The individual child and the child-oriented environment at The Sandbox Early Childhood Learning Center make up our early childhood curriculum. This curriculum approach is based on The Creative Curriculum developed by Diane Trister-Dodge. Big Ideas and child-initiated topics set the tone for lessons that are relevant to a child’s world. Our curriculum encompasses all areas of child development: social emotional, physical, and cognitive areas. Our outdoor daycare areas are enhanced with a focus on nature and caring for all living things, as well as active physical play. We encourage creativity and doing something different for the sheer fun of it!


Knowing how children develop and learn is the basis for planning curriculum, selecting materials, and guiding children’s learning. By knowing, we mean appreciating general patterns of growth in all children as well as the differences you will certainly encounter among individual children. The Creative Curriculum translates new research and theory from the field of early childhood education into a practical, easy-to-understand approach to working with children and their families. It is a comprehensive curriculum with a clear organizational structure and a particular focus on interest areas.The Creative Curriculum enhances social/emotional, physical, cognitive, and language development. Goals and objectives for each of these developmental areas are organized into The Creative Curriculum Developmental Continuum.

The Creative Curriculum balances both teacher-directed and child-initiated learning, with an emphasis on responding to children’s learning styles and building on their strengths and interests. This curricula applies the latest theory and research on best practices in teaching and learning and the content standards developed by states and professional organizations. While maintaining an environmentally-based approach it clearly defines the teacher’s vital role in connecting content, teaching, and learning for preschool children. It features goals and objectives linked directly to our valid and reliable assessment instrument, Teaching Strategies Gold.

Teaching Strategies Gold

The authentic, ongoing observation-based assessment system, Teaching Strategies Gold, assesses key elements that research indicates are most predictive of school success in the areas of social–emotional, physical, cognitive, and language development, as well as learning in literacy and mathematics. The system also includes objectives to help teachers plan instruction.