Think Outside the Preschool Box with these Creativity-Based Preschool Alternatives

9/2/08 - By Anna Fader

Picture 12.pngThis is traditionally the week that competitive preschools open their application process, but more and more parents, tired of vying for the same few spots, are opting out of the preschool rat race and looking to preschool alternatives. At the same time, some dedicated parents are creating their own alternatives by starting co-operative neighborhood preschools.

Preschool is a magical time and a lot of that magic comes from the warm, nurturing, creative environment of the school. Little neighborhood preschools and preschool alternatives, whether started by parents or well established can make the preschool years the most magical ones of all.


Perhaps the most extreme case of a parent-started preschool alternative is the Blue Man Creativity Center. Started by members of the Blue Man Group when they became parents and wanted a school for their children that really nurtured a child's creativity. Blue Man Creativity Center is now a full-fledged, accredited NYC private school going up to First Grade and I have heard great things about this school. I only wish it had existed when my own kids were little enough to attend.

Some other preschool alternatives that focus on creative and small, nurturing environments are listed below. Some of these programs still have spots available for this Fall. And of course there are many other neighborhood programs out there. Ask around your neighborhood or on your local Yahoo parenting group to find what's available in your area:

Wonder CEC: Upper West Side

PLAYSCHOOL! at ArtsCetera Cobble Hill

Green Seeds in Cobble Hill Call 718-624-2212 for more information

Aunt Bee's Backyard, formerly known as Bija Backyard in Cobble Hill

If you are looking for preschool information take a look at our NY Preschool Guide which has comprehensive listings of preschools for Manhattan and Brooklyn. In Brooklyn you can also look at the preschool page for A Child Grows in Brooklyn where you'll find many cooperative preschool listings.