Blocks

What children learn

Through playing with blocks, children develop concepts of number, size, shape, space, and weight.  They also improve manipulative skills, language, social skills, self-confidence, and derive personal satisfaction. The children develop small muscles, eye-hand coordination, increase their attention span, improve social skills, and build concepts about size, shape, color, and pattern. Examples: Cardboard Brick, Blocks, Duplos/Legos, Cars and Track, Stacking Blocks, Noodles, Wooden Blocks, Lincoln Logs, People and Animals. 

Creative Art/Expression

What children learn

The art center enhances & encourages creative expression in children.  Art also improves social skills, language, small motor skills, cooperative skills, imagination, sensory exploration and concepts about size, shape, texture, and color. Furthermore, children can release their feelings and find aesthetic pleasure through art experiences. Sometimes we paint with brushes, paint & paper and sometimes we step way "out of the box".  But rest assured, we have some sort of "painting" everyday!  Examples: Variety of: brushes, paints, textures, paper, writing utensils, envelopes, and items for gluing & taping. 

Dramatic Play

What children learn

Dramatic Play will encourage social skills, cooperative play, language development  and creative development through imagination and role playing.  There are even opportunities to work on writing skills.   Examples: Theme Based prop boxes, Kitchen and food items, Babies and Dress Up. 

Early Science

What children learn

The children are able to experiment, solve problems, make decisions, and develop concepts about science and nature.  They also utilize math concepts, improve language and thinking skills, interact socially, as well as develop sensory skills and writing skills.  Examples:  Magnifying glasses & Prisms, Magnets, Scale/Balance, Weather, Tape measure, Flashlights. 

Writing/Handwriting Readiness

What children learn

The Writing Center will focus on fine motor development, scissor skills, creativity, social & language skills, copying & tracing and independent writing.  The Writing Center will have materials and opportunities for the children to explore and expand upon their pre-writing skills and awareness of print  as well as scissor cutting.  Examples: Different writing utensils, Assortment of paper, Stencils, Salt tray, Stamps & Pads, Colored Pencils, Paper, Scissors, Tape and Glue. 

Sensory

What children learn

The Sensory Center gives the children sensory pleasure while developing math concepts like measurement, weight & volume.  Children will also develop their fine motor, social, and language skills.  The mediums and materials used will offer a rich variety of tactile experiences and sensory explorations.  Examples:  shaving cream, sand, ice, bubble wrap, Oobleck (water & cornstarch), shavings, oatmeal, rice, and straws. 

Reading/Listening Center

What children learn

The Reading/Listening Center always has books available to read that pertain to the theme unit we are learning.  After lunch we have a quiet reading time where all the children chose a book and lay on the floor and read.  It's fabulous hearing them "read" their stories!  There is also a cassette tape with book available for the children to sit and listen. Learning about the different buttons and how to operate the machine is part of the fun!   Often a book is read to the children in the morning during "Circle Time" and before leaving at the end of the day. Examples: Cassette Player to listen & record sounds, stories, and voices, Story Book & Tapes, display of theme related books, teacher, and child-made books, and pillows for relaxing. 

Manipulatives

What children learn

The Manipulatives Center gives children the opportunity to maneuver small objects/pieces.  They will develop their fine motor skills, math concepts (one-to-one correspondence, patterning, sorting), social skills and language skills.  Examples: small blocks, connectors, stackables, colored cubes, beads, thematic objects. 

Early Math

What children learn

In the Math Center children learn counting, grouping, comparisons, patterns, time, money, measurement, addition, subtraction, geometric shapes, and problem-solving.  They also become familiar with one-to-one correspondence, number recognition and graphing; as well as improve their fine motor and social skills. Examples: Sorting items, sorting boards & containers, Unifix Cubes, puzzles, beads & items for lacing, geoboards.