Studies are showing that children learn more through play than through direct instruction. That makes sense because it’s easier to pay attention and be excited about something when it’s fun and engaging. At Ducklings Early Learning Centers, we acknowledge that children are not adults, and allowing them childhood joys is what we encourage. Wonder, exploration, and student agency are the key elements of play, which is why we have ample opportunities for them throughout your child’s day.
Our carefully planned curriculum is composed around play with a focus around mind, body, heart, and family. Children’s social-emotional capabilities are more robust when they have a chance to learn through play and deep relationships, and we foster their growth in a positive environment. We know looking for a “child care center near me” is a big undertaking, which is why we have broken down the importance of a play-based curriculum and why it’s important in the growth of your child.
Breaking the strict seat-time cycle
Early child care centers are often pressured to meet direction instruction and seat time guidelines, despite the continuing research that shows play-based learning to be more effective. Here at Ducklings Early Learning Centers we have learning centers that the children can explore (stones are a great way to encourage counting and grouping), as well as multisensory learning activities designed to challenge and delight young minds. It’s important to have a steady diet of unstructured time where the children are free to explore.
Little ones understandably have a lot of energy, so moving and grooving is a must for our Ducks! Our schools have large gymnasiums stocked with the works, and outdoor play spaces for fresh air and muscle development. There are many opportunities throughout the day to get the wiggles out, which only helps improve focus and concentration.
Play with an objective in mind
Teachers at your daycare center should have learning goals in mind, but be flexible and allow for inspiration. If learning about color mixing, the children should mix the colors themselves instead of being told which colors to combine together. This way they can use their imaginations while still being gently guided along the activity.
One way to make sure that students are playing with purpose is to structure each classroom with deliberate spaces or centers containing materials, games, or objects intentionally chosen for students to engage with. We make sure our ducklings have a variety of things to select from, and we rotate them out to keep their environment fresh and interesting.
As teachers observe, it’s important to ask open-ended questions to encourage deeper thinking. Simple questions also help practice recalling information–all ways to learn while playing. Our teachers encourage imagination to help build Thinkers instead of followers, and love asking and answering questions. We celebrate every success so your child develops a love of learning to last a lifetime.
When searching for “daycare center near me” be sure to investigate the type of learning curriculum they provide. Do they consider the child and encourage them to move and play while learning? Are there many centers in each classroom that give the children a variety of learning opportunities? Play is essential in the day-to-day life of young children.
If you’re looking for a high-quality daycare center near Philadelphia, turn to Ducklings Early Learning Center. Children can look forward to fun, themed enrichment activities, plentiful outdoor playtime, and socialization with their peers. Our well-trained teachers encourage children to explore the world around them with a focus on mind, body, heart, and family. Families can feel confident that students are engaged in an age-appropriate daycare curriculum in a safe, compassionate environment. Our childcare education is well-rounded and has the whole child in mind.