Play-Based Learning

DCP is a play-based, parent cooperative preschool. We believe that the natural and important activity called “play” is what enhances development in children. The joy, instinctive sense of wonder and delight that play brings validates it as the most central, natural and important aspect of childhood. Believing in a play-based philosophy is simply accepting that children naturally engage in and enjoy play as a means of learning on their terms and at their own pace. Our job as teachers and parents is to provide a safe, nurturing environment with many developmentally appropriate activities and opportunities for children to creatively explore and learn through play.

Creative Opportunities

The way children interact within DCP classroom environments is child-directed, as is the amount of time they spend on any given activity. Through the guidance of well qualified teachers, children have the opportunity to creatively explore their environment, as well as develop a strong sense of self-esteem. A basic routine for the class gives reassuring structure and allows children to anticipate what is next. Teachers’ expertise is used in setting up the classroom and interacting with the children as they play to introduce concepts, expand their play and help them acquire tangible skills.

Though it is generally accepted that play contributes greatly to cognitive development, we at DCP don’t overlook play as an activity in its own right. The merits of play as a vehicle for imagination, discovery, invention, problem solving, social interaction, self-regulation, emotional development, creativity, role playing, and language and literacy development are limitless.

Discovery Through Play

Our teachers make it their priority to create an environment where children have many choices and opportunities for creating, communicating, and discovering through play. Children work through many real-life situations through play and many positive and negative feelings or anxieties may be addressed through their dramatic and fantasy play. With age and developmentally appropriate expectations in mind, teachers observe and take note of each child’s individual development as they strive to master many different skills. Engaging, mediating, and facilitating are goals of our teachers through art projects, singing, story-telling, sensory and motor activities and lots and lots of time to play.

We strive, at all times, to nurture and validate each child and to help them grow into their full potential as unique individuals.

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