Children are encouraged to exercise their language skills throughout the day, especially during circle time. Answering simple questions, listening to stories, singing songs, and practicing finger plays stimulate both receptive and expressive language skills. In addition, in the group setting, children are constantly being exposed to new vocabulary and the meaning of words. They are encouraged to practice speaking with the goals of increasing vocabulary, stimulating listening skills, and improving clarity of speaking skills.
Social studies at age two consist of learning about the child’s immediate community. Families, community helpers, and school faculty and staff figure prominently. Teachers use felt story boards, books, and other toys and manipulatives to teach these principles.
Basic math concepts are introduced by counting, finger-plays, and identifying number concepts, such as counting the children at line-up time.
Children at this age are natural scientists, conducting their own experiments and discoveries. Our teachers facilitate this by encouraging the 2’s to be aware of science and how the results of their “experiments” impact the world around them. The sensory table is used to encourage science exploration. The use of sand, water and oatmeal present a tactile experience.
Art pulls concepts into the creative and concrete world of two year-old children. The use of various art media stimulates them to identify colors, sizes, and simple shapes. Through daily art experiences, children develop large and fine motor skills. Additionally, 2’s increase their attention span, creativity, initiative, involvement, participation, teamwork, and cooperation as they participate in art activities. Our teachers focus on the importance of the art process versus the art product.
Music is important to 2’s and is incorporated daily into lessons. Songs are used for every part of the day’s routines, such as clean up time, line up, counting, circle time and toilet practice. We have music once a week with our music teacher who provides lots of hands on music activities. The goal of the various music themes is to coordinate rhythm, memory, recall, dancing, creative movement, auditory discrimination, and music appreciation within the classroom activities.
Our 2’s have an informal introduction to foreign languages. Basic words, songs, and flannel boards are used to teach the children. The 2’s are included in our world culture studies and our Spanish classes.