Art, as in play, enables one to be free, explore and express themselves with no inhibitions, judgment or criticism. Our experiential art activities include a number of different processes that allow the children to explore and experiment with various materials and techniques. At Woodland Playhouse we offer children the freedom of creative expression and exploration through a variety of artistic mediums. In early childhood education, the experiential process of art is more important than the finished product. We foster an exciting sense of creativity and self-expression in children by displaying their artwork daily in our classroom and by celebrating their creations at our annual art show.
Our Creative Movement class uses the children’s imagination as its guide. We echo the seasons and encourage the children to talk with their body, leap over the puddles, roll and stretch into clay sculptures, and stand tall like the trees all around us. We utilize yoga, Pilates, visualizations and music to encourage children to be confident and comfortable in a multitude of gross motor movements.
Music is incorporated in all aspects of our day. During Music class we sing, play instruments, dance with scarves, and pretend to be animals. Music is powerful and positive for young children. The children learn rhythm, pitch, song, and dance. They stomp around and have a good time while listening to the guitar. The children are met where they are at.
In science we turn to nature to inspire our curiosity. We make predictions, pose hypotheses, and investigate daily. We visit the barn, watch tadpoles in the pond, go on nature walks, garden, and compost with the chickens. You will find the children cooking, color mixing, and turning over rocks to find insects. During the year we experiment with water, mud, ice, and snow. We take every chance we get to investigate our surroundings with all five of our senses while challenging ourselves to be respectful of all that surrounds us.
For more than five years, Christina Davis (owner/director/teacher at Woodland Playhouse) has facilitated a partnership with local Phoenicia Library. Each week, Christina brings a batch of themed books from the Phoenicia Library for a read aloud, a discussion about the theme, and then the selection of books to borrow for the week. This is a place where literacy can so clearly cross over with all the subject and interest areas - for example, children make predictions about what books they think Christina may have selected and evidence (the why) to support their theory.
Our Play-based multicultural curriculum combined with experiential art, movement, music, and science supports children’s innate creativity. All of our specialties work in conjunction with each other and create a common thread within our curriculum.