Curriculum/Project Approach

Curriculum/Project Approach

The UCO Child Study Center is organized in learning areas which facilitate the curriculum.

Art & Creative Expression

There are certain things that our age needs. It needs, above all, courageous hope and the impulse to creativeness.
--Bertrand Russell

Many materials are available for the children to express in their own creative way. In the art center, children are learning. Our program sees "art" as spontaneous, creative, and fun.  We do not focus on the finished product but rather the process of creating something new and enjoying the process.

See also: Children at Play.


Block play provides children opportunities for children to develop motor, social and cognitive skills. When we play in the block center, we are learning:

A variety of size and shape blocks are available to encourage both small and large motor development and to encourage children to utilize their imaginations. Children may work together or alone to plan and create their ideas.


The children are provided a variety of language and literacy experiences through small and large group times and during self-initiated play. In the language/literacy center children learn:

Children learn at a young age and have an interest in reading to being read to. Adults in the world model the importance of reading by giving children early exposure to books and other forms of print. The books area contains a variety of books and print related materials .The literature area provides children opportunities to practice reading, retell a story, and connect words with pictures. Language and literacy development is also being developed through experiences with letters, puppets, dramatic play and manipulative toys.


When children play in the science center, they are learning and using their imaginations. They are learning about the world around and investigating their ideas. Nature and the objects in a child's environment are of particular interest to them. Therefore, we take this natural process of curiosity and expand it in the classroom.  Our children learn about animals, nature, and organisms in their environment. Children are given opportunities to observation, classification, documentation, experiment, measurement, predictions, and communication.

Outdoor Play

Through outdoor play children learn:

Our outside time is an extension of the classroom. Children learn to play together, follow rules, and most of all we work on our motor skills which are the building blocks of later development.  Outside we are able to play in our large sandbox and investigate our natural surroundings and play on the large climbing/sliding equipment.

Water Table

When we play in the sand and water tables, we are learning:

Children have a natural curiosity for sand and water. This curiosity helps to make this area a wonderful place for children to learn. By playing with friends to investigate what floats or sinks or how to build with sand. They learn important skills such as weighing, measuring and comparing quantities. By playing with friends, children are building important social skills for life.


Manipulative materials can enhance motor skills, eye-hand coordination, mental, language, and social skills. Our Manipulative includes puzzles, blocks, stringing objects, legos, pegboards, and games.

When children play in the manipulative center, they are working on:

Dramatic Play

Dramatic play can encourage children to try out social roles and real life dialogue. Dramatic play facilitates language, social and creative development. When we play in the dramatic play center, we are learning:

Children learn the ability to pretend at a very young age.  This learning experience is the building block of future success.  In the dramatic play center children learn to assign and take roles from the other children.  They learn to pretend and imagine what their future might hold.  Our dramatic play area is constantly changing to reflect the environment in which the children live.  You may see it as a doctor's office, a fast food establishment, an airport, a grocery store, or many other places that children see in their world.  This area very often becomes a favorite for many children.

Music & Movement

Through music and movement activities children have opportunities to listen, sing, create dance and play musical instruments. The children are exposed to a variety of music and movement activities through group times and self selected play.

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