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.


Lilly Pads registration now open!

Registration is now open for the 2015 Lilly Pads class. Downey’s teacher-led Lilly Pad class is for parents (or caregivers) and their little ones ages 18-24 months. This class will show you just how fun learning can be for you and your toddler. It’s a great opportunity for toddlers to start socializing with other children in a guided environment with reassurance from their caregivers. Meet other parents and make some friends too!

The class meets Mondays, Jan. 26-March 16. Registration deadline is Jan. 12. Click on the link above for more information and registration details.

For those entering the public school system next year

The IPS Showcase of Schools will be at Circle Centre Mall on Saturday, November 22. All IPS schools will be in attendance. Learn about its elementary, middle, high school, and magnet options all in one location. Magnet applications will also be available.

If you are interested in Indianapolis’s Charter School offerings, you can see a list of them here.

If you think a private school would be best for your family, you can find a list of those here.


Preschoolers making the world a better place

Preschoolers ages 3-6 and an adult are invited to explore the superpowers they have to make the world a better place during “Super You: Make the World a Better Place — Preschool Philanthropy Workshop.” The Youth Philanthropy Initiative of Indiana will lead stories and activities. Participants will create their own super hero and identify how superpowers can help others. Classes are scheduled at various libraries September through December. For a list of locations, dates, and times, click here. This program is sponsored by PNC and The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.

School calendar

The Downey Preschool academic calendar has been added to the Upcoming Events page. You can see when your child’s three-day weekends and fall, winter, and spring breaks are in order to facilitate your family’s event planning. Downey follows the Indianapolis Public Schools calendar, and it also follows IPS when snow days are called.

Frogs parents: IPS kindergarten open houses begin right away. Check the IPS academic calendar for dates and times. Deadline for applications for Magnet programs is in December. If your child will be entering kindergarten for the 2015-2016 school year, he or she must be 5 years old on or before September 1. Late applications are taken after the December lottery deadline.

Downey is hiring!



Preschool Teacher
Polliwog Class, ages 3-4
Tuesdays & Thursdays
8:45-11:45 am, approximately
(and possibly Mondays 9:15-11:15 am)

> Compensation commensurate with experience
> Free tuition for your child
> Great opportunity for college students & recent graduates with a focus on early education
> Prime opportunity to gain professional development experience
> For more details, visit https://downeycoop.com/employment/

We’d love to hear from you! If you or someone you know is interested in joining the Downey family as a teacher, please send your resume & questions to President@DowneyCoop.com.

Upcoming events of interest

There are still some spots available for our next parent training workshop on July 24 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. at Downey Christian Church. The seminar will be a much more in-depth presentation with extensive take-home materials and an interactive discussion. We will talk about understanding where your child’s problem behaviors come from and how to decrease them, and how to look at the root causes of all problem behaviors. If you’ve ever dealt with a tantrum, struggled at bedtime, or found yourself in a power struggle at mealtimes or during morning routines, this is the workshop for you! The cost is $15 per participant. Childcare and snacks will be provided,
You can register here: http://www.centralitybehavior.com/workshop-registration.html

This Sunday, July 13 from 12-3 p.m., Downey will have a booth at the Irvington Farmer’s Market in Ellenberger Park. Come visit the booth and invite others with preschool-age children to come. We will have fun activities for the kids!

The next Downey playdate is Tuesday, July 15 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at Ellenberger Park (on the corner of St. Clair and Ritter).