A Cooperative Preschool & Kindergarten Since 1936


Playschool implemented Nature-Based Outdoor Learning this Fall.  Outdoor learning ensures the highest levels of safety in response to Covid-19, while enhancing our play-based, child-centered approach. All morning classes take place outside, rain or shine, using our extensive wooded play-yard and natural materials as the basis for learning. Children have access to open air, semi-permanent structures for shelter as well as our building in case of weather emergencies.

Our Outdoor Learning Plans were featured in this NBC Philadelphia article and on this MSNBC segment.

View Our School - Virtual Tour

Staff Spotlight

Cindy Shillinger, Purple Group

In 2021, we will using our Staff Spotlights to learn more about individual staff, their inspirations, and their incredible resilience in adapting to Outdoor Learning in a pandemic.

If your students take one thing away from their time with you, what do you hope it would be and why?

When I first came to Playschool and heard Betty's philosophy that she would read to the open house group, it really struck me because what she said is, "For the children, our hopes many, but we want them to feel good about themselves." And that's probably the most important thing, because if they can feel love for themselves, then they can share love with one another. So, that always has touched me. And I think it's really important that the child feels that sense of love and caring from the adults.

Read the full interview with Cindy here.

Founders Day

Miss Betty and Erik Erikson

Elizabeth Foster Stonorov, known as Miss Betty, was born on March 5th, 1906. She founded Playschool with progressive ideas of education, family engagement, and children's development drawn from studies at Bank Street School of Education, friendship with psychologists Erik and Joan Erikson, and fellow educator Ruth Holmes Bacon, among many others. One of her greatest gifts was attracting other smart, passionate, kind, artistic and like-minded people to be part of Playschool and Charlestown Day Camp. Involvement of the whole family, not just the child, was a vital piece of Betty's vision.


Charlestown Playhouse is a non-profit, parent-cooperative preschool that emphasizes learning through child-centered play, the importance of supporting social and emotional development in young children, the beauty and value of nature and a strong sense of community.  At Charlestown Playhouse, we believe that it is through play and active involvement with real materials that children learn best about themselves and their world. Founded in 1936, we are licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as a private academic preschool and kindergarten.


Seasonal Play

Need an idea for getting outside with your child? See what we are up to at Playschool!

Get inspired here!

Online Auction March 18-21st

We have over a hundred items in our Online Auction this year, featuring many local business favorites, creative offerings from our teachers and staff, summer camps and vacation getaways.

Preview Now!

Support Outdoor Learning

Your contribution helps Playschool continue its mission of play based education - outside!