The Learning Tree Children’s Center

Kirksville Childcare Center

Birth – 11 years Old

The Learning Tree Children’s Center uses a play based curriculum called Creative Curriculum. Creative Curriculum aligns with all Missouri Learning Standards. Does that mean your child just plays all day? This is the question most often asked by parents of young children. The answer is yes, but while playing your child is learning their alphabet, geography, science, early reading and writing skills and math. Research shows that young children learn best through active, hands-on experiences. In other words, children learn by doing. Play provides the foundation for academic learning.

Children learn through the different centers in the classroom, and are encouraged to design, build, investigate, discover, and learn new ideas. They develop independence, initiative, and decision-making skills, as well as, language and social skills by interacting with other children.

Children need to get their hands on stuff and manipulate it themselves. They need to see it, touch it, smell it, taste it, hear it, and feel it. Children are motivated to learn by their desire to make sense of their world. For children to understand and remember what they have learned, it must be meaningful and interesting to them. Open-ended activities foster creativity, risk taking, and trying out new ideas. Children must be allowed to be in control and to make choices. This gives them a solid foundation in academics. Children are also encouraged to teach their peers what they know.

When playing in learning centers, young children:

* make choices
* develop problem solving skills
* expand oral language
* enhance creative abilities
* develop social skills
* develop responsibility
* learn how to make plans and carry them to completion
* learn cooperation
* develop longer attention spans
* develop an understanding of symbols as they move from concrete to abstract
* enhance their self image
* experience integrated learning as they use all areas of the curriculum in meaningful ways
* build gross and fine motor skills
* build a foundation for future learning
* learn to control their own behavior

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