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Stretch the Imagination

2509 Bush Street
San Francisco, CA 94115

(415) 922-0104


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Stretch the Imagination is an early childhood educational preschool that facilitates learning in a creative and play-based environment . We strive to create a nurturing and safe environment where children are free to explore and discover collaboratively. We believe in the ability of each child and the importance of honoring their individual styles of learning

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Our mission at Stretch the Imagination is to create a safe and nurturing environment where the process of learning is creative and collaborative. It is a place of research and collaboration where children and teachers learn together through project work and creative discovery. Our image of the child is one of capability, potential, and competency. We strive to create learning opportunities where children and teachers can come together to explore, communicate, and express themselves. These experiences are based on the children’s interests and needs and their interaction with the world around them. Our educators at Stretch the Imagination take inspiration from the Reggio Emilia philosophy of Italy, the importance of play based learning, and the developmental benefits of art, music and movement. We hold true to the belief that knowledge is learned from experiences with others. We trust that the interaction, exchange and investigation that we embark upon with others give us the ability to construct knowledge. We believe that it is not only what a child learns, but how a child learns that gives quality to the educational experience. Stretch the Imagination is a community of educators. We use the power of art, movement and music to honor and cultivate the imagination of each, individual child. We strive to inspire curiosity and creativity through a learning process that encourages collaboration and discovery. We embrace your child’s right to learn and most of all to have fun!

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

More Information

  • Tracing paper and other writing instruments
  • A well-stocked bookcase
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Parquetry blocks, pegboards, and mosaic toys
  • Maps
  • Building blocks
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

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  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
Other subjects taught We strive to make a connection with Nature and have created a program called the " Natural Classroom". This is incorporated in our weekly curriculum whereby children spend one full day a week in a natural setting where they can explore the natural surrounding of their community.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

Stretch the Imagination is an early childhood education facility that facilitates learning and creativity through child centered play. We strive to create a nurturing and safe environment where children are free to explore and discover collaboratively. We believe in the ability of each child and the importance of honoring their individual styles of learning. Our program is inspired by the Reggio-Emilia philosophy of Italy, the importance of play-based learning and the benefits of art, movement and music.

A Typical Day

Children are typically dropped off at our school in the morning or afternoon depending on their age.
9am : Drop Off
9:30: Open Play
10:00 Project Work, Class Immersion
10:30: Snack Time
11:00: Movement
11:30: Closing Circle
12:00: Pick up

Home-School Connection

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Parents in classroom early on