Now that your infant has mastered a variety of development skills, he/she continues to need support from energetic teachers. Toddlers need an active environment with activities and routines that encourage plenty of opportunity for exploration and investigation. Our role as caregivers is to keep a balance between toddlers’ need for independence and their need to be in a responsive, loving environment.
The Toddler day is designed to provide a balance between active and quiet indoor activities, as well as plenty of time for running, jumping and climbing outdoors. Circle time songs and finger plays are introduced to encourage social and language skills, and books are readily available for discovery. Music and movement activities provide a cheerful atmosphere and foster gross motor development.
Activity centers are introduced to encourage children to make choices about the activities they would like to engage in. Toddlers learn best when they are encouraged to be active and creative explorers. As toddlers move through the day they will turn from explorers to scientists as they begin to experiment with various textures in the discovery center. They will become engineers too as they discover how to build and balance a tall tower in the block area. The art center will inspire freedom of expression as toddlers draw, paint and explore a variety of materials. Imagination will come alive as toddlers dress up, cook a meal or nurture a baby doll in the dramatic play area. Although toddlers are “on the go” all day and every day, quiet time for books and music is also essential to help toddlers develop an appreciation and enjoyment of literature as well as foster listening skills.
Mealtime is also very important, as a time to enjoy your friends as family and share in a pleasant experience. Caregivers take this opportunity to encourage toddlers’ self-help skills such as washing hands, helping to set the table and taking turns to help clean-up. Caregivers sit and interact with the toddlers during mealtime fostering conversations and modeling mealtime manners. This practice is carried out throughout each stage of our program.