Our Education Philosophy
Not all play is created equal. At Sugar Plums, we believe Purposeful Play, grounded in developmental milestones and a rich creative curriculum is the key to your child's growth.
What Is Purposeful Play?
To the casual observer, when you see children stacking blocks, blowing bubbles, playing tag with their classmates, or fingerpainting, you might just think they are having fun. And they are! But they are also learning, especially when that play is guided.
Purposeful play uses toys, games, art, and fun to teach something specific. As Kristi Mraz, author of the book Purposeful Play says, “We have to change the narrative of play from something ‘fun’ or ‘cute’ or ‘for when work is done’ to one of play (all play) being purposeful and meaningful for the joyful intellectual and social development for children.”
Sometimes, in our standards-driven educational environment, play is eliminated in favor of "academics". But the research shows - and continues to prove -- that children learn and retain far more knowledge in experiential learning through play than from teacher-directed lessons, memorization, assignments, or seated structure.
We invite you to embrace our Purposeful Play philosophy and see what a difference play can make in your child’s learning.
Five Developmental Domains
At Sugar Plums, our curriculum is focused on the development of five critical skills:
Physical Skills (Gross & Fine Motor)
Social & Emotional Skills
Cognitive & Sensory Skills
Language & Literacy Skills
Creative Expression Skills (Art, Music & Movement)
We add a sixth area - Outdoor Learning - that oftentimes brings all of these skills together but allows kids the opportunity to engage with the world outside the classroom.
Twelve Types of Play
We utilize many different types of play to teach our curriculum:
Gross-Motor Skills Play
Small-Motor Skills Play
What Makes Sugar Plums Different
We use the nationally recognized, expert-developed The Creative Curriculum® with their 38 research-based objectives at the heart of everything we do in our classrooms.
Low Child-to-Teacher Ratios
Lower child-teacher ratios helps ensure your child gets the attention and support they need to reach their potential.
Highly Qualified, Committed, Caring Teachers
Our teachers have specialized early childhood education, along with a love of children. They have been with Sugar Plums for years (we have one of the areas best teacher retention rate!) and they share a passion for fostering learning in children. This is a team of professionals dedicated to your child's well-being and growth.
Certified & Accredited
We are certified as an Early Childhood Education Center and are accredited by the Maryland State Department of Education.
Maryland Accreditation is voluntary. Sugar Plums voluntarily pursued the self-appraisal, program improvement and external program review to achieve and publicly confirm that we meet state, regional and national standards. We are proud of our accreditation and recognition by the State of Maryland for excellence in education.