Ms. Jenna's toddler 2 class went on a hunt for shapes while on their walk today. Each child got to pick which shape they wanted to hunt for and carried around the cut outs, pictured below, to help them find their shape! It can be very beneficial to bring learning out side of the classroom. A new and exciting environment will increase a child's curiosity, and therefore their engagement in the lesson. The children had a blast while learning along the way!
The best way to spread holiday cheer is singing loud for all to hear!
Our TLC children are having so much fun helping their teachers decorate, playing holiday dress up, singing holiday songs all day long, and of course, playing in the snow!
We love seeing how much fun our teachers have with the children everyday. All of our teachers love to play and act silly with the children. This creates a bond between the children and teachers that makes the children feel safe and have so much fun while away from their parents. Check out the video and pictures below to see how we celebrated the first Christmas snow indoors with a "snow" ball fight!
TLC follows a unique curriculum that we believe is the most effective way to teach and engage children. This is called Reggio Emilia. Our teachers are always observing what peeks the children's interest and then using those observations to plan educational activities. The pictures below show the perfect example of our play-based curriculum in action. Here is what Ms. Jenna had to say about what sparked the idea and how she utilized their interest and engagement as an opportunity for learning.
"While outside in the mud kitchen we noticed our toddler friends would collect logs and put them in piles to have a “fire” so we decided to bring the campfire inside! We used a big tire and the children went on a hunt around the classroom to gather blocks of any kind to use as wood. We then realized we need flames for it to be a fire! So we got out a bunch of red and orange paper to crumble up and toss in! While sitting by the fire we talked about camping and what we did with our family’s at campfires! Some friends shared that they sang songs, cuddled with mommy’s or daddy’s, and roasted marshmallows! Then we pretended to be firefighters and had to put the fire out! Friends tried to use blankets to cover the fire first, then they began getting cups from our kitchen baskets and filled them with water to pour on the fire! The next day the fun continued as they roasted "marshmallows" over the fire and then got to enjoy some real smores around the fire!" - Ms. Jenna
Ms. Shannin's toddler 2 class had a blast shake painting with pinecones. She taped sheets of paper to the bottom of the bins, had the children pick out their paint colors, put a couple small pinecone in the bin, and showed the toddlers how to shake the bin to spread the paint around. The toddlers had so much fun discovering this new way to create art and they ended up looking so neat!
Our toddler 1 class had so much fun searching for fallen leaves on their walk. They discovered that the leaves are all different shapes and colors! Take a look at the photos to see how they organized by color and talked about the different shapes.
Activity stations are a daily occurrence at TLC. Stations are mainly used in the toddler and preschool classrooms to give the children the freedom to make choices and try multiple fun activities. Our teachers take great care planning these activities to target motor skills and get the children thinking about colors, shapes, problem solving and more.
Look below to see what Ms. Kendra worked on with the Toddler class today. It is important to give children the tools to discover new ways to play with their toys as it encourages creativity, discovery, and problem solving. You might notice that your child is getting bored of their toys, but as we know, having too many toys can be overwhelming and actually discourage productive play. Helping your child find new ways to play with the toys they already have is a great solution. If you are wondering about ways to engage your child in learning through play, any of our teachers would be happy to share some of their strategies.
The strategy Ms. Kendra uses here encourages the children to experiment with the different toys in the room that can be used for building. Here we see magnet tiles, wooden blocks, Legos and toys from the loose parts bin. This not only encourages creativity but it also allows the children to learn cause and effect and practice problem solving. For example, they can figure out which parts are going to stand on their own to be the foundation, which loose parts will stick to the magnets, how tall a tower can be built before it falls down, and more.
Our teachers have so much fun coming up with creative ways to decorate for the seasons. Take a look at how Ms. Alyssa decorated the Toddler 1 door for fall with pictures of the children and a craft they did as a class.
Below you can see action shots of the Toddler 1 class painting leaves they collected together outside. After they dried, Ms. Alyssa laminated them to preserve the art and hung them on the door, as you can see above.
A closer look at the painted leaves.
Here at TLC, we make sure that when a child moves up to a different classroom, the transition is as comfortable and as seamless as possible. Here you will see Sutton during her first week moving from Young Explorers to a Toddler classroom. During the transition week, we slowly introduce the child to their new classroom. We start off with short visits in the beginning of the week and lengthen those visits each day. By Friday they spend their first full day in their new room!
It may seem like a big step to most, but we find that through continued routine and structure, it is very easy for a child to pick up on their new expectations. It is a huge benefit for the child to be able to see their peers following routine, engaging in activities, and using effective communication. Very soon after a child is brought into a Toddler room, their communication skills blossom as they pick up on how their peers deal with issues, play with each other, and communicate with their teachers. As you can see below, Sutton saw her peers decorating the potted branches and eagerly engaged in the activity with minimal teacher instruction.