Friday, December 10, 2010

Welcome to My StrongStart Centre

I thought I would give you a photo tour of my centre.

Adult's perspective when you enter the main room.

The snack area. Snack is available all morning. We use to eat as a group but last year we really tried to cut down on the number of transitions that happened. Also we took in to account that children need to listen to their bodies and eat when they are hungry. It works very well for us.

A multi-purpose area. Available for puzzles, fine motor, overflow from the snack table, etc. I've really stretched my comfort zone and realized that children need the freedom to move from one area to another with any toy at any given time to explore different and new ways to play.

The floor area with blocks, trees, shells, rocks, people, cars, ramps, houses, different textured mats. Plus the riser allows for children (our range is from birth to 5) to comfortably sit, stand or kneel to play. Also allows parents a comfortable place to sit rather than on the floor. Since adding the riser I've seen more of the grown-ups participating in the play than before.

The story/infant area. With big book stand, comfy chairs, books, and some infant/toddler toys.

A small play area for play dough, having a pretend cup or tea or hammering. There is a shelf that hold science and observation materials. Plus our fish tank is there which the children enjoy feeding everyday.

The craft area. Last year this was a very small space and I found not many children used it. So after expanding and making it feel more open it has become a well used area of the room.

And that is the end of our main room.

Across the hall I'm lucky to have a second room.

This room provides more open space for larger movement. It has our larger cars and trucks.

It has our dramatic play area, which in this picture is a vet centre.

A different shot of the room standing at the entrance.

And the house area, plus at the time of this photo we had a second dramatic play area going on - a hair salon.


  1. How do you keep your program free? Where do you get the funding to keep it running and to buy materials?

  2. I am impressed with the volume of material you have and how well you are organized. That is always a challenge. Kudos!!

  3. Deborah - StrongStart is a government program that each school district in the province can apply for. We have four centres in our school district and there are almost 400 centres throughout the province. Because the program utilizes empty classrooms in the elementary schools it cuts down on costs.
    The program allows families to come into the schools before their child is ready for kindergarten. They become comfortable being there as we use the school's library, gym and buddy up with older classes.
    Here is a link to the ministry's website

  4. Thank you so much for the added information - I am so impressed by this idea - what a terrific program for the community. I will be sure to read more on the website!