3 Tips for Teaching Infants and Toddlers
Janice Hernandez, Training & Curriculum Specialist
Children develop rapidly during the first 3 years of life. This rapid growth requires early childhood teachers to pay special attention to how they plan meaningful learning experiences and activities for early learners. Here are three tips to consider when designing early childhood education curriculum.
Tip 1: A Comfortable, Safe Environment Helps Young Learners Thrive
Infants and toddlers need close, caring, nurturing relationships with their early childhood teachers. Children in this age group need well-prepared environments and focused lesson plans that allow them to learn through play, rather than teachers who try to give them lessons to master.
Tip 2: Pay Close Attention to Children’s Cues
Children ages 9 months to around 2 years old often show us what skills they are ready to learn since they are not yet capable of expressing themselves through words. It’s important to pay close attention to students to observe what skill/developmental task they are currently working to achieve. Individual needs for learning and growth are key when planning learning experiences.
Daily experiences and learning opportunities should focus on supporting the learning of developmental skills and tasks such as mastering the pincher grasp.
Tip 3: Teach Toward Meaningful Moments
Meaningful moments are planned experiences that focus on the current developmental and learning needs of each child. Design daily and weekly experiences and activities that focus on these meaningful moments. Create a Meaningful Moment Library for cognitive, gross motor, fine motor, language/communication, and social emotional development, then create meaningful moment activities that correspond to the different age groups.
Want to know more? Check out our blog about the emergent curriculum.