Little Pandas, 2 to 3 years
Children's fine motor skills continue to develop and they enjoy making marks, using a variety of materials, looking at picture books and listening to stories, important steps in literacy. Self-help and independence soon emerge if adults support and encourage children in areas such as eating, dressing and toileting. Praise for new achievements helps to build their self-esteem. In this phase, children's language is developing rapidly and many are beginning to put sentences together. Joining in conversations with children is an important way for children to learn new things and to begin to think about past, present and future. Developing physical skills mean that children can now usually walk, climb and run, and join in active play with other children. This is an important time for learning about dangers and safe limits.
The indoor environment contains resources which are age appropriate, well maintained and accessible for all children in the Little Pandas room. The outdoor environment offers the children opportunities for doing things in different ways and on different scales than when indoors.
Learning and Development
The activities and resources in this age group reflect the following themes:
• Large Movement Area - To encourage posture and large movements
• Small Movement Play - To encourage vision, fine movements and imagination
• Home Corner - To encourage speech, social and listening skills by the use of dolls, teddies and simple everyday objects.
• Messy Play - To encourage fine motor skills and creative exploration of objects using all the senses.
• Sensory Play and Discovery Bags - To encourage all aspects of sensory development, exploring objects, developing attention and concentration, hand-eye co-ordination and making simple preferences, choices and begin to assign words and attributes to objects
• Family Books - To encourage a child's own self esteem, positive self image and links between home and nursery.
• Book Play - To encourage an early love of books and developing language by sharing them with a caring adult.
• Sand and Water Play - To encourage exploration of objects using a child-focused approach.
• Language Resources and Programmes - Using language games and resources to focus in on the children's language skills, such as rhymes and songs to enhance the children's communication skills raising their self esteem, confidence and social skills with others.
• Physical Programme - Every environment indoors and out has a place for children to be active or rest and reflect.