Children are naturally capable, self-motivated learners. Decades of research indicates play is the most effective way children learn. In our play-based, child-led program, children:

  • Explore their own interests, and are therefore more motivated to learn and retain their discoveries

  • Develop abstract and critical thinking skills

  • Learn to solve problems and gain confidence in their abilities.

When a child is at play, she may:

  • Naturally test and experiment with cause-and-effect theories

  • Independently express her perceptions of social roles through reenactments

  • Organically investigate mathematical principles through matching, sorting, creating patterns, and exploring special concepts

  • Display current and developing skills and milestones.

The role of teachers in our program:
  • Facilitate and extend play, guiding children’s learning to support each child’s unique process of discovery

  • Integrate children's ideas and interests into group projects and activities that may extend over several days or weeks

  • Incorporate techniques from the field of Early Childhood Education (including those from the Reggio Emilia and Montessori philosophies) into the setup and guidance of the classroom

  • Utilize their observations of children at play to create curriculum that is relevant to the child's interests and skills.


For a list of frequently asked questions, click here.


Natural Learning Materials and Kid- and Earth- Friendly Environment
  • Learning materials made from sustainable wood, silk and cotton

  • Open-ended toys with many uses and increased play value

  • Nontoxic, safe, natural and effective cleaning products

  • Organic, low-sugar and whole grain snacks

  • Furniture made in the US from sustainably harvested maple with low indoor emissions

  • Low-VOC paint and carpet tiles from recycled materials


Maria Rodriguez, Director

Maria is honored to support and partner with Toddle's families to encourage the social, emotional and intellectual growth unique to each child. She is a gifted mentor and trainer, providing workshops all over the Bay Area on curriculum development and best practices in the field. Maria is passionate about engaging children's bright curiosities as they play. She believes she has the best job in the world.

In her free time, Maria enjoys baking, Star Wars, and cheering on her teenage son and his swim team. In her last life, Maria was a professional dancer!