Toddler Learning And What Happens In A High-Quality Early Childhood Classroom

Posted on: 2 May 2022

What happens in a toddler learning program? You're ready to enroll your two-year-old in their first educational experience, but you're not sure what they'll do all day. Take a look at what parents need to know about the early childhood environment, activities, and toddler development.

Toddlers Engage In Hands-On Activities

There's no sitting back and watching the teacher lecture in a toddler's early childhood classroom. Instead of passive pursuits, toddlers engage in hands-on activities. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), children (including toddlers) learn best when they explore their world and problem-solve by using their five senses. Through sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch, toddlers can create connections, grow, and develop new skills. 

The specific hands-on activities that happen in a toddler classroom may vary by school or program. Some programs focus on the arts and creative content, while others may devote more time to learning basic academic concepts (such as math and early literacy) through the use of educational toys/manipulatives. To learn more about the types of hands-on activities a center uses, talk to your child's future teacher or the program's director.

Toddlers Interact With Other People

Your toddler is ready to develop social skills. While they may still engage in parallel play (playing next to and not directly with other children), they can learn through person-to-person interactions. The early childhood classroom is filled with opportunities to communicate and connect with others. A caring teacher-toddler relationship provides your child with the chance to develop speech and language skills, learn about social cues, and build abilities that they will use in preschool, kindergarten, and for the rest of their life.

Toddlers Build A Foundation for Future Learning

Will your toddler master math or start reading books by themselves in the early childhood environment? It's not likely that your young child will develop the higher-level academic skills that you would expect to see in a grade-schooler. But this doesn't mean the hands-on activities your child engages in are nothing but a placeholder type of play.

Play in the toddler classroom is a way of building a foundation for future learning. Think of what your child does in daycare as the building blocks of future school success. Whether your child builds general abilities (such as problem-solving skills) or works on a specific subject area (such as art or science), the early childhood setting is the first stop on the road to your toddler's education. 

For more information, contact a local kindergarten program provider.