Intentional Learning

Foundational to the education philosophy at Aldrich is the intentional planning of activities and interaction based on the developmental needs of the children. Below is a sampling of some of the activities children participate in at Aldrich, and some of what they learn when they think they’re “just playing.”

When children look at books and listen to stories, they learn:

     Books are important and enjoyable

     Pictures and words tell us something

     New words

     Sentence structure

     Logical thinking

     Listening skills


When children play with blocks, they learn:






     Hand-eye coordination

When children sing, they learn:

     Vocabulary, memory skills, and sequencing

     Auditory discrimination (to hear different sounds)

     Principles of music and rhythm

Painting offers the child a chance to:

     Plan the activity.

     Receive sensory pleasure.

     Discover color, shape, and texture by the use of various paints.

     Create an expression of self.

     Refine fine muscle movements and hand/eye coordination.

     Use symbols to represent objects.

Dramatic play allows the child to:

     Construct the world as he or she sees it.

     Act out feelings and emotions in a relaxed setting.

     Interact with other children in an informal situation.

     Practice language and social skills.

     Role-play real life situations.

     Role-play characters from stories and films.

When children have snack, they learn:

     Good hygiene

     Good nutrition

     Table manners

     Decision making skills


     Observation skills


     Social interaction with peers and adults

When children look at objects at a nature table, they learn:

     New vocabulary

     Concepts of texture, color, weight, and size

     To group objects into categories

     To observe likenesses and differences

     To appreciate nature and develop a sense of wonder

Image Source: Restoration Place