About Us

"Play is the work of the child"

Our Play-Based Philosophy

“Play is essential to development as it contributes to the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of children and youth.”  
- American Academy of Pediatrics.

 

Friends Nursery School has been play-based since 1954. We knew then that play was the work of children and essential for children’s learning.  Today, we have scientific research that backs up our 60+ years of play-based experience:

  • Long periods of uninterrupted play builds strong friendships, encourages creativity, strengthens the ability to make choices, provides essential time for learning conflict resolution and acceptable negotiating skills

  • With our low child to teacher ratios, teachers have time to support children’s emotional intelligence by helping them to identify their own feelings and become aware of the feelings of others  

  • When given time, self-initiated play encourages children to think in innovative ways.

We Believe:

  • Children should be treated with kindness and respect

  • They should be embraced and valued for who they are including their pace of learning, personal qualities and temperament

  • Children learn best through play and that hands-on learning, including exploring the outdoor environment, allows children to try materials at their own pace, encourages creativity and builds self-initiation

  • Children deserve a nurturing, safe, engaging, fun environment where they can explore and be themselves

  • Parents should be treated with kindness and respect and embraced for the individuals that they are

  • Working together to support our school, including fundraising efforts, strengthens our community

“The real focus in the preschool years should be not just be on vocabulary and reading, but on talking and listening. We forget how vital spontaneous, unstructured conversation is to young children’s understanding”
- Erika Christakis, The Importance of Being Little

© 2020 by Palo Alto Friends Nursery School

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