Infant and Toddler Program
Inspiring Our Youngest Learners
The Infant Program at Shaker Road School welcomes children ages 12 weeks to 12 months of age. With a maximum classroom size of 9 children, and 3 faculty members present at all times, children are given personalized care and attention each day. Our youngest students set their own schedules and teachers are happy to allow children to rest, play, and eat when needed.
The Toddler 1 Program welcomes children ages 12 month to 24 months of age, with a maximum classroom size of 15 children and 3 faculty members. Daily routines are in place to help develop stability and consistency. The Toddler 2 Program welcomes children 24 months to 36 months of age. This classroom of 18 children is supported by 3 educators. Like the toddler 1 classroom, this classroom offers routine and predictability. As children begin to show signs of readiness, the toddler teaching team will work with children to become toilet trained, a prerequisite for the Pre-Kindergarten program at Shaker Road School.
Teachers craft and follow a curriculum each week to ensure that children are stimulated and meeting developmental milestones with a focus on language, self-help skills, cognitive, social emotional, fine and gross motor skills. A multi-sensory approach allows the classroom experience to be interactive and fun, allowing children of varied ages to explore in a safe place. Strong communication between teachers and parents occurs on a daily basis both at drop off and pick up.
Music and Movement
Music is incorporated into the Infant and Toddler Program on a daily basis. In addition to a weekly music class with the SRS music instructor, children will hear music in the classroom each day and practice movement and corresponding finger play with teachers. Music plays an important role in language development and helps to ease transitions for young children.
Language and American Sign Language
Language development and communication skills are crucial for even the youngest children. Through casual conversation and more formalized lessons, infants are exposed to words and phrases to begin to learn how to communicate their needs. The Toddler Program encourages children to use sign language and words to communicate. The teachers model sounds and words through story time, songs, and dramatic play.
Gross and Fine Motor Skills
The development of gross and fine motor skills is dependent on the age of the child. Teachers encourage our youngest infants to build muscles to assist them in rolling over, and older children to gain strength and confidence in learning to walk–first assisted and then on their own.
Fine motor development will also occur at an age-appropriate pace. Youngest children will build fine motor skills through grasping links, keys, and blocks. Older infants are encouraged to manipulate objects, such as transferring blocks from one hand to another and experimenting with stacking blocks. Toddlers learn to run, jump, climb, and balance through play and exploration. Fine motor activities include puzzles, coloring, painting, lacing, and modeling with Play-Doh.
Social and Emotional
Social and emotional development is a key area of focus for our youngest learners. Being surrounded by children of similar age, infants learn to interact with their peers. In addition, they begin to recognize familiar faces (self, family, caretakers) and respond appropriately.
On a daily basis, infants and toddlers are exposed to a variety of new textures, temperatures, sounds, and smells. Young infants investigate new toys by placing them in their mouths while older children manipulate toys and enjoy the varied reactions they receive as they touch, crunch, and hold various toys and materials. Sensory play occurs inside and outside the classroom and can be as simple as allowing children to feel grass on their hands and feet or using ice cubes to paint on paper.
The Infant and Toddler Program exposes children to learning inside and outside the classroom. Infants and toddlers take advantage of the entire SRS campus on a daily basis, taking walks in the stroller through the nature trails, playing on the playground, and visiting the greenhouse.