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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET INTRODUCTION I have dedicated my professional life to creating places where children can simply “be.” Where they can engage in experiences that are meaningful to them and have long periods of uninterrupted free time. Where teachers are encouraged to facilitate, instead of “teach.” Where preschool is not boot camp for kindergarten. Where it is believed that preschoolers do not need bite-sized morsels of an elementary school curriculum and where the curiosity and wonder of childhood is free flowing. I do what I do because of the nursery school experience I had, and I know in my heart of hearts I was put here to give that back. It is my passion, dream, and goal to develop places where children can be immersed in all the things that symbolize childhood: mud, sand, water, paint, blocks, songs, books, frogs, trucks, forts, tree houses, tires and ropes. I am forever creating places that provide children with the time, space, materials, and support they need to simply be children and I hope this book encourages you to do the same. This book was written for everyone who works with children: kindergarten teachers, parents, family child care providers, principals, playgroup captains, administrators, grandparents, teachers’ aides, and preschool teachers. May it assist you as you increase your understanding of what “child-centered” means, as you plan exciting activities for the children in your care and as you create and promote environments that encourage a love of life-long learning. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 11