Classrooms are designed to include the following interest areas: (Click area for details)
Blocks, especially hardwood unit blocks, are standard equipment in a Creative Curriculum classroom. Wooden blocks naturally appeal to young children because they feel good to the touch, are symmetrical, and invite open-ended explorations. When children construct, create, and represent their experiences with blocks, they grow in each area of development.
An attractive space with soft furniture, beautiful picture books, and writing materials can be an oasis in the classroom—a place to get away from more active interest areas and relax. In the Library Area children develop the motivation and skills necessary to read and write. AS they hear stories read aloud every day, look through books on their own, listen to story tapes, retell familiar stories, and make up their own stories, they also have many opportunities to grow in all areas of development.
Dramatic play area
Dramatic play is central to children’s healthy development and learning during the preschool years. For this reason, every Creative Curriculum classroom includes an area designed to inspire creative and imaginative play. In the Dramatic Play Area, children break through restrictions of reality. They pretend to be someone or something different from themselves and make up situations and actions that go along with the role they choose. When children engage in dramatic play they deepen their understanding of the world and develop skills that will serve them throughout their lives.
toys and games area
The Toys and Games Area includes manipulatives, puzzles, collectibles, matching games, and games with rules that children can play at a table, on the floor, or atop a divider shelf. These materials offer children a quiet activity that they can do alone, with a friend, with a teacher or a parent volunteer, or with a small group. Children strengthen all areas of development as they play with toys and games.
The Art Area is a place filled with materials that children can enjoy on a purely sensory level. Here children can create and represent their ideas in a visual form. On a table or the floor, at an easel or a workbench, children draw, paint, knead, cut, glue, and put together unique products of their own choosing. Sometimes they simply explore the materials and enjoy the process. At other times they create designs or make something that represents a real object, place, or living thing. Creative art is another language children use to express what they know and what they feel. The Art Area is a studio for children’s development and learning.
sand and water areas
Play with sand and water involves sensory experiences that appeal to young children. They need little introduction to playing with these materials. While sand and water plan can delight the sense, it also can challenge children’s minds and promote all areas of development.
Outdoor play is essential for children’s health and well being. The sense of peace and pleasure children experience when they take in fresh air, feel the warmth of the sun on the backs, and watch a butterfly land gently on a flower is immeasurable. What is very evident is how much children enjoy running, jumping, climbing, and playing outdoors. The time children spend outdoors every day is just as important to their learning as the time they spend in the classroom. For teachers, the outdoors offers many ways to enrich the curriculum and support children’s development and learning.
The Discovery Area is a place to find the answers to these kinds of questions with few right or wrong answers. It is a place to spark curiosity and wonder using new and interesting materials. In the Discovery Area, children can use their senses to touch, feel, taste, smell, and see. They can act on objects and observe what happens next. You can help nurture children’s curiosity. When you join children in the Discover Area and pose questions or wonder aloud, children respond by using their thinking skills to investigate and explore. In the Discovery Area, all areas of development can be enhanced.
music and movement areas
Music naturally delights and interests children. An early childhood program that includes time for music and movement provides an outlet for children’s high spirits and creative energy. Music and movement experiences help develop both sides of the brain—an important finding in recent brain research—and contribute to children’s social/emotional, physical, cognitive, and language development.
Cooking is fun. It’s also a natural laboratory for helping children to develop and learn. When children participate in cooking activities, they learn how food is prepared and how it contributes to their health and well being. They also form eating patterns that can last a lifetime.
The Computer Area is a place where children ca have fun while exploring the many exciting things that computers do. Children use computers to investigate questions, solve problems, and explore and manipulate objects on a screen. This work supports development in all areas.