Explore & Learn at Play-Based Preschools in Chicago

A happy father kneels in some tall grass in a park with his toddler son in front of him

There are few things better than watching your kids play and seeing them explore and experience the world around them (except maybe for getting down on the floor and playing right alongside them!) So, when it’s time for them to start getting ready for school, a great play-based preschool can be the perfect way to keep them learning in the ways that they know best! Play-based preschools in Chicago prepares your child for kindergarten while putting the focus on what’s most important – kids being kids! 

Prepare Your Little One For Learning With Play-Based Preschools in Chicago

Sonnets Academy

Lincoln Park: 1932 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614

River North: 430 W Erie St, Chicago, IL 60654

West Loop: 229 S Peoria St, Chicago, IL 60607

Sonnets Academy provides every Chicago child a safe haven preschool in the midst of the city with a focus on whole-child play-based development. Nurturing teachers guide students through engaging classroom activities like circle time, stations, and free play, all while children get to learn how to work collaboratively and actively participate in a cooperative learning environment. 

Alphonsus Academy

1439 W Wellington Ave, Chicago, IL 60657

Alphonsus Academy is a Catholic school for children in preschool all the way through middle school. Their Chicago preschool program encourages students to learn by experiencing the world around them using their senses in play-based activities. They’ll approach core subjects like literacy, math, and science through hands-on activities, as well as specials like music, drama, art, and phys ed.  

A dad in a sweater lifts and laughs with his toddler son in a park at sunset after visiting Play Based Preschools Chicago

Growing Seeds Preschool

2750 N Racine Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

Growing Seeds is a school that encourages children to explore the world through play-based activities, storytelling, music, and art. Their learning environment reassures children that it’s okay to make mistakes as long as they foster and follow their sense of curiosity and wonder! Their multidisciplinary curriculum is age-appropriate, fun, and perfect for developing a lifelong love of learning. 

Bubbles Academy

2184 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60614

Bubbles Academy is a play-based early childhood arts, enrichment, and parent resource center with several preschool locations throughout Chicago. Their Bucktown location features an arts-integration preschool with enriching classes structured around four pillars: language acquisition, nature exploration, art immersion, and sensory play. Your child will uniquely experience meditation exercises, cultural field trips, and so much more that encourages them to learn and grow. 

Lincoln Park Preschool and Kindergarten

Webster – 2150 N. Lincoln Park W., Chicago, IL 60614

Belden – 2301 N Clark St – 1R, Chicago, IL 60614

Germania – 108 W. Germania Place, Chicago, IL 60610

Lincoln Park Preschool offers “a nurturing environment that supports your child as an active citizen, lifelong learner, and loyal friend” – all qualities we would love our children to be! Every classroom is a community that inspires learning, discovery and play. Families can get in on the fun together, too, with Family Learning Programs designed for full-family participation in sessions that illustrate their curriculum!

A mother in a green dress plays in some tall grass with her two toddler children at sunset after attending Play Based Preschools Chicago

Sacred Heart Schools

5649 N. Sheridan Rd, Chicago, IL 60660

Sacred Heart Schools has a fantastic Pre-K preschool program for 3-year-old Chicago children, as well as a Junior Kindergarten that provides a cognitively rich play-based experience for a smooth transition into kindergarten. Their new preschool campus has features like an outdoor classroom for sensory exploration in nature, and after a day of fun and learning, there’s always built-in time for growing minds and bodies to rest. 

City Garden Waldorf School

920 West 19th Street, Chicago, IL 60608

City Garden offers children a Waldorf education based on an Anthroposophical understanding of human development. One unique aspect of their programming is mixed-age classrooms, which combine students from ages 3 through 6. The older kids model and mentor the younger ones, and the younger children learn from watching the older ones. The curriculum is still delivered in play-based, developmentally appropriate activities and opportunities despite the mixed-age setting! 

Play-Based Preschools in Chicago

A play-based preschool in Chicago makes a wonderful learning environment for kids just to be, well, kids! Check them out for yourself and see what a difference a play-based education can make. 

If you need another way to make some family memories, then we should chat. I’m a Chicago photographer, and I love working with families to create gorgeous portraits. So they can hang onto this time for years to come. As a mom myself, I know how quickly time flies by, and I want to help you slow it down a bit! If you’ve been considering booking some portraits for your family, I’d love to help! Contact me today, and let’s chat!

Featured Categories