The Playgroup - 2 to 3 years old
Two-year-olds are at an “in-between” age in early childhood education. This is an exciting developmental stage where a child is trying out new ideas, exploring his or her surroundings, and finding possible solutions to problems, but all awhile staying close to a parent or teacher as the child needs base of support and trust. Our playgroup program provides many opportunities that teaches a child on how to manage conflicting feelings of separation—the “push-pull” between the pleasures of oneness with the parent along with the exhilaration of growing independent. By understanding the cognitive, social/emotional, and physical developments of this age group, our teachers are equipped to instill positive attitudes and motivation, to teach strong basic learning skills, to introduce a wide variety of disciplines, to foster early social skills and to inspire in children the love of learning.
Learning through play and having an adult acknowledge the child’s success are the basis for a child to flourish socially and emotionally. Play enables a child to feel good about him or herself and supports a child’s willingness to persist at a task. The classroom’s environment and daily activities are specifically designed to help a child’s growth from rudimentary stages of exploration to subsequent mastery of various skills. With the emphasis on “play and autonomy,” each child will express his or her feelings safely and honestly and will be given opportunities to take more responsibility for self. Students will engage in cognitive activities, such as figuring out how to make a block structure, deciding which items to paste on a collage, selecting colours for a painting, making a grocery list, seeing “what happens when…,” working out the rules to a game, looking in a mirror, playing with dolls or toy animals, talking on the telephone, and many more.
While most 2-year olds are interested in other children, parallel play (side-by-side, solitary play within the same space as another child) is common for this age group. Being focused on their own needs rather than the needs of others is exactly where 2-year-olds are supposed to be in their development of social and emotional skills. Students are given multiple activities to exercise their assertiveness and independence; at the same time our teachers impart kindness, sharing, and fairness into the daily curriculum. A child’s social development will be enhanced by play experiences that include opportunities to take turns, cooperate together, and work out problems without adult interference.