Preschool, at its best, is a celebration of childhood and everything children truly need to grow and thrive - child sized furniture (and bathrooms), interest centers with a child's favorite kind of play, predictable routines that flow with the rhythm of children's needs, new friends who laugh at the same silly things, and creative loving grown-ups who actually choose to spend their days with children. Preschools celebrate innocence and curiosity, messy play and the building blocks of lifelong learning. Preschools comfort and encourage, accept and strive. Preschools are extensions of home, places where children learn to love and love to learn.
Preschools, particularly those that understand young minds and bodies, give children exactly what they need to learn and grow:
- Preschool give hands-on, hearts-in play activities that integrate developing bodies and minds. Learning, especially for children, is not all "in the head". They need multi-sensory experiences to develop fine-motor skills, gross motor movement, self-control as well as higher ordered thinking essential for literacy, math and science. Mess means young minds at work!
- Preschool gives young children the safety and security of loving relationships beyond the immediate family. Each new emotional connection is an act of trust that literally expands brain potential for long term intellectual success as well as resilience and adaptability.
- Preschool gives children a unique place to become masters of their universe - those child-sized tables and chairs, imaginative play centers and original child-interpreted artwork hung at child-eye view, i.e., messy and individual. Children can help themselves to art supplies or choose to be the family dog in pretend play today. Each child feels competent, capable, responsible and resourceful every day in this miniature world.
- Preschool helps each child discover who they are and what they love - the artist, the scientist, the explorer, the inventor, the caretaker, the storyteller and the negotiator. What is an early childhood curriculum? It is an organized collection of the wonders of childhood founded on the best questions of young minds - what, who, how, why. Your child's teacher is that kid-crazy person who wakes at 2:00a.m. eager to share a new song, a new book, a lesson for classroom friends.
- Most of all, preschool is silly and fun and very very loving. You are sharing your child with an extraordinary group of people who hold magic in their hands. Preschool embraces the world of young children, a world of smiles and hugs, and dirt and boogers too.
Preschool is an enchanted place even if the year starts with a few uncertain tears, yours or your child's. Believe in love and learning and also in play and mess-making. Believe in perfect imperfection and taking time to grow. This September, walk away from the stressed out grown-up race to nowhere and enjoy knowing that preschool gives your child an invaluable gift of childhood - time to play, think, learn and grow into a unique capable little person.