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Our job at Open Arms is to teach the “whole child” starting with the little bitty baby to the older toddler to the full-day kindergarten child and beyond. Development in the early years is so important because children’s brains are still developing and changing. We are here to provide your two-year-old with a safe, loving, clean, age appropriate environment where they can feel free to express their feelings and explore. We involve your two-year-old in activities that concern them, for example; in looking for toys, eating, feeding, diapering/pottying and using language to communicate.
Child Development/Brain Research
Children develop in four areas and at Open Arms we believe there is a 5th area of development. The areas are:
1. social/emotional development
2. physical development
3. cognitive development
4. language development
5. spiritual development.
Through positive interactions, your two-year-old will move from dependence to independence in many areas. The teachers show much patience and love as they help the twos move from task to task. Through these positive interactions, your two-year-old and our teachers will build a relationship built on trust, which will create an appropriate environment where learning and growth will happen each day.
Two-year-olds need room to perfect their independence. At Open Arms we provide a safe and clean area where they can walk, climb, run, jump, and play. We have a gymnasium for indoor play and a fenced in playground for gross motor development. We also sit on the floor and encourage fine motor development by working with the twos to build towers, play with puzzles, manipulate blocks and experiment with art mediums.
At Open Arms we provide a consistent and predictable environment. We have a schedule hanging in the room to inform the parents of what happens throughout the day. The children also learn that schedule. Our teachers communicate through words and actions. We use theme units to teach about animals, space, the ocean and so on. Each day your child will have calendar and weather time, stories, sensory play, art and jobs. We help teach responsibility through each child receiving a job for the week. We take time to celebrate special occasions, holidays and birthdays. Once per week your child will have Spanish class and they will also be able to visit our school library for story-time. Our curriculum encompasses all areas of development and is age-appropriate for your two-year-old.
Language development is a major milestone for children during their first three years of life. They progress from communicating needs through facial expressions, gestures, body movements and crying to communicating through verbal or sign language. At Open Arms we talk to the children, we sing and play music, we read lots of books and we have a variety of pictures displayed throughout the room to help promote language skills. By communicating with the twos and building on the communication efforts which started in the infant and toddler rooms, we are teaching the children the meaning of words through repetition and actions. At this time, speech is about 65-70% intelligible and they can use fifty to three hundred different words. At this age the children are very curious and they are continually asking, “What’s that?” Our teachers are here to help answer those questions and to build on the language development from day-to-day.
At Open Arms we respect each child as a unique individual created by God. In the two-year-old class we have a formal Bible curriculum called Voyages, used to teach Bible stories, songs and prayers. The twos will attend a weekly chapel service in the church where they will hear a message, sing, and pray with Pastor or the Director of Open Arms. We incorporate Bible teachings into prayers before snack and lunch; story-time and learning about various themes for example: Noah’s Ark and the story of creation as two examples.
At Open Arms, our teachers always strive to show God’s love in their words and actions.