~ Fostering Social Connections within the Toddler Program ~
Recently in the toddler program, there has been a strong focus on the children being very invested in each other: exploring each other’s bodies, conversing with each other, and trying to play with each other in all different ways. The children are at the beginning stage of making friends, and enjoying their time with their peers, which is amazing to see happen!
To encourage social connections, we not only focus on strong language and communication skills, but engage in a variety of experiences that allow for a different kind of communication to occur. Recently, we have focused on sensory experiences, art, block play, and outdoor/gross motor play. These types of activities have allowed for the children to engage together, often in parallel play, working on skills such as team work, sharing, and problem solving.
How Does Learning Happen? (2014) A document that we use often when talking about learning through relationships, states,
“Communication happens through creative expression. When children manipulate materials, explore music and movement, create symbols and engage in imaginative expression and dramatic play, they are communicating (pg. 42).
Emily Chepill RECE
Katherine Cross RECE