Discovery Areas: Enhanced Early Childhood Education

Mini-Skool’s child care facilities each have specially designed Discovery Areas that encourage and stimulate all areas of early childhood development through hands-on activities. Your child’s curious mind will be rewarded with creative art, music, manipulative/cognitive tasks, dramatic play, science and nature, and more!

Sensory, Science & Nature

Activities provided in the sensory play area will provide the means for your child to sharpen his/her ability to observe the differences and similarities in what he/she sees, hears, feels, tastes and smells. Intellectual growth is promoted as your child’s curiosity is stimulated through a variety of different mediums and activities.

Science will promote the intellectual growth of your child by stimulating his or her curiosity. Your child will be provided with a variety of real-life, hands-on activities that either have a predetermined conclusion (teaching cause and effect) or are open-ended and encourage a sense of discovery.

Jacque Cousteau would have been proud of our little explorers at Mini-Skool!

Creative Art

The activities in the Creative Art area offer an abundance of early childhood learning opportunities. Children gain social skills as they share and cooperate with an abundance of materials. They explore colours, textures and patterns, thus developing their visual and sensory abilities. Process, not product, is the emphasis in the Creative Art Centre. Art provides a medium through which children can express themselves. Mini-Skool balances the art approach through theme related and free expression art.

Van Gough, Picasso… Mini-Skool artists will do you proud!

Manipulative, Cognitive, Fine Motor

The wide variety of materials offered in the Manipulative/Cognitive area will encourage your child’s growth in fine motor skills, thinking skills and socio-emotional skills. The first stage of using manipulative toys involves exploring the materials. Next, your child will begin experimenting, testing to see the variety of ways in which a toy can be used. These opportunities will support your child in expanding his/her curiosity, an essential tool in latter school success.

Imagine your child on the list of famous inventors:

  • Telephone: invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876
  • Trivial Pursuit: invented on December 15, 1979 by Chris Haney and Scott Abbott
  • Zipper: invented by Gideon Sundback in 1913
  • ???????: invented by ________ __________ in 2035, former Mini-Skool student!

The possibilities are endless and the dreams are fun to imagine, but the fact is that no matter what your child ends up doing, you will always know that you gave them a great beginning!

Gross Motor

Outdoor Adventures: Outdoor activities allow children to experiment and explore as an extension of the learning environment provided indoors. Children are stimulated to use all of their senses as well as to develop large muscle skills as they interact and cooperate with their friends. Appropriate play structures, trikes, balls and other equipment designed to develop large muscle development are always available during outside play time.

Gym Your child will develop a sense of spatial awareness through large motor movements and activities provided in the gym areas. Children learn how to move their bodies through space in an efficient, effective manner. Your child will soon learn how motor activities, good health practices and safety habits work together to benefit their growing minds.

Indoor Activities Children stretch and develop their large muscles inside the classroom by using large blocks and equipment, riding on toys (toddler rooms only), and participating in music and movement activities during circle.

Imagine how proud you’ll feel watching your child as the next Catriona Le May Doan or Darcy Tucker!

Home Living, Cultures, Dramatic Play

When your child plays in the Home Living area, he or she will have the opportunity to role play real life experiences in a home-like setting. Child-sized furniture ensures that that your child will feel “all grown up” as different family member roles are assumed: Mum, Dad, Grandpa or even the new baby that has just been born. The Home Living area will allow your child to develop a sense of responsibility as he or she plays socially and cooperatively with his or her peers. Making supper with the multicultural play food, doing the dishes, sweeping the floor and dressing up for a night out are just some of the fun activities available. It’s amazing what we learn about our children and their extended families through their participation in Home Living activities.

Dramatic play at Mini-Skool day care centers is generally provided an extension of the weekly theme. By participating in dramatic play activities your child will be able to express him or herself in many different ways. Dramatic play promotes imagination, role playing, self confidence, self expression, vocabulary and social skills.

Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman: Brush up on your acting skills because competition is on the way!

Math

In the Math area, activities are planned to provide your child your child with a concrete, hands-on experiential approach to developing basic math concepts. Math is a way of finding things out, a way of problem solving. Math activities will stimulate your child’s inquisitiveness, a vital factor in the early childhood learning process, starting from infants and toddlers right through to our kindergarten program. “Math Works” is featured in our kindergarten rooms and provides a fun, multi sensory and interactive way to learn math.

Your budding little genius will be well on their way to becoming the next Albert Einstein!

Construction Block Area

Experiences with blocks offer many learning opportunities. Through building with blocks your child will learn to think of a plan and carry it out. Children learn to problem solve, develop basic math concepts, exercise their imaginations and develop eye hand coordination skills.

Who knows, maybe your talented structural engineer will design the next famous Toronto landmark!

Music and Listening

Through exposure to music, your child will learn to hear differences in sounds, discover rhythm, increase vocabulary and experience the impact of music on their moods.

Through participation in musical games, your child will begin to get a sense of belonging to and functioning with a group of other children. Fine motor and gross motor skills are strengthened through activities such as playing rhythm band instruments and marching to music.

Our future Paul McCartneys and Barbara Streisands are in the making!

Sound Table

Mini-Skool’s Sound Table is available in classrooms with children aged three and above. The Letter Of The Week becomes the weekly focus of the sound table. Your child may participate in: collecting objects beginning with the weekly sound, bringing in objects from home that start with the sound, printing the letter in upper and lower case, drawing the letter in sand and making the letter out of play dough. The activities are presented with a multi-sensory approach ensuring that they appeal to individual learning styles.

Honor Roll, honor roll, here we come!

Library, Language

Language is developed through meaningful experiences such as listening to and learning finger plays, poems, songs and stories; seeing a pre-rich environment and having many opportunities to talk and be listened to. Our infants and toddlers actively participate in infant/toddler sign language and baby can Read programs. Our two’s and three’s are learning to identify letters and are working on their pencil control for printing. Our Kindergarten programs participate in a jolly Phonics program and a French program. Our kindergartens are able to read going into grade one. Children need to develop many skills to develop a basis for actually learning to read and write.

J.K. Rowling, Robert Munsch: move over, we have new writers on the way!