Douglas Park Community

Preschool and Child Care



-Experiencing various formats and genres  

-Appreciation of books         

-Aesthetics - appreciation of illustrations   

-Gaining knowledge  

-Learning to story tell; left-right orientation-Learning to listen


-Exploring mediums; sensory experience  

-Self- expression-Art appreciation

-Learning colours, shapes-Pre-printing forms   

-Fine motor development; left-right orientation

-Language development: lexicons and rules

Sensory – water, sand, mud and malleables. New experiences in touching textures, hearing, smell, sight and taste, weight, volume, measurement and inventing; fine motor development



-Movement in gross motor: sports, gardening, water, dirt, mud and composting; developing an appreciation and respect for our natural world; building self-confidence and coordination; gross motor development and socializing.



-Imagination and expression

-Voice experimentation 

-Working with a group in a play relationships



-Role playing; self-help skills 

-Social play; self-regulation

-Problem solving and sharing



Table Top     

-Puzzles, Beads, Pegs: 

-Eye-hand coordination

-Fine motor development

-Size and space Socializing

Music and Movement 

-Enjoyment of song  

-Voice / Vocabulary

-Participation/Using instruments    

-Awareness of body-Sound & Rhythm discrimination


-Early concepts; with materials, songs, stories and cooking 

-Pre-math skill building; construction, blocks -Sorting, classification, matching, seriation  -Weighing, measuring      

-Rote to rational counting/number development

Science and Nature

-Divergent thinking skills development

-Exploring what is different


-Early concepts using science equipment

Book Making

-Self-expression in symbols, words illustrations, and an early experience as an author  

Problem solving

 -Divergent thinking         

 -Exploring and inventing Inventors


Planning, estimating, creating in wood; using real tools



Self-confidence; categorizing; sense of orderliness


Making Friends

Exploring Light and Shadows


Diamonds in glass beads

Jewel discs on a mirror      


Glass beads on gold paper    


Kaleidoscopes in a jeweled basket   

Jewel coloured liquid in boxes


Matching jewels with coloured cellophane    


Shiny items   


Light table display  


Shiny colours display    


Disco ball and tree lights

Flashlight Exploration    


Shadows with Flashlight

Shadows Outdoors

A sunny day with prism    



The “Home” Project

Based on the book, And So They Build, by author Bert Kitchen, animal homes were created by recycling materials;   A string spider web over a basket; a beaver dam in the water table:   tall dry grass collected when we went on a walk  created a mouse house; clay used to make a sparrow’s nest; a mud circle became the frog habitat and  cardboard tubes became the honeycomb.


September 2004: we added a bridge close to the garden.

The children helped design and build the bridge.

The curved branches inspired the shape of the bridge.

A field mouse house made from dry grass with a mouse finger puppet    

Hippo and Turtle in water table


Logs for clay Spiders


Clear Tub with Dirt

Who lives underground and who lives above?

Fill tub with dirt and invite the children to place the toy creatures above or dig a hole for underground. 

Add a log and rocks on top for the above ground habitat

Dirt, Sand, Water, Mud, and a Bridge


Getting wet is half the fun! With protective clothing, children may explore freely and creatively with the properties of dirt, sand, water, and mud.


With child size shovels and hoes, rivers are created in the gravel area, bridges are designed, boats are built, and a waterfall supplies the water.  Loose parts is a term used to describe materials used to build and construct. Loose parts is beyond buckets, shovels and trucks. Loose parts include logs, stumps, branches, two by four pieces of wood, bales of hay, bricks, large rocks, large pieces of cloth for outdoor forts, beach umbrellas, plastic gutters for water, and anything you think a child would enjoy building, creating and inventing with.


The type of play changes when children add water to the sandbox. Sandcastles become homes and farms with tunnels. The properties of wet and dry sand are explored and a tactile experience begins. Add sticks, logs, and rocks to encourage diverse creativity in building structures.


The Mud Easel


Make mud by mixing “safe” dirt and water.

Use a variety in the sizes of paintbrushes.

When the painting is completed, hose off and begin again.

The bigger the easel = increased motor movement.

If space is limited indoors, this could be the only place to “paint big.”


Children’s Own Books


I use a binding machine to make individual books for the children. The books are 215mm by 279 mm white paper. The children are free to enter what they like, and we see basic scribbles to pictorials with words. This is a wonderful documentation of emergent literacy. As the skills emerge, the children ask for spelling of words and create their own stories. Many of the children read their stories to their friends at story time. Even “basic scribbles” books are read. This is one of the most successful projects in early literacy.


The children’s Individual books documents their early literacy skills as well as art. The books include notes from the teachers and pictures of the children engaged in play and learning as well as capturing “friendship” moments. 

  Leaves and Cones

Sorting leaves by colour

  Cone display