As any parent of a young toddler knows, they are fully on the move. They’re crawling at full speed, taking their first wobbly steps or learning to run sure-footedly. And because of these new skills, 1 to 2 year olds are less likely to sit patiently through any type of activity. But at My Little Conservatory, we design our music class for 1-2 year olds so that it meets the needs of young toddlers rather than trying to get them to do something they are not ready to do. Here’s what makes our Level 1 class perfect young toddlers.
Twirl, wiggle and dance! Young toddlers want to move, so we let them. By being free to move around class and grove to the music, they get to develop muscles in their little bodies that they need to walk. Allowing them to dance and move also helps them feel the music and beat in their bodies. No matter if they are a crawler or a walker, they also learn how to control their little bodies. Through start and stop play with the instruments and scarves, they improve their large motor skills.
Let them take baby steps toward independence. While there is ample time to bond during class, it’s also a safe place for them to learn how to doing more things on their own. They get to move their little bodies on their own. They get their instruments to play, rather than having you get it for them. And during story time, they get to sit on the blanket on their own without you. Of course you’re still close by and can guide them when necessary, but it allows them to discover and learn how to do things on their own in a safe environment.
Now that they’re on the move and more interactive, we can speed up the pace of the class. Young toddlers are okay with doing more activities during class time. We can switch between more activities to better engage them while they still have shorter attention spans.
Young toddlers thrive on routine. They love to be able to know and predict what will come next. It helps them feel safe. And the safer they feel, the better they can focus on learning, playing, and exploring the class. But not to worry, we won’t be doing the exact same things each class. Activity types will just be in a similar pattern. This lets the children have the security in knowing that after playing instruments, for example, comes storytime. As they learn the routine, you’ll see that they become more comfortable in trying new things in class.
Written by Amelia Vitarelli, owner and educator of My Little Conservatory in San Jose, CA. Amelia has been enriching the lives of children in Silicon Valley for over 20 years.