Beverly Glen Playgroup practices a developmental, play-based approach to early childhood education. The focus at Playgroup is on fostering children’s natural creativity and curiosity, developing communication and social skills and encouraging age-appropriate independence while assessing and guiding each child’s mastery of key developmental milestones.
Every child is unique.
Children move through different developmental stages at different rates. Playgroup’s developmental approach respects and celebrates these differences. The teachers seek to meet each child where he or she is, and support each child’s individual growth. Children are appreciated as individuals, treated with kindness and dignity and nurtured in warm, caring relationships with teachers. Playgroup’s developmental approach is also a “whole family” approach. Teachers and parents communicate often, both formally and informally, about what is happening for the child at school and at home. The director and teachers are openly available to support and guide parents as needed.
Children learn through play.
At the center of Playgroup’s educational philosophy is the belief that it is through play that children explore, integrate and understand the world around them. Play at Playgroup is hands on and incorporates art, music, literature, science, movement, dramatic play, and more. Play stations change daily and utilize everyday items to inspire open-ended, imaginative play. Through this kind of play, children develop the skills they need to think critically, reason, and solve problems. They also learn important social and emotional skills such as taking turns, resolving conflict, delaying gratification, working together, increasing flexibility, and persevering. Early academic concepts, including recognizing and writing letters and numbers and understanding the calendar, are integrated into play in fun, natural ways.
At first glance, the children’s play may look like “just play,” but teaching and learning are woven into the various play experiences offered. Whether indoor or outdoor, individual or group, activities are thoughtfully designed to stimulate critical areas of development in early childhood: perceptual and motor development, cognitive development, language development, and social-emotional development. While at play at Playgroup, the children gain the self-esteem and skills necessary to navigate their next years in elementary school and beyond.
The Playgroup day is designed with intervals of structured activity and free play. A mix of group and individual activities are provided. Days include a routine of designated group experiences such as circle time, cleanup time, meal times, and music time that allow for more targeted skill development. At Playgroup, children are welcome to get as messy as they like which frees them to explore their activities naturally.
Playgroup’s Mixed Age Experience.
The mixed age program in the second and third years of school enhances Playgroup’s developmental approach. Children experience different dynamics in relation to each other each year. In their first year of the Morning Program, children are the younger ones, and then in their second year, they become the older children. There are many developmental benefits to this approach. Younger children observe and learn from older children and are motivated by seeing what the older children have mastered. Older children take on new roles as helpers and role models and acquire confidence and early leadership skills in the process.