Play Based Learning Preschool


The preschool program builds upon the classroom frameworks and learning skills introduced in younger programs. Expanding upon our commitment to play based learning, preschoolers develop a sense of independence and agency in decision making, as well as critical thinking skills, through a combination of small group project work and open center choice time. By layering developmental skills into play and projects, Two Birds supports this phase of social/emotional development through a variety of experiments, dynamic group work, and individual activities in the classroom. As your child explores their relationships with peers, teachers and themselves, they gain the confidence to navigate their classroom community and to investigate new subject matter and skills.

Preschool Curriculum

Our preschool program builds upon the curriculum and approach to learning that we introduce in our infant and toddler classrooms. As a school inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy, we focus on emergent practices, meaning the way we think about classroom work and lesson planning responds and adapts to the interests of the child. As preschoolers become increasingly verbal, children’s questions and classroom conversations create prompts for learning plans and for topics of study, giving children a voice in their classroom, building opportunities for leadership, and naturally engaging their interests. It is a play based program, which means teachers layer learning into all aspects of play, whether that is small group work, choice time, project work or center work. Preschoolers are introduced to a myriad of open-ended materials and are encouraged to use their imagination to interpret and create how materials can transform and adopt new meaning depending on the way in which they are presented.

Creative Movement

Movement is critical to children’s physical and mental stimulation and development. It provides sensory input, gross motor skills, and the physical outlet makes space for critical neurological processing. Movement is incorporated in Morning Meeting, into focus breaks throughout the day, and into outdoor time. We use these opportunities to build awareness of our bodies, a relationship to our surroundings and peers, and to fold new concepts into the songs and instructions that accompany the movement.


Two Birds encourages children to interact with print in a variety of settings. Books are always available for children to peruse in their classroom library area, and all children are read to every day, individually and/or within a group. Group reading times are also a time to share ideas, ask questions, and connect to what is being read. During story time, teachers use literature to support children in better understanding both the story and each other. Similarly, teachers ask children questions about their own drawings to add captions that connect drawings to the written word, which helps children understand the printed word represents ideas, imagery and meaning. Through continuous, positive exposure, and child-drive interactions with books, children develop a love for language and print.


Classrooms’ approach to scientific investigations is a great example of how learning is layered into a multitude of experiences throughout the day. When a teaching team introduces a new topic of study, one of the ways in which they explore that topic is through hypothesizing with children and through experiments. For example, teachers may ask what creates rain during Morning Meeting and record children’s answers. Later that day, they may create an experiment with mason jars, sponges, eye droppers and water to simulate water absorption, cloud capacity and rain. They may then leave those jars on a window sill in the sun to revisit over the course of the week as well as revisiting that morning meeting question later in the week. This approach allows children to explore complex concepts through hands-on project work.

A day in the life of  a Preschooler at Two Birds

The preschool program follows a consistent structure that aligns with a child’s natural cadence to the day, which provides a helpful framework into which we integrate play, small group work, child led decision making, and typical daily routines. Following breakfast, teachers introduce new topics of focus during Morning Meeting and before they transition into small group activities, project work, center time and outdoor play. Children are encouraged to take an active part in Morning Meeting, to work in both teacher and child-led groups, and to assist in decision making during center time. Preschool classrooms include a nap after lunch as well as an afternoon snack before transitioning back into small group activities as well as an afternoon meeting before pick up.

Morning Meeting

Morning meeting is an opportunity to gather the entire class and introduce new topics of study, promote social development within larger group participation amongst peers, introduce teacher and child-led discussions, and to establish recurring routines to kick off the day such as reading, singing, creative movement and dance.

Family Style Meals

Children eat as a class to promote family-style meals for breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack. By replicating the style in which meals are served at home, we promote conversation, independence, feeding skills and social engagement.

Small Group Work

We utilize small group work to introduce new learning skills, materials, and topics the classroom is investigating. Project work is often initially teacher led, and then as children revisit skills and topics, can be child-led as well.

Open Centers

All classroom environments are organized around centers within the room, such as dramatic play, art, construction, a cozy corner, library, and science. Centers provide an opportunity for teachers to curate the materials presented to encourage productive play, and for children to make choices about how they spend their time and exhibit agency in the classroom.

Outdoor Play

Outdoor play focuses on engagement with the environment and neighborhood. Teachers bring equipment such as parachutes, chalk, hoops, bubbles and balls as well as explore and observe what’s happening in the community.

Rest Time

The preschool program incorporates a 2 hour rest period following lunch. All children select a Two Birds blanket to snuggle with during rest and sleep on cots in the room. For preschoolers who do not require two hours of sleep, teachers work with them to read quietly and allow their bodies and minds to rest.

"I also want to thank you and the entire center staff for all you do every day to ensure this vital service is provided in a safe and caring way. It truly means the world to us to know our child is safe and cared for when we drop him off each  day. You all, as more than essential workers, understand how reassuring it is to be able to have a safe place for child care. We have felt safe and reassured since day one and at every  juncture we are more reassured by your vigilance."

- Courteny P.

Our Classroom - Preschool

In our preschool classrooms, we build on the concept of centers within the classrooms. Classrooms integrate dramatic play, construction, cozy corner, meeting and movement, and art and science, and then also introduce new experiences and environments, such as messaging centers. The messaging center is a child-driven area that encourages children to explore self-expression, language and sharing by allowing them to draw or write messages for themselves, their friends or their family throughout the day. While teachers curate the materials that are offered in each area to encourage productive play, this approach provides opportunities for children to develop their own voice and agency in the classroom. Additionally, preschool classrooms feature both children’s work and the learning process undertaken while creating that work. By valuing not only the final product, but also the process in classroom documentation, children are encouraged to explore, take risks in their learning, and to reflect on the experience.

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