Amazing Life Games Preschool was founded in 1971 by two early childhood educators in a church basement on 16th and Taylor Streets, NW. The school was named after a card file of favorite activities for children that the founders had collected from their own childhoods. These activities included many cooperative games, dramatic play ideas and art projects that are still utilized in the school today.
For nearly 20 years, the school was housed at 1844 Mintwood Place in Adams Morgan. At that time, ALG was also an elementary school and children attended from ages 2.5 years through 3rd grade. In 1991, the school became a parent cooperative and returned to its roots as a pre-school.
In 2005, ALG moved to its current location inside Grace Lutheran Church on 16th Street.
Throughout the years, ALG has remained committed to 3 core principals:
Play is the foundation of all learning
ALG knows that children learn best through play. Research has documented the importance of play in determining a child’s future accomplishments.
“Children learn basic developmental building blocks necessary for later academic success, and in fact they develop these building blocks better while playing than while in a traditional class.”– (NutureShock, Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman)
Children need the skills to resolve conflicts and work collaboratively
In today’s day and age, people rely more and more on technology to interact with one another, reducing the time spent talking and interacting face to face. At Amazing Life Games, staff works closely with children to develop the “lost skills” of effective communication and conflict resolution.
In moments of conflict at ALG, children learn to:
- Identify their feelings
- Express them constructively
- Listen actively to their peers
- Cooperatively come up with a solution that will allow them to continue playing.
- All young children start school wanting what they want when they want it. This age appropriate selfishness is an initial obstacle to sustained play and interaction. Our goal for children is to develop the abilities and the desire to think beyond their immediate wants and work toward the larger goal of keeping the play going.
The outdoors is critical in developing the whole child
The natural world is a great teacher and is vital for developing healthy bodies and minds, so children at ALG:
- Play outside every day rain or shine! We believe there is no such thing as bad weather – just inappropriate clothing!
- Go on walks around our neighborhood to build their endurance
- Explore Rock Creek Park.