Freshmen

 

Approximately 16 to 24 months old

 

Building relationships must be at the core of any toddler program. Toddlers are learning to relate to others, what it means to express their feelings, and that they are loved. They are mobile, curious, and active learners making new discoveries in the world around them. Simply enter one of the Freshman Program rooms and you will feel the excitement and energy of these wide-eyed children. 

 

The Freshman Program continues the concept of developmentally appropriate “learning centers” that was introduced in the Young Freshmen class. Different areas for blocks, dramatic play, art, books, music and movement, manipulatives, and sand and water play create a fun and safe environment that is conducive to the one-year-old’s desire to discover, explore, and test each new toy. And since sharing is difficult at this age, there are always duplicates of their favorite toys.

 

Children this age are growing at a fast rate. Their large muscles are developing so they can walk, run, balance, and climb. Their small muscles are becoming more fine-tuned as they practice scribbling, manipulating pull-apart toys, and eating with a spoon. And although their attention span is still limited they enjoy finger plays, music, and listening to stories.

 

We provide our Freshmen with the materials, space, and supervision to make their own choices, which in turn gives them the feeling of being in control. They are enjoying this newfound independence, as demonstrated by their favorite phrases “Me do it” and “No, thank you!” Their self-reliance skills are also growing as their large muscles develop.

 

Freshmen, like their friends in the Young Freshmen class, enjoy a routine and schedule that allows for mealtimes, naptime, circle time, outdoor play, art activities, and trips to the indoor gym. Our Freshmen are also introduced to our Music Program, which provides a weekly session with our music teacher where the children sing songs, practice finger plays, and experiment playing different instruments (drums, cymbals, shakers, xylophones, etc.).

 

The student to teacher ratio in our Freshmen Program is 6:1.

 

 

Activities

 

Cognitive activities include:

  • Repeating songs

  • Identifying colors and shapes

  • Recognizing letters and numbers

 

Language activities include:

  • Transitioning from sign language to spoken words

  • Stringing together 2 and 3 word sentences

  • Using words to communicate with friends (i.e. “No, thank you!”)

 

Fine motor activities include:

  • Fitting objects together like nesting cups

  • Manipulating objects using push, pull, twist, and pinch motions

  • Assembling simple puzzles

 

Gross motor activities include:

  • Chasing bubbles

  • Climbing up and down stairs

  • Jumping with two feet

 

Social and emotional activities include:

  • Being able to parallel play with friends

  • Mimicking and copying others

  • Taking turns, which is a difficult skill to learn so we have many duplicate toys

 

Independence activities include:

  • Assuming some responsibility by helping to clean up toys before moving on to another activity

  • Retrieving personal items from their cubbies as needed (i.e. blanket for naptime, jacket or hat for outdoor play)

  • Learning to wash hands independently

 

Art activities include:

  • Scribbling with crayons and markers

  • Painting with different tools (i.e. paint brushes, sponges, toothbrushes)

  • Gluing cotton balls, tissue paper squares, etc. to paper

 

Music activities include:

  • Using shakers

  • Dancing with scarves

  • Learning gestures that accompany songs, such as “The Wheels on the Bus”

 

 

We look forward to helping your independent toddler develop into an inquisitive two-year-old.

It is amazing to watch our son develop. His teachers, Ms. Emily and Ms. Brianna, could not have been more supportive when he was learning to walk. He is learning new words on a daily basis. And he is being taught structure - he often puts his things back where they belong without having to be asked. My mother has commented that his vocabulary and skills are advanced for his age, stating "Daycare is helping him to flourish."

 

- Parent of a child in the Freshman Program