Welcome to the Toddler Room!
In the Toddler Environment the children range in age from 2 years old to 3 years old. There are two different Toddler classes. The T-2 class meet two days a week for three hours a day. The T-3 class meets three days a week for three hours a day.
The Toddler Environment is divided into different curriculum areas including Practical Life, Sensorial, Language and Art. Each curriculum area is designed for the child to explore independently based on whatever appeals to the individual child. All areas of the classroom are beautiful and created with the child in mind.
The Language Area is one of the central areas of the Toddler Environment. Language is everywhere in the Toddler Environment, but the Language Area specifically is meant to help the child to develop vocabulary, and to also lay the foundation for reading. The works in the Language Area are all designed to work from left to right to help train the eye for reading. All of the pre-reading works help the child to use his eyes and ears to begin to see and hear differences in words and pictures. Works in this area include matching objects to like objects, matching pictures to pictures, and sorting objects based on similarities.
The Art Area allows the child to explore many different art materials freely. The Art Area also allows the child the freedom to express her creativity. Works in this area include painting, gluing, markers, and stickers.
The Sensorial Area is designed to appeal to the senses of the child. Works in this area appeal to the child through sight, sound, touch, and smell. All areas of the Toddler Environment are beautiful, but the Sensorial Area in particular is very colorful and visually appealing. The Sensorial Area also helps to introduce the child to concepts of different sizes, shapes, and colors. Works in this area include nesting materials, puzzles, and materials with different shapes.
The Practical Life Area is designed to introduce the child to caring for himself, caring for others, and caring for the environment. Practical Life involves incorporating real life opportunities for the child to do for himself. Works in this area include washing dishes, washing hands, serving himself snack, and transferring works.
The Music Area of the classroom is another area that allows the child the freedom to express herself in a creative way. Different musical instruments allow the child the opportunity to explore different sounds in the environment. Often more than one child will work in this area at a given time, and soon a small marching band will form with the different instruments. Works in this area include bells, shakers, drums, and rhythm sticks.
The Math Area provides an introduction to numbers. This area focuses on counting and comparing amounts. Works in this area include counting pegs, number puzzles, and counting objects.
The Gross Motor Area provides the child the opportunity to move his body within the classroom. Gross Motor opportunities are present throughout the environment through the child carrying a tray or work to the table or the floor, as well as moving from one area to the next. Toddlers especially need to move their bodies and also to develop control of their bodies. The Gross Motor Area allows the child the opportunity to move his body in a safe and controlled way. Works in this area change monthly and include a balance beam, a slide, and a rocking horse.
Circle Time is another aspect of the Toddler Environment. It is a time for everyone to be together before the day is over. Children sing songs and read books. There is also a discussion about the book, for example in the book The Happy Bee by Ian Beck the children might talk about questions such as why is the bee happy, and what are some things that make the children happy. It is a time for the children to listen to each other and be together. After Circle Time the children prepare themselves to go home by putting on their coats and other items. The children then sit at Circle waiting for the teacher to sing goodbye to them. Each child shakes hands with the teacher before leaving for the day.
One of the best aspects of the Toddler Environment is the relationships the children develop with each other. They care for each other, and enjoy working together or working near each other. They truly see each other as friends, and enjoy each other’s company.
The Toddler Environment is a place for the child to become an independent human being. She has the freedom to explore the environment however she sees fit. She also begins to care for herself by hanging up her own coat, serving herself a snack, and returning a work when she is finished with it. This independence will carry on throughout her development.