Nurturing Children’s Curiosity: Introducing Expanded Daily Resources for Twos
Last week, we launched our #studiesathome initiative. It’s been a joy to see how families are engaging their children at home in investigative learning. As we continue to look for ways to nurture children’s innate curiosity, we’re excited to introduce our newest curriculum product, Expanded Daily Resources for Twos.
Whenever anyone mentions 2-year-olds, I can’t help but think of my niece, Emma, when she was two. In fact, my favorite photograph of her features her as a 2-year-old, confidently striding down the sidewalk, singing and chattering along. I don’t recall what she was singing or saying when I snapped that photo, but I do recall that it was the moment I realized she was no longer a baby.
An amazing thing happens when those squishy baby legs grow longer and stronger. They let children move where they want, when they want, and how they want. Those pudgy little fists unfurl to reveal fingers—at once both delicate and strong—that always seem to be stretching to reach something new. That sweet little mouth goes from smacking lips and blowing kisses to stringing words together to make their opinions known!
Truly, 2-year-olds are incredible. They are full of wonder, curiosity, confidence, and determination!
Here at Teaching Strategies, we understand that 2-year-olds are not miniature preschool children, nor are they oversized infants. They are, in fact, in a very unique place in human development. Thus, when we began creating Expanded Daily Resources for Twos, we thought about this unique place and all the things that make this age so special.
A study for 2-year-olds naturally looks and feels very different from studies for preschool threes or PreK fours. Each Teaching Guide in this groundbreaking collection of developmentally appropriate studies for twos features investigation questions, hands-on experiences for exploring the study topic, and guidance for inviting family members to actively participate in the study during the classroom arrival routine. Two-year-olds are encouraged to explore and experiment alongside the people who know and love them the most: their families and their teachers and caregivers.
Let’s take a closer look at the guidance provided in the daily plans:
- Each daily exploration begins with Making the Most of Routines that offer specific Mighty Minutes to make every part of the day, including daily routines, engaging and meaningful!
- A Morning Moments with Families section offers suggestions for study-related experiences children can enjoy with their families as they transition to the classroom.
- Because 2-year-olds are just beginning to use verbal language to express their complex thoughts, vocabulary words related to the study topic are introduced with child-friendly explanations in the Vocabulary Moment section.
- The Daily Experience Opportunities section offers guidance for introducing Intentional Teaching Experiences to children to develop skills related to the objectives for development and learning. For example, in a study of containers, children may practice sorting, rolling, or throwing balls into different-sized containers while teachers highlight relevant vocabulary words like big and small.
- The section on Guiding Your Observations features questions for teachers to reflect on how children demonstrated their learning and development during the day’s experiences. For example, “How did children use their senses to explore the objects? (11d)” encourages teachers to reflect on their observations related to Objective 11d, “Shows curiosity and motivation.”
- Additional callout boxes are provided throughout the daily plan and these offer insights on supporting children’s development and learning and suggestions for modifying experiences to meet the needs of all children and families.
- Each day ends by Reflecting on the Day. This section offers ideas for displays teachers can create to share what the children have been learning in the study and suggestions for how families can continue their child’s study exploration at home!
Although preschool studies often last 4–6 weeks, we know that twos need a different pace! Expanded Daily Resources for Twos are structured to inspire interest and in-depth engagement in the study topic over a shorter period of time, usually about 3–4 weeks.
Expanded Daily Resources for Twos was created to encourage 2-year-olds’ innate curiosity and need for independence while supporting teachers as they guide children’s learning in a loving, responsive environment. The investigations lead children through in-depth studies of topics that can be found in every classroom and in children’s homes. Through language-rich and hands-on explorations, 2-year-olds build on their expertise in familiar topics like containers or brushes. They’ve seen them and used them for most of their lives, and now they are getting a chance to learn about them in a more in-depth, organized, and meaningful way.