Sparking Discovery: Using Learning Centers to Inspire and Engage

Early childhood theorists Piaget, Erikson and Vygotsky emphasized the importance of play in supporting children’s development. Research tells us that young children learn best in an active, hands-on and “minds on” environment that provides them with developmentally appropriate materials, activities, and quality interaction with others[1]. Interesting and engaging learning centers within early childhood classrooms provide children with creative play opportunities.  These learning centers can serve to support children’s language development, problem-solving skills, social and emotional skills.  Set up appropriately, learning centers provide each child with the opportunity to work at his/her developmental level and to be successful.

In this 5-hour training, participants will explore the value of learning centers in the preschool classroom, discuss ways in which learning centers should be created, maintained and adjusted according to the interests of the children, identify developmentally appropriate materials that should be included in centers and the role of the educator in observing, documenting and creating learning centers.

 [1] NAEYC. (2016). A high-quality program for your preschooler.  Retrieved from  
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Upon enrollment in this training, you will have 2 weeks to complete all course content and submit your evaluation. Once the training is successfully completed, a .5 CEU certificate will be issued within 2 weeks.

75% of this training will address the issues of “diverse learners”

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, participants should be able to:


  • Discuss the components of appropriate learning centers for young children.
  • Describe how learning centers that support healthy growth and development and reflect children’s interests and cultural experiences.
  • Reflect on the role of educators to support and extend young children’s learning during center time.
  • Create engaging and appropriate learning centers within their classroom.

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The Institute for Education and Professional Development, Inc.

The Institute for Education and Professional Development, Inc. was established in 2005 to provide professional development and consultation services to early childhood programs and educators. We work collaboratively with programs, educators, and agencies to improve the quality of education and care for young children and families.

IEPD has master instructors who provide training, coaching and mentoring services. Each of the IEPD instructors receives training on adult learning principles, training design and delivery, and evaluation. All of the IEPD instructors have worked in the field of early childhood education, bringing their own experiences and "lessons learned" to the training.

Our trainings are fun, engaging, and are filled with important information and resources. We want to work with you, hear your stories, successes and challenges, and provide assistance to help you in your work.
Patrick Jones - Course author
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