The Toddler stage can be seen as one of the most challenging times, as well as one of the most rewarding times. Children at this stage are very mobile and active using all five senses to discover the world. Teachers are challenged to provide a safe but stimulating environment in which the child can grow. The toddler responds well to a regular daily routine with clear and predictable rest times, play times and meal times. Toilet training is best accomplished by taking the child to the facilities at the same times each day.
Important independence skills are being acquired during these years, including personal care such as toilet training, feeding and dressing. Patience is essential as a toddler struggles to put on a sweater (developing independence at this stage occurs after much repetition and encouragement). Realistic toys will enable children to engage in increasingly complex types of play. The toddler stage can be seen as one of the most challenging times, as well as one of the most rewarding times. Children at this stage are very mobile and active, using all five senses to discover the world. Teachers are challenged to provide a safe but stimulating environment in which the child can grow.
The toddler programs provide for the following goals:
· To provide a nurturing, flexible and calm atmosphere where physical affection is freely given, self-concept skills are introduced and enhanced, independence is encouraged and expectations are made clear.
· To meet each child’s physical needs while at the same time teaching rudimentary self-help skills such as toilet training, dressing, washing their own hands etc…
· To establish respect for equipment and toys in the center as their own.
· To promote emotional growth: A.) Build self-confidence and a sense of self-worth by allowing choices within limits and to concentrate on successful experiences. B.) Always provide an accepting environment in which children can work and play.
· Promote social growth: Adults modeling acceptable behavior is critical to toddlers learning cooperative and group play.
· Promote Intellectual growth: A.) Instill a sense of curiosity. B.) Provide an atmosphere where children can discover and explore, offer experiences with open-ended questions and where emphasis is placed on the process not the product. C.) Provide a wide variety of activities within an outline. Curriculum areas of Art, Math, Science, Cooking, Music, Movement, Dramatic Play, etc… Through these activities the child learns to be able to trust his/her own feelings about what they learn, see and do. They also begin to share what they have learned with others.
· Promote Physical/motor development: A.)Children will participate in a variety of activities to develop their fine and large motor skills both with indoor and outdoor programs. B.) Engage in simple games and songs.
· Provide for the language development that is so important at this stage.
· Help develop independent behavior by encouraging self help skills.
· Provide care in small groups to offer more personalized attention, creating a relaxed atmosphere where the child feels safe and important.