Posts

10 Fun Things to Do with Kids in Plano and Carrollton

If you have kids, you probably spend a lot of time looking for activities to help keep them entertained. If you happen to live in Plano or Carrollton, Texas, you will have no shortage of options to choose from. Plano and Carrollton are neighboring cities located in the north suburbs of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan area. Plano was ranked #1 on the Forbes list of America’s Safest Cities, and Carrollton was ranked 15th Best Place to Live Among Small Cities by Money Magazine. Both cities are great places to bring up children, with plenty of fun indoor and outdoor attractions nearby.

Here are several of the family-friendly places that you can take your kids to in the Plano and Carrollton areas of Texas:

  1. Heritage Farmstead Museum This living history site is a great way for your family to learn all about the history of the Texas Blackland Prairie region. With over 10,000 objects and archival materials, the Heritage Farmstead Museum has plenty of collections and exhibits that will spark your interest.
  2. The Interurban Railway Museum From children’s story time to scouting programs, the Interurban Railway Museum is a great place to go with your kids to experience interactive exhibits on electricity, science, and Plano’s history. Best of all, its free admission!
  3. Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve With over 800 acres of scenic land, Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve is Plano’s largest park and features 7.9 miles of paved paths and 5 miles of soft surface trails. The park also welcomes kayakers, canoeing, and paddleboarders, which is great for families who enjoy an outdoor adventure!
  4. Amazing Jake’s Fun and Food This indoor attraction was made for the kids, with go-karts, mini golf, laser tag, rock climbing, bumper cars, and more! To top it all off, the exciting establishment also offers an all-you-can-eat-buffet!
  5. Mill-Again Stables A-state-of-the-art horse riding school located in Plano, this riding academy will teach lessons to riders of any age, so it’s a perfect outing for the whole family!
  6. Jump Mania Not only does Jump Mania have 5 inflatables for hours of bouncing fun, but they also have an arcade with 16 games, bumper cars, mini golf, and mini bowling.
  7. Nickelmania You’ll want to bring your nickels and your game face to this establishment, so you can enjoy over 125 new and classic video games, win tickets, and get prizes!
  8. Arbor Hills Nature Preserve Hiking and biking trails weave their way through this beautiful 200-acre nature preserve peppered with pavilions and a playground.
  9. Main Event Entertainment From billiards and bowling to karaoke and laser tag, this could easily become your go-to destination for regular family outings. It’s also a great place for parties and events and has a full-service menu as well as an event menu.
  10. The Rose Gardens of Farmers Branch Located in the neighboring town of Farmers Branch, this antique rose garden is a must if you are looking to take some beautiful family photos. When the roses are in bloom, it’s absolutely picturesque with multiple rose gardens, a butterfly garden, and a bird sanctuary.

At Parker-Chase Preschool, we believe that it’s important for families to spend time together regularly. Doing fun activities with your children is a good way to strengthen your bond with them. Children who have close relationships with their parents are often more likely to listen, help, and open up about any problems that they may have in their lives.

Parker-Chase Preschool has two convenient locations in Carrollton and Plano. Both locations are just a quick drive away from these attractions and more, offering endless opportunities for family fun and bonding!

 

 

 

How is preschool different from daycare?

Choosing the right early childhood education center for your little one can be difficult. This decision is critical because you want to set a good foundation for your child starting at the youngest possible age. From daycare centers to preschools, there is no shortage of options to choose from. However, many parents are left wondering if there are really any differences between a good daycare and a good preschool? And if there are differences, do the benefits of one outweigh those of the other?

We’ve broken down some typical differences between a traditional daycare center and preschools to make this big decision a little easier for you and your family:

Ages

Every childcare center is different. However, many centers that refer to themselves as a ‘preschool’ may not accept kids younger than the age of 2 or 3. The focus of preschools is often to provide a solid educational foundation for children between the ages of 2 ½ through the year they enter kindergarten (typically at age 5 or 6). Daycares, on the other hand, often accept a wider age range of children, from infants who are just weeks old, up to children who are about to start elementary school.

Parker-Chase Preschool offers a strong educational foundation for even the youngest children and preschoolers, offering a wide variety of child care options based on your child’s age. We offer programs for infants, toddlers, preschool, and pre-kindergarten-aged children.

Curriculum

Strong preschool programs tend to place emphasis on cognitive development and early childhood education. Daycare centers strive to ensure kids stay healthy and happy while away from their parents or caregivers. Preschools often have a curriculum in place that is based on a specific educational philosophy such as Waldorf, Montessori, or Reggio Emilia.  Most daycare centers will incorporate educational games and activities, but may not have a set academic curriculum or educational philosophy.   Whether the facility is called a preschool or a daycare, all childcare centers should provide quality childcare.

Our educators at Parker-Chase Preschool are dedicated to fostering the development of each child’s social-emotional, cognitive, language, physical, and creative abilities. Our curriculum is built on our knowledge of the developmental process, the individual child’s interests and needs, and the child’s family culture.

Kindergarten and Elementary Preparation

One of the main goals of a preschool is to lay the foundation for what a child needs to know before starting kindergarten or elementary school. A daycare may or may not have a preparedness plan for higher education.

At Parker-Chase Preschool, we provide a pre-kindergarten program with a focus on developing pre-literacy and pre-math skills. Through challenging and developmentally appropriate play-based activities, we nurture our pre-kindergarten students cognitively, socially, and emotionally so they are more than ready to start kindergarten when that day comes.

Hours of Operation/Scheduling                                                                   

A fundamental difference between daycare centers and preschools is often the hours of operation. Daycares typically open much earlier and stay open later than most preschools. Preschools may only run for half days or part-time schedules. Daycares are often open year-round, unlike many preschools which close during the summer and on holidays (or provide camps during these times).

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Touring a Daycare or Preschool

When you are looking for the right daycare center or preschool, an important step is to tour each of the facilities that interest you. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before touring childcare centers that you will be considering:

  • What type of daycare or preschool environment would you feel most comfortable choosing for your child? For example, are you looking for a small, nurturing environment with just a few kids, or a larger program with many children and a larger variety of programs available?
  • Are you looking for a certain educational philosophy for your child’s daycare or preschool, such as a Montessori approach to learning or a more traditional approach?
  • What types of specific needs does your child have, such as toilet training, napping, or socializing? How does each preschool or daycare address these needs?
  • Are you looking for a preschool or daycare located near your workplace or your home? If the preschool is a private school, are the fees within your budget?
  • What kinds of needs do you have regarding your schedule? What hours would you prefer that the daycare center or preschool you choose be open to care for your child?

At Parker-Chase Preschool, both of our campuses are open from 7:00 AM to 6:30 PM. We also offer an exciting 10-week summer camp program at our Plano location to keep kids learning and having fun throughout the summer.