Developmental Goals for Centers
The classroom I drew contain centers that will help to enhance the development of young children, though blocks, books/language, dramatic play, art, manipulatives. In the Art Center, children will learn observation, recall, classification, creativity, fine motor skills, emotional expression, sharing. They will also develop hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills. Art encompasses a wide range of activities such as painting, gluing, coloring, cutting, 3D art and collage art. Some of the material are brushes, crayons, and markers which are important to have in any art center. Also, large easy-grip paint brushes are easier for younger children to grasp and use. Playing outside with fun chalk materials or use chalk on chalkboards indoors. Children will love using sidewalk chalk and paint to create colorful works of art. Clay, dough, and modeling materials children will have fun using their hands to make creative statues and models with dough and modeling clay. This facilitate their creativity with rollers, cutters, and texture kits. College and craft materials offer a variety of art supplies for any college or craft projects, including craft sticks, feathers, pipe cleaners, yarn, glitter, stencils, pom poms, wiggly eyes, felt sheets and art kits. Glue and tape helps children keep their project together. It also reduces the chance of a mess occurring by using washable glue or easy-to-use glue sticks. Paper and scissors stimulate children’s senses by giving them the chance to use paper in different textures, colors, and sizes. While in the manipulatives center, children will learn problem solving, decision making skills, peer interaction, self-discipline, relationships, task completion, classification, number concepts, fine motor control, eye-hand coordination. The materials would be string beads, connecting beads, puzzles, pegboards, sorters, tweezers and activity boxes. Each room has a variety of activities to choose from so that the children can learn at their own pace with things that interest them. Next children can improve their motor skills, practice problem solving, and learn to work with their classmates while playing in a block learning center. Block play enables children to explore their creative side by building unique structures and communities with blocks, block people, and block animals. They will also experiment with area, space, size, shape, depth, balance, gravity, value, weight, position, stability, language, patterning and cause-and-effect relationships. They will also learn to observe and follow safety rules as well as develop respect for the work of others. There will be several different kinds of blocks in the block area: soft blocks, cardboard blocks, wooden blocks and plastic blocks. Using the materials like the block people and animal’s children can include in their block structures encourages role play and helps children learn about animals, special needs, multi-cultural families, and people they may see in the community. Infant and toddler blocks are typically oversized to help young children develop basic motor and coordination skills. Popular blocks in this category include letter blocks, stacking blocks, nesting blocks, shape sorting blocks, and tactile blocks. A favorite among children and adults, LEGO® and DUPLO® offer a variety of building sets for almost any age group (starting at age 1 & up). These building sets can help children learn to count, develop motor skills, and eventually introduce them to robotics when children are older. Magnetic building sets are a great alternative to traditional block play and can help children learn about magnetic science and spatial relationships. Children will love building creative designs with Magna-Tiles® and Better Builders® building sets. Foam and vinyl soft blocks help create safe environments for younger children and can help them learn about different textures, sizes, shapes, and colors. Giant foam block sets also encourage creative play and allow children to create life-size structures. Wooden blocks or hardwood blocks are durable and can help children learn a variety of topics and theme. Dramatic play learning center in the classroom will give children opportunities to role play as adults in everyday situations and a variety of careers. Dramatic play encourages creativity, self-expression, and knowledge of the community. Also, dramatic play helps teach children about other countries, cultures, and customs. Children have dress-up clothes, babies, kitchen toys, a kitchen, puppets, dollhouses, cars, tools, jewelry and car garages. Another is shopping children can role play realistic shopping experiences with shopping play props and materials. Handbags, wallets, shopping carts, a play cash register, play money, and a variety of supermarket items. Finally, the book center where children learn concept formation, object labeling, peer and adult interaction, sentence structure, language, vocabulary growth and most importantly a positive attitude toward reading and books. The book areas are also areas for the children to get comfortable and relax with soft lighting, fluffy pillows and lots of stuffed animals. The material used are child-sized furniture, puppets, and blankets. Taking care of books becomes part of a routine as children understand the value of books and develop a love of reading.
The developmental goals for play for each of the centers are Cognitive Development, Emotional Development, Social Development, Language Development and Physical Development. With Emotional development children can master emotional issues such as anxiety, frustration, normal developmental conflicts, traumatic situations, unfamiliar concepts, and overwhelming experiences in their play. They use dramatic play to imitate, re-create, and rehearse roles that help them understand and solve problems related to everyday living. For Social Development, children move from solitary play into parallel play, associative play, and then cooperative play. While in Physical Development play activities, such as cutting, eating, writing, buttoning, painting, and dressing, provide for their fine motor development, or refinement of the skills that require the use of smaller muscles. Through art and block play, children are naturally able to use and learn to refine their gross and fine motor skills and coordination. All this development can be found in all the centers one way or another.