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Tiny Da Vinci, Mini Monet
and Mini Morisot

During the first two years of life, children are working on acquiring a sense of trustworthiness of oneself and others. This is the sense of safety and security that comes from responsive and predictable care from familiar others to whom the child is attached. In the toddler years, a strong sense of autonomy is building. This comes from being treated as an individual and being allowed opportunities for independence. When children feel the sense of independence, power, and competence, they can step out into the world and be active learners and problem solvers.

Young children need a safe environment full of opportunities to explore and have fun. They need to be able to see, touch, feel, and move. The curriculum for young toddlers involves everything that happens to the child throughout the day. Responsive caregiving is the key component to setting up a safe and secure environment and trusting relationships. Everything that a child experiences in the classroom and outside on the playground/on walks is a learning opportunity.

Here are some of the ways in which our program supports children’s overall growth:

Social/emotional development:

  • Build strong, trusting relationships between children, parents and teachers in many ways including primary caregiving and continuity of care

  • Provide a physically and emotionally safe and responsive environment

  • Acknowledge and label children’s feelings

  • Implement daily routines to give children a sense of predictability and security

  • Encourage self-care skills to promote growing independence and choice


Physical development:

  • Provide abundant opportunities for gross motor play and exploration, both indoors and out

  • Provide a variety of activities and materials to challenge and strengthen children’s fine motor skills

  • Challenge children through Music and Movement classes

Language development:

  • Actively support home language and second language acquisition and/or sign language

  • Increase children’s vocabulary through conversation, stories, songs, thematic studies

  • Play with language through rhyming, word games, songs


Cognitive development:

  • Provide abundant sensory activity choices – the natural means by which children learn

  • Build on children’s natural creativity, curiosity, wonder and delight in problem-solving

  • Support curriculum based on children’s interests and development

  • Provide appropriate challenges for each child

  • Plan for enriching science, social studies, math and literacy activities


Science: cooking, garden program, water and sand play, classroom pets

Social studies: family curriculum, visiting other classrooms, campus/community walks, Jewish culture, music and traditions


Math: counting songs, number peg boards/puzzles, nesting cups, working with blocks, beginning sequencing/patterning/graphing


Literacy (which includes speaking, listening, writing, reading): reading books, doing puppet shows, sharing at circle time, drawing/painting, using word play, making simple books, introducing felt board stories, varying props for dramatic play to stimulate new scenarios

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