As your toddler continues to grow, so does our curriculum. Between the ages of two and four is a critical time for molding and shaping the mind. At this age, children begin mimicking behaviors and are absorbing everything – from words to tones and emotions. We establish a safe and positive environment from a young age so your growing son or daughter can focus on learning and social interactions. At this stage, we begin to introduce body parts, math, sciences and imaginative play. We help to expand vocabulary and play games that involve basic instructions. Our teaching also allows kids to think about the process and outcomes when simple tasks are introduced, like mixing colors during art, or building structures with shapes.
These little bodies are constantly being stimulated by the world around them – sights, sounds, textures and people are all impacting the way your child is interacting with others. At times, these things can be overwhelming or cause frustration, and on other days, it may not present any issues and your child is in positive spirits all day. We know it can fluctuate.
Our day care classrooms and care givers are focused on providing the support and freedom your child needs to handle their emotions appropriately. As they grow, they begin to develop the vocabulary to help them navigate situations that cause them to feel strongly one way or another. We can help them recognize what feeling that is and show them how to deal with it.
Before your son or daughter goes off to kindergarten, it is important for them to have a good sense of themselves. Change can often be a scary time or bring about lots of anxiety or fear in children. A good preschool can help children develop a sense of independence and self-confidence around mastering tasks on their own. It can also mean knowing when and feeling comfortable asking an adult for help when they need it. That is true for both daycare playtime and classwork time. When kids ask for help, they are engaging and learning new problem-solving tools and are thinking critically to find potential solutions. Adults can help guide these actions and reinforce positive behaviors and reward them with words of affirmation once the child has resolved a problem. All of these contribute to higher self-confidence and feelings of worth, which can be huge indicators of success in school!
One of the most important things to remember is that every child is different. Not every child hits every developmental milestone when the book says they should, and that is one hundred percent OK. Life doesn’t happen according to schedule, and neither does learning. More important than knowing memorization skills of 1-2-3 and A-B-C is knowing how to think critically and follow direction. A study by Harvard says that if your child is able to follow multi-step directions, he or she will be well on their way to success when they show up to kindergarten.
That’s why the daycare teachers at Little Explorer’s have made it a mission to mix child care playtime with learning. As one of the best child care and day cares in San Antonio, we have heard from parent-after-parent about how well their son or daughter is doing in a formal education setting because we focus on the basic skills, and beyond.
Before a child reaches a formal education format, or school, the best way a child learns is through play. This is true even throughout the course of a child’s education, but is very important at a young age. Most children under the age of five have an attention span of only 15-20 minutes, and have lots of energy to expend. They need structure and continuous activities the reinforce vocabulary, language, math and other skills throughout the day. But more importantly, playtime lets the develop their imagination which can help with problem-solving, critical thinking and more. It helps students understand social behaviors, follow instructions and communicate their needs. A reading nook, center time, and all sorts of outdoor activities are essential to helping your child prepare for higher levels of learning.