Phebe Anna Thorne School

Learning to Play, Playing to Learn

The mission of the Thorne School is to provide play-based, developmentally appropriate child-centered programs for toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarteners.


The Thorne School of Bryn Mawr College offers programs for Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Kindergarten children. This Main Line Institution, which was established in 1952 as a laboratory nursery school at Bryn Mawr College, offers developmentally appropriate, child-centered programs. For preschoolers, Thorne offers a Toddler program, a Traditional Preschool program, and a Language Enrichment Preschool program. The Thorne Kindergarten Center, located on Haverford College offers a small, nurturing full day Kindergarten program where foundational academic skills are balanced with opportunities for play and discovery.  Our Kindergarten Center also provides multisensory language enriched programming for children who have been identified as at risk for learning disabilities.  Thorne also offers a variety of Early Intervention programs for children age 3 to 6, developed by Susan Chaplick.

Research shows that play enhances problem-solving and social skills, leading to more curious, independent, joyful learners.  Thorne classrooms invite children to explore and learn in a nurturing enriched environment that helps them master foundational academic skills while becoming more creative, caring and self-confident.


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