Toddler Day Care

A Brief Introduction to the Toddler Daycare Curriculum

(1 – 2 years old) 

Toddlers are by nature insatiably curious and interested in the world around them. They are exceptionally exploratory and inquisitive while working towards their independence and autonomy. Our toddler curriculum and day care service has been designed to support the new independence toddlers seek, and helps to encourage their confidence and uniqueness. We strive to help toddlers develop new capabilities that will set the foundations for their future learning and discoveries.

Our early education program is guided by the unique needs of children at this stage of their lives. In order to support and nurture their growth and development, our curriculum is built to help toddlers achieve their full potential in areas such as:

  • Early math skills and science skills
  • Language and early literacy
  • Small and large muscle skill development
  • Emotional and social skills development

Language Skills

At this age, a child’s vocabulary and language skills are growing and improving by the day! In our Language skills curriculum our teachers and caregivers foster the further development of speech by regularly modeling language and consistently engaging children in extended, detailed conversation. This curriculum provides a language rich-atmosphere that encourages the further development of your child’s language skills.

Through regularly reading books out loud, story time, daily conversations and one on one vocabulary practice, our day care & curriculum provides the necessary foundations to pre-reading and pre-writing. We aim to encourage a love of literacy and reading in our program, and encourage children to communicate with our caregivers and teachers often.

Listening:

At our Academy we teach toddlers to:

  • Follow one-step, basic instructions
  • Pay attention and focus on short, age appropriate stories read out loud
  • Further develop their vocabulary base and word comprehension
  • Listen, dance and move to music and rhythms

At our Academy Toddlers will learn these skills by:

  • Participating in small group or individual activities which require simple direction following
  • Listening to books that are read aloud daily during story time
  • Exploring and engaging with books independently
  • Talking with teachers and caregivers regularly who model communications in one on one setting and in groups
  • By participating in group singing, rhymes, and games

Speaking:

At our Academy we teach toddlers to:

  • Increase their vocabulary base; especially of objects and actions
  • Describe feelings, drawings or pictures in one or more words
  • Prompt conversations with caregivers, teachers, and peers
  • Construct short questions and use them when talking to adults and peers

At our Academy Toddlers will learn these skills by:

  • Exploring, describing and viewing language-rich photographs, colorful books, and matching games that help to increase their vocabulary
  • Regularly engaging in conversations with teachers, caregivers and peers at eye level
  • Being encouraged to talk about daily activities and experiences in ways that use more detailed descriptions with caregivers, teachers and friends

Pre-writing:

At our Academy we teach toddlers to:

  • Develop the finger grasps and grips necessary to pick up small object such as pencils, pens and crayons
  • Use writing tools
  • Purposefully create  shapes, drawings and scribbles on paper

At our Academy Toddlers will learn these skills by:

  • Practicing picking up small, safe objects
  • Playing with play dough and clay; by pounding, stretching, rolling, squeezing and flattening it
  • Engaging in fun activities that require children to draw with large crayons and markers
  • Assembling large, simple puzzles
  • Playing with large pegboards

Pre-reading:

At our Academy we teach toddlers to:

  • Pay attention and enjoy story time
  • Increase their short-term memory and recall
  • Increase their ever growing vocabulary
  • Develop preferences and ‘favorites’ for familiar books and stories

At our Academy Toddlers will learn these skills by:

  • Engaging in songs and finger-plays with staff and peers
  • Quiet, independent book exploration
  • Helping during read out loud time and retelling favorite stories to caregivers, teachers and peers
  • Daily observation of the various labels on objects and toys throughout the center’s various play areas (indoors and outdoors)

Making Math Count

For toddlers, math is a great way for them to explore and understand their worlds. Our making Making Math Count for toddlers curriculum encourages children to develop their mathematical skills and awareness through access to play areas which allow the manipulation of objects, and encourages them to experiment with numbers and counting.

Our approach to continuing to introduce mathematics to toddlers encourages children to establish a stronger grasp of math concepts and vocabulary (for example more, less, big, little, all, none) through play and exploration. Our toddler room is designed specifically to suit the needs and interests of toddlers and includes small figures for sorting, cups that can be stacked by size, and a measurement table where children can play with various quantities and volumes. All these activities help to nurture and foster an understanding of basic mathematical concepts and ideas.

Spatial Relations:

At our Academy we teach toddlers to:

  • Understand and recognize concepts such as up/down, sit/stand, under/over, inside/outside, off/on
  • Describe and explain activities in relation to space

At our Academy Toddlers will learn these skills by:

  • Moving through indoor and outdoor obstacle courses and play areas where teachers and caregivers offer simple directions such as “ now you are going up the stairs and then down the slide.”
  • Regularly hearing caregivers and teachers explain their spatial relationship to objects nearby by: “You are standing next to the sandbox”, “You are sitting on the chair”

Understanding Numbers:

At our Academy we teach toddlers to:

  • Recognize and understand the idea of quantity: one, lore than one, less, more, none, etc…
  • Be able to count to two or three
  • Differentiate between various sizes: big vs. small, long vs. short

At our Academy Toddlers will learn these skills by:

  • Listening to caregivers and teachers use quantities in conversations; “You have one carrot stick, would you like one more?”
  • Following snack and meal-time assistance instructions: “Please put one napkin here, and then put another over here, and one over there”
  • Having teachers and caregivers ask for descriptions from them “ How many crackers do you have?” “ How many apple pieces would you like?”
  • Playing with and manipulating toys of various sizes and shapes that require stacking, nesting or purposeful placements

Learning the concept of time:

At our Academy we teach toddlers to:

  • Express the end of an event or activity with words
  • Use words to indicate and express past or future events

At our Academy Toddlers will learn these skills by:

  • Listening to teachers and caregivers talk about time and make frequent reference to it; “ Now we are going to have snack time. We will go to the bathroom after we are finished.”
  • In conversation with teachers and caregivers, regular references will be made to time: “Yesterday it was cold outside, but today it is very warm. You had to wear you coat yesterday ”

Classification:

At our Academy we teach toddlers to:

  • Identify similar and different object from a variety of objects
  • Match the correct block to the right shape on toys

At our Academy Toddlers will learn these skills by:

  • Playing games that involve sorting: “ Show me all of the toy cats”
  • Experimenting with the placement of toys and shapes in various sizes and shapes of containers, and playing with simple puzzles

Awesome Science

Children are born with a strong curiosity about how things work and are eager to figure out things in their world. So it should be no surprise that toddlers are natural scientists; eager to experiment, learn and explore. Whether they are stomping in puddles, exploring the sandbox or watching a butterfly in flight, toddlers are expressing a scientific interest and curiosity. In our curriculum, we nurture and build on these interests and explorations by offering toddlers meaningful experiences that foster and support their scientific reasoning and skills.

Awesome Science works by providing a framework for teachers and caregivers to weave scientific learning into your child’s everyday experiences. Through enriching environments, intentional experiences and meaningful conversations, teachers and caregivers assist children in developing the scientist in them. By nurturing this interest in the world through purposeful activities, at The Kids Rule Academy we help children become skilled observers, inquisitive researchers and enthusiastic investigators.

Basic Problem Solving:

At our Academy we teach toddlers to:

  • Identify problems verbally
  • Investigate possible solutions and outcomes before attempting to solve problems

At our Academy Toddlers will learn these skills by:

  • Regularly listening to stores that feature simple problems followed up with successful solutions
  • Exploring responses to questions such as “ What do you think will happen next? “
  • Expressing and working to solve everyday problems with teachers, caregivers and peers
  • Playing with busy boxes, shape sorters, and large, simple puzzles

Active Explorations:

At our Academy we teach toddlers to:

  • Use tools and other objects purposefully to complete tasks
  • Understand the basic concepts of weight and balance

At our Academy Toddlers will learn these skills by:

  • Engaging the senses of sight, touch, sound and taste with various materials and toys
  • Experimenting with play dough and clay by manipulation with tools; cutting it with safe scissors, rolling it with small rolling pins or using cookie cutters
  • Stacking, building and balancing blocks and shapes of various sizes and colors

Space and Volume:

At our Academy we teach toddlers to:

  • Explore volume
  • Demonstrate the ability to explain and define space

At our Academy Toddlers will learn these skills by:

  • Filing, dumping, and comparing containers and objects with varied materials including sand, dried beans, water and rice
  • Creating structures such as fences from blocks or making a space ship out of chairs

Active Questioning and Learning:

At our Academy we teach toddlers to:

  • Ask questions when exploring new, different materials
  • Formulate and use “ why, what and how?” questions with teachers, peers and familiar adults

At our Academy Toddlers will learn these skills by:

  • Discussing and explaining with teachers and caregivers their observations and experiences
  • Creatively expressing ideas with paints, sand, play dough, and creative dance/movement.

Creativity and Arts

Early exposure to art and creativity can help to foster and support development in reading, literacy, math and science. In approaching play and activities creatively we encourage artistic growth and lay the foundations for critical intellectual development.  Experimenting with the arts fosters in children the ability to make choices, take action, think openly and flexibility, learn about cause and effect, come up with creative solutions, and allows them to explore their physical potentials.

Our curriculum for toddlers in Creativity and Arts introduces children to the visual arts, dance and creative movements, music and rhythm, and drama. This program encourages children to act with creativity and innovation in their crafts and activities. Through encouraging toddlers to engage in creative experiences, teachers and caregivers nurture art appreciation, and support the creation of childhood masterpieces and creative art projects.

Visual Arts:

At our Academy we teach toddlers to:

  • Investigate and explore the world through various senses
  • Experiment and engage with various colors
  • Make deliberate and purposeful markings and drawings

At our Academy Toddlers will learn these skills by:

  • Playing with materials such as clay, textured sponges and scented paints so that various senses are engaged
  • Allowing children to express their own creative impressions; such as painting grass purple without teacher correction or direction
  • Regular engagement with art projects that make use of large markers, crayons, wide paper, finger paints and upright easels

Music

At our Academy we teach toddlers to:

  • Respond to rhythm and music with movement and dance
  • Experiment with various sounds, noises and instruments

At our Academy Toddlers will learn these skills by:

  • Being exposed to culturally diverse music with simple beats and rhythms that they can dance and move to
  • Touching, shaking, playing and engaging with shakers, rain sticks, and various instruments

Dance and Creative Movement:

At our Academy we teach toddlers to:

  • Establish more stable body coordination and balance
  • Move and dance in creative, expressive and unique ways to music

At our Academy Toddlers will learn these skills by:

  • Playing games with peers and caregivers that are teacher lead which require coordinating movement: stop and go, fast and slow, etc…
  • Dancing and moving to music with scarves and other articles of clothing to diverse types of music

Dramatic Art:

At our Academy we teach toddlers to:

  • Engage and act in different role plays
  • Demonstrate their ability to use their imaginations in play and in games
  • Demonstrate their ability to express themselves using a growing vocabulary

At our Academy Toddlers will learn these skills by:

  • Engaging in sing along games that require actions such as ‘I’m a little teapot’ and playing imagination games such as hopping down the hallway like a bunny
  • Using various props to play with; both open ended props, like shoe boxes or fabric swatches, and representational props like plastic food items or a toy telephone
  • Using puppets and other toys that encourage the use of their imagination to make them talk and act

The World Around of Us

The sense of wonder and curiosity that a toddler has creates a perfect platform for developing good values and a solid understanding of diversity, self-identity and a meaningful place within the larger community. At this age, toddlers begin to develop a perspective of the world and how they relate to others. This is a critical stage of development for us to ensure that children are developing positive attitudes and outlooks that can last their lifetimes.

At The Kids Rule Academy we seek to nurture positive outlooks and introduce ideas such as personal responsibility, appreciation and respect for diversity,  and care for the environment. Activities that foster these values that we encourage children to participate in include watering flowers, looking at photos of diverse families, recycling, turning off lights when they are not being used, and dolls/figurines that are different-bodied. With the help of our caregivers and teachers, children are encouraged to reflect on their experiences with themselves, their peers and adults to better enable them to place themselves in relation to the world around them.

Emotions and Behaviors:

At our Academy we teach toddlers to:

  • Indentify and name multiple emotions
  • Regulate and control their emotions
  • Take care of personal needs in appropriate and acceptable ways
  • Understand their connection to others as well as their own independence

At our Academy Toddlers will learn these skills by:

  • Being encouraged to talk about feelings and emotions
  • Regularly engaging in clean up after meal time and play time with the directions and instructions from caregivers and teachers
  • Enjoying activities such as ‘show and tell’: when children bring items from home to share with the group and talk about

Relationships with others:

At our Academy we teach toddlers to:

  • Make friends with peers and establish positive, good relationships
  • Be aware of, respectful of, and positive about differences in gender, race, ethnicity, and physical differences
  • Express compassion and empathy for others

At our Academy Toddlers will learn these skills by:

  • Playing with children from all walks of life in the center
  • Reading and investigating books that demonstrate cultures and ethnicities different from their own
  • Drawing self portraits
  • Being encouraged to share toys, being sensitive to and aware of the feelings of classmates, and showing others compassion

Learning Cause and Effect:

At our Academy we teach toddlers to:

  • Grasp the idea and relationship between cause and effect
  • Understanding of how repeated actions can make things happen
  • Beginning to anticipate what may happen next
  • Understand consequences for actions

At our Academy Toddlers will learn these skills by:

  • Playing with different musical instruments to explore how different actions can produce various outcomes and sounds
  • Regular use of age-appropriate tools such as shovels, and safe scissors
  • Requesting familiar and favorite books or texts
  • Anticipating familiar stories
  • Making the connection between an action (taking a friend’s toy) and the effect (crying from the friend).

Safe and Aware

Most often, toddlers will behave they way that they feel. Toddlers are well known for expressing what they feel through their actions and behaviors. It is important that the relationships between a child’s physical health and social, cognitive and emotional well-being are nourished and acknowledged daily. The everyday achievements of toddlers must be celebrated to ensure children feel strong, healthy and secure. Feeling and being healthy also requires a safe and age-appropriate environment, opportunities for exploration and play, and activities that assist in building good habits and a positive attitude.

Our Safe and Aware program for toddlers provides a safe and nourishing environment that allows children to become familiar with their physical bodies and abilities, what they need to be comfortable, and how to protect their bodies. In this program, our teachers and caregivers work together to provide enriching and engaging experiences that help toddlers develop stronger bodies, become more self aware and independent, and lay the foundation for healthy lifestyle habits.

Movements and Body Awareness:

At our Academy we teach toddlers to:

  • Strengthen and improve small muscle group use
  • Strengthen and improve large muscle group use
  • Identify different body parts and sensations

At our Academy Toddlers will learn these skills by:

  • Working on the use of small muscle groups by engaging in activities like cutting, writing, drawing and painting
  • Working on the use of large muscle groups by participating in activities such as walking, jumping, running stretching, climbing and dancing
  • Spending time outside often
  • Singing songs such as ‘Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’

Nutrition:

At our Academy we teach toddlers to:

  • Identify and understand what healthy food are and where they come from
  • Verbally express food likes and dislikes

At our Academy Toddlers will learn these skills by:

  • Participating in growing plants and foods from seed
  • Serving themselves appropriate food portions at snack and meal times
  • Discussing with teachers and caregivers daily foods and healthy food decision making

Health and Safety:

At our Academy we teach toddlers to:

  • Follow simple, basic rules for safety
  • Practice good and safe hygiene every day
  • Understand the importance of keeping clean
  • Understand the importance of playing safe indoors and outdoors

At our Academy Toddlers will learn these skills by:

  • Listening to and following simple rules such as ‘Walk in the classroom, please do not run’

Following signs and examples of people demonstrating the proper ways to wash hands, blow noses and cover coughs.