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Posts Tagged ‘Pre-Kindergarten’

2016 Masterpiece Competition

Congratulations to The Goddard School located in Houston (The Greater Heights), TX — the winner of our Masterpiece Competition with 1,055 votes! (As of 3 PM EDT on September 21).

The work of art was made by the Pre-Kindergarten class who paid tribute to music by creating this colorful piece.Houston IV, TX

The School has won an assortment of school-appropriate new art supplies and a visit from our CEO, Joe Schumacher, and our VP of Education, Dr. Craig Bach, in which Mr. Schumacher and Dr. Bach will participate in an art project with the children.

The Goddard School located in Knoxville, TN came in second place with 983 votes followed by The Goddard School located Voorhees, NJ with 579 votes!

Congratulations and a job well done to all of our participants!

Six Things to Look for in a Kindergarten Readiness Program

Kindergarten is an important, fun and rewarding step in a child’s educational journey, but starting
kindergarten can be intimidating to a child who isn’t prepared for it. That is why it’s important to choose a preschool or pre-k program that fully prepares your child for kindergarten. A well-rounded kindergarten readiness program should accomplish the following:

  • Build your child’s confidence through playful learning activities;KindergartenGirl_jpg
  • Promote communication between the home and the preschool, which helps to establish a home-school connection. A strong home-school connection often helps children have greater success academically, behaviorally and socially;
  • Be taught by a credentialed teacher;
  • Transition your child into a more structured schedule;
  • Encourage your child to focus, manage time well and complete assigned tasks, which may include homework;
  • Help you and your child adjust to kindergarten requirements, such as always completing work, being on time and attending school every day.

Self-Esteem Development


Self esteem begins with building trust.  You can build trust with infants by meeting their needs in a timely fashion.  When you respond to a child’s cry, you are showing them that they are worthy of care and love.  When you meet their needs consistently the infant trusts that they are consistently worthy therefore building self-esteem.

Music - Young Boy BToddler/Get Set (18-36 months)

Now that your infant has trust it is important to continue building trust into the Toddler phase.  Self-esteem comes from the picture the child has of himself as someone who can do things.  Toddlers believe they can accomplish certain tasks and supporting their independence builds confidence that they can succeed.  Offer your child activities that lead to success.  Toddlers are very successful at self-care activities such as getting dressed, cleaning up after self and helping around the house but they also enjoy new activities.  When planning your day, find ways for your Toddler’s involvement to be important.

Preschool  (36 months – 5 years)

A preschooler’s self-esteem is all about supported choices.  Unlike the Toddler phase when choices are made from selected options, a preschool child’s actions are the choice.  Preschool children are attracted to specific activities such as blocks or art.  Goddard teachers will support that child’s choice to stay in that center every day and take the learning skills to the child.  By doing so, the teacher has supported the child’s choice.  The child interprets this as “If my choice was supported, I am good because my choice was good.”  Consistent support will lead to the child’s trust in his own decision making, therefore building self-esteem.

Pre-K/K  (5+ years)

Pre-K and Kindergarten children build self-esteem through skill mastery.  You may see your Pre-K child go back to old familiar activities or repeat activities.  This process of experiencing past successes builds confidence.   Ask your child open-ended questions to find out what they are thinking and know about their own activity.  After your child displays their knowledge inquire with “what if?” questions to draw out the next level of curiosity.   Social skill success begins to play an important role in self-esteem.  Offer opportunities for new social opportunities in anticipation of the next step to Kindergarten or First grade.

Your Child’s First Chores

A wonderful way to play with and teach children is to bring them into your world, where ‘real-life’ happens. Children love to do ‘grown-up’ things and to imitate you. And when they contribute, they see themselves as players and get a well-earned self-esteem boost!

Age-Appropriate Chore Ideas

  • Pick up toys and books
  • Collect dirty laundry
  • Dust with socks on hands


  • Make the bed
  • Help with laundry
  • Help in the kitchen – cooking and preparing food
  • Set the table
  • Take dirty dishes to the kitchen
  • Carry and put away groceries


  • Empty the dishwasher
  • Feed the family pet
  • Vacuum
  • Take out the trash
  • Fold and put away laundry

These activities are fun learning experiences, especially if you are teaching informally along the way. The chores may take a little longer as they learn the ropes and make mistakes, but the value for their learning and their self-regard are more than worth the extra time.

What Your Child Learns Through Play

There are a myriad of developmental skills that children learn through play. From their infant to Pre-Kindergarten stages, children are experiencing and learning new things each and every day. With play consuming most of their time, there are different things children learn during every stage of their growth.

Infant to Six Months: Everything is a baby’s first. For example, the first time a baby opens his eyes in his bassinet, he discovers something new – an animal on his mobile. The next morning, there it is again. Will it be there tomorrow? Yes, and then baby learns to trust that when he opens his eyes he will always see the mobile’s giraffe looking back at him. Babies will engage in play first by responding to sounds, then by following objects and people with their eyes. Your baby will demonstrate his memory by repeating an action that made you laugh yesterday. Once infants can hold a rattle a whole new world opens up – you will watch them turn it over, bang it, shake it and even taste it. Rolling over also widens a baby’s world from what is placed before him to 360 degrees of eye-catching curiosity. The new world is fun.

Six Months to One Year: Baby is now his own driving force to play. He no longer needs an adult or older sibling to spark his interest. Rolling over and sitting up has created choices and as he discovers how to move from lying to sitting, he is covering ground and taking aim at his own source of interest. Place toys within and outside of your baby’s reach to encourage self-discovery and motion. Your child is brilliant and will look at a familiar object when called by name. Babies not only want to turn objects around, they want to talk to them and use them the way you tell them to use them. See my hands! You say “clap” with a smile on your face and baby wants to clap and smile, too.

First Steps (12 to 18 months): No longer a baby, a First Stepper “steps” into everything. A First Step child will play with water, smell a flower (which is not as easy as you think) and recognize animals like the ones from the mobile. He will join in the conversation with simple words and phrases and respond to “bye, bye,” with an unsolicited wave. One-year-olds love to demonstrate their knowledge – they will point to anything you name and find body parts, like their ears, when they cannot even see them. They have learned to trust their own experiences with their ears. Your one-year-old will play with you and imitate your actions. Watch your child reflect your love a baby doll with “hugs and kisses” and help you the way you have guided him.

Toddler (18-30 months): A toddler’s world is all about ME – “Me do it”! This demonstration of independence is an exercise in trusting the child’s own limits. A toddler will speak on a play phone and answer questions such as “Why?” and “Where?” Playing is on his terms – when and how. Toddlers love new experiences, too. They have graduated from ‘turning it over and tasting it’ to doing it right. A toddler will put a puzzle together, hold crayons in his hand, hum and sing as he plays, and join activities without prompting. Give your toddler plenty of opportunities to join in imaginary play – pour from one cup to another and manipulate play dough.

Get Set (30 to 36 months): Just like the name states, get set for more play. The Get Set child is truly developing an identity. He knows his own name – first and last – and can tell you where his friends are playing. Get Setters know ‘they can do it’ and want to be like adults. They will share and wait turns, communicate in short sentences and demonstrate their personal understanding of the world around them in their play. Get Set children will soak up any information you share with them. They can understand words like “under” and “over” and the description of how a plant grows. Art is no longer about exploring the material itself, but rather what they can do with the material. They will even paint with the opposite side of the paint brush just to see what it will create. Get set for your child to amaze you with his knowledge of good hygiene and specific book choices. A Get Set child can also multi-task now; try singing and doing the motions to the song or have a conversation while he paints.

Preschool (36 months +): This is the age of expectations. The preschool child’s play looks like going to work. As he mingles among the Interest Centers he is also playing out a role. Preschoolers have a large vocabulary and understand the intonations of language. As they act out a role, they will try on different emotions and see how they fit into their own personality. Preschoolers have begun to connect the spoken word to written language and can orally retell a favorite story. They are interested in cause and effect and can identify their colors, shapes, sizes and weights; and they want to explore what happens when they change them. A preschool child may remain in a particular Interest Center for long periods of time until he has exhausted his curiosity. Don’t forget to stand back because the preschool child also needs his space to move. Watch as he develops rhythm and tempo as both an individual or group learner. Either way, preschoolers are movers and shakers.

Pre-Kindergarten (48 months +): Complexity is the nature of the Pre-K classroom. Pre-Kindergarteners are complex social beings wanting to play with specific friends and still identifying when they want to do it alone. They can recognize how objects and people are the same and different simultaneously, and they can appreciate those attributes. Playing is beginning to turn into concepts. For instance, all of the exploration at the water table develops into an understanding of water – floating, sinking, absorbing, dissolving, etc. Pre-K children use their four years of play experience to develop an identifiable knowledge – they can match by relationships and verbalize invisible concepts, such as time and calendars. They no longer need to see or hold the toy to play; they can recall previous experiences and use the knowledge. While listening to music they can name the instrument, move to the beat and sing along. In Pre-K, phonemic awareness and the written word are magical – writing words is play.