SHARED by: Karyn Smith, M.Ed
Assistant Director of Early Learning Foundations Preschool

Learning centers are the areas within a classroom which provide children with activities and materials related by subject, purpose or projected skills. These materials are used independently by the children, or with teacher direction, to reinforce and enrich different skills or concepts. Learning centers are an excellent way to individualize the curriculum so as to meet the varying needs of young children.

Discovery and Exploration – Children learn by doing. Having a wide variety of activities gives them access to develop their personal interests. Every experience is a learning opportunity during these important developmental years.

Learning Styles – Although children learn by doing, they don’t all do it the same way. Learning centers allow preschoolers to learn at their own pace and provides an opportunity to explore areas that interest them.

Individualized Attention – Breaking the class up allows teachers to work with individual students or small groups on specific skill-based activities, including sequencing, patterning, fine motor, problem solving, and hand-eye coordination.

Positive Reinforcement – As preschoolers “freely” explore their environment, they begin to gain confidence while they develop new interests and skills.

Responsibility – Learning centers instill a sense of responsibility in children, which helps to foster their self-esteem and confidence.

Structured Interaction – The preschool years are when children begin to develop sense of self in relation to others. Learning centers provide a safe, structured environment where children are encouraged to verbalize and build social relationships.