Twos and Threes
During the Infant and Toddler years, your child has been busy gathering every tool and honing every instinct they will require for the expedition which lies before them as they enter their Twos. What a journey it will be! There will be hills to glide over, valleys to traverse, and mountains of development to climb on the way to reach the pinnacle of early childhood development that is represented by the pre-school experience.
Along the way, there will be challenges (for parents and children), successes, and mistakes. It will be key for parents and caregivers to understand that a mistake is simply a learning moment to be embraced and that repeated opportunities to engage in choices and learn from mistakes will give a child the confidence to try and will provide the security they need to trust themselves and assert their independence.
The seeds of self-esteem are planted here and must be carefully nourished. For these seeds will grow into and develop a resilience which increases emotional intelligence and protects them throughout their lives. This resilience is the armor that will protect your child when you cannot…through all of life’s battles. It is formed here in this important developmental period.
Me, my, mine – the language choices of a two-year-old child who avidly begins to explore who they are, what they want, and who realizes all that they can do. As toddlers grow into twos and light the match on the language explosion truly unique to this period of their lives, their vocabularies expand quickly from about 25 core words to mastery of over 350-400 words.
At the Meliora School, the teachers and caregivers know that continuing development of vocabulary is dependent on verbal interaction and language exposure. We talk to our children, not at them; and engage them in stories and encourage their own storytelling abilities as they grow and master more and more language.
Additionally, fostering independence is a key goal of our teaching and care giving teams who are responsible for guiding your child’s explorations, feeding their creativity, and giving them the support they need to accomplish self and community care responsibilities. Don’t be surprised when your child says with the confidence only a two-year-old can…”No, I can do it!”
Socially a child is beginning to experiment with what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in a group context. Twos are essentially egocentric and “all about me”. They will engage in parallel play most frequently and have to learn how to recognize the needs of others as well as learn to vocalize their own needs. Teachers and caregivers at The Meliora School provide just the right balance of empathy and consistency which helps children to learn this delicate social balancing act. And when they fall, a significant part of learning, children know that their teachers are there to help and guide them with love and support them when they are ready to try, and try again!
"I like nonsense. It wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities"- Dr. Seuss
What a whimsical time of childhood is the Threes experience! Creativity and imagination are their partners on this leg of their journey. It is through engagement in creative thinking that we begin building both strong social skills and developing problem solving abilities. During this time, a child will put crayon to paper for the first time and begin to develop the increased control that will lead to writing skills. Threes will engage their friends in pretend play and will hone their storytelling skills and begin understanding phonetic relationships that lead to reading fluency.
Our teachers and caregivers know how to feed a child’s need to know, understand, and order the world around them. We strive to feed that curiosity and then enjoy the way these new facts and information are processed into the daily imaginary games and play – the tool through which the child organizes, classifies, and builds concrete understanding of the rich learning opportunities and environment they are a part of at The Meliora School.
While a part of a Threes community, not only will a child explore and experience a myriad of learning opportunities, they will continue to grow in a positive, safe and nurturing environment supported by teachers and caregivers who love them and who are eager to introduce them to the science, geography, math and language marvels available to us. Through feeding their innate curiosity to ask Who? What? Where? When? And Why? – we help children harness the power of their imagination to drive their learning and make it joyful.