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Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers

by Margie Carter
January/February 2002
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/curriculum-for-infants-and-toddlers/5014327/

Whenever I work with infant and toddler caregivers, I hear stories of how foolish they feel planning a curriculum for babies. Curriculum is a school word and obviously, our very youngest children don't need to be in school settings, but rather, home-like environments. How might this home-like context reshape our idea of curriculum? Certainly there are interesting activities we can offer babies, contributing to their brain development and learning, but I believe that building relationships is our primary curriculum with infants and toddlers. In that back and forth dance of reading cues with their caregivers, babies begin to get a sense of who they are, who they can trust, and what is valued and possible in their world. This is curriculum far more significant than the name of some song we write down in a box on a schedule.

Whether changing a diaper, offering food, or playing peek-a-boo, each ordinary exchange with a baby is helping answer fundamental questions for this stage of life:

n Is the world a safe place?
n Will my needs be met?
n Am I a successful communicator?
n How can I get my message across?
n Will you accept my uncensored feelings?

I think of these issues as our curriculum themes with infants and toddlers. And though ...

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