If you were to walk into one of our centers (Discovery Days I, II, and III and Kids Connection I and II) you might see that the children spend 80% of their waking hours engaging in play. On a surface level, this might cause the casual observer to be skeptical or to think that the curriculum isn’t very rigorous; however, nothing could be further from the truth.
Our educational philosophy is very simple: children learn best through explorative play in which they are engaging with their environment and other children, with the help of a facilitating teacher. You may be thinking, what constitutes “play?” “Play” is only “play” according to a group of early childhood experts, if it meets three of the following expectations listed below, each of which is taken directly fromscholarly work (Krasnor&Pepler, 1980; Rubin, Fein, & Vandenberg, 1983, depicted in the “Power of Play” publication):
PLAY IS PLEASURABLE. Children must enjoy the activity or it is not play.
PLAY IS INTRINSICALLY MOTIVATED. Children engage in play simply for the satisfaction the behavior itself brings. It has no extrinsically motivated function or goal.
PLAY IS PROCESS ORIENTED. When children play, the means are more important than the ends.
PLAY IS FREELY CHOSEN. It is spontaneous and voluntary. If a child is pressured, she will likely not think of the activity as play.
PLAY IS ACTIVELY ENGAGED. Players must be physically and/or mentally involved in the activity.
PLAY IS NON-LITERAL. It involves make-believe
What does the research say?