Children learn through play. It is important to acknowledge that the play that children create and participate in is significant to their development, so in Montessori we tend to call child’s play, their ‘work’.
At Studio June we insure that each week, children are learning through free-play. The Studio is filled with activities which specifically appeal to your child and his drive to learn. All of our classes offer opportunities for children and their parents to play, learn, and grow.
These are six characteristics of free-play:
- The time your child spends in the Studio is joyful and pleasurable. We can hear the joy from the sounds of laughter and giddiness as the children return to the Studio each week. Ready to get to work, some children seem to almost leap out of their mom’s arms ready to make the most of their time!
- There are no extrinsic goals. We know that just the opportunity to work with the toys and activities at Studio June will inspire unique learning. There are definitely probable outcomes, such as using a puzzle with small pegs will strengthen the pincer grasp and aid in the development of shape discrimination. However, if a child chooses to move the puzzle pieces across the table, building a ‘train’ or construct a ‘family’ of animals from the puzzle, his concentration and creativity is not interrupted…this is his time to play.
- Play is spontaneous and voluntary. Children choose what they want to play with. The only caveat is that they choose something from a shelf (and not take from another child) and when they finish, they put it back, ready for the next person. We do not dictate what a child finds interesting. However, we may offer a new lesson that we can see with appeal to a child’s senses. As we get to know your child we can see how he approaches play and can introduce new activities that will inspire creative play and deep concentration.
- Play involves active engagement. All of our activities are active, from finding hidden rattles throughout the cabinets and doors to discover to instruments large and small, water activities, trucks and trains, and even a mailbox with letters to mail.
- Play involves an element of imagination. Each child finds a unique way to interact with his toys. At Studio June he could be building with blocks, making animals swim in the ocean, climbing a bridge, or naming a series of nesting penguins, he is encouraged to use his imagination in his play. The toys and materials we offer allow for creative exploration and help build a foundation of imagination.
6. Play involves the whole child; mind and body. A space prepared for free-play must allow for a child to move and explore. At Studio June we offer such activities. From the work of an 8 week old under a beautiful mobile, to the exploration of a walking child who dances to music and beats a drum, Studio June is prepared for every child to have a unique and creative experience. This comes from the size of our Studio. Each piece of furniture is created to support the independence and movement of the children who play here—shelves to reach, chairs to sit in, cabinets to open and close, toys that appeal to the senses, and activities that build concentration—a Studio to support and optimize the development of the mind and body, simultaneously.