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Children progress through stages in their development.
They:
  1. Develop a sense of self and of belonging to a family (infants and toddlers)
    • Use mirrors for children to see themselves
    • Plan activities that a child can complete by him or her self (dev. appropriate)
    • Post family pictures
    • Encourage the young child to talk about his/her family
    • Ask the child their preferences and likes and dislikes
    • Use the child's name often
    • Be nurturing and supportive
    • Help each child create a mobile about themselves
    • Trace the child's body and let them decorate it
    • Use emotion picture cards and discuss feelings
    • In a small group setting show a picture of the child which is coverd by a piece of paper with holes cut in it - all guess whose picture it is
  2. Develop trust
    • Speak to each child as he/she arrives
    • Create a warm, welcoming, nurturing environment
    • Follow through on promises
    • Talk about yourself and listen as the child talks about him/her self
    • If you have the children wear name tags for a few days, you wear one, too, and let the child help create his/her tag
    • Accept all of the child's efforts to learn and create
  3. Learn to separate from their parents
    • Encourage the parent to stay for a while and play with their child if needed
    • Post family pictures
    • Provide a child-sized environment
    • Provide interesting activities geared to the age and development of the child
    • Listen when the child talks about his/her family
  4. Watch other children play from a distance
  5. Play near other children but not with them
  6. Play with other children
    • Plan activities which encourage interaction such as passing a beanbag
    • Use name songs to help children get to know each other
    • Use prop boxes to get a small group dramatic play activity going
    • Place a variety of materials on the manipulative shelves
    • Plan some small group activities that call for partners
    • Set up some games for 2 to play
  7. Share and take turns
    • Plan art activities where glue, scissors, etc. must be shared
    • Use activites from the Second Step curriculum and the Kindness Curriculum book
    • Encourage the child to talk about his/her feelings when others will not share or are rough
    • Play games that require turn-taking like bean bag tossing or games with a spinner
  8. State opinions and desires
    • Encourage the child to verbalize his/her needs
    • Do graphing and dictation activities
    • Use feelings cards
    • Asks the child's opinion often
    • After reading a story to the child, ask his/her opinion of events or characters in the story
    • Discuss real life situations - ask the child's opinion about what should be done
    • Use the Talking About Touching curriculum to help the child understand about good and bad touches and what to do about them
    • ONLINE ACTIVITY: Use the story starters from our Young Writers Workshop to stimulate thinking and expression of opinions.
  9. Use words to solve conflicts and develop control of emotions
    • Encourage talking about feelings when another child pushes, is rough, or messes up a project the child is working on
    • Use situation pictures and ask the child how he/she would solve the situation (ex. Your family is going to the store and you can spend the dollar you have or save it for the zoo next week. What will you do?)
    • Help the child remember to use their words when situations arise
    • Play games using a loud and then a quiet voice
    • Try to be close by when there is a problem situation - do not intervene unless it becomes necessary
    • Use activities from our resource books which build a cooperative spirit (The Peaceful Classroom and The Kindness Curriculum and Making it Better) and contain many empathy building activities
    • Be sure each child has their own space to keep their things
    • Have a quiet area where a child can go to be alone and regain control of their emotions (by choice)
    • Have a group meeting to set up the rules of the classroom and the consequences for breaking the rules (ex. if you lean back on 2 legs of your chair, it will tip over and you may get hurt; if 2 children want the same toy and fight over it, the toy may have to go to Time Out)
    • Read a story to the child and let him/her paint a picture of their feelings about it
    • ONLINE ACTIVITY: Story starters from our Young Writers Workshop can also be used to learn problem solving.
  10. Engage in situational or dramatic play
    • Set up a prop box in a learning center and invite the child to pretend play
    • Involve the child in play in the housekeeping center
    • Engage the child in some simple small group games
    • Set up a puppet show and invite the child to play with one or two others
    • Give three children an invitation to a party at your table and slowly disengage as they begin to interact successfully
  11. Learn that it is okay to make a mistake
    • When a child makes a mistake always encourage them to try again - do not scold them or belittle them
    • When you make a mistake let the children know about it
    • Give hugs and encouragement and notice when a child is trying hard to succeed
    • Offer plenty of activities at which the child can succeed
    • Be willing to listen and console if needed
  12. Develop confidence and self-respect
    • Succeeding and learning that you can make a mistake and try again build a child's self-confidence
    • Accept each child for who he/she is and where he/she is in their development
    • Have plenty of materials in the classroom that the child can do easily
    • Have some materials which are slightly difficult for the child and challenge him/her to extend their capabilities
    • Offer new and interesting experiences which make them curious to learn more (ex. read Chicka-Chicka Boom Boom and then set out a tree form and paper mache to make a coconut tree)
    • Ask questions about the child's projects and show interest - this will build their pride in their own accomplishments
  13. Develop respect for others and feelings of empathy
    • use the Second Step curriculum - it's full of cooperative activities
    • use emotions cards and have children talk about their feelings
    • use play costumes and have the child pretend to be someone else and share his/her feelings as that peson
    • set up activities which require sharing materials
    • have 2 children easel paint together with their arms tied at the elbow with a soft bandana - the laughter will be contagious
    • have a group meeting to set up the rules of the classroom and the consequences for breaking the rules (ex. if you lean back on 2 legs of your chair, it will tip over and you may get hurt; if 2 children want the same toy and fight over it, the toy may have to go to Time Out)
    • use activities from our resource books which build a cooperative spirit (The Peaceful Classroom and The Kindness Curriculum and Making it Better) and contain many empathy building activities
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1998, 2005, 2015 Susan Jindrich. All rights reserved. Revised 8/19/2015