Our nurturing environment provides the structure that allows our toddlers to grow and learn while feeling safe and comfortable in a rich educational environment. In the Young Toddler Classroom the children are introduced to a structured class routine. The routine is flexible and is adjusted to meet the needs of each individual toddlers while meeting their demands as a whole. They begin to eat, sleep, and play at the same time. A schedule allows predictability and a feeling of security among the toddlers.
Towards the middle of the year we begin to transition the toddlers from bottles to sippy cups. The children are encouraged to play cooperatively with their peers and the teachers continuously praise and model appropriate behavior. The students are nurtured and comforted throughout the day. Toddlers are given daily opportunities to explore and learn through age appropriate toys and projects. Children in the Toddler Classroom are encouraged to try to use their words to express their needs and wants. The activities in the Toddler Classroom are developed to create learning experiences and social experiences through play, projects, and activities. A daily report is sent home to let parents know when the child was changed throughout the day, what they ate, and how long they slept.
We offer hands on projects, structured learning, and problem solving to strengthen your toddler’s development in language, fine and gross motor skills, creativity and social interaction. Toddlers are testing their boundaries and are extremely active.
Our primary concern in this age group is to make our little ones feel secure, important, loved, and happy in a group situation. We believe this is achieved by a shared, cooperative play space program under the direct supervision of qualified Teachers:
- Language Development
- Exercise, Small and Large Muscle Development
- Music and Dance
- Story Time
- Free Play
- Creative Play
Guiding Older Toddlers to Use More Words is an essential part of teaching toddlers.
Items You Will Need
The following are items that your child will need during the day:
- At least two extra outfits – Including pants or shorts, shirts, onesies and socks
- At least one blanket – To be taken home on Fridays to be washed
- At least two crib sheets – To be taken home on Fridays to be washed
- Diapering needs (powder, ointment, etc.)
- Bibs, burp cloths
- Sippy cup
- 2 inch mat
- Several family pictures
- Pack of Large crayons (6)
Developmental Milestones for Toddlers
Throwing and kicking a ball (12 months)
Soon after her first birthday, your child will show interest in ball play—first by throwing, then by kicking at age 2 (catching comes around age 3 to 4). To help her along:
- For throwing, start by rolling a small soft ball back and forth between you, moving farther and farther apart with each pass. Soon, she’ll want to throw it.
- For kicking, show her how to use her feet instead of hands to roll a ball back and forth between the two of you.
- For catching, have her roll it up a small incline to catch on the way down.
Pushing and pulling (12 to 18 months)
Once your child’s a confident walker, he’ll discover the joy of dragging or pushing toys along. And all the while he’ll improve his coordination, since he’ll be walking forward while occasionally looking back. So offer him some pull or push toys to play with, or make your own by attaching a string to a toy car (make sure to supervise or limit the length of the cord to 12 inches to avoid a strangulation hazard).
Squatting (12 to 18 months)
Up to now, your baby has had to bend down to pick things up off the ground. But soon, she’ll attempt to squat instead. To help her along:
- When she starts to stoop over for an object, show her how to bend her knees to squat.
- Let her practice. Line up a few small toys on the floor and have a “treasure hunt,” where she has to go from one item to the next and pick them up—a perfect activity for cleanup time!
Climbing (12 to 24 months)
Toddlers climb up on everything (or your desk or the bed) for the obvious reason: Because it’s there. Kids this age are trying to find a balance between risk and challenge. Of course, you know that the challenge of climbing up the bookcase isn’t worth the risk, but the average toddler’s ability to reason isn’t in line with his physical prowess. Climbing is an important physical milestone, though. It’ll help your child develop the coordination he needs to master skills like walking up steps. Ways you can help:
- Provide safe opportunities for climbing. Toss sofa cushions or pillows on a carpeted floor, or let him loose at a toddler-friendly playground.
- Anchor bookcases and other pieces of furniture to the wall, even if you think they’re too heavy to topple. Clear shelves of things that could fall on him—or that could tempt him to climb.
- Limit access. Keep chair seats pushed under the table, and take a closer look at the stove: Could your child get to it by climbing up shelves or cabinets?
- Set up gates at the top and bottom of the stairs. It’s the only way to keep your child from attempting that irresistible—but dangerous—ascent. To help your child learn to climb the stairs safely, practice together by taking him up and down while holding his hand.
Running (18 to 24 months)
Some kids seems to go from crawling to sprinting in two seconds flat. Others take more time. How come? Because kids fall a lot when learning to run, and some are just more willing to risk it. To encourage your child:
- Play tag where falling won’t hurt too much, such as on a grassy lawn or a sandy beach.
- Chase your child—this is one time you can actually encourage him to run away from you!—and then switch and have him run after you.
- Try racing, especially if older kids are willing to play along.
Using simple sentences (18 to 24 months)
Ever since your child said his first coo, he’s been working toward this moment: By combining gestures, isolated sounds, and words, he can now speak in simple two-word sentences. You’re thrilled, and he’s thrilled: Now you can have a conversation (of sorts)! Be patient, though—even though he knows certain words, he may not fully understand their meaning for a while. To encourage his talking:
- Don’t finish your toddler’s sentences for him; doing so will only add to his frustration.
- Remember that he’ll still resort to crying when he’s too tired, hungry, cranky, or overwhelmed to use words.
- Give your child lots of opportunities to speak, especially if there are older kids in the house, too.
- As your toddler becomes more verbal, make sure you model good speech rather than correct his pronunciation or his grammar. Children who are interrupted and corrected can feel like giving up.
What to do if your toddler regresses
It can be disconcerting when a toddler appears to be regressing in some way. For instance, your chatterbox may suddenly do nothing but point and cry; your avid walker may reach up and demand to be carried. All of this is normal. Toddlers are developing so many skills they can become overwhelmed. What to do when your tot regresses:
- Acknowledge her feelings. If she can’t tell you what’s bugging her, see if she can show you.
- Rather than seeing it as good or bad, see it as a signal. When a child regresses, she’s usually telling you that she needs comfort. Let her snuggle up with you, or read her a book. She’ll likely behave like her normal self soon.
You might worry if your child is delayed in reaching a milestone. But some kids are simply late bloomers; some just master certain skills before others. However, if you’re concerned, speak to your doctor.