Philosophy and Curriculum
The Brooklyn Sandbox learning experience provides high quality care in a rich, holistic learning environment. We aim to build minds using a thematic, play-based curriculum focused on the development of the whole child – cognitive, language, socio-emotional, and physical skills. We strive to shape families by leveraging parent education as a platform to connect parents to their child’s world.
The name Brooklyn Sandbox invokes the developmental benefits of sand play. Cognitive skills of Piagetian operation of conservation of matter, matter prediction, and cause and effect are developed. Sand manipulation also promotes sensory development, fine and gross motor as well as socio-emotional skills as children engage via parallel, associative, and cooperative play.
Brooklyn Sandbox’s child development philosophy closely follows that of the Reggio Emilio schools based in Reggio Emilio, Italy. Our emergent curriculum is child-led in that the curriculum is centered around the children's interest. Their exploration is then layered with a diversity of subjects such as:
- Visual arts
- Dramatic Play
- Social Studies
Small groups allow children to learn at various levels and with different methods. The learning includes educational play opportunities in areas that develop the core of each child:
- Gross and fine motor skills
- Adaptive/Coping skills
Each of our three classrooms follows a developmentally appropriate curriculum to strengthen and increase the skills and learning of each child.
Our 2’s program allows for small group learning. In natural, organic ways, we offer the opportunity to learn through play and self-discovery. Social emotional literacy is a cornerstone to community-building. Children are supported in learning the language of emotions and using them to identify their own and the emotions of others. As new friends are a natural part of their discovery they extend their language, cognitive, fine and gross motor, and socio-emotional skills in emerging associative play.
As children explore concepts, they are provided with another opportunity to express ideas, manipulate tools and media, and solve problems in ways that simultaneously convey meaning and emotion. Through experimenting with sounds, colors, forms, motion and words, children communicate in ways that are distinctly their own and reflect their own learning style.
In the 3’s program, children increase their language and communication skills by engaging in meaningful experiences that require them to effectively express their ideas and feelings, listen, and understand others. Social skills include interactions with others, work habits and self-help skills.
Social skills are reinforced in daily events and the learning environment. This helps children be aware of and respect the interests, preferences, and cultural background of others. Time is allotted each day for developing pre-reading and writing skills, exercising creativity, developing mathematical and spatial sense, dramatic play, art projects, music, sensory activities, self-expression and physical education. Much of the play is child-centered and led by the interests of the children.
As the children age in the year, play becomes a balance of child-directed and teacher-facilitated activities to further their discovery. We share the work in the classroom community to increase greater self-reliance and promote students confidence and independence. Storytelling becomes central to the curriculum to promote their voice and further literacy skills. Centers focus more on fine motor skill development, writing, and letter recognition. There is more emphasis on the use of mathematics to describe and explore relationships among objects and materials in the environment. They increasingly develop the vocabulary and skills to measure, describe patterns, and express order and position.
Parent Teacher conferences are an important tool in connecting with your family and understanding your child’s personal learning style and needs. There are two parent teacher conferences held throughout the year at Brooklyn Sandbox. The first conference outlines the strengths and potential goals of each child, while the second conference identifies the progress made since the fall, as well as ways for parents to encourage development between the final conference and the next school year.