Ages: 16 months to 2 years
Teacher to Student Ratio: 1 to 4-6
Toddler Care at YWCA Minneapolis
At 16 months, children join our toddler program. One teacher and five children make up primary care groups that help youngsters sail through age two. This age is all about having fun while developing independence, control of their bodies, language and social interaction skills.
Toddler Learning Environment
The toddler environment is constructed with the thought in mind that every experience is a potential learning experience. Learning and development for toddlers is their total experience in the learning environment, not just specific learning activities during specific times in the daily schedule. We organize the environment using learning or play centers.
Learning Through Repetition
Repetition of movement and activities is important for brain development for toddlers. Repetition strengthens the neural pathways that toddlers are developing.
Toddlers enjoy using skills they already have developed. They like re-exploring the familiar. They have a need to repeat the familiar to cement those skills.
Problem Solving Skills
Problem-solving experiences for toddlers involve manipulating, experimenting, figuring out how parts relate to the whole, discovering one –to –one correspondence, cause and effect and creativity. Toddlers enjoy putting things together and taking them apart, building and constructing. They enjoy sorting and matching, and love to carry things.
The development of language is particularly crucial during the toddler period. We provide many opportunities for toddlers to engage in dialogue with peers and adults. We acknowledge and encourage the child’s communication during all learning experiences.
Small Group Learning
Toddlers benefit most from small groups. They may not be quite ready for large group participation and interaction. We organize the environment using learning or play centers; giving toddlers options and choice in smaller group settings.
Toddlers are perfecting their motor skills rather than acquiring them as they did as infants. Toddlers need to climb, run, throw and jump.
Learning Experiences for Toddlers
All learning experiences should reflect children’s culture and be responsive to special needs and challenges. We use learning experiences to support children’s home language.
- Invite parents and families to share their favorite rhymes
- Hand-over-hand guidance with children to practice how to do something
- Open/close, in/out, under/over learning experiences
- Sensory learning experiences with different textures, colors, shapes and sizes
- Sorting learning experiences by size, shape, color, likeness and function
- Construction learning experiences to build with different kinds of blocks and materials