Stepping Stones Program (Ages 2-3)
Our Stepping stones program is designed for children between 2-early 3's who are not independently toileting and cultivates their natural curiosity and drive for independence. Often this is the child’s first experience beyond the home, so we create a nurturing space of understanding, respect and support where the child can connect with loving adults and peers in a safe environment. Dedicated, caring teachers advance each child’s growth by preparing a stimulating environment where classroom materials are easily accessible, attractive, safe and geared to the toddler’s developmental needs. Key components of the curriculum include :
Children learn by doing, so children use all 5 senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste) to understand and absorb information about the world. Sensory-rich materials are available for exploration, manipulation and repetition. The focus is on the process, not the end product.
Language develops at a rapid rate at this age, with toddlers moving quickly from words to sentences. Exposure to language via language lessons, storytelling, singing, reading aloud and spontaneous conversations support the toddler’s need for immersion in language.
To aid in the development of children’s gross motor skills to master everyday tasks, children explore and manipulate the scientifically designed materials in the classroom. Their young bodies need to receive lots of opportunities to move, manipulate, and sensorially explore. Whether building blocks, doing a puzzle, digging on the playground or dancing to music, children are developing fine and gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, balance, a sense of order, concentration and independence.
From a young age children learn to participate with the classroom community through their exposure to grace and courtesy lessons. The freedom to explore is tempered by three basic ground rules that benefit the child today and will be beneficial for a lifetime-respect for self, respect for others, and respect for their environment.
A favorite phrase for a toddler is “me do” which reflects the toddler’s growing need for independence. The toddler classroom is designed to foster the child’s independence with low shelves, easily transportable child-sized materials and freedom of movement. Through trial and error the child moves from introduction to mastering of skills, developing pride and confidence at being able to “do it myself.”