The driving philosophy behind our Creative Curriculum is that children learn best by doing. Learning isn't just repeating what someone else says; it requires active thinking and experimenting to find out how things work and to experience firsthand the world around us. We encourage inquisitive thinking by using children's natural inclination to explore using all five senses.
By using real materials, (for example, blocks) and trying out their ideas, children learn about sizes, shapes, colors and the relationship between objects.
In time, they begin to develop symbolic thinking (pretending that the block is a hamburger). Gradually children become more and more able to use abstract symbols like words to describe their thoughts and feelings. They learn to "read" pictures as symbols to real people, places and things. This exciting development of symbolic thinking takes place during the pre-school years as children play.
We believe that play provides the foundation for academic learning. It is the preparation children need before they learn highly abstract symbols such as letters and numbers. Play enables us to achieve the key goals of our early childhood curriculum.
Our most important goal is to help children become enthusiastic learners. We encourage active and creative exploration of the world to help foster independence, self-confidence and curiosity. We're teaching them how to learn--not just for their early years, but all through their lives. We allow them to learn at their own pace and in ways that are best for their unique strengths. Giving each child a start in good habits and attitudes, particularly a positive sense of themselves, will make a difference throughout their life.
Our curriculum identifies goals in all areas of development:
- Social: To help children feel comfortable in school, trust their environment, make friends and feel part of the group
- Emotional: To help children experience pride and self-confidence, develop independence and self-control and to have a positive attitude
- Cognitive: To help children become confident learners by letting them try out their own ideas and experience success, and by helping them acquire learning skills such as problem-solving, asking questions and using words to describe their ideas, observations and feelings.
- Physical: To help children increase their large and small muscle skills and feel confident about what their bodies can do
The activities we plan, the way our environment is organized, the toys and materials we select, the schedule we maintain and the way we communicate with the children are all designed to accomplish our curriculum goals and give your child a successful start in elementary school.
Kid Zone is just one of a few child care centers in St. Louis Park to receive Minnesota's Parent Aware Rating. This quality rating demonstrates our ongoing commitment to our mission to provide quality child care, which benefits the child, their families and our community. It is validation that Kid Zone is providing great care for our children and ensuring they are ready for kindergarten! In 2016 we received a four star quality rating, which is the highest rating we can receive.