To advance physical and intellectual competence, I incorporate age appropriate activities in my classroom. These activities provide infants and toddlers with daily opportunities for growth and development. One way I support physical advancement in non mobile infants is by encouraging them to roll from front to back. I do this by placing the child on the floor, bending one knee and arm and then gently rolling the child. With older mobile infants I provide activities such as fill and dump items on a low table so that the children may stand and play. This will help children to learn to keep their balance and stand alone. To promote physical development in toddlers I encourage the use of their feet to move riding toys. I even use meal time for strengthening fine motor skills, as I encourage toddlers to fold napkins at lunch time, praising them for their efforts.
To support advancement in cognitive learning I provide a variety of age appropriate activities that will promote curiosity, exploration and problem solving. An activity that I perform with young infants is the game peek-a-boo. This improves infants cognitive skills by teaching them object permanence, or that an object still exist even when not in sight. With older infants I enjoy playing a game called find it. With this game I let infants watch as I hide a toy, then ask if they can find it. This activity displays intellectual growth by using memory to find the item hidden. An example of creating cognitive development in toddlers is by showing toddlers a large circle. Then taking them for a walk around the room finding items that resemble a circle.
I provide several opportunities to promote both verbal and non verbal communication for children in my classroom. One way I support communication in young infants is by placing two infants on the floor. I provide a variety of interesting toys that the infants may rattle, squeeze, or bang. This allows infants to verbally coo and babble at one another or simply just watch and smile. For mobile infants I encourage language by having family pictures posted on a family board. I point to family members and say "mama and dada". I then encourage infants to repeat me. I support language and communication practices with toddlers by singing songs and interacting with finger plays. I provide a diverse atmosphere utilizing songs from different cultural backgrounds.
To support creativity I provide many experiences for children to express themselves through play, art, music and rhythm. I know that it is the process not the product that is truly important. I allow children to see the world through their very own eyes which may include purple trees, pink skies, and even frogs that fly. I ask many open ended questions to allow children to imagine and create leaving their mind to hold the endless possibilities.