Infant and Toddler Programs
During this treasured stage of development, infants are establishing trust with those around them, so it is very important to meet their needs in predictable and reliable ways. We are here to provide a “home away from home” environment, giving them a sense of safety and security. Equally important, is to develop an interactive partnership of communication between parents and staff to ensure that we are meeting everyone’s needs.
Although each experience is a learning opportunity, teachers also plan more structured activities for learning: “The Learning Accomplishment Profile”, by Kaplan 0–36 months, is used as a guide, to individualize activities for each child through each stage of development.
- Infants are exposed to different textures, colors, patterns, shapes, scents, tastes and sounds.
- We teach infants to sign, providing a means for the child to communicate before the acquisition of language.
- Conversation, reading picture books, puppet play, exploring sounds, naming objects, songs/finger plays, etc., all promote the development of language.
- Activities consider object permanence, spatial relations, and cause and effect.
- We use words such as “up” and “down”, concepts of quantity such as “more”, heavy/light, big/little, etc.
- We talk “math” with your child as a matter of routine: diapering, meal times.
- Walks, are ideal to count, point out shapes and sizes, talk about patterns, and describe how things are the same and different.
- Infants experiment all day, as they move through their environment. They manipulate objects, fill and dump buckets, explore the outdoors. These are only a few of the activities in which they participate.
Fine and Large Motor Development:
- Tummy time, rolling over, reaching, grasping, kicking, holding, pulling up/standing, cruising, creeping, crawling in/out, over/under – are all important in developing their muscles, coordination, and growth.
- Brain research indicates how important music and movement/dance is to brain development through the early years. Activities include: Singing, following prompts in song, dancing.
- The infants/toddlers will use musical instruments.
- They will use multi-media for art.
- We will imitate and pretend real life experiences.
- We will engage in puppet and doll play.
- We encourage and let infants master other skills as they show readiness.
Toddlers develop a sense of autonomy by adults giving them opportunities for independence and success. The Learning Accomplishment Profile, by Kaplan 0–36 months continues to be helpful in developing the following skills.
- Toddlers are exposed to different textures, colors, patterns, shapes, scents, tastes and sounds.
- Each month we create activities and focus on one of the 5 senses.
- Caregivers communicate throughout the day and engage the children in songs/finger plays. Children are encouraged to carry out prompts from songs.
- Stories are read and pictures are identified to help develop vocabulary. Toddlers will be able to listen and react to a story, as well as associate sounds with objects.
- Toddlers are given one step directions to follow.
- Open ended questions will be asked throughout the day and activities to get the children to think.
- Songs and fingerplays are sung with the children.
- We identify sounds in their environment.
- We offer choices so that they can think about them and make decisions.
- We use math concepts such as “more” and “all” and use time expressions such as “now.”
- We match and sort, which helps them to learn how to clean up their toys!
- Since toddlers love to “dump,” we engage them in placing and removing objects from containers.
- We supply a variety of blocks, encouraging them to build small towers.
- We provide puzzles so that toddlers have opportunity to figure out shapes and spatial relations.
- Toys that show cause and effect are popular learning toys.
- We experiment with warm and cool items, use cooking activities to show how textures change, etc.
- Brain research tells us that music and movement activities are important for brain development, throughout the early years. Therefore, we engage in many music and movement activities: using musical instruments, singing, fingerplays, dancing, and following music prompts.
- We explore age appropriate sensory materials and textures, paint using many objects, and participate in pretend play.
Fine and Large Motor Skills:
- We provide opportunities for pushing and pulling, throwing, catching, gripping, climbing, balancing, walking and running, and moving under and over. We have tunnels, balance beams, different size balls, cones, and more. All of these activities are important in developing their muscles and coordination.
- We engage in art projects to develop their fine motor skills.
- We encourage your toddler’s growing independence by letting him help with dressing himself, feeding himself, cleaning up toys, etc.