Discover Our World 

Our Discover Our World Approach is a unique way of being with and learning along-side children that focuses on relationships, individualized care, meeting the children where they are, and supporting their process of learning.

We provide children with the time, space, and permission to unfold naturally through rich, real-life, hands-on active learning experiences. The focus is to support the development of well-rounded lifelong learners who are self-starters and critical thinkers. We use hands-on discovery, active learning, and the child’s innate sense of curiosity to propel deep meaningful learning. 


Our relationship-based methods allow children to dive deep into topics using authentic experiences, local resources, and technology to gain a full immersive understanding of the topic. 


We strive to develop stewards of the Earth through our Nature Education program and believe that children who spend time in nature learning to care for Earth will develop into adults who are eco-conscious, and more physically and mentally healthy.

Authentic learning happens through hands-on active learning experiences


***All photos used on this site are authentic Discovery photos and taken by Discovery Staff. No stock photos are used.*** 

MSDE Maryland State Department of Education Domains 

All five domains as outlined by the Maryland Department of Education are explored daily through PLAY an active learning hands-on approach.  

  •  Social Foundations

  •  Language and Literacy

  •  Mathematics

  •  Social Studies

  •  Science

  •  Health

  •  Physical Education

  •  Fine Arts


Key Developmental Indicators For Preschool 

Approaches to Learning 

  • Making and expressing choices, plans, and decisions 

  • Solving problems encountered in play 

Language, Literacy, & Communication 

  • Talking with others about personally meaningful experiences 

  • Describing objects, events, and relations 

  • Having fun with language: Listening to stories and poems, making up stories and rhymes 

  • Mark making and writing in various ways: drawing, scribbling, and using letter-like forms, invented spelling, and conventional forms. 

  • Dictating Stories  

Social and Emotional Development 

  • Taking care of one's own needs. 

  • Expressing feelings in words 

  • Building relationships with children and adults 

  • Creating and experiencing collaborative play 

  • Dealing with social conflict  


Physical Development, Health, and Well-Being 

  • Moving in nonlocomotor ways (anchored movement: bending, twisting, rocking, swinging one's arms) 

  • Moving in locomotor ways (unanchored movement: running, jumping, hopping, skipping, marching, climbing) 

  • Moving with objects 

  • Expressing creativity in movement 

  • Describing movement 

  • Acting upon movement directions 

  • Feeling and expressing a steady beat 

  • Moving in sequences to a common beat 


  • Comparing Attributes (longer/shorter, bigger/smaller) 

  • Arranging several things one after another in a series of pattern and describing the relationships

(big/bigger/biggest, red/blue/red/blue) 

  • Fitting one ordered set of objects to another through trial and error (small cup and small saucer, medium cup medium saucer, big cup big saucer) 


  • Comparing the numbers of things in two sets to determine " more", "fewer," "same number" 

  • Arranging two sets of objects in one-to-one correspondence

  • counting objects 


  • Filling and emptying 

  • Fitting things together and taking them apart 

  • Changing the shape and arrangement of objects ( wrapping, twisting, stretching, stacking, enclosing) 

  • Observing people, places, and things from different spatial viewpoints 

  • Experiencing and describing  positions, directions, and distances in play space, building, neighborhood

  • Interpreting spatial relations in drawings, pictures, and photographs 

Science and Technology


  • Recognizing objects by sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell 

  • Exploring and describing similarities, differences, and attributes of things 

  • Distinguishing and describing something in several ways 

  • Holding more than one attribute in mind at a time 

  • Distinguishing between "some" and "all"

  • Describing Characteristics something does not possess or what class it does not belong to


  • Starting and stopping an action on signal 

  • Experiencing and describing rates of movement 

  • Experiencing and comparing time intervals 

  • Anticipating, remembering, and describing sequences of events


Social Studies 

  • Participating in group routines 

  • Being sensitive to the feelings, interests, and needs of others

  • Understanding the perspectives of others

  • *Community involvement 

  • *Emotional awareness 

  • *Self Image 

  • *Family & Culture 

The Arts 

Visual Art 

  • Relating models, pictures, and photographs to real places and things 

  • Making models out of clay, blocks, and other materials

  • Drawing and painting

  • *Exploring paint textures, colors, and consistencies 

  • *Creating using loose parts 

  • *Creating using nature 

  • Three-dimensional large scale projects 

Dramatic Art 

  • Imitating actions and sounds ​

  • pretending and role playing 

  • *Creating scripts and story lines 

  • *Planning and processing 

  • *Working in collaboration with others 


  • Moving to music 

  • Exploring and identifying sounds 

  • Exploring the singing voice 

  • Developing melody 

  • Singing songs 

  • Playing simple music instruments 

Twelve Discovery Foundations for Whole Child Development & Education 


Love - Relationship - Connection

All that we do is founded on the idea that children must feel loved and connected in order to learn.

We intentionally build strong relationships with each child and family. 

  • Seeing, hearing, and listening to children

  • Authentic conversation 

  • One on one engagement 

  • Observation

  • Daily contact and dialog with families 

  • Family events

  • Open door policy 

  • Physical touch ie hugs, lap reading, rough and tumble play 

  • Sharing family stories and traditions 

  • Positive interactions 


Trust - Understand - Accept

We trust that children are competent and capable and understand the developmental norms of childhood. We accept each child within the context of what we know of them personally, and through a developmental lens. This trust and understanding translate into children who feel securely accepted for who they are right now.

They can trust and be trusted others, but more importantly, they can trust themselves. 

  • Encourage and accept the sharing of ideas 

  • Forgive mistakes 

  • Allow and encourage social and physical risks 

  • Appropriate expectations 

  • Positive interactions 


Being -Belonging - Becoming 

 Children who feel loved and connected are able to establish a sense of belonging. This foundation supports the development of a positive self-image. Once a child feels a sense of belonging they are free to learn and grow to their fullest potential. 

  • Representation through books, decor, children's artwork, family photos, materials, and traditions

  • Meeting children and families where they are and accepting them for who they are

  • Spaces for children to "just be"

  • The allowance of mistakes 

  • Inclusive and equitable culture 

  • Time and space to test out ideas 


Joy - Freedom - Expression 

Childhoods should be full of joy whimsy and wonder. When children are free to experience their world they not only feel joy and accomplishment, they also experience a wide range of feelings. Frustration, sadness, and strife. We accept all of these feels as appropriate and acceptable and model ways to overcome, rebound, and safely express these feelings. 


  • Modeling expressive language 

  • Physical comfort and care 

  • trusting children 

  • Input on important decisions throughout the day

  • Supportive culture 

  • Non-punitive policies 

Discover - Experiment - Explore 

Our environment calls on children to explore it through experimentation and discovery. Open-ended materials force children to think, create, and design how they will be used. We nurture that innate sense of curiosity and make space for this natural process of learning. 

  • Non-perscribed materials

  • Hands-on encounters with living things ie pets and plants 

  • Natural Materials  

  • Repeated experience with known materials 

  • All Ideas and perspectives considered 

  • Messes are OK 

  • Supportive culture 

  • Time, space, and permission to explore

Collaborate - Communicate - Co-learn 

Children learn best from peers and in play and by observing those in their immediate environment. Our culture of collaborative learning pulls on this fact. We encourage the sharing of ideas, dialog, and processes. We understand that learning is a social experience that ebbs and flows between active, busy, noisy, and slow, quiet, reflective.

  • A social culture 

  • Supportive adults 

  • Behavior modeling 

  • Understanding that learning happens in the context of active play amongst peers 

  • No top-down instruction 

  • Valuing the perspectives of others 

Observe - Question - Re-think 

As children and adults observe the world around them they began to question and challenge their original thoughts. This process of questioning and rethinking fuels exploration and " figuring it out". If a ball rolls down a hill, but will not roll up a child will explore that difference through play many many times before they grasp the idea of incline/decline, speed, gravitational pull, force, weight, and MORE!  

  • Free of tight time constraints 

  • We value observing outside of the experience as valuable 

  • Children have a voice 

  • No wrong answers or testing questions 

Create - Imagine - Innovate 

Children are encouraged to bring their ideas to life through art, construction, song, and dramatic play.


  • Materials 

  • Time

  • Space

  • Permission  

Risk - Challenge- Assessment 

Children who are trusted with their own choices, accepted for who they are and encouraged to explore new ways of thinking are capable of self-assessing as they navigate the world. They will take healthy risks both physically and socially then take themselves to the brink of their capabilities in order to challenge themselves to reach the next level of understanding. 

  • An environment that knows and respects that children are capable 

  • Healthy risks not hazards 

  • Non-competitive culture 

  • Self-initiated risk-taking 

  • An engaging and challenging environment 

Family- Community - Culture 

When we enroll a child, we enroll a family. We encourage parents to spend time in the program read a book, share a skill, or just come and play. We know how important community is to childhood and hope to serve as a hub for family to family connections. Our children are active members in the community and thus should be represented and considered as we develop and grow our little town. We will engage the children in community-based tasks such as visiting the post office, a visit to the market, or a local farm.  

  • ​Ring In anytime 

  • Family Events 

  • Daily communication 

  • Parent Portal daily documentation 

  • Inclusive culture 

  • Kids in the community 

  • local partnerships 

Power - Autonomy - Self-Motivation 

A child who is respected, known, heard, included, values, and loved holds power... the power to take risks, think outside of the box, make a mistake and get back up and try again. By instilling a sense of autonomy children learn to be self-driven life long learners.  

  • Non-manipulative practices 

  • No use of punishment and reward systems 

  • Allowing children to make choices based on their own needs

  • Valuing the ideas and perspectives of children 

*= Added to existing High Scope Indicators.