Our Child-Centered, Play Based Philosophy
At Arlington Heights Nursery School, we provide unparalleled opportunities for children to play, which have been carefully planned to enable each child to grow and develop in a social setting. We encourage children to be active, confident, and connected learners as they explore their environment and develop trusting and friendly relationships with adults and other children. AHNS has a long interest in supporting the presence of children with mild/moderate special needs in our programs, dating from before there was federal and state legislation supporting this concept.
It emerges from the needs, interests and abilities of the children. The teachers carefully observe children at play, and then plan activities and organize the classrooms based on their observations. This fosters the children’s burgeoning social, emotional, and cognitive skills, their relationships with each other, their sense of wonder, and their imagination.
Our classrooms each have a predictable but flexible daily routine, established by the teachers and based on the needs of the children in the group. The routines and schedule change as the needs of the children change throughout the year. Each day includes a balance of free play, and age appropriate activities such as: music and movement, gathering time, small group time, and outdoor play. The curriculum is richly embedded with activities that foster skills in literacy, numeracy, science, age appropriate language skills, and open-ended art activities which are all an integral aspect of our curriculum for all age groups.
Learn Through Play
Young children learn most naturally through play. Play allows children to engage with the world at their level, and to work through and understand their feelings, thoughts and ideas. Play facilitates children learning problem-solving skills, expanding their symbolic thinking, and extending their language skills. Open ended play with other children provides a natural mechanism for children to learn social skills such as sharing, cooperating with others, waiting for a turn, listening to other viewpoints, and using language to express themselves.