In the Twos classroom, we strive to build a positive social environment in which the children feel safe, nurtured, appreciated, and accepted. When children feel like they belong to a community, they gain self-confidence, which facilitates learning and problem solving. Comfortable in their classroom, the children are encouraged to follow their natural inclinations to create and explore.
During their Twos year, the children are taking important steps in their social development. They are beginning to transition into cooperative play with their peers. Their verbal skills are advancing significantly, and they begin to shift from asserting their needs physically to expressing themselves verbally. At this age, the children’s attention spans are also expanding, allowing them to play independently (without direct adult input) for longer periods of time, and increasing their capacity to sit in a group.
The Twos classroom is rich in the materials young children require to support this stage of physical, intellectual and emotional growth. The physical space in the classroom is divided into interest areas offering a range of choices – from quiet activities to opportunities for active engagement. Large and small blocks, cars and trains encourage developing motor skills. Role play is encouraged by the kitchen area, the play tools, dolls and dress-up clothes. Sensory tables support tactile awareness through the manipulation of materials such as sand, dried beans and seeds. Creativity can be explored with paints, crayons and playdough in the art area. Quiet time is supported in the library area, where books reflecting a current theme as well as year-round favorites are always available.
A Day in the Life
The children settle into their morning with the opportunity to engage in a directed table activity and/or supervised free play. Clean-up time allows the children to work cooperatively to tidy their play space, and reinforces their recognition of spatial organization by providing the opportunity to match toys with designated storage areas.
Morning Circle Time is the children’s chance to develop group awareness by recognizing which friends are present and absent. They begin to learn how to interact in a group, gradually developing their abilities to pay attention while others speak, as the teacher introduces a theme to explore, and taking turns contributing. Circle time begins very simply at the beginning of the year, becoming more complex as the children’s attention spans lengthen and their readiness to physically sit still develops.
Snack time gives the children an opportunity to recharge before heading outside (or to the gym) for an extended period of physical play, when they can use gross motor movement to run, jump, climb and slide.
The Twos finish their day back in the classroom with a teacher-directed art or music activity, followed by a brief Goodbye Circle to bring closure to their school day.