Creative Child

Are Your Children Playing Enough in Preschool?

by Deborah Song


While the temptation may be high for your child to keep up at a young age, it’s important to foster your child’s long-term growth. If you are looking for a child-centered curriculum, here are some things to look for.

1. Find out what the school philosophy is. A school’s philosophy is essentially the school’s mission statement. Even if philosophy and application don’t always coincide, understanding the school’s intentions are a good place to start. 

2. Take a look around the classroom. Is the classroom structured for exploratory play or rigid academic learning? A play-based preschool will have many play areas, building blocks, and personal touches that humanize the learning environment.

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3. Look at the schedule. How much do kids spend doing each activity? And how much time do they get to play outside? Recess is an invaluable part of the preschool experience because it helps kids regain their focus. And it’s in frequent opportunities for discourse that boost literacy and language development. But many preschools and kindergarten are shortening recess times.

4. Find out the school curriculum. Find out what child would be learning at the school. Will he learn to add and subtract at workstations, or will he get to explore different cultures? Most schools will have the program’s curriculum drawn out for many months in advance. It may even be a good idea to sit in the prospective classroom for an hour or two before enrolling your child. That way you can gauge both what is being taught and how it’s being taught.

Deborah Song is a Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based writer, who obtained her master's in journalism from New York University. She is the founder of, and is passionate about helping parents find better work-life balance and proper support through community.

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