Toddlers’ utmost need is autonomy- they learn how to explore, they discover their will, make their first decisions and start to build up the image of self-identity. Children in the Centre have many opportunities to browse through different corners – feel the nature of different activities and choose their favourite. This way, children have a chance to create a positive image of a person who is confident and is appreciated by others.
Toddlers start with symbolic representation to communicate with others. They start with single words and concepts from different fields, but they are not able to categorize them verbally yet. At our Centre we greatly emphasize communication. Teachers will communicate with rich constructive conversations through many one-on-one interactions to expose children to new words. Using story-telling, songs, labelling and categorizing, counting, asking questions and helping them answer in sentences all contribute to the improvement in the children’s language skills.
Physical activity and manipulating play are an essential role at this stage. Through movement times, toddlers will build their muscle strength and train their coordination of gross motors and sense of balance as well as benefit from the brain development stemming from these activities. In our Centre children can use many secure devices to exercise their body both in the classroom and outside in our natural playground: crawling, climbing, rocking, pulling, pushing, running, biking, gardening, and throwing are all important for children’s physical development.
Early practical life and sensory activities for toddlers are a great stepping stone for further learning including Skills of Independence, ability to care for the environment, themselves and others. Activities in this fundamental area provide the means for children to explore the world through their senses. They are encouraged to discriminate and match sounds, textures, shapes, or colours in the art, sensorial corner and through the natural material and environment in our Centre.
The medium of art offers toddlers the ability to learn to creatively express themselves and explore a variety of art and building materials. The tools and materials can be used from all different areas of the classroom such as wooden blocks as a means of expressing their interests in cars or overall transportation and build garages, cities, and cars from these blocks. They get to pick and choose what materials they like to use that are provided by the teachers, creating and working on their mini projects.