• The Importance of Learning Centers •

Peggy Priest, teacher at Discovery Trails Early Learning Academy giving art instructions at a learning table to five preschoolers.

All activities, every day, all day at Discovery Trails are planned for a purpose. From lesson plans to individual curriculum, to dynamic learning activities, each part of the day is organized to optimize the time your child is at school. This also includes learning center time. This is the part of the day that a parent may walk in and think all the children are doing is playing. Yes, they are playing. Play is a child’s work. However, this time is also set up with intention. Activities that support our theme, games that encourage developmental skills, projects that express creativity, play scenes that motivate role-playing and stimulate vocabulary and situations that enhance cognitive thinking are just a few of the things we think about when we design our centers. Centers that are offered at Discovery Trails include Music and Movement, Science, Computers, Blocks, Math, Drama, Library, Writing and Art.

Here are a few other reasons learning center time is important to your child’s education:

1. Children have time to plan a project and complete it.
2. Learning centers increase children’s attention span.
3. Students have the opportunity to learn scientific principles such as gravity, balance, and magnetism.
4. Students develop creativity and imagination.
5. Children exercise the art of choice.
6. Students have the chance to practice decision making:

a. What direction will the pencil go?
b. What colors should I use?
c. What shape can I make?
d. Should I fill in the blank or leave it empty?

7. Children feel successful in an environment that is set up for success.
8. Students learn new facts.
9. Students can experience excitement, joy, and disappointment.
10. Trial and error can be appreciated.
11. Children learn to take risks in the safety of the classroom.
12. Students learn to delay gratification as a project takes time, the center is full or he or she runs out of time.
13. Children unknowingly participate in peer teaching.

a. A child with a certain knowledge or skill base can help another.
b. One child can show another child what has been learned.
c. Children switch roles as one learns the other teaches, then vice versa.
d. Children gain confidence in doing things together.

Are the children “just playing”? One would think they are… and more. Thank goodness! 

by Jen Baker | April 28, 2019

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