Woodland Playhouse is committed to supporting children as they grow, learn, and explore the world around them. We focus on intrinsic motivation - behavior that is driven by internal rewards. Our children work hard each day at Woodland Playhouse, whether we are exploring seeds, composting food, performing experiments, counting the number of friends at school, creating our names with sticks, flowers, and glue, or raising baby chicks. We bake, cook, and explore new foods each week.
Young children learn through experiences, games, and concrete interactions. Woodland Playhouse facilitates a genuine connection between the child and the earth, the community, and the world in part by prioritizing outdoor learning and experiences every day. Feeling rooted and secure in where they are and who they are with, the students are open to becoming increasingly empathetic to the world and individuals around them. This is exceptionally important to supporting children to become happy, successful, contributing members of society. Playing games (be it imaginary play of "family" or an organized card game) provides an opportunity for healthy competition. Competition with the self is intrinsically motivating; focusing on how to out do one self propels the individual to continually improve.
We absolutely do not use television, computers, video games, or battery operated toys in our classroom and we ask that families that do please leave them at home. Further, we ask that families be mindful about the amount of screen time they allow at home.
Woodland Playhouse serves children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old. A mixed age group allows children to develop at their own pace, offering more opportunities for children to find their own niche. We welcome the chance to support children for two or three years before they move on to Kindergarten, as they are able to feel their own growth as they begin as the youngest in a group, move on to the middle, and then feel their role as one of the oldest.
Getting outdoors each day is a priority at Woodland Playhouse. We adore living in the Catskills and want to harness all these great mountains, moody weather, and fall harvest have to offer. We get outdoors every single day, no matter the weather - sometimes for hours, sometimes for just a short period.
We also offer a summer camp for children between the ages of 2 and 12 years old. Typically, we release our summer information in the end of January each year. Please see our Summer Camp page for more information
Another part of our daily lives at Woodland Playhouse is Risky Play. We encourage our students to engage in an acceptable level of risk to test their own boundaries, experience new things, and learn their limits. Early in the school year we introduce the concept of "risky" and "reckless" play and provide examples of both. You can often find teachers asking children if their decisions are "risky" or "reckless" and giving pause for the child to identify their thoughts on the subject. Our goal is to help these individuals feel confident in their skills and their understanding of the world around them. We intend to send our rising Kindergarteners out into the world with a measure of themselves and respect of the earth and big things without a true fear of them.