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Tom Thumb Cornerstone Philosophy

Learning to me has always been an adventure that brought me excitement and satisfaction as a student growing up and later as a teacher and Director of Tom Thumb. When I opened the doors of Tom Thumb Preschool in 1968, I firmly believed in the principle of “The Power of Play” as the cornerstone philosophy of our school. I have always preferred to call it, “Play is Child’s Work”.

The Power of Play

“The Power of Play” is a valuable learning method to capture a child’s attention while pursuing a fun experience. During my teaching career, it has been reinforced countless times the best way for children to learn is to allow students to take personal responsibility of the learning activity and wanting to do it. Over the 40 years at Tom Thumb, it has demonstrated the most effective, natural and intuitive way to harness the curiosity and the willingness for kids to explore and learn.

Our Tom Thumb facilities of classrooms, gym, theater, library, art & crafts room and 3 outside playgrounds have been refined over the years as learning spaces to foster and support our idea of “Play is Child’s Work”. We encourage free-play, where the child takes the initiative to decide on the type of play and with whom. We see free-play, especially strong in the playground, where a child wants to play ball with other children or prefer to play alone on the monkey bars. Without adult intervention, children decide among themselves the game to play, rules and teams. It’s always wonderful to witness and see children play and interact.

It’s been my goal as Tom Thumb’s Director to instill this way of thinking in children that learning is exciting and a fun effort of curiosity to find out something new and result in a feeling of accomplishment. I just hope our children will never lose this precious paradigm of learning as a personal activity they want to do.

With this in mind, I have come across 3 useful articles while listening to NPR that discusses how “The Power of Play” can aid in child development. Please click on the links below to learn more.

Scientists Say Child’s Play Helps Build A Better Brain

When Kids Start Playing To Win

Old-Fashioned Play Builds Serious Skills

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