Toddlers & Twos: 16 to 36 Months
We believe toddlers learn more by exploring than by being told. We use the High Reach Curriculum, which helps toddlers discover on a physical level and expand their social and emotional skills, physical health and development, creative expression, science and math as well as language and emerging literacy. As a basic evaluation for all children we use the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ). These questionnaires are completed at the time of enrollment, and then semi-annually for each child. They are completed by our teachers, scored, and then sent home with parents for verification. Any child scoring in a “monitor” or “below” category will be given activities focused on improving skills in the concerned area and re-evaluated in 2 months. If re-evaluation still results in cause for concern, with parents permission, the child’s scores will be entered into a referral system. For further information in regards to the assessment tool, please click here.
Our toddler classroom is arranged to stimulate curiosity, which helps to teach toddlers new skills and encourage decision-making. Toddlers are not ready, nor have they developed the ability to share, be still or be quiet and they have a very short attention span. Our program strives to keep them focused by allowing them to do what comes natural – play! Intergraded in this play is interactions and activities that allows learning to be productive and their play to be intentional. Our classroom is divided into 7 interest centers: Science & Sensory, Dramatic Play, Blocks, Music, Manipulatives, Books, Art & Fine Motor, in order to promote that intentional learning. Our classroom boasts displays of children’s artwork, pictures of themselves, family and loved ones, and colorful posters and materials of diversity and everyday experiences that children can relate to. Our teachers engage in our toddler’s play by asking questions, providing descriptions, and furthering thought processes and curiosity using these centers and displays.
Our main goal for our Toddler classroom is to be intentional in our interactions. We do this by:
Relating: Our teachers adjust their relationship with each child to meet unique temperament types and individual needs. We strive for high quality interactions. We make eye contact, we get down on the child’s level, our teachers are warm and enthusiastic, they smile often, listen and repeat what our toddlers are saying. We use constant descriptions by broadcasting what we are doing. Our teachers take turns interacting with toddlers, allowing the child to engage. We use routines as a part of our curriculum. This allows for trust to be established and creates as sense of security.
Exploring and Expanding: Our teachers allow for exploration throughout the entire day. All of our materials are available for toddlers to see and chose from. Our teachers notice and describe how toddlers use and play with toys and we provide a variety to encourage interest and exploration. Our teachers expand conversations with toddlers beyond color, shape and size, adding comments about what the child is doing or could do, how the child is feeling, and how the focus is alike or different than other items. We use interactions and conversation to expand language and ideas for play, allowing toddlers to notice how things work and what response they are getting from their play.
Inspire: Our teachers plan for experiences that set the stage for exploration verses activities that teach a skill. We use facial expressions and voice to help toddlers become interested in the things within their environment. Our teachers inspire learning by drawing attention to new and novel things inside and outdoors. This creates confidence and safety for toddlers to further exploration. Our teachers are constantly watching for signs that toddlers are ready for a new challenge, as they grow, change and try new thing every day.
Outdoor play, as well as sensory activities, is a part of our everyday learning. We have frequent toy rotation and sanitize toys on demand as well as at the end of every day. We provide all meals: breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack and an individual napmat for each child. We ask that parents supply diapers, wipes, napmat cover and a change of clothing.