The Junior Toddler Program
The second year of life is very exciting! Toddlers are explorers and scientists. They are on missions all day long to see what they can find, and to find out how it works. They are developing and perfecting their new skills of walking, running,and climbing. They spend endless hours practicing these and other small and large motor skills.
They are fascinated by gravity. They are learning and continuing to test that things fall down, not up, when dropped. They are fascinated by water – it pours down, splashes up, you can blow bubbles in it, it makes things wet. The physics of cabinet doors, toilet levers, and rocking chairs must be investigated. Relationships of space and volume must be explored – what fits into what, what fits together, how you can stack a group of things together. They have a growing interest in sound and noise. They love listening to words and music. They like making sounds with their hands by banging or with their voices by screaming or imitating things that they hear. They begin understanding directions and enjoy participating in small group activities. All through the day they need quiet moments to cuddle and hug, so that they can be recharged for the next adventures.
Our Toddler Teachers are “tuned-in” to the ever-moving toddler. They provide nurturance and security, as well as ample opportunity to explore and use self-initiated repetition to practice newly acquired skills that result in feelings of autonomy and success. They have the patience to allow for the developing independence of self-feeding, self-dressing, and undressing. They facilitate the beginning of toilet training and help with the inevitable aggression that is part of this year. They talk with children, soothe the little hurts, and respond to verbal as well as non-verbal requests and cues. They initiate and facilitate play by providing toys and interesting objects, planning messy activities, and sit and do things with the children.
Our Curriculum & Classroom
Curriculum themes are used throughout the year to begin to acquaint children with information on animals, colors, holidays, shapes, etc. We create a literate, print-rich environment with letters and words, and capitalize on the child’s intrinsic interest in learning.
The classroom consists of: sand and water play area, tables for art activities and manipulative toys, climbing equipment, foam blocks, cardboard blocks, push and pull toys, dress-up clothes and mirrors, plush animals and dolls, puzzles, nesting and stacking toys, and other manipulative materials.
Up to one hour in the morning and another hour in the afternoon is spent outdoors (weather permitting). Children practice their walking, running and climbing, use riding toys, and play in the sandbox. Outdoor time is especially important for physical development and developing social skills.