Enrollment in the Young Toddler Room marks the transition from infancy to toddlerhood. Children begin to develop a sense of self and an increased desire for independence. There is a rapid growth in language and motor development, as well as an increased awareness of others. Our goal is to provide a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment in which these changes can take place.
Family and Staff Communication: There is a lot of communication between teachers and parents, and we have several ways in which to relay important information. These include individual records of meals, naps and activities, a memo board, calendar, email and most importantly direct conversation.
Classroom Environment: This room has more play space than in the infant room. In the beginning of the year, the space is more open, giving the children room to roam quickly from activity to activity. There are areas for climbing, building, reading and relaxing as well as art, music and simple pretend play. As they progress further into toddlerhood, the room will begin to develop more dedicated activity areas as the children’s attention span, skills and interests develop.
Classroom Routine: The Young Toddler Program has a predictable sequence of activities each day. This allows children to know what to expect as the day progresses.
The schedule is very flexible to accommodate individual variation such as a morning nap or a mid-day bottle.
Classroom Activities: Examples include stacking, sorting and manipulating various objects such as blocks, puzzles and shapes; exploration of various art media such as drawing, painting (with hands or brushes), gluing and printing; singing and dancing; sensory explorations such as water, sand and play doh; climbing, running and riding; reading books; simple pretend play and dress-up; outdoor walks and explorations.
Socialization: Young Toddlers are eager to share their activities, explorations and discoveries with their peers. At the same time, they are not able to take the perspective of others, only themselves. Sharing favored toys is an emerging skill and our teachers take advantage of opportunities presented to help children develop the tools to work out through conflicts that arise. They learn each others’ names and as the year progresses frequently seek each other out to join in their fun. Their teachers remain close by and facilitate their interactions.
Language and Communication: The development of language is one of the major tasks of the young toddler period. To help facilitate this process, our staff provide ongoing stimulation and support. Strategies include narrating children’s activities, modeling appropriate phrases and labeling objects, feelings and behaviors.