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Child Study Lab

Established by the the Department of Psychology in 1972, the Child Study Lab (CSL) is a preschool community where children and families explore, create, learn and grow. Staff from other early education programs throughout Maricopa County also visit the CSL to study quality practices in early childhood education. We serve children ages 15 months to 5 years.


Our educational philosophy is based on the concept that children’s natural curiosity prompts learning. Our emphasis is providing ample opportunity for exploration and discovery through which learning takes place. The CSL's physical setting and time blocks are arranged to stimulate open-ended creativity and experiences which provide a natural venue that facilitates the development of your child.

We provide a developmentally appropriate curriculum that is based on the premise that play is the primary medium through which young children develop intellectual, social, and perceptual motor competence. In addition, curriculum activities and adult-child interactions are tailored to meet the individual needs, interests, and abilities of each child.  By using the Arizona Early Learning Standards in conjunction with an Emergent curriculum, your child will not only be ready for school but have a toolkit of life skills for their future.

A Place for Parents. Providing for the needs of parents is an important part of our program. We welcome and encourage parent involvement. Observation facilities are open daily and parents are always invited to visit or join their child for snack. Parent conferences are offered twice a year. We also provide a variety of  social events and educational programs for families. Recent topics include discipline, kindergarten readiness, peer relationships, and the development of children’s thinking.

A Part of ASU. As part of ASU’s Department of Psychology, the CSL plays an integral role in the university’s three-fold mission of teaching, research, and service. We provide carefully supervised training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students pursuing various careers serving young children and families. CSL children and families have a unique opportunity to voluntarily participate in various research studies. We provide a model of high quality education and care for young children and offer training opportunities and technical assistance for state and local early childhood professionals.

Curriculum & Classes

Our curriculum is consistent with our classroom goals for children and promotes learning and development in each of the following areas: Cognitive, Social-emotional, Physical and Language. The cognitive content areas of literacy, math, science, fine arts, social studies and health and safety are integrated into our curricular framework. Our curriculum is a reflection of what is developmentally appropriate for children. It incorporates time and materials for play, self-initiated learning, and creative expression, and provides opportunities for children to learn individually and in groups according to their developmental needs ands interest. We offer a wide variety of activities that invite children to freely explore, discover and create:

  • Structured and unstructured play
  • Language experiences
  • Problem solving tasks
  • Science explorations
  • Creative art work
  • Cooking Projects
  • Campus Fieldtrips
  • Sand and water play, woodworking
  • In-depth project exploration
  • Creative movement

In addition, curriculum activities and adult-child interactions are tailored to meet the individual needs, interests, and abilities of each child.  By utilizing the Arizona Early Learning Standards in conjunction with an Emergent curriculum, your child will not only be ready for school but have a toolkit of life skills for their future.

CSL Classes

The CSL offers a variety of early education classes for young children:

  • Parent/Toddler
  • Two Year Olds
  • Three Year Olds
  • Multi-Age
  • Pre-Kindergarten

General Information.  The children attend either morning or afternoon with the youngest children (15-30 months) attending with a parent. The average enrollment per class is 16 children and each class is taught by a master teacher who is assisted by four to six undergraduates who are enrolled in an upper division psychology class. Enrollment is open to the community. The CSL is licensed by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

A Typical Day at the CSL includes a variety of developmentally appropriate learning activities. Structuring the environment and planning activities for self-directed play and learning is a fundamental part of the CSL’s educational program.

Curriculum activities include pretend play, open-ended creative and sensory experiences (painting, sand and water play, modeling clay, collage activities, etc.), construction activities with blocks and manipulative toys, mathematics and language games, gardening, and cooking and science activities.

The program also includes daily teacher-led group times during which the children gather for creative movement activities, musical experiences, stories, and films. A snack is also served each day during class.

Our older preschool classes also have access to the many rich and varied resources of a major university. Our program includes walking field trips to the museums, libraries, and centers on ASU’s campus. We also have occasional special activities from such departments as music, art, education, nursing, athletics and architecture.

Please note: age refers to the age in years and months the child will be as of September 1 each year. For example, if the child's 3rd birthday is in April, then he or she would be 3.4 in September: 3 years and 4 months.

Registration Fee Information. There is a $150 registration fee payable when your child's enrollment is confirmed. A Non-refundable registration fee for second child is $135.00. There is a 10% discount for multiple children of the same family enrolled. Registration fees are non-refundable and do not apply towards tuition.

Tuition Information. All tuition is based on a yearly amount and is payable in nine payments. Tuition is due the first of each of the following months: September, October, November, December, January, February, March, April and May. Click here for the 2017 - 2018 Tuition information form.

Music Together & Family Involvement

Thanks to parent funding, this preschool is a qualified provider of the licensed Music Together Preschool program making a commitment to include music as an essential part of its core curriculum.

As part of the Music Together® Preschool program, Music Together specialists teach music and movement classes weekly in cooperation with classroom teachers. Classroom teachers then follow through on the weekly sessions, adapting activities to their curriculum needs and interests. Recordings, songbooks, and teaching materials are provided to each classroom, and children “bring the music home” for parent-child musical play, sharing the songs and activities learned in school. Children learn from the model of music participation set by both parents and classroom teachers, and the joy of extended family music in school and at home creates a natural circle of learning that builds parent-child, parent-teacher and parent-school relationships.

The Music Together Preschool program provides children with the opportunity to learn music in developmentally appropriate ways; supports cognitive, emotional, social, and physical development; gives parents enjoyable and significant ways to relate to their children; engages at-risk children; and enhances happiness and well-being in your school community.

How to Enroll

To enroll your child(ren), complete the application (pdf)  and return it to the address below. You will be notified of the status of your application as soon as possible. In general, class schedules are released in February for the following academic year. You may also contact us by phone or email to receive the application and information about fees and tuition.


Phone: (480) 965-5320   

Address: Child Study Laboratory
Department of Psychology
Arizona State University
P.O. Box 871104
950 S. McAllister
Tempe, AZ 85287-1104

Calendar Spring 2018 (PDF iconcsl_calendar_spring_2018.pdf )

 ASU Child Study Lab Spring Calendar 2018




All classes are taught by experienced, professional staff under the supervision of the Director of Child Laboratory Programs. Each member of our staff is carefully selected for their educational background and experience, as well as their sensitivity to the individual needs of children.

University work-study students and undergraduate psychology students assist the teaching staff. Our adult-child ratio averages one teacher per four children.

from left:  Anne Kupfer, Neli Nikolov, Nina Cordera, and Jaclyn Caro.

Anne Kupfer, Director

Sarah Kuhn, Lead Teacher

Dustin McLain, Lead Teacher

Valerie Ramos, Lead Teacher

Contact Information

Give us a call, email, visit us on Facebook or come by for a tour to see our magical place in action. The Child Study Lab is located on the first floor of the Psychology Building on the ASU Tempe campus.

Phone: (480) 965-5320   FAX: (480) 965-8544

Address: Child Study Laboratory
Department of Psychology
Arizona State University
P.O. Box 871104
950 S. McAllister
Tempe, AZ 85287-1104


Undergrad Internships & Courses at the CSL

The Child Study Lab is a rich environment for interning, learning, and working. Please contact us or your advisor if you're a psychology undergrad and interested in an internship with us.

PSY 344 Directed Child Study.
fall, spring, summer
Theories and methods of intervention with preschool children and supervised practicum in the Child Study Laboratory. 1 hour lecture, 6-8 hours practicum. Prerequisites: CDE 232; ECD 314 (or PSY 290).

PSY 244 Special Topics
This is an omnibus course. Classes may or may not be offered under this course number during a particular semester. See Schedule of Classes for specific offerings or contact the department's advising office. Some sections of this course may meet General Studies requirements.