, children interact and negotiate with their peers on their own terms.
Daily curriculums also include time for more structured learning. Often a theme, such as farm animals or jobs, is presented. Next, the teacher might read aloud a book related to the theme, prompting discussion and questions. Then, children are encouraged to use dramatic play to act out the theme. All of this creates a self-guided, creative learning environment.
Preschool and VPK in Melbourne, FL
Here at Dairy Road Discovery Center, we boast a thematic and literature-based curriculum, incorporating play and hands-on activities into all of our lessons. At Dairy Road, our preschool students are placed into programs based on their ability level and development, not their age, to have the best opportunity for success at school. Contact us today to take a tour of our school!