The Toddler Environment. Building Confidence and Sharing Community.
TODDLERS (19-23 months by October 1).
Confident separation continues to be nurtured and predictable routines offer comfort and safety. Vocabulary is expanded and more complex language modeled. More intricate toys and materials are offered to foster trial and error, completion of simple tasks and repetition for understanding. Higher expectations for independence and responsibility as well as increased attention span are encouraged.
Two-year-olds are busy and possess a growing desire to exert independence. They express a wide range of emotions and are better able to regulate some of them. Toddlers experience tremendous growth in all areas of development, with language exploding. Cognitive connections and problem solving emerge significantly and child-centered play is more sophisticated. The curriculum for these children is based on our knowledge of their developmental growth in the following areas:
SOCIAL EMOTIONAL: Two-year-olds better adapt to separation. They continue to rely on positive interactions with adults, forming trusting bonds with them. Expressing, defining and regulating emotions become better developed; as a result, they are more able to resolve simple conflict with help. Toddlers find safety in the predictability of routines and can better handle transitions. They begin to see other children as peers and start to develop relationships with them.
PLAY: Symbolic play is more sophisticated and more accurately reflects what the child sees and experiences. Imitation of others, including adults is frequent. Children this age mostly engage in parallel play where the play is independent and unrelated but the children are in close proximity. Group activities become more interesting.
MOTOR: Gross motor play includes rudimentary play with other objects such as balls – catching, kicking, throwing, etc. Balance improves and children begin to practice different movements such as riding, sliding and climbing. Fine motor skills become more coordinated as children practice manipulating small objects like markers and paint brushes. As toddlers build hand and finger strength and control they become more adept at self-care skills such as tooth brushing, eating, dressing, etc.
LANGUAGE AND LITERACY: Receptive language is enormous and expressive language increases daily. Descriptions of objects and activities encourage increased vocabulary. Language is consistently used to express thoughts and needs, often with several-word sentences or questions. Books continue to be critical in developing children’s love for language and stories. Favorite books can be re-read numerous times and they begin to memorize parts of a story which is then repeated.