Preschool (3 - 4 years old)
Three year olds are full of wonder and spend a lot of time watching, observing, and imitating. Their imagination is working at all
times. They are particularly interested in perfecting their fine motor skills that they once found it challenging when they were two years old. A three-year-old loves to pour, mix, mash
and squeeze. At this age, a child will learn to hold his or her crayon better; thus our classrooms are equipped with fat pencils and crayons to help with pretend writing and drawing. The
gross motor skill development of this age group will learn to throw and catch a large ball. Hopping, climbing and skipping are activities that the child loves to practice and are incorporated
into everyday activities. One of the favorite words during this period is asking “why?” Three years old want to know what causes the events around them. They will also learn to listen to
the explanations of others with interest.
All of our classrooms are designed with learning centers, which give children the opportunity to play by themselves or in groups. The
classroom itself is a prepared environment designed to provide children with only positive experiences. The furniture is scaled to their size, and thoughtfully placed in the room to achieve a
natural flow of movement. Everything in the room is arranged in predictable fashion, so that children are able to take charge of their own learning, and to discover on their own. With its
sensible structure, the classroom itself replaces the teacher as the center of focus. The teacher becomes a facilitator in helping the children utilize their space to learn independently. Our
teachers skillfully plan engaging learning activities that build upon what your child can do, encouraging exploration along the way.
Traditional subjects such as math, language skills and social studies are integrated into the learning centers and introduced in the context of
play. The learning centers within a classroom offers social learning—playing together to develop healthy development and underlies children’s ability for later academic learning. Our teachers
are especially attuned to the emotional quality of classroom interactions and help children identify emotions (their own and others’) and learn problem-solving strategies. For example, in the
dramatic play area, a supermarket gives children chances to count money, sort and classify objects (math); make signs to label shelves or advertise special sales (language); and experience foods from
other cultures (social studies).
These centers constantly change according to the theme for the month. New activities and projects are introduced to meet emerging interests
and individual learning goals. Most importantly, learning centers offers opportunities for intellectual and social development, which is the key to a successful transition to our
The following are skills/learning centers for this age group:
Fine Motor Skills/Art
Children are given plenty of opportunities to play with different textures: water, play dough, fingerprint, shaving cream, and more. They are exposed to art materials such as paint and paintbrushes, crayons and paper, chalk, and clay. Students are introduced to simple and varying levels of shaped puzzles (some with knobs on the pieces) and materials are rotated to provide variety. Stacking blocks, shaking bells, doing puzzles, pouring, drawing, pasting, and swinging. Play enables a child’s small-muscle coordination to develop.
Active Physical Play
Running, jumping, climbing, lifting, pulling, pedaling, reaching, hopping, dancing, skipping, rolling, bending. Play enables a child’s large-muscle coordination to develop. Outdoor play is required on a daily basis (weather permitting) with a minimum of 60 minutes of physical active play.
Music and Movement
Musical toys, instruments, and genres of music are introduced to children from the very beginning. Children are exposed to various types of music: classical and popular, music characteristic of different cultures, and songs sung in different languages. Students learn to dance, clap to rhythm of songs, or even sing along. Play enhances eye-hand coordination and muscle development.
Daily use of block manipulation (including transportation toys, people, signs, and animals) help to develop spatial and mathematical relationships and most importantly imagination.
Child-sized furniture and props represent what children experience in every day life (household routines, work, transportation). Teachers
pretend with children in play (talk to child on toy telephone, talk to baby doll) or pretend play with objects such as pots and pans, typewriters, fruits and vegetables. Students are exposed to
dolls representing different races/cultures. Play fosters a child’s language, reading, and writing development.
★ Stimulates a child’s imagination.
★ Helps a child learn the difference between fantasy and reality.
★ Expands a child’s curiosity, creative thinking and skills.
★ Enables a child to explore cause and effect.
★ Provides new information about the world.
★ Gives a child the chance to organize information.
★ Allows a child to figure out how to solve problems.
★ Enables a child to try out new roles.
★ Sets the stage for a child to learn how to think through ideas and problems.
Sand and Water Play
Different activities done with sand or water (on different days water used for washing dolls, floating toys, and pouring.)
Daily experiences with living plants or animals indoors. Caring for pets help children handle natural things carefully. There are daily exploration of the world around us, such growing plants or flowers in the classroom, studying animals, examining the texture of a tree bark, and sorting various types of sea shells.
Have a look at the photo gallery below to see what we've been up to recently, and to see BedRock Preschool from the inside.