Moving from Village to Our Time
The 1 1/2-year-old is beginning to exhibit some of the following characteristics:
- Improved walking skills, feet are together, knees flexible (vs. the “new
walker” who has a wide-based, legs-apart gait with locked knees).
- Beginning to imitate/explore a variety of traveling movements — run, jump, leap.
- Can walk up stairs while holding onto rail or hand.
- Uses gestures and language to deal with frustration (as opposed to just crying or whining).
- Sustains interest and attention in activity for several minutes. (Note: not wanting to give something up [egg shaker, scarf, etc.] can be a sign of maturation.)
- Reliably points to correctly identified body parts.
- Can follow two-step direction. “Come get a scarf, and take it back to Mommy.”
- Understands what “one” means (vs. a handful).
- Learning to use toys and objects in symbolic ways (moving beyond just enjoyment of sensory properties).
- Moving beyond play schemes of mouthing, throwing and dumping. Actions becoming purposeful and integrated.
- Can interact in a directed activity.
- Able to shift attention with transition.
- Connects to an activity. Initiates a play sequence with caregiver.
- Reliably responds to own name (refers to self by name in secure environments).
- Can express wants and needs symbolically (gestures, words).
- Has vocabulary of 20 words. Receptive language is still stronger than
- Reading with caregiver becomes cooperative. Child will select book, sit, turn pages, relate to the story and interact.
- Interested in what other children are doing.
- Capable of distal communication (i.e., following verbal instructions from further away).
- Moves to music, perhaps to steady beat.
- Responds to rhymes and songs, recognizes familiar ones.
Moving from Our Time to Imagine That!
While the 3-year-old is becoming independent and using language to express wishes and needs (and therefore able to function well without parent or caregiver), keep in mind that there is plenty of time to securely support this emerging independence. Too much in our society forces independence too soon and too fast. Let Kindermusik be the place where flexibility and the needs of the whole family are respected. The 3-year-old is beginning to exhibit some of the following characteristics:
- Has a taller, thinner, adult-like appearance.
- Balances on one foot, jumps in place without falling.
- Holds crayons in pincer grasp rather than in fist.
- Recognizes needs of another person, can be empathetic.
- Is feeling more secure in group settings.
- Is developing humor.
- Knows if they are a boy or a girl.
- Can do simple matching games.
- Can name lots of animals.
- Recognizes basic shapes like triangle, circle, square; basic colors like red, yellow, blue.
- Is developing divergent thinking skills (“What animals do you like?”).
- Is beginning a transition from concrete to abstract thinking (humor aids this process).
- Is developing a longer attention span.
- Is beginning to master rules of language: speaks in a full sentence (4-5 words), asks questions.
- Is extending vocabulary, growing from 300-1,000 words.
- Can relate a series of activities, tells stories (“We went to the grocery store, and then to Grandma’s and I played with the kittens …”).
- Loves silly and nonsense words.
- Recognizes needs of another person.
- Takes turns with less difficulty and beginning to understand reasons.
- Learning about patience.
- Is starting to develop friendships.
- Can recite simple rhymes.
- Sings simple, whole songs.
A 3-year-old who exhibits only two or three of the above characteristics may function better and derive more pleasure from a semester in Our Time. Be flexible!
Note: Remember that children frequently regress in behavior in one area when a new milestone is achieved in another!
Moving from Imagine That! to Young Child
The 5-year-old child is beginning to exhibit some of the following characteristics:
- Can jump forward many times in a row, hops, gallops, is learning to skip.
- Exhibits spatial awareness of own body in social setting.
- Demonstrates control of pencil or marker.
- Can reproduce many shapes and letters.
- Hand dominance is evident.
- Developing impulse control (self-control).
- Exhibits self-confidence and reliability.
- Growing sense of right and wrong is growing.
- Beginning to see things from another’s perspective.
- Eager to learn.
- Has developed classification skills (e.g., can sort things that have a single common feature) and can sort by size, color, and form.
- Counts to 20, recognizes numerals 1-10.
- Problem solves.
- Follows directions.
- Engages in dramatic play that is close to reality.
- Beginning to relate time to events (can wait for and anticipate events).
- Responds to simple three-step directions.
- Identifies at least four colors.
- Developing speech which is nearly 100% intelligible (exceptions may
include children with hearing and language delays).
- Uses grammar correctly (e.g., past and future tense).
- Produces fairly elaborate sentence structures (approximately 5-7 words in length).
- Can tell a familiar story.
- Uses voice expressively.
- Enjoys friendships and group activities.
- Shares, takes turns, plays cooperatively (for the most part!).
- Is affectionate and caring.
- Follows directions.
- Has sense of humor.
- Demonstrates better self control, fewer dramatic swings of emotions.