There are many influences that drive the philosophy of Peace Through Play Nursery School.
One is the book "Putting Children First" by Elizabeth Erwin, Ed.D professor at Montclair State College. Another is “Because We Can Change The World” by Mara Sapon-Shevin, Ph.D and professor at Syracuse University, and most recently a book called “Child Honoring” by the world renowned children's artist and entertainer, Raffi Kervokian. These three influences speak so beautifully about how to create an inclusive world that honors, respects and is devoted to the rights of all children.
A GREEN SCHOOL
Peace Through Play is on a quest to become as sustainable a school as possible. To this end we compost, recycle, use recycled paper as much as possible, and biodegradable cups, forks and spoons. We ask families not to send in juice boxes with lunch. All our snack and birthday food are organic.
As a recipient of the New York State Eat Well, Play Hard Grant to fight childhood obesity we are well aware of the need for all children to receive as much outdoor play and physical exercise as possible each day.
This includes children with physical disabilities who benefit from the movement and camaraderie of physical activity. When the weather permits us to be outdoors we really take advantage of that time.
Peace Through Play Nursery School sits on two acres of tree-lined, wooded land, all of which is utilized by the children. Our playground provides enough space for any kind of physical activity which the children might want to engage in. At the far corner of our playground is the entrance to our Nature Trails on two acres of wooded property. Contained in the center of the playground is our state of the art Tree House. The playground also has a large and unique piece of climbing equipment for the children to enjoy. We also have an Adventure Playground made up of materials that the children can use with their own creativity.
"One of the absolute best qualities of PTP is their outdoor play area and how they utilize it throughout the seasons to encourage exploration and activity within the children. I love that my kids come home exhausted after a long day of outdoor play."
At Peace Through Play Nursery School, we are media free. This means no screen time at all. We are television, video and computer screen free.
*The average children watches about 4 hours of TV everyday.
*Children spend more time in front of the TV screen than on any other activity besides sleeping.
Negative Effects of Excessive Screen Time
*Screen based activities may contribute to youth obesity.
*Excessive screen watching hinders cognitive development in very young children.
*Children who spend too much time in front of the screen don’t get the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity.
Facts About Excessive Screen Time
*American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children under 2 and 1-2 hours or less a day for older children.
*Hours of TV watching and violent video games have been linked to bullying and poor school performance.
*TV watching for babies interferes with cognitive development, language development, and sleep patterns.
*3 types of harmful effects have been associated with viewing violence: Learning aggressive behaviors, becoming desensitized to real world violence, and developing a fear of being victimized.
Physical Alternatives to Screen Time
*Take a walk
*Dance to music
*Go to the park or playground
*Play hide and seek
*Have a friend over!
From Child Care Resources of Rockland brochure on Media Awareness
We go on at least four trips each year - one for each season.
In October we visit a local nursery with a a hayride, some farm animals and everyone receives a pumpkin and some apple cider. During the winter we might attend children's theater, or we've visited the Hudson River Museum, the Liberty Science Center and other indoor spaces. When Spring arrives we might visit Bear Mountain Park, Van Saun Park, the Botanical Gardens or a local farm. During the summer we have visited the Hudson Highlands Museum in Cornwall or other places to explore aspects of nature.
Three dimensional art is one of the corner stones of best practice in early childhood. Having children work together is a great way to foster socialization and cooperation. Cooperative Art is one of the best ways to do that! Children can be creative while at the same time gaining a sense of working together creating three dimensional sculptures and canvases. Many of our Cooperative Art pieces are ongoing projects.
COMMUNICATION WITH PARENTS
We want the parents to feel comfortable with open and easeful communication. At Peace Through Play, we utilize a communication app to make communication connected and accessible for the parents and teachers.