Playing together and learning to share are just a few of the activities that prepare the children for important facets of life, but it sometimes takes children considerable time to do these things successfully. Through various educational materials children have the opportunity to explore and discover the world around them. In our toddler classrooms, each teacher and assistant is available to assist the children through these critical social development processes in a variety of ways. For example, children are encouraged to share with others at the varying learning centers in the classroom. Adequate time is allowed for opportunities to present itself for children to practice these important life long skills.
Circle time is a time for children to gather together to share their feelings and ideas about anything that is significant to them. By showing children that their opinions count, encouraging them to safely express feelings and make real choices we allow for their self-esteem to be enhanced. It’s also a time where the teacher might review concepts such as numbers and letters, calendar, time, and weather or to introduce new words, songs and stories.
The Toddler rooms are equipped with a radio and a variety of music. Music is used in the classroom to relax, energize, comfort, build a sense of community and to celebrate or mark special occasions. Children enjoy gathering together to learn new songs, sing old favourites, and play age appropriate instruments, music games, dance, perform finger plays and use colorful puppets. These exercises also enhance the learning environment. Listening to music in the classroom helps students be more productive and fosters the “joy of learning”. Through song and dance and freedom of choice, the toddlers have access to a variety of large muscle activities that offer them opportunities to jump, climb, balance, crawl or skip. Children will learn to appreciate a variety of music, its significance to different people, and will increase their language and math development.