We believe that children learn through play and hands-on experiences in an environment that is developmentally appropriate, providing both the comfort of familiarity and the challenge that comes with encountering new ideas and experience. We believe that children learn best when they are allowed to “share the power” so our days are divided into periods of teacher directed and child initiated play. While cognitive skills are an important part of our curriculum, we believe that the emphasis in the early years should be on social and emotional development. We therefore encourage children to express their feelings and ideas, develop their language and social skills, and grow in self-confidence and independence. We believe that all children benefit from diversity, so we are committed to serve all children of all races, cultures and economic groups, including those with special needs.
Red Caboose embraces the idea that children learn best and more naturally through play. Through play children learn by manipulating their environment, watching and imitating other children and adults, experimenting with different methods to solve different problems and using many kinds of expression to describe their experiences. We, as teachers, provide the environments that challenge children to make the most of these experiences, help them question their thinking, encourage them to try new and different things and alternative methods of doing things with which they are familiar, and facilitate the language and actions that help each child grow. We observe each child, and each group of children, carefully to understand their level of development in different areas as well as their likes and dislikes. We then use this knowledge to interact with children, using a natural give and take, to encourage children to continue traveling up the developmental ladder
For more information about play-based learning, you can read MMSDs Play-Based Learning Handbook