Through our experience in the field of early education, we have learned that children are inherently driven to learn, explore and create.
It is our work to support that intrinsic love of learning. Just like us, children can better absorb a variety of concepts when they learn through interesting, pertinent, practical, hands-on exploration.
We all learn better through activities we are already interested in pursuing. This is especially true for children.
At Caterpillar Cottage, children are supported in developing their cognitive, social/emotional and physical capacities through the activities and play they choose.
THE ICE CREAM SHOP is one example of integrated learning:
Some children pulled out the large blocks in the yard and built a structure for their “Ice Cream Shop” where they took on roles of cashier, customer and even traffic officer.
In this kind of play, children are using their whole bodies (large muscles) to construct, problem-solve and collaborate. They are experiencing a bit of what it’s like to purchase things, and they start to understand trade or currency exchange.
When they make receipts, a sign, or a menu, this is one way they start to learn about literacy and communication through writing. Children are engaged physically, socially, and cognitively.
They are developing sequence and number sense, turn-taking, authority, negotiation skills, and more.
At Caterpillar Cottage, a wide variety of developmentally supportive activities are available in both indoor and outdoor free choice times, which is most of the preschool day.
Our teachers select these activities with attention to the interests and needs of the group in a variety of forms: small group projects, individual choice, and group play.
Children also engage in two circle time gatherings per day, where they sing songs, move or dance, listen to a story, watch a puppet show or engage in activities such as science experiences or perhaps discussing a social conflict or playground rule.