Tuesday was open house at the preschool Jacob will start attending when he turns 3. It’s the same preschool I went to, and the only one in the small town closest to us. It’s been owned and operated by the same person for all of the 30 years it’s existed.
We got out of the car when we got there, and Jacob went it full explore mode. He walked a few feet, and happily said “Ooo! There a ditch here! It has water sometimes.” We went inside, and he looked around for about 5 seconds, then was off. It didn’t take him long to find the toy train, the bulldozer, and the school’s bird. He was so busy, in fact, that he didn’t even notice the snacks that were set out until I pointed them out to him.
It’s hard to describe the building. You walk in and you immediately understand that the owner knows a lot about kids, and providing them a creative, interesting, and educational environment. In one corner, there’s a record player that’s probably older than the preschool, and a CD player right above it. Then there’s a little reading nook with some books, headphones, and cassette player. I’m sure Jacob will enjoy learning about cassettes and records, which we don’t really have out at home anymore.
The owner’s husband built most of the furniture for the preschool himself 30 years ago. He figured it would last maybe 10 years, but is still holding up well and gets a new coat of paint every few years. So Jacob will be sitting on the same chairs I used to sit on.
Most importantly, there is no TV to be seen anywhere in the preschool. No computer in there, either. But there is a large outdoor playground — the fun type that I used to enjoy as a child, not the boring plastic type that I see so much these days.
It reminds me a lot of Mr. Rogers. There isn’t expensive technology or a fancy building, but good old-fashioned creative play. Just what children need. I’ll be very happy that Jacob will be there, and I think he will be too.