Working with two-year-olds is fast-paced and ever-changing. At this age their every experience is brand new and we are the ones who have the privilege of introducing them to the world. In a loving and nurturing environment, we encourage their desire for independence. We potty train them, teach them good hygiene habits, allow them to feed themselves and drink from a cup, and encourage them to speak and use good manners.
Children are dropped off any time after 6:30 a.m. They are welcome to eat breakfast at school or just come and play inside. At 8:00, weather permitting, the children go out to ride tricycles, slide down the slides play in the sand boxes as they greet arriving friends. Circle time begins after potty training and hand-washing. Every day each child is greeted individually. Then the lessons begin. Teachers focus on one color, number, letter and shape each week using songs, poems and games. After circle time, students wash their hands again and then eat snack. After eating some of the children enjoy free play and dance to music while others are guided in arts and crafts. When the crafts are finished, the children head outside and fresh air until hand-washing time followed by lunch. Children may bring their lunch or purchase a hot lunch for $3.50. Afterwards, the two-year-olds have potty-training and settle down for a well-deserved nap.
At 2:30 our friends begin to awaken. While the sleepers continue to rest, the others are potty-trained, guided in washing their hands and afterwards supervised while they play in an adjoining room with dress-up, cars and a doll-house kitchen.
Does it seem like we do a lot of potty training? Out of a class of seventeen, nine are fully trained as of Valentine’s Day 2013 and four are well on their way. The others have only recently joined us from the infant center.
When all the students have awakened from nap, they head outside for snack and free play until pick up.
There are occasions when the children watch Leap Frog or Baby Einstein videos. We’ve found them both entertaining and educational for the children however, we are not a proponent of passive learning and therefore rarely engage the children in this fashion.
As a by-product of our calm, yet busy and active environment, many students master the names of colors, the days of the week, the words to quite a few songs, many letters and their phonetic sounds, can count to ten and above, practice good manners, and can discuss the events of the day. By three years of age, they are more than ready for the next class, The Little Darwins.