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By their first birthday, children have developed a clear understanding that they are a important people. They explore the world around them by getting into everything and spending a short amount of time on each activity. In order to keep toddlers busy and happy, caregivers must have lots of activities and ideas that are oriented towards child involvement.
Learning to get along with others, caring for themselves, thinking for themselves, and expressing themselves are important skills that one year olds are beginning to learn. We use the activities in Growing Up On Our Block to guide us as we provide developmental care for these children. In our planning process, we strive to help these children develop both their minds and bodies. We provide the following key experiences in our Toddler classrooms:
Listening and Talking – the development of language is key to success for lifelong learning
Books and pictures: Children are read to every day and play simple picture games.
Conversation: Children are encouraged to use or show an understanding of words. Adults point to, name and talk about pictures or real items.
Role Model Appropriate Conversation Skills: eye contact, close proximity and allowing time for someone to answer
American Sign Language (ASL): Children love this communication tool.
Large Muscles: walking, running, balance, throwing, sitting, rolling, and standing
Small Muscles: grasping, picking up, dropping, changing hands, placing,pulling-apart, filling and dumping, zipping and feeding
Art: Creating with crayons, colored chalk, washable markers and paint, molding with play dough and designing with paper, collage materials and glue
Blocks: Cloth, plastic, wooden or cardboard blocks along with toy people, animals, and vehicles used daily to create scenes for make believe.
Dramatic Play: Pocketbooks, bags, baskets, playhouse furniture, dolls, telephones, toy shopping carts, and other dress up items are available daily for children to pretend about things they know and see around them.
Music and Movement: Musical instruments and toys, songs, finger plays, recorded music (classical, multicultural, lullabies, rhythm and dance)
Learning From the World Around Them
Nature: Daily outdoor time, natural things (flowers, birds, insects, plants, animals) are displayed, pointed out and talked about, and sand/water play is available regularly.
Numbers: Introduction to number ideas and words through number rhymes songs, hearing quantity size words, and hearing adults counting items.
Five senses: This is the most natural way for toddlers to learn. Children will still be given opportunities to taste and feel things in their mouths, but their other senses will be used more.
Shape, Size and Color: While exploring toys, pictures, and familiar items, children will discover these attributes.