Inspired by Waldorf principles with teachers trained in LifeWays of North America Early Childhood Education, The Playgarden in Jacksonville Beach offers a unique educational approach for children and their families seeking a preschool in the area.
Believing young children learn best through physical activity, sensory engagement, imaginative play and imitation of the world around them, The Playgarden encourages young students to have plenty of outdoor time to play and learn, in addition to developing life and social skills in a home-like environment.
"The Playgarden's foundation in Waldorf principles lie in three key areas of child development," said Anna Butler, student parent and teacher at The Playgarden. "By focusing on the head through critical thinking and problem-solving skill development during inside and outside play, the heart by allowing children experiences to develop empathy for others, and the hands through the development of fine motor skills by offering crafts such as sewing, painting, and beeswax coloring as well as the development of gross motor skills and coordination, children are able to develop and grow by learning and doing...essentially through play.”
The Playgarden teachers attend LifeWays of North America training, which is grounded in the fundamental need for relationship-based care (bonding and continuity), neurological research and recognition of living arts (domestic, nurturing, creative and social arts). These are central to the advancement of a child's social, emotional and intellectual skill development.
"We enrolled our children in The Playgarden preschool because our research into best-practices for young childhood education repeatedly emphasized the importance of free-play and exposure in a natural and comfortable setting," said parents Katie and Joe Alberti. "This experience evokes creativity, problem-solving skills and social, emotional and physical development that young children carry into adolescence and ultimately adulthood."
To tour The Playgarden and find out more, please call the school’s office at (904) 241-3259 or visit theplaygarden.org.