Innovative Preschool Programs for Early Childhood

According to the philosopher John Locke, he states that children are born as ‘blank slates’. This signifies that we as a society are the ones who teach them the different ways of life, influence their likes and dislikes, and mold their personality which they go onto develop later in their life. This means we are the ones who need to work hard to find innovative programs that influence our children in a positive way.

A way to have a positive influence on your child is through the help of innovative pre-school programs. Innovative pre-school programs will help teach your child to inculcate the values, morals, key skills and educate your child in a new, exciting, and novel way which will ensure that your child develops a personality and character that is not only empathetic but also kind, smart, enchanting, and enduring, which is what every parent wants for their child.

With the help of innovative pre-school programs, you can not only instill values and skills within your child but also help them learn the concept of independence, begin the process of socialization, and ensure that they receive a quality education.

Below, we have listed down a few strategies, programs, and key components that should form the environment in which the child grows ensuring that they learn in the fastest and the best possible way while receiving all the benefits through an innovative pre-school program.

  • Learning Environment

One of the most important and the key components for a pre-school child’s learning, that has a major influence on the child itself, is the environment of learning they are growing up in. When a child is in an environment with reinforcing agents, with positive remarks and praises, the child develops intrinsic motivation to be better. In such a scenario, children themselves progress and learn more from their environment because of the positive reinforcement they are receiving. Alongside this, teachers and parents both need to create such an environment for the child to learn better.

  • Interacting in a Safer Environment

As parents or teachers, you need to understand that a child will need to explore their environment to develop an understanding of their surroundings and to gain autonomy and independence. Children of pre-school age try to put things in their mouths and explore all aspects of the room they are in.

It is your responsibility to give your child an interactive yet safe environment for them to explore within. Busy boards are an invention that many educational psychologists support. Not only does it help the child interact with the environment rather it also helps the child learn different skills.

By providing your child with a safe environment, you ensure that they are exploring their environment without any barriers and get to learn which is extremely critical for their development at this age.

  • Creating Links

It is crucial that the adult in the room, be it a parent or teacher, should help the child create links through innovative teaching ideas. This means that the child should be able to connect the knowledge they already know with the newly acquired knowledge. In psychology, this is a concept given by Jean Piaget where the child learns through the schemas with the help of accommodation and assimilation.

For example, if you relate the dog in the picture to the dog at home and then relate that to the letter ‘D’, then chances are that the child will be able to remember the letter ‘D’ much quicker than any other letter. So, by helping a child create links in their environment to their previously acquired knowledge, you make the learning process easier and quicker and this can be counted as one of the ways to improve early childhood education.

  • PBL and STEM

Through educational psychology, we find out that PBL or project-based learning is excellent for children at this stage. It helps the teacher develop an authentic learning experience. It will help your child become inquisitive, socialize with other children, and understand the concept of group dynamics, especially when working in a group.

The projects can be based on STEM i.e. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics model, or could even inculcate liberal arts, literature, and more. This is because, at this young age, the child is open to all ideas and is willing to learn anything and everything. When we introduce such topics early on in life, in a very developmentally appropriate manner, the child begins to inquire and become inquisitive about the topics, hence helping in the development of the child’s imagination, and pushing them beyond the typical roles they envision at this stage.

With these projects, you cannot only help inculcate educational values within the child but rather you can also help the child develop empathy and cultural values. This can be done with the help of linking the child’s project to local communities, for instance, writing a letter to the mayor or more. It helps open their imagination and presents them with new and innovative ideas.

  • Play

One of the key elements of early childhood is play. In early childhood, a child begins to develop symbolic thought, hence symbolic play begins. There are a few different types of play identified by psychologists and the teacher should keep an eye out and notice the individual style of play the child is favoring. If they tend to use onlooker play or if they choose to use parallel play, it could indicate issues in adjustment with the crowd.

Hence, we recommend that the teacher helps the child engage in purposeful play, where the child plays but has a purpose underlying behind that play activity. This can include activities such as playing with blocks where the child could be taught how to count, it could include a trip to the grocery store where the child could learn how to behave and how to shop, the teacher could incorporate sports to teach math too.

With the help of purposeful play, the child will be able to not only navigate their environment better but also interact with their peers better, hold significance to the topics taught to them and understand the dynamics of group work which is essential at this stage.

  • Creativity

At this stage, a child’s mind is like a pandora’s box full of ideas, wonder, and creativity. This creativity in pre-school needs to be harnessed and needs to be expressed in a meaningful manner rather than suppressing it which is what the traditional style of education tends to do. In a more innovative style of pre-school learning, one must foster creativity.

The teachers need to develop programs based around creative learning activities for preschoolers and develop strategies through which they are able to not only understand the point of view of a child but are also able to enhance it.

Today, preschool teachers come up with innovative teaching ideas such as asking the child to draw whatever they want and then label it, regardless of the end result being scribbles. This helps harbor their creativity and as the child progresses through their early childhood, they begin to draw, write, and color.

They have their own individual freedom and express themselves through the use of colors and objects in the manner they deem fit. It helps bring their perspective into the world too.

  • Reading

Reading should be a major part of the learning program in all pre-schools. It is one of those important skills which need to be developed early on just so the child could navigate through the educational system later in their life.

However, the activity of reading should be done in a manner that encourages the child rather than making them avoid the activity altogether.

Pictorial books are an excellent way to introduce the child to the concept of reading, where they look at the pictures and infer the meaning, and later you can gradually shift them onto books with words. Psychologists recommend that in the early years, the phonics approach should be used with children where they understand the smallest meaning of sound and then begin to create a word, then a sentence, and so forth. Hence, choosing the right activity to encourage reading is just as important.

In early childhood, one of the most important things for a teacher, parent, or caretaker to realize is that the child’s development is rapid. They are developing because of the growth in their neurons and their brain development is happening extremely fast.

With these techniques, in an innovative pre-school program, you can help a child be autonomous, independent, assertive, trustworthy, honest, and much more. Hence, benefitting from innovations in early education.

At Holmdel Preschool, we focus on providing an encouraging and challenging experience as a child steps through each skill level. We use playtime to help children learn skills, making it fun for them to analyze problems and negotiate solutions.

Our Learning Environments include:

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