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My son has attended the Play Yard for the last two years and
will be there again next year. It is a magical preschool in
Berkeley which has some openings for 9/2013 as 4 children
are going to kindergarten. It is a small preschool (6 kids
a day) with a wonderful open-ended changeable outside space
where the kids spend at least an hour a day in the morning
program- rain or shine. Inside there are Waldorf inspired
toys and many separate play spaces for the kids to explore.
Denise is wonderful with the children focusing on
creativity, storytelling, cooperation, and conflict
resolution. She sits with the children supporting them to
come back to the group when there is discord; encouraging
them to speak to each other. My son has grown so much under
her tutelage and I have learned so much from watching her.
I look forward to my son continuing there next year. Denise
takes kids ages 2.9 and up. There are 3 kids planning on
returning next year; two will be 5 in September, one 5 in
February. If you are looking for a wonderful and very
affordable preschool for your child for the 2013-2014 school
year please check out her website http://theplayyard.net/
The links give an accurate idea of what the school is about.
Happy to provide a reference.
My son is 4.5 yo has been attending The Play Yard since he
was 3 yo. We are waiting to send him to K, so he will
continue to attend The Play Yard for another year. I
visited several preschools before we decided to enroll him
at The Play Yard. We chose the school because of Denise,
the teacher. Denise is experienced and very nurturing. She
focuses on the children's social and emotional development.
When children have a conflict, Denise doesn't intervene
right away, unless it's a safety issue. She waits, watches,
and gives the child opportunity to problem-solve on their
own. My son has become more confident in playing with
others and articulating his needs. Denise has provided a
space that is creative and challenging. My son has created
elaborate and complex artwork and projects. The Play Yard
is project-based learning and Denise appreciates the
Reggio-Emilia philosophy. There are a lot of collaboration,
observation, and self-reflection that take place with their
projects. She also documents much of the children's day, so
you have opportunity to see what your child does at school.
Please feel free to contact me for more info and visit
www.theplayyard.net .We are so thankful to have found The
Play Yard and in my son's own words, ''I go to Play Yard
everyday, then I am happy everyday.''
Re: Need a new preschool in Berkeley
My 4.5 year old son is very happy at The Play Yard. Denise sets up awesome activities for the children and involves them in lots of play and friendship! If they are not ''deep'' in water play, they are creating sailboats. If they are not painting, they are playing in Denise's sand or rock boxes! Denise sings and prepares hot snacks daily. This is a play based school which I'm all about. I'm an Early Childhood Educator and 1st grade teacher and I know a great program when I see it. Afterschool care is a bonus. Visit www.theplayyard.net and/ or email me with any questions. zevsmama
I would like to recommend my daughter's lovely small school. It is called the Play Yard and is in Southwest Berkeley. Before we found the Play Yard, I looked at many preschools and feared that at most of them, my daughter might get lost in the shuffle. Then we found the Play Yard. It is a program intentionally limited to 7 students. Denise Hingle, my daughter's teacher has been a preschool teacher for 25 years, and, in the words of the mom who recommended the school to ME, is a ''gem''. She adheres to a strict play based curriculum, which means that she listens in (and keep copious notes) of what the children are talking about, inventing, and pretending and then gives them ways to explore and extend that play more. She is very into the Berkeley way, if I can put it like that. Recycling, Reusing, non consumerism, appreciating the natural world (she has a gorgeous large outside playspace where the kids spend much of their time). Anyway, right now, we have a couple of openings at the school and would love to have some new kids join us. Check out the website at: theplayyard.net and email me if you want to talk further. Amanda
Re: Co-op preschool for toddler age 2.9?
If you are interested in a home-based preschool program I can recommend the Play Yard, which just started this September, and is run by Denise Hingle, a teacher with over 20 years of experience. We are a cozy group and the program will have up to six kids on any one day. My daughter is turning 3 in November and she loves it there-she runs up to the gate most days. The kids do a lot of dramatic play, artwork, nature walks, and so much more. Parent participation depends on size of the group and will be a few hours a month. The Play Yard is located in SW Berkeley, near Dwight and Sacramento. Email if you have questions or contact Denise at email@example.com for more info. Good Luck! Lori
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