Educate Children

We play. We explore. We connect. We learn.

Our progressive, child-led curriculum incorporates the Quaker values of simplicity, peace, truth, community, equality and stewardship through play, exploration and relationship-building. Our materials, activities and curriculum are designed to help children actively explore their environment, play cooperatively, problem solve and develop a sense of responsibility for self and others.

“What do you think the animals are feeling?”

“What do you think the animals are feeling?” asked the teacher, holding open a page in the book “Brick by Brick” by Giuliano Ferri. The page displayed a beautiful illustration of solemn-faced animals facing each other across a water-filled divide. “Sad!” “Lonely!”chimed the children. But pages later they cheered to see the animals use the bricks that once formed a wall to build a bridge between them. For the preschool classes at Friends Center, this wordless book sparked countless bridge-building creations with blocks, logs and cardboard during playtime, both indoors and outdoors. The book also inspired conversations and reflections on friendship, problem-solving and understanding. In one classroom, children in the block area built colorful bridges with Magna-Tiles to connect their separate creations, then marched farm animals and wooden figures across the colorful paths to explore each other’s towers and buildings.

The children arranged their chairs in a line, bought tickets and boarded their makeshift airplane. Observing the preschoolers’ fascination with travel, the teachers decided to take the play to new heights and launched an exciting around-the-world study. The children created their own passports, then visited a different country every day, including Panama, Haiti, Ireland, England, Germany, Spain, Italy, France, Egypt and China. With each destination, they received a stamp in their passports and participated in exciting activities ­— some led by parent co-op volunteers — such as making soda bread, sipping high tea, learning flamenco dancing, decorating straw hats and making potato print art. The activities sparked lively discussions about different climates, traditions, languages and emotions.

“Flight FCFC pod 5, you are free to take off...”