Our Toddler Program
For ages 18-36 months
Our bright and sunny toddler classrooms are designed for children 18 to 36 months of age. It is a world scaled down to a child’s size. Tiny tables and chairs, low cubbies and a knee-high sink help the child to taste independence and self-sufficiency. Here a child paints, cooks, waters the plants, washes dishes and plays with materials that develop fine and gross motor coordination. Special activities have been designed to stimulate a child’s visual, auditory, tactile, smelling and tasting senses.
Our program is distinguished by the way in which we approach each child with respect. We believe in assisting the child in her drive towards self-sufficiency. Our toddlers move toward increasing independence with activities that revolve around self-care and food preparation. Setting the table, baking bread, cutting fruit for snack and cleaning the dishes help our toddlers to feel a sense of pride. They feel like their contributions make a difference. Children who act upon their environment independently feel confident and capable as human beings.
The toddler years are often associate with “temper tantrums”. These cries of frustration have to do with their struggling independence to have mastery over their bodies and emerging language skills. The toddlers’s mind’s eye knows what it wants her hands and feet to do. She places an object on a table, and it falls off; her hands did not cooperate with her intention. Frustration. We provide a plethora of opportunities for purposeful movement and activities which will help her bring her muscles under the control of her mind. She cuts watermelons for snack in the morning. She finally masters putting that big button through the hole to join pieces of fabric together. She eventually learns to pour her own water, knead bread and set the table for her friends for snack. These real life tasks, that require independent movement and increasingly difficult skills, help the child become confident and competent in using her body.
This is the age in the human child when language development is actively pursued, and it is imperative that the child be surrounded with rich and stimulating conversation. As such, we surround the toddler with words, words, words! An 18 month old, trying to blow bubbles might be encouraged with “blow – can you make the air move just like the wind?” When a 20 month old picks up a peach, we point out that it is spherical, just like a ball. We create a rich environment of language through stories, songs and games which allows the toddler to absorb new vocabulary, like a sponge. Because the child’s mind at this age is so absorbent he can learn easily and effortlessly.
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