The first three years of life are crucial in the development of a human being. The toddler’s power of absorption and pace of development is strong and rapid. This inspires the curriculum of the Toddler Community at Pramiti.
These years are when the framework of personality, language, movement and trust is developed. At Pramiti, the environment has been prepared to meet the needs of the toddler. The curriculum and the environment foster independence, psychomotor development, socio-emotionl learnin, skill building and application.
The adults establish a close and nurturing relationship with the child to develop trust and security. The programme aims at following the keen sense of order that the toddlers have and thus helps the child to orient and be comfortable in the environment. Learning happens through exploration, observation, interaction and experience.
The curriculum follows the natural pattern of learning of each toddler. It is divided into proficiency, thematic learning and experiential learning.
Language develops rapidly through continuous exposure and absorption. We present language through songs, stories, vocabulary enrichment exercises and conversation. The adult engages in conversation with the toddlers and that helps them develop their language skills.
The name lessons happen in varied ways from real objects in the community to miniatures and pictures. Children are presented with exercises in sound analysis that builds the base for recognising letters of the alphabet, their sounds, reading and spelling. They practise activities that build fine motor skills and form part of the pre writing activities or preparation for writing. The primary language of the community is English but the toddlers are exposed to other Indian languages through songs, stories and poems.
Development of gross motor skills in the community happens by providing ample opportunities for climbing, running, jumping, carrying relatively heavy objects and materials to and fro. Children spend enough time in the outdoors for play. Fine motor skills develop gradually and this is supported by providing manipulatives such as puzzles, threading activities and other activities related to craft. The activities support the development of co-ordiantion of the body and mind.
Toddlers always seek to explore and movement forms a major part of this exploration. The curriculum provides enough opportunities for children to explore movement by walking, running, jumping, balancing and also moving to music and singing with actions. The activities also provide opportunities to introduce the concept of spatial understanding by giving opportunities to move amongst obstruction or hurdles and in a limited space.
Care of Environment and Self
The curriculum supports development of independence and also the sense of responsibility towards one’s surroundings. This is done through exercises that develop the care for self by learning how to dress up, routine activities like eating, drinking, using the toilet and keeping oneself clean and tidy. The child develops a sense of ownership towards his environment and learns to take care of it in small ways like watering plants, sowing seeds, mopping, cleaning an area that is dirty. The toddler takes pride in setting the table for a meal time and also helping in preparing snacks by slicing fruits and the like for the community.
Science and Social Studies
Children experience Science and Social Studies in the form of thematic learning where they are taken through activities that are experiential in nature and related to a particular theme or topic. Children experience Science in their kitchen labs, nature walks, drama and through stories. Children observe carefully, interact with their environments and are thereby introduced to phenomena like weather, animal and plant life. Activities like gardening helps them not only develop motor skills but also help them experience Science in various ways.
Toddlers experience numbers in the form of relating numbers to quantity by counting things around them and what they can relate to in their daily lives. They learn how to count and place in order and sequence. They also learn to relate to the meaning of words like more, less, big, small, thick, thin and other properties. Experiences in recognising shapes in two and three dimensions help them to develop skills related to Geometry and measurements. The toddlers experience Math around them be it in their kitchen labs, during play or while performing simple experiments.
The most important ways of learning in a joyful way is through Art. Toddlers listen to varied forms of music and songs in several languages. They gradually repeat these songs and develop a keen sense to rhythm, tune and lyrics. The toddlers are given varied media like paint and crayons to explore and art is treated as a form of expression. This form of expression comes out best when it is uninterrupted and self directed. The toddlers explore in various forms with paper, clay and sand to name a few. They experience drama through role play, puppetry and story telling.
The most important aspect of the curriculum of the Toddler’s Community at Pramiti is the close interaction that happens with Nature during a large part of the toddler’s time in the community. Nature walks, exploration of the “Green Patch”, working in the outdoors and play are a few examples of the opportunities that are provided to toddlers.
Additionally, the toddlers are exposed to culture and tradition by celebration of festivals in the community, taste of varieties of cuisine through the food plan and the interaction that they unconsciously engage in with people from diverse communities and culture.