Children of this age are active explorers. Their need for exploration and hands on learning is pronounced at this age. Coupled with this is an increasing ability to express ideas through their different “languages”.
By languages we mean symbolic means such as drawing, clay, painting, block construction, as well as their increasing verbal ability aided by their use of gesture and body movement. We carefully observe these “languages” to interpret children’s understanding of the world about them
Toddlers are often developing autonomy at this stage. Our long term goal is to support their growing understanding of themselves and others in an atmosphere of trust and respect. Staffs assist children to cope with their emotion and frustration that can accompany difficulties in communicating and solving problems experienced by this age group.
Whilst it is not an expectation that children of this age would share, take turns and cooperate, these social skills gradually develop over the year through encouragement, modelling and the natural maturation process.
Learning experiences are open-ended and when planned are responsive to the individual differences in learning styles. The program emphasis is on a combined open-ended and planned range of activities including sensory experiences to support children’s development in the cognitive/creative, social emotional, physical and language domains.
Much of this learning happens through play and exploration; therefore we focus on the process involved in experiences rather than on encouraging the child to produce a “product”. A key focus is to assist children in understanding their own “research” processes and hypothesise.
Opportunities are provided for small group play, one to one interaction with an adult as well as time for each child to play and explore independently and collaboratively.