Global Village Preschool

When we designed Global Village Preschool we were adamant about incorporating a “Natural Playground”.  What a delight it was to see the benefits of this approach come shining through.  The kids were working on a gardening project when one of them noticed a bird’s nest, with two baby chicks inside!  You can only imagine the excitement it created amongst the kids.  They asked about the “Mommy bird”, what they eat, how do they fly, and other such questions.  Some were concerned that their nest looked too small so they decided to build a nest for them as well as a card.

Experiences such as these can only happen within a natural playground setting. It lets us know we’ve made the right decision to incorporate a natural playground within our learning facility. Wouldn’t you want your child to have similar experiences in their school?  The thing is; we are the only preschool in Doral with a natural playground!

Hello everyone,

I have been blessed to be married to not only a wonderful person but a great early childhood educator which in turn has caused a love for education to bloom within me. Of course this is only my humble opinion. That being said, I would love to share with you my own thoughts and observations as I watch my wife along with her great team build a preschool (Global Village Preschool)  that I believe has the ability to impart positive relationships early on in the education process of the children it caters to. I am always amazed by the competency the children display once they are given time to assess a situation and the time to respond.

How hard it is even now as an adult to face some of our fears head on. Imagine a child.

An interesting moment I observed recently ( and believe me there are many of these moments) was one of the younger children who we will call “C”  (under 3 years old) intensely staring at the slide as if contemplating sliding down, but obviously not sure and afraid.

She had finally made it to the top of our big hill and the change in perspective was no doubt a bit frightening.

 The teacher noticed her looking at the slide for a while and decided to prod her a bit and eventually placed her on the slide.

Well……”C” slid down, holding her breath, no hands and fast! You can see it in her expression. She was intently focused on the goal (the end of the slide) never for a moment did she look elsewhere. Amazingly she maintained perfect balance without her hands or her feet touching the slide!  If you can imagine for a moment this was you and someone placed you on a slide over 20 feet high! This is the equivalence!

Remember I mentioned tackling your fears head on…and how even us now as adults have a hard time doing this? “C” not only tackled her fear, but look at her face afterward. Triumph! You can see she really feels she has made a big accomplishment, and rightly so!

Children full of competence; yes, that is what they are.

We want to thank all of the wonderful parents that have been coming by and enrolling in our center. Thank you. Spaces are filling up and we can only offer our discounted rate for the first 20 enrollees (and we are pretty close!). We want all to experience our wonderful preschool and our tried and tested research based curriculum.

Stop by and see for yourself why parents are saying, “Wow!”, “Amazing!”, I am so happy I found you!”…why not come by?

We are so excited to give you a sneek peek at our natural playground. We have spent alot of time researching the ideal environment to provide for your little ones, as we are not satisified with the regular playsets and fake grass!  At our school kids will play, explore, and learn in a natural setting..and yes the grass is real! Final touches will include a water table, a wooden house and lots of open ended materials. Long live real grass!

Global Village Preschool from the start, knew we had to have a Natural Playground. What we mean by this is a playground that utilizes nature and creates a “backyard” feel to inspire children to explore, create and learn…naturally. It is so amazing to see butterflies, ladybugs and other interesting and wonderful visitors in our playground. Very few (if any) preschools in South Florida can boast such an accomplishment. With that in mind here is an interesting article about Natural Playgrounds and the learning child:

A case for natural playscapes

Jeffrey R Severin
July 16, 2007

Recent studies have concluded that spending time in nature is an important component of human health and development. For many, nature inspires curiosity, creativity and a sense of freedom. And playing in natural landscapes provides opportunities for motor development and sensory experiences not available in the classroom or even on traditional playgrounds. While traditional playgrounds can confine children to specific activities and limit creative play, a movement towards more natural playscapes could have a profound impact on the development of important social, physical, and cognitive skills.

A study of playgrounds in Telemark, Norway, provides strong support for the developmental advantages of natural play. When compared with children that played on traditional playgrounds, children who played in a natural environment performed better on standardized motor skill tests, especially in the areas of balance and coordination.1 Researchers contribute the more rapid motor development exploration of more rugged, unstructured landscapes of the natural environment during play. Conversely, natural play supporter Helle Nebelong believes playing on traditional structures “becomes simplified, and then the child doesn’t have to pay attention to his or her movements.”2 Natural environments also promote creativity. In the playscapes utilized in the studies in Telemark, children discovered areas for play, developed their own games for specific areas, and named spaces based on the style of play. “The Cone War,” The Space Ship,” and “The Cliff” were among the favorite locations children named. Researchers concluded that the natural environment fostered more creative play by providing unstructured playscapes, loose materials and natural objects to play with3.

The developmental benefits of natural playspaces are especially important for young children. In a 1997 article in Early Childhood Education Journal, Mary Rivkin notes that “the younger the child the more the child learns through sensory and physical activity” so providing a more varied and natural setting that provide a sensory experience can strongly impact physical and cognitive development.4 Journalist and author Richard Louv has spent time interviewing children, parents, educators and researchers to examine childhood, and especially childhood connections with nature. He describes this relationship in his book Childhood’s Future:

Nature, for children, seems to work on at least two levels. For some children it serves as a blank slate on which they may draw the fantasies supplied by our culture…At a deeper level, nature gives children itself, for its own sake, not as a reflection of our culture. In addition to the sense of freedom and fantasy, access to nature also gives children a sense of privacy, of being separate from the adult world in a place older than the adult world5.

1 Fjortoft, Ingunn. (2001) “The natural environment as a playground for children: the impact of outdoor play activities in preprimary school children. Early Childhood Education Journal. Vol 29, No 2.

2 Baker, Linda (2006). “The politics of Play”. Metropolis Observed. November 2006.

3 Fjortoft, Ingunn. (2001) “The natural environment as a playground for children: the impact of outdoor play activities in preprimary school children. Early Childhood Education Journal. Vol 29, No 2.

4 Rivkin, M., (1997) The Schoolyard Habitat, Early Childhood Education Journal, Vol. 25, No. 1.

5 Louv, Richard. (1990) Childhood’s Future. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

Unfortunately, children are increasingly spending less time in natural settings. Revkin argues that society has begun to separate children from the natural environment that supports such positive aspects of development. Through urbanization, car‐centered development, social deterioration, and pollution of water bodies, it has become increasingly difficult for youth to experience unguided encounters with nature.6 Lou has referred to this disconnect as “nature deficit disorder”. Citing the hypothesis of “biophilia” he believes that humans have an innate need to “to see natural shapes in the horizon”7 and are positively impacted by the natural environment. He questions whether removing that element has contributed to the increase in ADD and other mental health concerns among American youth.

Natural playgrounds help address these concerns, while promoting physical and cognitive development, by mimicking experiences in the natural environment and providing opportunities to explore more natural surroundings. They also provide a unique experience for the community to participate in activities associated with the park and the environment.

Several studies in the 1970’s and 80’s examining different types of playscapes supported both aspects. When compared to traditional playgrounds, playscapes that offered adventure, encouraged fantasy play, and provided a place of retreat were strongly favored. Furthermore, a majority of youth observed in three studies preferred inexpensive equipment and structures built by parents over other types of equipment8.

As communities grow and develop, it is important to consider what is being lost in the process and make efforts to preserve more natural spaces for youth to explore, investigate, and be creative with their play.

6 Rivkin, M., (1997). The Schoolyard Habitat, Early Childhood Education Journal, Vol. 25, No. 1 (61‐66).

7 Roberts, David (2006) “Louv Story”. Grist Enviornmental News & Commentary. <www.grist.com>.

8 Hart, Graig H. (ed.) (1993) Children on playgrounds: research perspectives and applications. Albany: State University of New York Press.

9 Holleman, Doris. Kansas City Kansas Community College Campus Childcare Center. Personal communication. July 16, 2007.

Global Village Preschool is OFFICIALLY OPEN AND ENROLLING!!! We welcome all to schedule a tour of our one-of-kind facility. Spaces fill quickly and as such we have to keep it on a first come first serve basis. CALL 305-400-4383 or check out http://www.GlobalVillagePreschool.com to schedule a tour today. HEY! Why not just fill out the form below and one of our experienced staff will contact you within 48 Hrs. Promise!

 

Parents, fans, and general audiences who have given us so much support and compliments about our new preschool and the beautiful pictures, we have to say “we are very thankful for the love and support!” BUT we also must put credit where credit is due…that being said..we would not be able to show you our beautiful school with such vibrant pictures had it not been for the talent of the Patrice Saint-Louis Photography Studio (www.PSLPhoto.co). Global Village Preschool whole heartedly recommends them for any of your events, be it a wedding, a party, or just a day out. They have never let us down and have always provided curt, professional and timely service. I mean the pictures speak for themselves!

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