Young Toddlers

Our toddler classroom is designed to create a safe environment where children can explore and discover without constant don’ts. At this age, they gain skills at their own pace. Therefore, our daily routine serves as a framework to provide a sense of consistency and security but can be adapted to meet individual needs.

In this classroom, you will find a busy learning environment with age-appropriate toys that help facilitate growth and development at every level. The teachers for this age group focus on helping children develop their dexterity through stacking, transferring, lacing, doing puzzles, using utensils, playing with play dough, just to name a few. Physical activities, including daily trips outside, yoga and dance classes, using steps and slides, playing with balls, and balancing help to improve toddlers’ gross motor skills.
Strong social-emotional development during toddler years determines later social, emotional, and academic success. Our curriculum for this age focuses on self-awareness and building interpersonal relationships. We learn about ourselves and each other, and discover our differences and similarities through reading books, playing with multicultural dolls and family figures, creating theme based dramatic corners in the classroom (spaceship, tent, bear’s den, vet hospital, etc.), celebrating holidays around the world and visiting neighborhood places. NEA caregivers show lots of love and affection to children by hugging, cuddling, comforting and talking with them. Through role-playing and engaging games our children learn simple social norms, such as sharing, taking turns and waiting. To help them develop empathy for others, teachers show their own feelings and acknowledge the feelings of the children.

Toddlers are bundles of curiosity with inquiring minds. We develop their thinking and reasoning abilities through weekly theme-related activities. These stimulating and fun lessons focus on color and shape recognition, counting objects, matching, sorting, and ordering by size.

Language development is nurtured through continuous talking, introduction of new vocabulary, reading books together, telling stories, labeling objects, and vocally interpreting children’s visual cues.

Young toddlers discover how the world works through sights, sounds, and textures. Art, music and sensory exploration are important parts of our program. Teachers plan daily art activities to introduce children to different kinds of art media (watercolors, chalk, modeling materials, etc.) and engage them in many process-oriented arts and crafts. Children are introduced to musical instruments, songs, rhymes, and finger-plays during group activities and a weekly music enrichment class. Many opportunities are presented for exploration by playing with water, dirt, kinetic sand, many seasonal nature items, and various food items in the sensory table.

Daily Schedule Bucktown Daily Schedule Ravenswood