Now that my 3 year old daughter has been attending The LAB for 6 weeks, I have been thinking about what she is getting out of it. She truly loves being there and is disappointed when I try to suggest almost any other morning outing. I mean she doesn’t even want to go to Costco! This is of course a huge relief as it is our family business.
What makes it different from a school experience? The children are all different ages. It’s like having a really big family but you don’t have to fight over using the bathroom. This means she has a variety of relationships, some difficult in which she needs to advocate for herself, some in which she has guardianship from an older child and some in which she and a peer are discovering new skills together. She is in an environment with complex tools and materials that are not typical to a young classroom setting. She spends time observing how older children are manipulating materials, joining complex pretend play for short periods of time, using advanced supplies in ways that she is capable but are a-typical. There is always an adult close by if a situation becomes overwhelming to her. This would not be my first choice for all young children. I often wonder if it would have been appropriate at all for my older daughter at this age, possibly just in small doses. All I can do is assume that if she keeps saying “Let’s go to The LAB”, it is the right fit for her. – Gloria