In the Classroom: Doodlebugs in Spring
The Doodlebugs are delighted spring has arrived! Doodlebugs are spending more time exploring the neighborhood looking for tactile and visual signs of spring. On a recent walk we discovered flowers blooming on trees and decided to take a closer look. Some of the toddlers walked up to a tree and touched the petals. They compared the soft and smooth texture to the rough bark. The infants were also given the chance to feel the petals and bark.
The teachers spoke with the children about the size, shape and color of the flowers and tree. One child repeated the word flower as the children touched the tree. This type of outdoor exploration and play is an enjoyable experience for infants and toddlers. It is also critical for cognitive development. A stimulating environment both indoors and outdoors helps children gain knowledge and provides a foundation for literacy. Having a rich sensory experience provides a platform for language development and a basis for science. When an infant feels the flowers or toddlers notice the airplane in the sky, they are more inclined to verbalize this experience. Even infants who are nonverbal are developing language and making connections when inspired by the environment.
Outdoor experiences are also important for infant and toddler physical development. Infants thrive when they have stimulating spaces to practice crawling and pulling up. Toddlers develop their gross motor skills when they climb up, over, down, and around outdoor environments. By spending more time outdoors Doodlebugs are more enriched and happy!