In this term paper I will explore infant and toddler curriculum. I will discuss: the developmental themes in infancy, infant toddler curriculum, and the differences between preschool curriculum and appropriate infant toddler curriculum. In conclusion I will share some of my personal feelings about infant and toddler curriculum, including the challenges and rewards. Developmental Themes of Infancy
‘The behaviors and abilities that develop during each stage are influenced by the theme that consumes that stage (Blackboard, 2013).” The three themes of infant development are: security (Young Birth to 8 months); exploration (Mobile 6 months-18 months); and identity (Toddler 15 months to 36 months). During the security stage young infants need to develop relationship with caring adult’s that ensure them they are safe and secure. In the mobile stage young children should be provided the freedom to explore their surroundings utilizing their newly developed gross and fine motor skills. During the toddler stage young children are in search of who they are as individuals in the world around them.
“Developmental domains are one way to describe and think about the different aspects of development in the areas of: emotional; physical, social, cognitive; and language skills of young children. And while we use the domains as a way to organize our thinking and observations of children, in reality all domains are function together simultaneously, especially in the first three years of life. This holistic development is separated into the developmental domains for the purpose of observation, study, developmental assessment, and planning (Blackboard, 2013).” Therefore, it is important to understand how the developmental domains relate to the three themes of infant development; in order to provide DAP care and activities for children in each stage of early childhood development. For instance, an understanding of the young infant stage, babies develop a sense of security from their caregivers. It is this sense of security, that allows the baby to build an urge to explore, later motivating them to take risks and advance their current knowledge of their environment. This may require removing all sharp objects from the area and covering electrical outlets and ensuring. However, prepping the room for child safety is not the only concern. It is imperative to play close attention, and respond to the needs of young infants. “Very young children need adults who listen, smile, and talk with them or babble when they babble; watch for when they need quiet and solitude; and notice and communicate pleasure over such newfound skills as creeping, climbing, holding, dropping, or adding new sounds and words (Greenman, Stonehouse, and Schweikert, 2008, pg.61).” An understanding of the mobile stage of development will make one aware of the safety precautions needed to allow mobile toddlers to explore the environment. Mobile infants often explore by mouthing and must be protected from small parts and fragile toys. In addition a rich learning environment for mobile infants should include safe structures to climb and explore. “Moving around is essential to learning; it gives babies different perspective and vantage points, which they need in order to move from an entirely egocentric view of space toward a more sophisticated sense of relationship between self, space, and other people (Greenman, Stonehouse, and Schweikert, 2008, pg.53).” An understanding of the toddler stage of development enables caring adults to guide and assist young children’s emotional development. The first two years of a person’s life can set the foundation for the way they create relationships, view others, and understand emotions and how to control them. “A toddler’s sense of self, of I and me, emerge in a group environment and a culture which private property and the acquisition of things are somewhat scared. This makes the learning of related concepts like mine...
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