Parent Education event tomorrow

Downey Cooperative Preschool will host a Parent Ed Event Wednesday, Feb. 25 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. in Downey’s Century Hall.

At Downey, we’re lucky to have great opportunities all around us to teach our kids about conservation and energy efficiency. Composting, recycling, rain barrels, gardens, and solar panels are an everyday part of life at Downey.

Join us at our next Parent Ed discussion where David Tryon will teach us about the conservation efforts we see around the building. We’ll learn how these efforts benefit the preschool and how we can try the same money-saving strategies at home.

We’ll finish off the evening with socializing and snacks while we make some fun hands-on science experiments that we can take home to share with our preschoolers.

Please go to the signup to RSVP for supply purposes: http://www.SignUpGenius.com/go/10C0D49AAA92FA3FB6-parent2

This is an adult only Parent Ed. And don’t forget! So far, we’ve had five Parent Ed events, so this is one of our last Parent Ed opportunities. We’ll have one more Parent Ed event in April. As a reminder, your goal is to attend three Parent Ed events throughout the year.

Downey Preschool Open House

The week of February 9-14 is our annual Open House. This is a great opportunity to visit and learn about Downey. A table will be set up in the hallway with information and snacks, and a parent will be available to show you around and answer questions.

  • Monday-Saturday 9:30-11 a.m. daily.
  • M/W/F: Frog classes for ages 4-5
  • T/Th: Polliwog classes for ages 3-4
  • T/W/Th/F: Tadpole classes for ages 2-3
  • Monday: Lily Pad class for ages 18-24 mos
  • Saturday will feature a special story time, snack & craft for all ages!

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Why Play Is Important in Preschool Classrooms

“If you want your preschooler to be ready for the academic rigors ahead, forget about the curriculum. Instead, look for a classroom that lets children learn the way they do best…

“‘For kids under 5, play is the foundation for creativity, constructive problem solving, self-regulation, and learning as a whole,’ says Susan Linn, cofounder of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and author of The Case for Make Believe. Play also helps preschoolers master the skills they’ll need for academic subjects later on. Storytime advances pre-reading skills like rhyming, wordplay, and the ability to follow a plot. A simple activity like playing with soap bubbles can stimulate science learning, while building with blocks establishes a foundation for understanding geometry. Repetitive play (such as putting a puzzle together, taking it apart, and then reassembling it) hones motor acuity, while unstructured group play boosts kids’ social skills…

“An early academic approach doesn’t seem to improve classroom performance. A study from the University of North Florida, in Jacksonville, found that fourth-graders who have attended play-based preschools outperform fellow students both academically and socially. And a study published in Early Childhood Research & Practice found clear links between pretend play and enhanced language ability. Your child’s future success in school doesn’t hinge on your enrolling him in a pre-K that teaches him to add and subtract or know the chemical formula for water. It’s more productive to find a program that lets him have fun as he learns.”

To read the entire article, go to parents.com.

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The importance of unstructured play

Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this example—and these three ideas—is that we cannot simply put a box of wooden toys in a room filled with entertainment and high-stimulation experiences and expect our kids to “instinctually” dive into free play. We need to rewire our kids. We have to give them the experience of boredom and we have to ride out the initial irritability and confusion that accompanies it. More than anything, we have to model for them, showing them how parents and children can be together but apart—engaged in focused and meaningful activities in the world around us.

The alarming news is that our kids need to relearn how to play. The reassuring takeaway is that we, as parents, are the perfect people to teach them.

Read the entire article, “We’re Ruining Our Kids with Minecraft: The Case for Unstructured Play.”

Why preschool?

Though public schools are currently held accountable for students’ scores in math and reading proficiency alone, evidence from both psychology and economics shows that a wide range of non-academic skills play a big role in determining success later in life.

To read the entire article, “What Every School Can Learn From Preschools,” click on npr.org.