Infants & Toddlers
This program is designed for children between 12 to 36 months. Nonetheless, there are modifications that can be made based on the skills and social interactions of each child in this age group. Each child is unique so we try our best to hone their personal skills as well as develop ones that are not so prevalent. Here children are gently introduced to a classroom environment through play, stories, music and movement and classroom fun.
Children begin having short ‘mini lessons’ which may have a themed vocabulary focus, a story and comprehension follow-up or a number and letter focus. These introduce children to basic concepts and also help them to become accustomed to sitting, listening and responding with suitable classroom behavior. Recognition is also given to the importance of play at this young age and the benefit of learning through play. Structured ‘Individual Learning’ sessions are timetabled into the day, where children are occupied with an educational activity such as puzzles, floor-play or activities to hone fine motor skills. Children benefit from the stress-free and low intensity activities that they can often be engaged with more independently.
As the children begin to reach the larger side of this age spectrum we begin working with them to familiarize them with small group time, singing, looking at books etc. We allow the child opportunities to interact with their peers and adults and enable them to gain a sense of social awareness and knowledge relating to their world.
Children of this age like to know what comes next and learn really quickly to follow routines, gradually adapting to the ‘custom social practices’ that go with them. They begin to show characteristics such as leadership and sensitivity. Foundations are laid for future learning, by providing experiences that build children’s knowledge and understanding of the world around them. Looking at books, listening to tapes, inviting people to visit provides language development necessary to complement and enrich the children’s learning. We encourage the use of sign language to develop aspect of their communication while they are in the younger portion of this age spectrum.
Counting rhymes and songs are an enjoyable way of learning how to count, as are activities like sharing toys, sorting dolls clothes and color matching. Pleasant ways of making learning fun are commonplace in this section. To promote self-reliance and self-help skills we encourage the children to help tidy up the toys they have played with. We give the children small tasks within their capabilities, and use praise to recognize and reward what they have done. Creative activities are available daily and are varied throughout the week. The children will experiment using paints, play dough, sand, water, crayons, chalk and glue. At this age the children will start to indicate what they have painted. Small manipulative skills are developed using appropriate equipment.
Children are also given time in our ‘Soft Play’ area and our outdoor area for some safe and monitored fun with friends and music allowing them to enjoy a varied and well-rounded day whilst being prepared for the slightly more structured timetable of the Pre-School age group.