Who am I?
My name is Denita Dinger and I am passionate about the learning that occurs through child-led play. I am also passionate about providing an environment that supports a young child's natural curiosity and encourages trying new things and testing theories.
I am a Mother and a Wife.
I am currently the mother of two teenagers - Myah and Landon. The lessons I have learned from them are countless and the time that I spend with them is precious. My husband Leroy and I have enjoyed 17 years of marriage.
I am a Defender of Play
I proudly defend a child's right to learn through play. I have used my BS in Elementary Ed and Minor in Early Childhood Ed for the last 16 years running my Preschool/Family Child Care business. That experience taught me children truly learn the best through child-led play. Too often, play is being replaced by adult-led instruction and activities, and young children are missing out on the opportunity to build the foundation that only play can provide. I have learned how to create environments that respect the natural process of learning. Children solve problems, strive for independence, build relationships, collaborate with others, try and fail, struggle and are empowered when given the freedom to play in a nurturing environment.
I am an Author.
I am an author of two books for early childhood professionals and parents, Let them Play: An Early Learning Uncurriculum and Let's Play. Both books are co-authored with Jeff A. Johnson, a fellow early childhood education partner and founder of Explorations Early Learning. A third book Let's Play Together is in the editing phase and will be available in the winter of 2015. These books are written for anyone who has young children in their life and focus on why young children learn the best through child-led play, and how you can provide an environment rich with opportunities for children to lead their own learning.
You can find my books on my Play Counts website or at Red Leaf Press or Amazon.
I am a Nationally-known Presenter
I am a Nationally-known presenter at early childhood education events throughout the United States. I love sharing proof that play is the "important stuff" with other early childhood professionals around the country. I inspire teachers to think outside the box to find creative ways for young children to learn through hands-on discoveries. I encourage them to let children work through struggles, solve problems and find confidence in their independence.
My speaking business is called "Play Counts" and you can get a better understanding of what I stand for on my Facebook page: Play Counts or by reading my blog titled Play Counts as well.
Why did I choose to call my program a "Play School"
and not a "Preschool"?
I believe firmly that it all begins with play. Play IS the foundation for all future academics to build upon.
At Kaleidoscope Play School the child is the curriculum, children will learn through play. It is that simple.
The purposeful environment will spark curiosity, and encourage discovery as children quickly learn they are free to explore here and use materials in whatever way they imagine. The proof of the learning will be on children, not on worksheets. Your child will get messy, they will own discoveries, they will solve problems, and they will be empowered.
When young children have an opportunity to learn through child-led play, they are working through struggles, practicing solving problems, pulling ourselves up ladders and slides, pushing, lifting and pulling heavy stuff, exploring the many ways our muscles work together, building independence and confidence, practicing self regulation and being empowered. All of these things build the foundation that is needed for all future academics to build upon.
We have become a society that has put too much emphasis on when a child writes their name, when they know their letters and when they can read. At Kaleidoscope Play School, the emphasis will be on when a child can independently work through a problem, when a child can work together with others, when a child can ask for what they need, when a child can wait their turn and when a child can accept hearing "no" instead of throwing a tantrum (self regulation). Letters, numbers, writing and other measurable academics will be tossed in throughout the play, in a way that children will own the discovery and have a meaningful experience to connect them to. Children will be trusted as learners; their interests will lead their play and therefore their learning.
Kaleidoscope Play School is , simply put, a place where the learning that occurs during child-led play is honored and respected.