It’s been an epic week in the Toddler 1s class with a curriculum that has lit a fire of interest (pun intended) in the minds of our youngest Seeds. They’ve been exploring vehicles and have had guest visitors pull their large machines into the playground for a close-up experience. A family Jeep and a Kubota tractor/truck kicked off the study with opportunities to climb in and on the vehicles. Their focus this week shifted to fire trucks and safety activities that go with them. Although a fire truck visit is still in the works, they kept themselves busy doing fire fighter jobs.
With toddlers decked out in miniature fire fighter gear, they simulated putting out a fire. The “fire,” a red scarf suspended on an overhead wire, received a heavy stream of water, sprayed by a brave toddler with teacher assistance. Another day, toddlers experienced “sliding down the fire station pole,” which amounted to climbing up a ladder assisted by a teacher, then helped to slide down a pole on the playground and land on soft mats below.
Back in the classroom, they learned about “stop, drop, roll.” Their teacher taped a laminated card of each move on the carpet. With a fire truck song as a backdrop, toddlers practiced each move in the sequence (sometimes adding a bit of dancing before dropping to the floor). Photos of fire trucks and other fire fighter equipment were also taped to the carpet, giving the children lots of invitations to add new words to their vocabularies.
It’s an exciting time of year for all learners at the Seed. Preschoolers in several classes are making presentations on exotic creatures from the Arctic to the Amazon. Kindergarteners have honed their money skills to make purchases at their annual market. Gardeners are excitedly enjoying their harvests as they learn about the seed cycle in plants.
Toddlers are no exception to this trend. Their vocabularies are bursting with new words during the spring season of blooming. One reason this happens is the intentionality with which their days are planned. Their days are full of invitations to explore and learn. Another reason is the kindness and love each of our littlest Seeds receives. Their relationships with their teachers give them a feeling of safety that in turn allows them to be curious, take affordable risks, and try new things. It’s the foundation upon which their whole Seed career rests, and their entire lives, in some respects. While the rest of the world has focused on navigating the challenges of the pandemic, our toddlers have had a sweet, lively year together—learning, growing, and happily finding their voices. It’ll be delightful to hear them share what they’ve learned. Hopefully, they’ll never have to put “stop, drop, roll” into to practice…but you never know. Our toddlers will be ready.