Teachers foster language development by singing and talking with children and encouraging them to babble and imitate sounds in response. They read children books and show them pictures, offering them the chance to reach and point to familiar images. Teachers also encourage children to respond to simple instructions such as “wave bye-bye” and “give the doll a hug.”
Teachers encourage math development by inviting children to beat on a drum, shake a shaker and tap a tambourine. They help children develop an understanding of object permanence by playing “peek-a-boo”. Teachers encourage children to begin to explore cause and effect by squeezing a toy until it squeaks. Children are offered the opportunity to pull objects in and out of bins and boxes to help them explore objects on their own.
Teachers encourage science and social studies development by assisting children in expanding their curiosity by reaching for objects, putting objects in their mouths and touching objects that are put in front of them. Children begin to recognize themselves and their families when teachers offer mirrors for exploration and pictures of familiar family members.
Teachers encourage the development of fine motor skills and gross motor skills by aiding children in developing control of their bodies. We begin with their heads and backs, using activities such as “tummy time”, and progress to their arms and legs as they reach for objects like rattles and small toys. Teachers encourage the beginning of eye-hand coordination by providing opportunities for children to use their hands to move small objects and stack blocks.
Teachers assist with the development of social skills by encouraging children to show an interest in objects and people around them. Teachers also provide activities in which children begin entertaining themselves for short periods of time.