Our Flamingo Program (Older Toddlers)
Older toddlers are at an age during which their awareness and curiosity of the surrounding world leads to developing advanced motor skills, communication skills, and a greater interest in creative play. Such age-appropriate milestones form the basis of our Flamingos program.
Our Flamingo Classrooms
Our Flamingo classrooms are set up to promote independence and freedom of choice for our very busy older toddlers. We encourage play based learning through many different learning centers, including:
- Dramatic Play
- Block Area
- Art/Creative Expression
- Sensory Table
- Cozy Corner
- Table Toys
- Large carpeted areas for group time, music, and movement experiences
Children are encouraged to make props with their friends and teachers to add to their learning centers that align with their curriculum studies. Children are able to practice self-help and personal care skills with child size furniture, sinks, and toilets.
Our Flamingo curriculum is geared towards older toddlers’ natural curiosity to make things happen. Throughout our fun, play-based curriculum studies, children learn about their communities, the changes they see and feel during different seasons, and living things – just to name a few. Our teachers work to help children develop cognitive skills such as problem solving and the understanding of cause and effect through hands-on experiences. The curriculum also promotes both large muscle (full body) and small muscle (hands) development, social skills, and creative expression through the processes of art, building, and music. Children are encouraged to use language to express their needs and emotions, however, they are also exposed to our 20 basic American Sign Language core signs in order to allow for non-verbal communication. The sign language component of our curriculum teaches our older toddlers new vocabulary words and signs pertaining to each curriculum theme.
Using American Sign Language with Toddlers:
- Hastens speech development
- Enables children to communicate their wants and needs effectively
- Lowers frustration levels
- Improves child and teacher bonding
- Helps children remember words because there is muscle memory involved, and the more senses involved in learning, the greater memory retention the child will have
- Improves attentiveness to social gestures of others as well as themselves
You can learn more about our American Sign Language Program.
Our Day at a Glance
When children arrive, they are greeted by their teachers and are encouraged to choose an engaging transitional activity. Children have morning snack together in a family style environment with their teachers at the table with them, promoting good table manners and socialization. After they eat snack, the children come together as a group for circle time.
During this group time, our teachers promote a topic of study through animated book reading, music and movement activities, the sharing of stories, and hands-on experiences. Children are always encouraged, but never forced to, participate in circle time activities and discussions.
Before choosing which learning center they want to explore and play in, teachers talk about the different curriculum-themed activities that are available in each area. Children are free to explore, question, create, and challenge themselves with guidance from their teachers. During this time, our teachers move throughout the learning centers interacting, playing, and scaffolding the children’s learning experiences.
In addition to indoor activities, the children have two opportunities each day (weather permitting) for outdoor experiences. Teachers bring the learning outside with games, observations of nature, and pretend play on our beautiful playground equipment.
Upon coming inside, we wash up and prepare for lunch. They start learning how to serve themselves using child-sized serving utensils and eat family style with their friends and teachers. After eating, children are encouraged to clear their things and use the bathroom before nap time. Teachers provide a calming and smooth transition as they find their way to their cots.
The afternoon is met with an afternoon snack, a reflective circle time to talk about what they did and learned that day, and a transition to outdoor play. Teachers will engage the children in afternoon activities again before they are picked up at the end of the day.
Children also focus on toilet training in the Flamingo program. Teachers encourage children to sit and attempt to use the toilet during regular diaper changing times. We recognize that each child participates in and completes the toilet training process at different paces and ages so a child will never be forced to sit on the toilet. All attempts and successes at using the toilet are logged into our daily reporting app, allowing families to keep track of their child’s progress.
Communication with Families
Facilitating communication between parents and our teachers is one of our top priorities. Daily, parents are given the chance to share pertinent information about their child, such as sleeping patterns, eating schedule, general disposition, and any current special considerations. Throughout the day, our teachers send pictures of our toddlers engaging in curriculum experiences and socializing with their peers using our communications app.
Families can download this app on their smart phone or receive the pictures through their email. At the end of the day, parents also receive a daily electronic report which includes their child’s activities, sensory experiences, art projects, and music and movement activities, as well as all meals and snacks, naps, and diapering or toileting notes.
Our schools hold Parent/Teacher Conferences twice each year, providing families with the opportunity to have a personal meeting with their child’s teacher to plan for their next steps in development within our program. For your convenience, a bulletin board is displayed outside of each classroom. On it, families can find the weekly curriculum calendar, menus, notices, and other important information.
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At EPC, our son is free to explore his interests in a supportive, open and beautiful space.