Room 16 is a joyful, busy group of 16 three year olds and 3 teachers. It’s often messy, active, loud and full of hugs and smiles. The children may not look like they are working hard, but their play is their work and they are working hard at their play. Teachers guide, support, and augment the learning going on by creating explorations, activities and group times that inspire and motivate children to want to learn and experiment.
A snapshot of the room would show 3 tables of activities that could include activities like painting, drawing, puzzles, dollhouses, and/or cutting and gluing. The big rug has building blocks, people, animals, cars and/or trains. The housekeeping area hosts all sorts of imaginative play that 3 year olds can create: a veterinary office, a restaurant, a nursery full of babies, or an office full of people on the phones! There’s a quiet area for books or looking out the window and of course, teacher laps and chairs for one-on-one time.
The routine of the day allows for busy and quiet times, snacks, lunch, rest/nap, and outside time in the morning and afternoon. We have music, Spanish, book time, dancing, and lots of bathrooming! When we can’t go outside because of inclement weather, we go upstairs to play in the big hall. At the end of the day, children are happy, tired, ready for that family love and usually hungry! They have had a day full of adventure and fun and need a good night’s sleep before school starts again tomorrow!
Here are some developmental milestones that we use to assess growth and development in Room 16. Remember, each child is unique and develops at their own special rate. All children go through more or less the same stages; they do it in different ways. Some will learn one new skill very quickly and seem slower at another. Some will seem to stand still with one area of development while they are concentrating on something else.
What is important is not how your child compares with others or with a standard for her age, but that she is moving forward at her own pace and that she is well and happy. Providing a caring, encouraging environment with opportunities to explore and try things is the best way for parents to provide the best development opportunities for your children.
Social and emotional development in Room 16
Children begin to:
- Be able to play cooperatively with other children in small groups and one-on-one.
- Learn about sharing and taking turns (but still cannot manage competitive games)
- Separate from adults more easily in familiar surroundings
- Become more independent and need less help from parents
- Show caring for other children who are distressed
- Be involved in make believe play from their own imaginations.
Motor development in Room 16
Children begin to be able to:
- Climb ladders and walk up and down stairs alternating feet
- Stand, walk and run on tiptoes
- Stand on one foot for several seconds
- Show improving skills in catching large balls.
- Run smoothly.
Daily activities in Room 16
Children usually begin to be able to:
- Eat neatly with a spoon and fork, most of the time. Take bites, chew and swallow and not stuff their mouths.
- Take off their outside clothes and hang them in the cubby; go get their outside clothes and put them on. They will still need help with the details but can manage more and more by themselves.
- Be reliable with toileting; they may still have ‘accidents’ when stressed, tired or if they ‘forget’ to go to the toilet.
- Enjoy helping at home with daily activities.
Speech and language in Room 16
Children usually begin to be able to:
- Speak in sentences of five to six words, and speak in complete sentences by age 4.
- Have a conversation of 2-4 exchanges
- Have speech that is clear enough for most people to understand most of what the child says.
- Enjoy listening to stories
- Answer simple questions
- Ask lots of questions
- Say his or her name and age
- Have a sense of humor