Author - Mary Meyer School

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Kevin O'Brien is the Executive Director of Mary Meyer School, a preschool founded in 1943 whose mission is to educate children through purposeful play. Kevin is father to children in middle and high school and outside of his school life is an avid runner. In addition to speaking on early childhood centered engagements throughout Chicago, Kevin also serves as a member of NPNs Board of Directors.

How to pick a Chicago preschool |

If your child is turning three within the next year, now is the time to look at preschool options. What an exciting (and potentially overwhelming) time! There are many qualities to consider when choosing the right fit for your family.


At some schools, space can be very limited so it is important to apply to multiple programs. The most significant deciding factor, and the easiest decision because it is a practical one is whether you need a full-day or half-day program.There are man...

Posted on October 14, 2015 at 11:01 AM by Mary Meyer School

Play-Based Preschool: A Farmer's Market Case Study

When the grass is green and flowers are blooming in the spring at Mary Meyer School, we celebrate by hosting a farmer’s market.  Our purposeful play curriculum has led us to this special day. In early spring and before the trees are budding, our Farmer-in-Residence works with our students to discuss worms and seeds and soil and planting.

How does play fit into farming and how did we learn?

·       We read books about farming, worms, fruits and vegetables.

·       We added soil ...

Posted on December 15, 2014 at 9:00 AM by Mary Meyer School

Top 10 Tips for Parents of New Students

Beginning school can be challenging for both parents and their children. It is often the first time a child will make friends with someone who is not a sibling, cousin or a neighbor. The friendships formed in pre-school can last a lifetime for both children and their parents. What a wonderful time it can be! The following tips will help ease all of you into your child’s new life as a student:

1. Talk about school. Share that there will be children to play with and some art and singing ...

Posted on August 15, 2014 at 5:00 AM by Mary Meyer School

What is Play-Based Learning?

As the Director at Mary Meyer School, one of the things that I often find myself explaining to parents is “What is play-based learning?”  That’s easy to explain.  Sort of.  Basically, our students learn through play.  What does that mean exactly?  Do they just play all day?  Well, the answer is yes and no.  Children do play, but play for them is work.  As they maneuver their way through the schoolhouse they learn about turn-taking and the use of phrases like “Can I use that when you’re fin...

Posted on January 16, 2014 at 7:56 AM by Mary Meyer School