Welcome to Infants & Toddlers!
In our Infant and Toddlers Classrooms our students range from 6 weeks to 24 months in age. At SA, we believe that children learn best through observation, experience, and play; these methods allow the child’s brain to make the necessary connections for learning cognitive skills (cause & effect); social/ emotional skills (communicating & interacting, expressing needs, feelings, wants, etc.; gross motor skills (sitting, rolling, crawling, standing, etc.); and fine motor skills (art, small toy manipulation). In our infant room our goal is to foster a loving, nurturing, and supportive environment, to engage in many stimulating activities that will support this method of learning, while having lots of fun!
In order to share with you some of the developmentally appropriate daily activities that go on in our infant classroom we have compiled a list of examples.
Gross Motor Skill Building Activities:
Activities that build up large muscle groups such as tummy time, rolling, sitting, crawling, standing, walking, balancing, reaching, throwing, kicking, stretching, climbing, jumping, etc., we encourage the infants and toddlers to get as much time playing on the floor with each other, developing gross motor and movement skills.
Fine Motor Skill Building Activities:
Activities that build up fine motor muscle groups such as manipulating small toys and objects like strings or tags on toys, finger painting, turning pages of board books, grasping small objects, scribbling, manipulating puzzles, stacking objects, etc.
Cognitive Skill Building Activities:
Building cognitive skills is a way of helping infants and toddlers begin to understand the world around them, which they can do through experience. Using cause and effect toys, that allow a child to understand reactions and repeating actions to get desired outcome and building on that understanding, to interact with the world around them in a more aware state. Cause and effect toys would include things with buttons that cause reactions, pop-up toys, musical toys, balls, cars, etc. Simple activities such as peek-a-boo allow infants to become comfortable with the understanding that the caregiver is still there, even if there is a sheet temporarily in front of their face. Reading books, incorporating music, introducing shapes and numbers, and playing games with instructions also enhances cognitive development in toddlers.
Literacy & Language Skill Building Activities:
Every day, we make a conscious effort to talk to our infants and toddlers, so they can hear verbal language constantly spoken to them. We read age-appropriate books like rhyming books, phonetic books, song books, and sound books, we sing songs to the children and we encourage them to watch our hand movements and mimic them back -as they get older.
Social & Emotional Skill Building Activities:
Bonding with every new infant and toddler that comes into our classroom is a very important part of what we do. Building the social and emotional skills to trust and bond with caregivers and peers is important at a young age and can make the rest of their time in child care much more enjoyable and successful. Being able to express needs is an important skill for any child. Crying, fussing, or yawning are all ways that an infant or toddler communicates. Being in a social setting is a great way for children to develop healthy social and emotional skills that they will use throughout their lifetime.