Back to Westlake Preschools

Play & Learn Nursery

2239 Dover Center
Westlake, OH 44145

(440) 835-2913

Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based

From the Director:

Play and Learn has alternating periods of unstructured freeplay in the classrooms and the large muscle room with periods of structured learning, such as stories, music, art projects, and a curriculum adapted for each of our five age groups.

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
  • book with tapes
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

More Information

  • Puzzles
  • number stencil, dot-to-dot activities, number games
Time & space more

More Information

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

More Information

  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
Music more

More Information

  • Musical instruments
  • a large repetoire of school and seasonal songs we share
Visual arts more

More Information

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

More Information

  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • climbing equipment
Other subjects taught Our children have an opportunity to learn conversational French. We also have two musical performances each year.

From the Director:

each of our groups has its own developmentally directed curriculum. All of our groups have language arts, math, health and safety, and science units which are geared to the specific age of the children. Art projects are a big part of our curriculum, as well as art just for the sake of the joy it brings.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

We aim to take each child as he/she is and to enhance his/her special qualities. In any class we can have a little person who still cries when separated from Mom to someone who is already reading books independently. We emphasize the idea that we are a little family for the time we are together, and that we are all different, just as we are individuals within our own families. We always have enough staff to help out the child who may need it on any day, whether it requires help writing a name or just needing to be held during a rough day.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

The philosophy of Play and Learn is to provide an environment which fosters self esteem, social awareness and adjustment, self discipline, and good interpersonal relationships in a secure environment. By keeping our student to teacher ratios low and by providing a loving fun-filled, stimulating environment, our children blossom into capable little individuals.

A Typical Day

Our day includes freeplay in our rooms with the toys, blocks, cars, dolls, puzzles, stencils, cutting and pasting. Twice a week each group goes to the large muscle room where we have bikes, climbing equipment, and painting. A more structured part of each day includes working on a letter of the week and a number of the week. The concept and related activities are followed by a coloring paper or a project to give practice on the number or the sound or/and recognition of the letter we are working on. We also have a rug time for sharing, singing, games and marching to music. A story is part of every day. And most important of all, we have snack time everyday.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

We send home a very detailed newsletter each month. Our teachers give their phone numbers to all of their families, and they contact parents when they deem it appropriate. Two report cards go home each year. We have a parent orientation, a Muffins with Mom and a Donuts with Dad.We spend a lot of time in the second semester communicating with our families on this, since we want our little students to sail in to kindergarten fully prepared and confident.


Separation is Handled through:

  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions
  • Extra staff dedicated to handle separation
  • Abbreviated schedule at start of school year

Handling Separation: From the Director

We always have a slow start. We start with an orientation with our children, parents, and teachers in the classrooms. We have our teachers bring the children into the school after the children have seen them in the classrooms. We always have extra staff to ease our more reluctant students into the classroom at their own pace. We always tell our parents how our days have gone, and we take phone calls from anxious parents any time.