How Preschool Works

Preschool Curriculum

There are many different types of preschools -- from parochial (run by churches) to private institutions -- all with their own curriculums and schedule of activities. Each type addresses various areas of a child's development, such as motor skills, social and emotional development, oral language, print knowledge, phonological skills and math concepts. Some of the many activities designed to develop these areas include art appreciation, story time, music and nursery rhymes. It's in preschool that kids learn the alphabet, numbers, the seasons, weather, holidays, animal names and much more. There are many things that happen in a typical day at preschool. There's some kind of structured group activity, like learning a letter of the alphabet, and activity time, such as finger painting or making pottery. Kids play outside and engage in structured activities. Snack time and lunch are often followed by nap time, which can last up to two or more hours. Children engage in dramatic play with dolls, dress-up, puppets and more. Toy cars, art supplies, building blocks, musical instruments, puzzles and sensory activities with sand, water or noodles are all fair game. Make no mistake: While there's a lot of opportunity for children to create and let their imaginations run wild, this education is still a structured experience. (At least, it should be in order to complement toddlers' developmental stages.) Some schools fall short of providing this ideal culture for kids at this age or following standard preschool curriculum. To avoid these lackluster schools that don't offer real benefits to children, do your due diligence. Interview staff members or observe the classroom before making a decision. What kind of credentials do preschool teachers have, anyway? Go to the next page to find out.