Especially for Children Celebrates the Importance of Play

by | Jun 2023

Kids playing at Especially for Children.

Photo: Courtney Perry

Edina preschool Especially for Children focuses on play-based, hands-on learning.

When David and Lindsay Koerner moved back to Minnesota from Denver a couple years ago, they enrolled their son Beck (5), who was 2 at the time, at Especially for Children’s (EFC) Edina/Edinborough location.

After Lindsay went back to work last year, they enrolled their daughter Runa (2) at EFC’s Edina/Edinborough location, as well. “Both kids have formed such great bonds with their teachers,” David says. “Knowing that both of our kids would be in the same familiar spot, with teachers we all love, made the transition to working so much easier for my wife and the whole family.”

EFC was founded in 1976; the first Edina location opened in 1982, followed by the Edinborough location in 1987. “We offer a play-based, hands-on learning style curriculum,” says Anna Wilson, director of EFC’s Edina/Edinborough location. “This really gives the children a good opportunity to learn through their own worlds and their own knowledge. With this, our teacher’s role is to step in and introduce concept questions to help them relate to what they are playing with … Our learning is around social learning, learning from those around you, asking critical questions, getting children
to think about what they’re doing.”

For the Edinborough location in Edina, one of the most distinct activities offered is a partnership with the Brookdale Senior Living, which operates out of the same building. The children join Brookdale residents for an annual dance performance, trick-or-treating and spring flower planting. “We also go over there and read stories, play with puppets and play simple games—just simple activities that both the children and the seniors can enjoy,” Wilson says.

This partnership allows both the children who attend EFC and the residents of Brookdale to have consistent intergenerational relationships. “It’s really important for [children] to get that type of exposure in their life and to interact with other people in a different age,” Wilson says. “There’s a general sense of compassion that children develop when they’re around people of other ages … And for the seniors—they just light up and love the children coming over.”

“Our children have both really enjoyed activities with seniors in the building,” David says. “These activities are things that are harder to find in the wider community.”

EFC Edina/Edinborough also offers daytime dance classes; outings to nearby parks like Edinborough and Centennial Lakes; and many other activities, which emphasize physical play, developing large motor skills
and getting outside in the fresh air.

David says that since starting at EFC, Runa’s language has grown so much. For Beck, he says, “It laid the foundation for social-emotional skills, solving problems through play.”

Wilson says the main goal in all activities is to make learning and school an exciting place for children where they actively want to go. “Our hope is that we can … instill in the children early on that school is a fun place. It’s a safe place. I feel good here. I feel like I’m a part of something.”

Especially for Children
3300 Edinborough Way Suite 120
Facebook: Especially for Children Child Care


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