Play-based preschool curriculum

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Play-based preschool curriculum

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At our school, we have a play-based curriculum which I think is the natural way for young children to learn. The best way to understand a play-based curriculum is through examples. In our classroom, the way that works is my job, as the teacher, is to make sure that we have a rich environment full of many opportunities for children to explore, for children to put their hands on things, for children to have a variety of activities that they freely choose throughout their time to engage in, for as long as they wish or for as short as they wish. For example, a child might spend the entire day, just playing water; pouring water, measuring water, pouring it through a funnel, splashing, swirling, and exploring what water is all about; which after all, is a very important part of our world. Another child might spend their time over at the art table. We will never say to a child, "Today we are painting apples." Instead, what we might have are materials. We might have paper on the table, we might have paint, we have paint brushes, and we have an apple. A child may very well decide to try and paint that apple. More likely, the child is going to try and paint the apple itself. To pick up the apple and feel how smooth and slippery it is, to roll it around on the table and create prints with the apple. Especially younger children, two and three years old. They are going to get that paint on their hands and they are going to swirl it around and have that sensory experience. Answer their questions and satisfy their curiosities. When we are doing that, our minds are wide open and we learn so much.

Watch Video: Play-based preschool curriculum by Tom Hobson, ...

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Tom Hobson

Co-Op Preschool Teacher

Tom is a preschool teacher, blogger, artist, and author. For the past 10 years, he’s worked for the Woodland Park Cooperative preschools, teaching two to five year olds in Seattle, Washington where he lives with his wife and daughter. His award-winning blog, “Teacher Tom,” has earned him an international following as a leading proponent of a progressive, play-based curriculum and the cooperative model of early childhood education, as well as a fierce advocate for public policies that support the whole child and the teaching of democratic values to even our youngest citizens. His blog, like his classroom, is a place of exploration of the physical, social, political, emotional, and even spiritual world. It’s a place of experimentation, where the adults learn every bit as much as the children.

Tom is the author of A Parent’s Guide To Seattle, a regular speaker on early childhood education, a board member of the Fremont Arts Council, and a founding member of the Superhuggers performance art ensemble.

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