There are many ways in making a toddler class more fun, exciting and well.. less chaotic. I have my checklist set for the upcoming school year:
Cover all outlets. Keep wires out of reach. Baby-proof. These are obvious. But more importantly, a toddler needs to feel at home in the classroom. The room should be cozy with just enough space for playing and doing activities. It should also be properly decorated, playful and inviting. I love framing old artworks of children and painting window glasses with poster paint. Kids also feel at home when they see their works posted all over. This gives them a sense of ownership.
I need to build up my endurance to be able to keep up with these little balls of energy. The lunging and squats are so I can bend / kneel down easily without straining a muscle. hehe
Researching new arts and crafts techniques is a good way for me to spend my free time. Toddlers have a short attention span than older children. So, I must always have something prepared for them to busy themselves.
I also enjoy experimenting, like trying out different media for painting. Using small toy cars dipped in paint, to learn the color blue, was a big hit among the toddlers last Summer Camp! They actually stayed in their seat for this one.
Vocabulary building plays a major role in development. This can be achieved through story telling and of course talking. It's an advantage that I am chatty and not easily embarrassed when ignored by a child. Yes, toddlers (and sometimes older kids too) will often ignore you while their engaged in something. But it doesn't mean they can't hear you.
Parents often say that their 2 year old does not know how to share, especially with new friends. While it is important that we encourage them to play nicely by sharing, we also have to understand their point of view. Let's put it this way: Say you bought a new car, are you going to give or share this new car with a person you barely know?
When your tot doesn't share, it doesn't mean he's being selfish. He is just acting his age. What to do then? TEACH BY EXAMPLE. For instance, when sharing a meal, give him some of your food and use the word "share" to describe your action. During group play, I like putting out a new toy and let them take turns with it.
"Don't cry over spilled milk," literally and figuratively. It is best to always stay positive and keep smiling!
*Childstart White Plains Toddler Class / Jr. Nursery level is from ages 1.5 to 3.5