Learning Begins with Play at El Mundo de Ninos


The AnjiPlay approach is based on the philosophy that an environment of love, support and care allows children to take developmentally appropriate risks. These physical, emotional and intellectual risks provide children with a sense of joy and deep engagement in their own learning and pursuits. The children reflect daily on their play through drawing, conversation and photos/video documentation, creating lasting knowledge and building the foundation for an interest in future learning.  

Spanish Immersion

El Mundo de Niños will provide a Spanish immersion preschool experience, where children will have the opportunity to develop Spanish-English bilingual language skills in a loving, supportive, safe and open ended environment. When children begin preschool surrounded by the Spanish language, they are given the opportunity to develop proficiency in both Spanish and English simultaneously from a young age. In our intimate, Spanish immersion preschool children are motivated to speak Spanish when communicating with teachers, friends and family.


We have carefully curated our indoor and outdoor play spaces to specifically meet the needs and interests of our students and align with the AnjiPlay philosophy. Our minimally structured, open-ended environments allow children to explore, imagine and create without the interference of adults.  The children spend long periods of time outdoors each day, rain, snow or shine, and have contact the natural elements; water, sand, mud, trees, logs, ditches, rocks and hills are among the environmental features that engage children in endless exploration, discovery, risk-taking, problem solving and knowledge creation.

Health & Nutrition

El Mundo de Niños understands that the first step in raising healthy children is by building healthy bodies. We make mealtimes a pleasant, easy, and appealing part of your child’s daily routine during which they will learn to be grateful for their food, use table manners and become self-sufficient eaters. Our natural foods program nourishes the children’s growing bodies with primarily organic and home cooked meals and snacks. We participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program and follow the USDA recommended meal pattern requirement for all children in attendance at mealtimes; we provide a morning and afternoon snack and a home cooked lunch.

Some Elements of Our Daily Scheduling that Shape Learning

Indoor Free Play

Children have access to interact with a variety of minimally structured play materials that support open-ended play. They create their own environments rather than having fixed and finished play centers. Play cloths, blocks, objects from nature, baby dolls, carts, cushions and more will be available for them to create their own scenarios and rearrange the space as needed. Children will have opportunities to work freely with paints, drawing, cutting, tape, glue, molding with clay and other found objects from nature.

  • Access to interact with minimally structured play materials.
  • Children create their own environments.
  • Work freely with materials and found objects from nature.

Friendship Circle

Our circle time is a fun time for movement and language rich songs and games.  We use this time to connect with our friends, observe the seasons throughout the year and learn fun songs that support language development. Learning language is dynamic; it is most relevant in context and children benefit from repeated engagement with the same new words and phrases, over multiple days.  When new vocabulary and concepts are paired with movement, music and oral language practice, the children have many opportunities to engage with and practice speaking Spanish.

  • Language rich songs and games.
  • Connect with friends and observe the seasons.
  • Children learn together through play.

Outdoor Free Play

At El Mundo de Niños, we spend time outdoors daily. The children build structures to climb using blocks, tires, chairs, tables, ladders, tree limbs, stumps and cushions; they mix and experiment with the properties of natural materials such as water, dirt, mud, sand, chalk, rocks and mulch. In addition to our outdoor play yard, El Mundo de Niños is located near multiple forests and city parks that we explore often.  We provide waterproof rain suits for all the children in order to experience nature and play outside in all four seasons.

  • Children spend time outdoors daily.
  • Experiments with the properties of natural materials.
  • Located near multiple forests and city parks to explore.

Play Stories & Play

We are purposeful in our use of documentation and media as a tool for teacher and student reflection and learning. The children are provided with dedicated time each day to draw and tell their “Play Story” from the day. During the Play Sharing component of the curriculum, the children will review photo and video documentation of their own play from that day or earlier in the week, and the teachers facilitate a conversation for the children to gain a deeper understanding of their own play explorations.

  • Purposeful photo and video documentation.
  • Dedicated time each day to reflect on experiences.
  • Teacher facilitated conversations to deepen understandings.

Rest Time

All children will have a rest period, as our State Licensing requires. Children under the age of 2 will sleep in a pack-n-play crib, and children 2 years and older will sleep in a sleeping bag. Each child should bring a sleeping bag and pillow from home, contained within a pillowcase with their name on it, these will be laundered weekly at El Mundo de Niños.

  • All children have a rest period each day.
  • El Mundo de Niños launders children’s sleeping items weekly.
  • Children bring their own sleeping items from home.

Play Stories from the Kids at Our Shool

Through “Play Stories” the children have the chance to reflect on their play and learning daily.  This is also an opportunity for adults to gain deeper insight into their minds and imaginations.

Enrolling Your Child at El Mundo de Niños

While capacity is often full at El Mundo de Niños, we review our wait list once a year to see which families are interested in enrolling their child. If you are interested in enrollment, complete the Waitlist form linked below. Please note, we will reach out sometime before July when/if space is available.


How do I get my name on the enrollment waitlist?

In order to add your name/your child’s name to the waitlist, please enroll on our website or send us an email.  We do not enroll on a “first come, first served” basis, but rather “first come, best fit”.  If you enroll on the website or send us an email, we will be in touch as soon as availability becomes available.

Do you have enrollment availability? Are you currently enrolling?

Enrollment for current families takes place in January-February of each year, and enrollment for new families takes place between April-June for the following school year, starting at the end of August. Because our program has a capacity for only 8 children, the enrollment availability is limited each year. If you are enrolled on our website, you will be the first to know about enrollment availability that becomes available.

Do you care for infants or babies under 1?

We are licensed by the Department of Children and Families to care for children as young as 6 weeks old. However, because of our curriculum and daily routine, we prefer to enroll children after their 1st birthday. Sometimes we make exceptions for currently enrolled families, siblings or children who have birthdays near to the September cut off date. 

What are your hours?

We are open from late August – early June, roughly following the MMSD school calendar.  We are open Monday-Friday, 7:30am-4:30pm.

How much time is spent outside?

Children, including infants and toddlers, will go outdoors daily.  MdN will provide waterproof rain suits for all the children when necessary, but families are expected to provide appropriate clothing for each season. The children will only be kept indoors during inclement weather such as severe thunderstorms or temperatures above 90℉ or below 0℉.

Will my child leave speaking fluent Spanish by age 5?

Language learning is a lifelong journey with a diverse array of varying factors. Children learn to understand language before they can speak it; receptive language (listening) is developed before productive language (speaking). 

We consider all the children who come into our program to be bilingual language learners because they learn Spanish everyday in school and live in a country where English is the dominant language. In early childhood, children learn how language works, they become attuned to the people around them who speak Spanish and those who speak English, they learn to code switch and use language for multiple purposes.   

Depending on the child’s prior experiences with Spanish before starting school, their ongoing experience with Spanish at home and in the community, as well as the child’s own motivations and personality that will determine how fast or how often they speak Spanish. The more your child hears Spanish, interacts with Spanish speakers, and has reason to use the language in a positive and motivating way, the more fluent your child will become with the language, this goes for their preschool years and beyond!

What is AnjiPlay?

AnjiPlay is an educational philosophy and approach created by Cheng Xueqin, in Anji County, China. The AnjiPlay philosophy is founded on the core pillars of: love, risk, joy, engagement, and reflection. AnjiPlay returns the right of True Play to every child.


What sets us apart?

El Mundo de Niños is unique because we have a very small, tight knit group of kiddos and their families. Because most children spend all of their preschool years with us, and some families have multiple children, we spend years getting to know each family. We take our roles seriously in supporting the healthy growth and development of your child in all areas of their life, and feel like our family grows every year!


What Our Families are Saying

We have loved our time at El Mundo de Niños. We have 2 very different girls personality wise, and it has been a nurturing environment for both. Our oldest dubbed it “Mama Kate’s” and that is what it has been for us-a second family. Both of our girls stayed through 4k, as the immersive Spanish experience and close friendships were something we wanted to continue up until kindergarten. The activities and free play and time outdoors are amazing. We love the healthy meals & snacks that our girls actually eat!

~Amy Fothergill

We have had the best experience with El Mundo de Ninos!  It is a safe, fun, and creative atmosphere with loving teachers who truly help these kids grow into themselves and learn how to cooperate together as they navigate friendship.  We appreciate the nature-based Spanish immersion program and how it has helped our child love the outdoors and truly learn Spanish. The best recommendation comes from our child who can’t wait to go to school each day, never wants to leave at the end of the day, and even asks to go to school on the weekends. We couldn’t ask for more!

~Sarah Klemme

Mr. Walquer and Mama Kate as our kids lovingly call Kate have transformed our vision of childcare. Their care for our children far exceeded our expectations. They have taught us how to take a step back and allow our children to take appropriate risks. We value the honest conversations and feedback to nurture the relationship between parent and child, parent and caregiver and caregiver and child.

~Jessica Gamez


Preschool Hours

Monday - Friday
7:30AM - 4:30PM

Saturday & Sunday

Our School Year
August - June

Discovery     Language     Community

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