We know that TODDLERS learn best when they feel secure in a loving environment that gives them the confidence to explore and discover.
The toddler curriculum involves everything that happens to the child throughout the day. For example, diaper changes are perfect opportunities for learning experiences: language, singing gently to a child, letting the child know that this is not a hurried or rushed experience, and that he/she is valued. Throughout the day, teachers take advantage of these care giving experiences that are so important in the early years of life and turn them into meaningful and positive experiences for a child’s healthy development.
“Thanks so much for all your hard work and loving our babies like your own. You have brightened my day.”
“It is very difficult to entrust your toddler to anyone… Every staff member at Iliff has made it very easy and comfortable. Thanks for the incredible care attention, and love.”
“I was amazed at the art projects my one year-old brought home from school.”
Along with the individual care giving moments, teachers plan and organize their environments to provide experiences which enhance:
- motor development – reaching, crawling in and out, jumping, throwing, and pulling.
- cognitive development – object permanence, cause and effect experiences, language, listening, and responding to sounds and voices facilitated by the reading and sharing of picture books.
- social development – playing among others, positive peer interactions, and expressing emotions towards others.
Planning for a toddler does not necessarily involve “lessons” but rather opportunities for experiences. When teachers organize materials for the room, they take into account children’s individual differences along with their knowledge of child development. Planning is based on observations and assessments of the children using their interests, their new skills, and their reactions to materials. As the children grow and change, the teachers change the classroom environment. They may put out more challenging equipment or add different materials to enhance the weekly themes. A classroom may look very different at the end of the year than it did at the beginning!