Hello again from the Toddler 4 classroom!
Another month has come and gone. Oh, where does the time go? Speaking of time flying by, some of our friends have had birthdays this past month. Happy birthday to our friends!
We are so grateful to have had our mothers come and be celebrated on Mother's Day by coming to our “Tea and Tulips Party.” It was so much fun. I loved being able to see how excited they were to have you come.
We have been working on many things this past month. One of the most important things we have been working on is perfecting and expanding our language skills so that we may learn to self-regulate. Knowing how to express oneself emotionally and be heard is a huge need for any toddler, so learning the words to use and how to execute them is crucial. One of the ways we do this is to play a game called “Let me see your (insert expression) face!” We do this not only at circle time as a group but throughout the day as needed. So, for example, if a child is upset, I would approach him/her and say, “I see that you’re crying. Are you mad or sad? Let’s go to the mirror so you can see your face so that you can answer me.” The child would then see his/herself crying and be able to correlate the word for the emotion to their own action. Once the child has calmed down, I would ask to see his/her happy faces to help the child understand that correlation and to set up the transition back into a normal state of mind.
According to Rosanbalm and Murray, “Self-regulation skills and capacity change considerably over the first five years of life, based in part on cognitive and motor skill development. Here are examples of self-regulation skills that children might be ready for…in toddlerhood:
· Focusing attention for short periods
· Adjusting behavior to achieve goals
· Beginning to label feelings
· Briefly delaying gratification
· Turning to adults for help with strong feelings
“Toddlers are beginning to build motor and language skills that allow them to control some aspects of their environment, like moving away from a loud noise or asking for something to eat. They continue to have strong emotions that far outweigh these emerging skills, however. In this developmental period, caregivers can begin to purposely teach and model skills like waiting (i.e., brief delay of gratification) and using simple words to communicate feelings and needs. Adults are still largely responsible for structuring a safe and manageable environment, as well as for providing comfort and reassurance when toddlers are upset.”
Rosanbalm, K.D., & Murray, D.W. (2017). Promoting Self-Regulation in Early Childhood: A Practice Brief. OPRE Brief #2017-79. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, US. Department of Health and Human Services.