Younger Toddlers (Explorers)
(1 - 2 year olds)
WEC utilizes an emergent curriculum based on the interests of the children. We design areas of exploration to meet the interests of the children while still delivering the concepts, skills, and developmental milestones that are appropriate for this age. The daily schedule is flexible and may change depending on the season (if we are able to use outside time, etc) or the needs and interests of the children.
Our toddlers love to play outside! We like to go out on walks and play on the playground. We do this year round – even in the rain sometimes – so be sure that you provide season-appropriate attire and accessories so that your child is comfortable and safe. In the summer, please provide a sun hat, sunscreen, swim diapers, bathing suit, and a towel. In the winter, please send a waterproof jacket, snow pants, mittens, boots, and a hat. Wet snow easily soaks through fleece snowsuits and knit mittens. Many families find it easiest to leave a pair of mittens and a hat at school.
As your infant begins their journey to toddlerhood, they will be expanding on their independence. With that comes a lot of exploring and testing. It is at this age that children may begin to exhibit some behaviors such as hitting, pushing, kicking, and biting. Please be aware that all of these behaviors are developmentally appropriate for this age, and that these behaviors vary greatly among children. As teachers, we work hard to recognize the needs of the children to help avoid these behaviors; however, they do still occur. We offer “teethers,” which provide teething children with a little bit of sensory relief. If you are aware that your child is teething, please be sure to let us know. If you have concerns about any other behaviors your child is exhibiting, please feel free to talk with us! Likewise, we will be sure to let families know if we observe anything of concern in the classroom.
In the Explorers classroom, we encourage children to develop a sense of independence and offer them choices whenever possible. For example, if a child is choosing to throw hard toys, we encourage them to throw something soft, like a stuffy or a scarf and explain to the child why it is not safe to throw hard toys.
Please feel free to ask your child’s teacher or the director if you would like more information on age-appropriate behavior.
At this age, much of a toddler's learning is done by exploring how things feel, how they work, and even how they taste. We concentrate much more on the process of the activity and far less on the end product. We frequently explore sensory experiences, cause & effect, and dramatic play. To hone fine-motor skills, we work on using drawing materials, building with blocks, and exploring sensory materials. We usually remove their clothes for the ‘messy’ choices, but please do not send your child to school in their best clothes!
We also incorporate gross-motor activities into our curriculum, and there are some days when our planned activity is purely gross-motor. We work to develop our large muscle groups by climbing, dancing, jumping, rolling, and even pretending to be different animals!