What Does it Take to Make an “A”?

Did you know that all Creative World Schools must seek accreditation within a year of opening? Being accredited as an early learning school means that we achieve the highest standards of quality and commitment to excellence. But at Creative World, we’re never content with great… we want to be the BEST! That’s why in addition to external validators, our support coaches conduct quarterly inspections that gauge a school’s adherence to our strict quality standards.


Because we won’t settle for anything less than the best for our young learners, earning an “A” in our company is quite an accomplishment! That’s why we are so pleased to announce that every single one of our schools in Kansas City, MO achieved an A on their fall inspections. This means that in ever category, from Office Leadership to Education to Professionalism and Safety, these Leaders and Teachers are the cream of the crop! We want to send out a big CONGRATULATIONS to these top performers! We’re so glad you’re in our family.


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Early Educators talk a lot about “Learning through Play.” At Creative World School, we are passionate about nurturing the playfulness in young children… and capitalizing on the teachable moments that happen while children play!

© Copyright 2010 CorbisCorporation



Do you ever wonder what your teachers are learning? Creative World teachers receive special training upon hire, through staff meetings, special in-service training, Creative World Curriculum Conferences, and through multiple continuing education opportunities! Want a sneak peek at what we tell them? Here’s an excerpt from one of our Curriculum Manuals on how our teachers employ best practices to facilitate play!

One of your roles as a facilitator is to make up playful games. You may create a ‘teacher made’ game or be the game yourself. In this case, you are part of the Enrichment as you interact with your children. By dumping small toys into a basket or making a tower, you are demonstrating a new way of playing. You have just made up a new game and invited the children to join you. These learning games provide opportunities for children to practice important social skills such as emerging sharing, turn-taking, listening, following directions, and empathy.

During Enriching Play, your role will be to move around the room and play with your children. Ask open-ended questions to expand on their play in the interest center they are visiting. How many want to play in the block area? What can we do if there are too many of our friends playing in a particular area? As you facilitate children’s play and observe their interactions, you are able to extend on their play while getting to know their strengths and interests.

How do you see your child’s teachers at Creative World School facilitating play? How can you use some of these cues and guidelines to facilitate play in your own home?

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Filed under Childhood Development, CW Educational Focus, Early Education, Education

Autumn Poems and Songs for Young Children

© Copyright 2015 Corbis CorporationWith every crunchy leaf, pumpkin-spiced latte, and dusky evening, we are carried into the magical season of fall. As you savor this season with your young children, celebrate with language-rich experiences!

Poetry and music are an amazing way to expand your child’s literacy and give them an outlet for their creativity. Whether you are reciting and singing nursery rhymes to your infant or jamming out to Kidz Bop with your preschooler, the cadence, rhythm, and nuance of music has amazing brain-building properties!

Experts have estimated that “If children know eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they’re four years old, they’re usually among the best readers by the time they’re eight.”

Here are some ideas for music or recitations to learn with your young child:



Autumn leaves
(tune-London Bridge)

Autumn leaves are falling down,
Falling down, falling down,
Autumn leaves are falling down,
Yellow, red, orange and brown!

Leaves are Falling
(tune-Jingle bells)

Leaves are falling,
Leaves are falling,
One fell on my nose!

Leaves are falling,
Leaves are falling,
One fell on my toes!

Leaves are falling,
Leaves are falling,
One fell on my head!

Leaves are falling,
leaves are falling,
Yellow, orange and red!

In Autumn
by Winifred C. Marshall

They’re coming down in showers,
The leaves all gold and red;
They’re covering the little flowers,
And tucking them in bed
They’ve spread a fairy carpet
All up and down the street;
And when we skip along to school,
they rustle ‘neath our feet


The green leaves are turning
To yellow, red and brown
And when the wind comes
Whistling by, they’ll

(BONUS – Reinforce some gross-motor skills: Can you make a whistling wind sound? Can you wave like a branch? Which way is down?)

*Quote taken from Why do children love poems. Fox, Mem. (2001). Reading Magic, Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever. San Diego, CA: Harcourt. 

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To the Grocery Store!

This month our classes are exploring everything we find in a Grocery Store! From food and nutrition to stocking and SKUs, there is learning to be found in every domain through the doors of the Grocery Store.ToTheGroceryStore_Icon

Here are the books we are recommending to our teachers for each age group… visit the library and read along!

A Trip to the Grocery Store by Josie Keogh
Just Shopping with Mom by Mercer Mayer
Maisy Goes Shopping by Lucy Cousins
Shopping With Dad by Matt Harvey
Signs at the Store by Mary Hill
Supermarket by Kathleen Krull
Supermarket by Lola M. Schaefer
Supermarket! by Charlotte Doyle
The Supermarket by Gail Gibbons


Caillou Mealtime by Nicole Nadeau
Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert
Food ABC by Amanda Doering
I Can Eat a Rainbow by Annabel Karme
Lunch by Denise Fleming
My Cooking Pot by Joanne Barkan
My Kitchen by Harlow Rockwell

Picnic by Emily Arnold
Piglet’s Picnic by Jessica Souhami
Pots and Pans by Anne Rockwell
Sam’s Sandwich by David Pelham
Today is Monday by Eric Carle
Who Ate It? by Taro Gomi
Yum! Yum! by Kate Gleason

Preschool (3’s and 4’s)

Bakes Bread by Norah Dooley
Blue Bowl Down by C Millen
Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban
Bread is for Eating by David Gershator
Bread, Bread, Bread by Ann Morris
Cook-a-Doodle-Doo! by Janet Stevens
Curious George Makes Pancakes by H.A. Rey
Eight Animals Bake a Cake by Susan Middleton
Everybody Bakes Bread by Norah Dooley
Fannie in the Kitchen by Deborah Hopkins
Five Little Monkeys Bake a Cake by Eileen Christelow
Froggy Bakes a Cake by Jonathan London
Hey, Pancakes! by Tomson Weston
If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Numeroff
If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff
If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff
Mr. Cookie Baker by Monica Wellington
Mr. Wolf’s Pancakes by Jan Fearnley
Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie DePaola
Pancakes, Crackers, and Pizza by Marjorie Eberts
Pancakes, Pancakes by Eric Carle
The Little Red Hen by Byron Barton
The Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone
The Little Red Hen by Patricia McKissak
The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza by Philemon Sturges
The Little Red Hen: An Old Story by Margo Zemach
The Little Red Hen/Help Yourself Little Red Hen by Alan Garner
The Little Red Hen by Harriet Ziefert
The Little Yellow Chicken by Joy Cowley
The Runaway Pancake by Mairi MacKinnon
This Little Bunny Can Bake by Janet Stein
Thunder Cake by Patricia Polacco
Tony’s Bread by Tomie dePaola
Walter the Baker by Eric Carle
Who Will Help? by Rozanne Lanczak Williams


A Trip to the Grocery Store by Josie Keough
Blueberries for Sal by R. McCloskey
Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert
Food Play by Joost Elffers
Frannie’s Fruits by L. Kimmelman
Fruit by Sara Anderson
Fruits and Vegetables by Gladys Rosa- Mendoza
Giant Vegetable Garden by N. Wescott
Good Enough to Eat by Lizzy Rockwell
Growing Colors by Bruce McMillan
Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert
How Are You Peeling? by Saxton Freyman
I Like Fruit by Lorena Siminovich
I Will Never Not Eat a Tomato by Lauren Child
Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear by Don Wood
Supermarket by Kathleen Krull
Supermarket by Lola M. Schaefer
The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss
The Supermarket by Gail Sanders Smith
Tommy at the Grocery Store by Bill Grossman
Tops and Bottoms by Janet Stevens
Vegetable Garden by D. Flourian
Vegetables by Sara Anderson
What Happens at the Supermarket? by Amy Hutchings

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Creative World School Oakstead is Opening Monday!

A lot of hard work and big heart goes into each and every one of our Creative World Schools! Mike and Shama Colquhoun and their three young daughters have spent the last several months dreaming of this day…. As they overcame rain delays in construction, hired and trained the best Leadership and Teaching Staff, watched the child-sized environment take shape, it has been easy to envision all of the young lives and precious families that will be influenced in this building over the years.

It is such a privilege and responsibility to care for young children. Mike, Shama, their Leadership Team, and all of the Teachers look forward to welcoming families starting this Monday, November 16!

See more of their journey and follow their progress as children launch their learning journies at Creative World School Oakstead!

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Fall Sensory Fun!

Young children are eager to absorb information through each and every one of their senses! Fall is a wonderful time of year to transition the sights, sounds, and other stimuli that engage their learning on every level.

Here are some great, easy ways to use Fall Flavors and Fun in your sensory experiences!

spice paint

Use liquid watercolors or food coloring and spices to make fragrant fall paint! For older children, what if you add the scent to clear water and let them choose what color they think that smell would be?


Use your spice paint (above) or add scent to tempera paint (for richer color) and paint pinecones! What do pinecones feel like? Is there anything inside? What can you create with your painted pinecones?


Collect fall leaves and then play a color matching game: look for items throughout your home that match the colors of the leaves! Use the leaves and/or found items to create a Fall Sensory Bin with various textures, shapes, and colors.


Cranberries are a great exploration of hard and soft, squishy and firm, tart and sweet! Place cranberries in a shallow bin of water with a colander, baster, spoons, and more for a simple sensory activity. Extend your cranberry exploration by looking at what happens when you cook cranberries, add sugar, drink cranberry juice, or open a can of cranberry jelly!


Love the pumpkin, hate the mess? Create a mess free exploration by filling a resealable bag with the pumpkin pulp and seeds!

Want more great ideas? Check out how to dye pumpkin seeds, make edible pumpkin pie dough, or apple scented ooblek. Check us out on Pinterest for more fun sensory ideas!

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Filed under Fall Activities, Parenting, Sensory Play

How Do Games Help Children Learn?

The Gamification of Learning has been a very popular trend in the last couple of years. From books by psychologists and business leaders who tout games as a viable method for employee productivity to the reconceptualization of Game-Based Learning in schools, experts have confirmed what early childhood educators have known for years: games help us learn!

Children Playing Hide-and-Seek --- Image by © Ronnie Kaufman/CORBIS

Playing games promotes multi-level learning, from gross-motor skills to social-emotional experiences to logic and reasoning. The digitization of games for digital natives (children who have grown up immersed in a technological world) are one manifestation of game-based learning. However, there are many ways that early learners can be engaged in games aside from the use of a computer or tablet!

  • Games for an early learner can be as simple as a toddler opening and closing a door repeatedly to a preschooler setting up a row of hula hoops and jumping “on the lily pads over the pond.”
  • Games happen everywhere for children: in the car, at school, at Birthday parties and play dates, during bedtime rituals, etc. Encourage their natural inclination to play games!
  • Playing impromptu and structured family and friend games is a great way to nurture your child’s passion for fun and facilitate their growing gaming skills!

Girls playing marbles --- Image by © Klaus Tiedge/Corbis

Here are some important tips to keep in mind for a successful gaming experience for a young child:

-Support your child’s autonomy – let them experiment with, bend, or re-define rules insofar as the rules do or don’t make sense to them.

-Affirm your child’s emerging critical thinking and logic skills by creating your own game! What parameters should exist and why?

-Let the natural resistance, conflict, and cooperation that emerge from game play with peers run its course! Don’t intervene at the first sign of a challenge or competition: let your child learn to navigate these social moments and help them process what happened afterward.

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Are Young Children Developing Enough Fine Motor Skills?


Whether it’s using scissors, finger painting, or drawing in sand, fine motor development is usually a natural part of the early childhood experience. The benefit of fine motor development extends beyond aptitude in letter writing or playing the piano.

When it comes to achievement, many people are surprised to learn that a robust predictor is fine motor skills. This is an association that was first popularized by Grissmer, Grimm, Ayer, Murrah, and Steele (2010), who found early fine motor skills in kindergarten were a predictor for reading and math achievement during elementary school.*

With the uptick of technology use in young children, however, educators are seeing a sharp and noticeable decline in the fine motor skills of kindergarten students. With the popularization of educational apps, everything from art to games may be done by a young child on a tablet, where they swipe with an open or flat palm instead of grasping and manipulating a small object.

If children’s long term academic success can be effected by their fine motor skills, it is important to present them with challenging opportunities to grow in this area!

Our Inquiry Curriculum at Creative World School integrates fine motor challenges throughout the course of our students’ days, and we require our teachers to record progress made in fine motor development in every portfolio showing and a child’s academic records.

Here are some methods that we’ve found young children enjoy when it comes to flexing those fingers!

  • Water play is a great excuse to hold, balance, pour, and squeeze sponges.
  • Cooking projects give children the chance to scoop, stir, and crush.
  • Simple art projects like finger painting and play dough are easy fine motor moments.
  • Every day activities that support fine motor development can be as simple as allowing your child to twist a doorknob, open a latch, twist and pull shoelaces, pull the knobs on cabinets, and eat a meal with or without utensils!

Get creative and have some fine motor fun today!

*Timothy W. Curby, PhD (George Mason University) and Abby G. Carlson, PhD (AppleTree Institute for Education Innovation) on Pyschology Today

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A Surprising New Element to How Babies Learn


Have you ever watched your child’s eyes light up with excitement when you peek-a-boo around a corner or jump out from another room? What about seeing your young child encounter a new animal, sound, or object? A research studied detailed by John Hopkins University discusses an amazing dynamic in how babies learn… by surprise!

It turns out that babies are entranced by what is novel to such a degree that it will actually motivate them to pursue knowledge of something new until they understand what they are experiencing.

“For young learners, the world is an incredibly complex place filled with dynamic stimuli. How do learners know what to focus on and learn more about, and what to ignore? Our research suggests that infants use what they already know about the world to form predictions. When these predictions are shown to be wrong, infants use this as a special opportunity for learning,” says Feigenson, a professor of psychological and brain sciences in the university’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. “When babies are surprised, they learn much better, as though they are taking the occasion to try to figure something out about their world.”*

When an infant’s experience doesn’t correlate to what he or she understands about the world, it is highly motivating for them to dive in deeper. They will try to understand not just what they are seeing but why and how and build a foundation of critical thought.


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Great Family Reads for Fall Break!

Reading together with your young child and as a family is a great way to reinforce and encourage emerging literacy skills! What books are you pulling out to share with your children this holiday season? Here are some of our faves for family reads:

peter pan quote

Want an Amazing Adventure Tale?

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Robinson Crusoe (for Children) by John Lang

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Great Illustrated Classics, by Jules Verne

Paul Bunyan by Steven Kellogg

Jack and the Beanstalk by Steven Kellogg

Around the World in 80 Days (Classic Starts) by Jules Verne and Deana McFadden

Treasure Island (A Stepping Stone Book) by Lisa Norby and Fernando Fernandez

chesterton dragons

Interested in a classic tale about good and evil, heroes and heroines?

The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle and Tania Zamorsky

Sleeping Beauty by Mahlon Craft and K.Y. Craft

The Master Swordsman and the Magic Doorway by Alice Provensen

Aladdin and Other Favorite Arabian Nights Stories by Philip Smith

Indiana Jones Adventures by Mark Evanier and Ethen Beavers

snow queen blonde

Want to dive into a whimsical world of transformation, princesses, and daring rescues?

Rapunzel: Based on the Original Story by the Brothers Grimm by Sarah Gibb

Cinderella, Little Golden Book by Jane Werner and Retta Scott Worcester

The Golden Sandal: A Middle Eastern Cinderella Story by Rebecca Hickox

Classic Starts Pinocchio by Tania Zamorsky and Carlo Collodifrozen

Frozen Junior Novelization by RH Disney

Happy Family Reading!

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