When parents drop their children off at Navarre day care, they want to know their loved ones will be properly cared for. Children need to be provided with age-appropriate activities so they can grow and thrive. How can parents ensure this is what they are getting? What is considered age appropriate?
When a parent chooses a day care center, they need to spend time in the center and see what the children are doing. Activities should be geared to a child’s stage of development. What does this mean?
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Infants are unable to do anything on their own. They require constant care to ensure they remain safe. Workers should be focused on meeting the needs of the children while allowing them to engage with other children and adults. There is no need for structured play time at this age.
As children become more mobile, they need opportunities to move around and explore the world around them in safe settings. Toddlers should engage in stimulating activities both as a group and on their own. Language skills should be encouraged, and story time is a great way to expand the vocabulary of a child.
Children also need to engage in lots of physical activity, although structured exercise classes aren’t necessary. The childcare workers should play games with the kids that get them up and moving.
Children in Preschool
When a child reaches the age of three, or somewhere around that time, they need more independence. By allowing the children to do more, parents and childcare workers build their confidence and prepare them for school.
Now is the time to begin developing skill sets that will remain with them for life. Play remains a critical element of a preschooler’s day, but they should also engage in structured activities, such as art or writing their name.
Once children reach school age, their needs change rapidly. A five-year-old child, for example, is very different from a ten-year-old child. Their social and emotional needs are different, just as their bodies are. A child care center needs to recognize this and group children accordingly. However, the center should also reserve time for all children in this age group to engage in certain activities.
For example, when children get off the school bus, they should have time to get a snack before doing their homework. Once this homework is done, they can be given time to play and interact with their peers. The day care center should also provide structured activities for the children. However, play remains a priority for these kids, as they need time to interact with their peers in a self-directed way.
Although teens don’t attend day care centers, play is an important part of their development. The type of play changes as a child gets older. Many kids take part in organized sports and think they are playing. However, teens need to have time to relax and do things they enjoy with friends. While this may not seem important, it allows them to continue working on valuable social skills that will benefit them throughout life.
Never discount the importance of play for children. However, this play needs to be age appropriate to be effective. A day care center cannot put toddlers with pre-teens and expect them to engage in the same activities. Find a center that meets the needs of every child by offering playtime and structured activities every day.