Independence is important to the children in Chatter Bugs and Lively Learners. Children at this age want to attempt and complete as many tasks as they can independently. Due to this drive for independence, two year olds tend to get frustrated frequently and expend a lot of energy learning how to identify and cope with their feelings. Empathy, to recognize a person in need of comfort and to have the ability to offer another comfort, develops at this age. Children at this age are beginning to experiment with cause and effect as they work through how their choices affect others.
Two year olds change developmentally in a dramatic way in just one year and learn so many new skills like potty training, conversational language skills, playing with peers, sharing, the beginning of problem solving, gross motor skills and more. Small and large group times are incorporated in their daily schedule to prepare them for the preschool classrooms. Introduction to letters and numbers as well as other basic concepts advance their active learning. This age in particular is a sponge for new information and continually amazes adults with their ability to learn.
Communication typically grows by leaps and bounds from 2-3 years old. Often there is a language explosion and the children exercise their new found ability to communicate continually. The children love to be read to which further stimulates vocabulary and word usage. There are times children this age become frustrated by their inability to express themselves, particularly their emotions. Teachers encourage and acknowledge children’s emotions and allow them the opportunity to feel comfortable in being angry, frustrated or overwhelmed.
Toilet training is a huge part of learning in this age group as well. It is a great time to teach body basics, assist them in gaining control of their body and becoming more autonomous. We teach this skill in a non-threatening manner and encourage the children as they become ready to toilet train. It often becomes a social experience as well as a goal of independence.