For many of the children entering our child care center, the toddler room is their first experience with any formalized group of children. At Creative Beginnings, we want this first experience to be a very enjoyable one for each child. It’s an important age and an important classroom. Here are some objectives, beliefs, goals and guidelines that we follow:
- Development of good language skills is extremely important at this young age. We incorporate many language activities throughout the day that stress both receptive and expressive skills. (example: music and movement, finger plays, stories, singing and puppets)
- Toddlers learn directly through play. We make the classroom inviting and interesting with toys that are changed frequently. We strive to get the children involved, curious and enthusiastic about their world of play. (example: puzzles, blocks, dress-up and props, vehicles, toy animals)
- Learning involves using and processing through all the senses. These sensory experiences are blended into the daily activities. (example: water/ sand table, cooking, play dough, finger painting)
- Toddlers love to sing and dance. Music and movement is an integral part of each day. Children learn to follow directions, enjoy the rhythm of dance and have fun with body movement. (example: instruments, songs, charts, marching to music)
- Creativity through art is also first developing at a very young age. Emphasis is placed on the experience of the process and not on the finished product. Various materials are introduced for the toddlers to explore. Art is planned each day. (example: painting, gluing, painting with assorted objects, crayons)
- Children are read a variety of stories and books, frequently, each and every day. The importance of reading to all children cannot be over- emphasized. (example: hard/ soft covered story books, board books, big books, flannel board stories)
- Keeping a clean and sanitized toddler class is the only way to keep the children healthy. Frequent hand washing, teeth brushing, proper diapering, procedures and good nutrition (see MENU) are all an important part of the program.
- Our large fenced playground gives the toddlers opportunities to run, shout, climb, dig, ride, slide, swing and basically explore. We play outdoors year round, weather permitting.
- Toddlers need to really enjoy their day. Laughing with the toddlers is a priority. The atmosphere in the classes is one of nurturing, patience, caring, respecting and enjoyment.
- Young children thrive on routine. Although the activities vary from day to day, the routines and rituals remain the same. They become habit forming and this in turn leads to independence and success.
Social Skills for Toddlers
As toddlers are learning to talk and communicate with each other and the teachers, they are also learning to socialize. Our toddler program teaches social skills through-out each day in a positive environment where each child is respected and cared for in a loving way. These skill are learned through appropriate modeling and plenty of practice with other children each day.