The goals of a developmentally appropriate program for three year old children is to provide a warm, affectionate atmosphere where children will find support for their growing independence. Opportunities are provided for the children to develop self-help skills, providing assistance and guidance when needed.
Children in the third year of development are not quite comfortable with large group activities. Small group activities are planned for your child to gain confidence and practice social skills in a more relaxed environment. As a large part of socialization children will be encouraged to share, but it is recognized by staff members that sharing at this stage is still new and sometimes difficult for the child to accept. Sharing will be gently incorporated through “redirect”, and modeling.
Children will be given substantial amounts of uninterrupted self-selective time to practice and perfect skills, such as fine motor, cognitive, and social. All materials in the classroom and located on low shelves that are easily accessible for the child. Examples: beads for stringing, blocks for building (large and small), interlocking building sets, puzzles, books and dramatic play props. Items are added and sometimes removed from the classroom to continue to engage your child’s curiosity and stimulate their minds.
Art items such as washable markers, crayons, scissors and paper are freely available during self-selective time, understanding that art is creative expression and exploration of materials.
Three year olds enjoy talking, and talking holds greater importance for their development than listening. Language is encouraged by staff, frequently speaking clearly and individually to children. Activities encourage conversation by allowing children to explore their environment and exercise natural curiosity. Blocks, dramatic play props, simple science activities such as blowing bubbles, and planting seeds all encourage language development. Reading books extend development as well as finger plays, songs, poems, and nursery rhymes.
Outdoor activities are provided daily, weather permitting, and large motor activities are provided indoors in the event of inclement weather. Teachers provide assistance when requested, and always exercise close supervision to help prevent accidents.
A classroom computer with age appropriate software is available and encouraged for the children to use during self-selective time only. Jumpstart toddler is the software used most often with this age group. It is especially created to help the child gain computer confidence, plus discover the alphabet, numbers, shapes, and colors.