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Learning through play

Cordova Bay Preschool is a member of VICPA: the Vancouver Island Co-operative Preschool Association. All co-operative preschools follow a "learning through play" philosophy, a term first coined by Friedrich Froebel, the "father of kindergarten." This philosophy is the most current and accepted philosophy of early childhood. Learning that occurs during play is powerful: children construct their own knowledge by testing theories about the world around them. Long periods of uninterrupted social play is the best way to build the executive function skills necessary not only for kindergarten but for the years beyond. Examples of of executive function skills built in play include problem solving, inhibition, cognitive flexibility, organization, and attention. The learning through play philosophy is supported by the BC Early Learning Framework, a provincial guide to best practice in early learning.

CBP provides an environment where children are permitted to explore different types of play and materials spontaneously and at their own speed. Educators enhance the play environment through the offering of "loose parts:" open ended materials that encourage children to use their imagination. We pay close attention to the interests of the children in order to enhance their play by offering new materials to incorporate. Children are supported in their drive to follow their own interests as we believe an engaged child is a child that is learning. 

Artistic opportunities are a fundamental part of our program and how we approach the art of children is rooted in our philosophy. As adults, we often create art with the intention of a product outcome, a sharp contrast to the joyful artistic exploration we see in early childhood. The vast majority of art exploration in our program is process-based. There is no intended outcome and the children are free to create as they please. Adults in the space are encouraged to ask children questions about their work before making assumptions.

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