Building Skills for Success!

October 17, 2019

When you visit the classrooms at Crossroads, you’ll notice that each has daily times allocated for play.

That’s because children learn through play.

It’s also because at our school, children are learning HOW to play, in many cases. Many have never before been away from home. Being part of a group of children may be a new experience for some of our kiddos, and playing with others is something to be learned.

Play, in general, bestows a multitude of benefits to children. Further, the incorporation of play into academic lessons and activities, is also known to benefit students. For example, certain toys can teach cause and effect, while others can help work on empathy, or a particular game can help develop strategic thinking. And here at Crossroads, teachers implement centers and groups to use specific toys and games to help their students develop the individual skills they need.

For instance, here in Room 7, students are involved in play centers, following Snack time.

In one center children color with markers. This gives them the opportunity to experiment with an exciting creative tool, practice making marks on paper, and exercise their ability to make choices with colors.

At another center, students are building. Building towers, building cars, building bridges….  Building helps develop cooperative play abilities, and spatial awareness. Engaging in building activities help children to learn problem-solving, and improves attending. Building taps into early geometry, balance and gravity concepts as well as fundamentals such as weight, size and color. Our OT’s will also be found using building activities to boost fine motor strength, too.

Many times, teachers can put a set of building toys out and students will tinker with them and come up with their own structures. Often, too, teachers will model building and have their students imitate their actions.


In both examples of centers here, students are learning not only from their teachers but also from their peers. They learn to play with the toys and to play with one another, a little at a time. It’s early in the school year, and this class has already come together as a class to show some great skills. What a great job by all.

What’s YOUR favorite play center? What do YOU think is important for children to learn when it comes to social skills? Comment below so we can know what you think!


See what else is happening at Crossroads!

Centered on Centers!

Crossroads Center for Children is located at 1136 North Westcott Rd, Schenectady, N.Y. with classrooms for students aged eighteen months to twelve years. We provide a safe, rich and caring environment, with special and general education for our children. 

Interested in enrolling your child? Call 518-280-0083 today!


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