Seedlings-12 to 20 months
- Independence- a whole new world is opened up to the Seedlings classroom as the children are mobile now. The children may be pulling up on furniture, toddling towards their first steps or taking these steps independently. The classroom is set up with a variety of gross motor opportunities because now that they can move about freely, they want to every minute of the day. Knowing that this is a large focus of the children, the teachers have included a small climber in the classroom to encourage practice with small steps and a slight ramp. These skills will help them develop greater coordination, balance, and self confidence in their movements.
- Sign Language- When children enter the Seedling classroom they take their meals as a group at the table. Each child is offered their prepared meal on a plate seated next to their friends. The teachers join the children at the table and prompt them with questions: “Do you want more?”, “Do you want milk?”, “Are you all done?” and they also offer the children the means to communicate their responses through the use of sign language. They demonstrate the signs to the children regularly and follow up with a verbal response as well to assist the children in having a clear understanding of what is being communicated. IT isn’t long before the children are able to utilize the signs on a regular basis, which gives them a greater capacity to share and understand before they are confidently verbal.
- Napping- We encourage the children to transition from taking their naps in a crib to taking a nap on a nap mat. Removing the barrier of the crib, which is a safety requirement during the first year, allows the children a greater sense of connection with each other and their environment. When a child is resting on a nap mat a teacher can rub their backs, read them a story and easily reach out to comfort them if they are unhappy or restless. They can observe their friends and remain a part of the group without any barriers which offers them comfort and ease.