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Toddler Community

Toddler Community 

The Toddler Community (18 Months to 2.5 or 3 years)

Our youngest children enjoy the opportunities to explore their environment in a safe and loving atmosphere.  Small teacher/child ratios allow for individual time spent assisting the child in learning to help him/herself do things for themselves: toileting, lunch routine, separation from parents, changing clothes and shoes.  These are skills essential to success at the Primary Level.

During transitions, like coming in from or going outside, lunch and using the bathroom, children are encouraged to do as much for themselves as possible.  We spend time working with them individually to help them gain independence in these areas of self-care.  We show them where to place their hands and how to move their bodies to help them find ways to be successful, helping them only when needed as opposed to doing everything for them.

All children in the Toddler Community wear underwear.  The school provides underwear for the children to wear to minimize laundry at home during this process.  We have found that 18-20 months  is the ideal time for children to learn to use the toilet.  We encourage parents to build toileting into their home routine as well and switch to underwear as soon as possible.  Additional information on our toileting process can be found by clicking here.

Our work period is from 8:15 to 10:15 and can vary depending on the weather and activity level of the children.  “Work” involves Practical Life experiences, language enrichment, art materials, puzzles and manipulatives and group activities of singing and reading.   Children are free to choose individual and small group activities from the shelves taking items to a “work rug” or table.  They learn to respect each other’s workspace and wait for an item another child is using.

Practical Life

Practical Life is an area in which young children are particularly interested.  It includes items of self-care and tasks of caring for the environment.  Self-care practical life activities include getting dressed and undressed, learning to use Velcro, zip, button and snap, washing hands, wiping their nose, and cleaning shoes.  Caring for the environment includes sweeping, mopping, cleaning windows, dishwashing, caring for classroom plants, arranging flowers, table scrubbing and setting the lunch table.   These are all activities that elicit the child’s natural desire to copy what they see adults doing in both home and school environments and draws on their eagerness to contribute to the care of themselves and their environment.    These activities aid the child’s development of coordination and refined movement, encourage and support repetition, and facilitate the development of self-esteem and self-confidence.

Language Enrichment

Language enrichment is another area of the classroom to which young children are drawn.  Staff members strive to provide the best language models possible using clear, correct language when speaking to the children.   We also provide materials for language building using real objects, replicas and pictures.  Children are drawn to the replicas such as trucks, animals, air craft, tools, bugs and many more.  We begin by naming the objects for the child.  Once they have heard the names many times we ask the child to find a specific item.  After much practice finding the item being named for them children will begin naming the items for themselves.  It is always exciting to here a young child name a “preying mantis” they see in their backyard, a “backhoe” they see on the way to school or a “black labrador” they see on a walk.

Art and Music Materials

Art materials are always available to the children at work time.  We include paint, chalk, coloring, clay, use of scissors and gluing.  Having these materials available allows the children to express themselves focusing on the process over the end product.  Musical instruments are included during “circle time” and the children experience listening to and using the instruments to make music together. 

Puzzles and Manipulatives

Puzzles and manipulatives are also included in the environment and allow for fine motor skill development and language building.  These materials are changed often as children become bored with them easily and are seeking new challenges.  Manipulative materials include items that challenge different grasps and ways of moving the hand and wrist in more refined ways.  Stringing beads, stacking nesting cups, fitting shapes into the correct opening on a box, practicing opening different containers and stacking rings on a post are just some of the work choices in this area.

Daily Schedule

7:15-8:15Early arrival 
8:15-9:00Regular arrival
8:15-10:15Independent work choices (snack available)
10:15Circle time (books, singing)
 Preparing for outside
12:15-12:45Circle time (books, singing)
12:30AM Dismissal
 Begin laying down
1:00-3:00Nap time
 Individual work choices (snack available)

***  Our schedule may change due to weather and activity level of the children ***