making space for learning to be joyful

Play Based Learning

The Early Childhood and Kindergarten programs at PCS offer hands-on, child-centered learning experiences in an idyllic natural landscape.Children are encouraged to wander and wonder, to play and pretend, to experiment and experience.TheEC and K programs are based primarily outdoors.We take full advantage of the many environs our Eastern campus offers, and embrace all kinds of weather. The children love the mud play, puddle-splashing, river-building, and sledding that "bad" weather brings, and good boots, a rain suit, mittens and hat are must-haves.

Offering kids dedicated time to play — outside, everyday, with loose parts, open-ended materials, and no agenda — opens up space for children to direct their own learning.Kids are innately curious, inquisitive, capable and wonder-full. As we continue to hold space for their explorations and support extensions of their learning, we see more and more complex and extended inquiries unfold. Elaborate imaginative villages arise and evolve over the school week; experiments with force and motion turn into simple (and not so simple) machines that test the limits of gravity and inertia; and chance discoveries outdoors (footprints in the snow, a praying mantis in the garden) often lead to trimester-long observations and research-based inquiries.

孩子,有很多好处directed play: developments in critical thinking, problem solving, motor skills, collaboration, creative thinking, empathy, executive function, organization, conflict management, emotional regulation, academic gains … the list goes on and on. But, for us, the greatest benefit of play-based learning is thatthis is where children come to know that learning can (and should!) be fun!When we send the message to kids that their joy matters — that we care about what they care about, that school is a place for their questions and their wonderings and their explorations — thenwe lay the foundation for a lifetime of child-led, joyful, wonder-full learning.

joy matters.

key elements of play based learning at pcs:

Time · Space · Observation · Loose Parts · Open Ended Materials ·. Outside Everyday · Real Tools · Opportunities to Extend Learning