At Atherton House we understand that a child’s first two years are critical for the development of the brain and for language development. During this period, the child’s life experience plays a fundamental role in the “hard-wiring” of the brain, laying the foundation for all intellectual and emotional development to follow.
With our younger babies and toddlers, we follow the ‘Five to Thrive’ initiative which supports the children’s holistic development by giving them time to respond, have cuddles, relax, play and talk. We focus on quality adult and child interactions throughout the nursery day in order to support, enhance and challenge the children; we promote language and communication through activities based on the I Can, ‘Baby Babbling’ programme as well as the Elkan, ‘Talk to your Baby.’
From birth, babies are busy, active learners, immediately investigating the sights, sounds, and feel of the world. Babies and toddlers are sensory-motor beings. They explore the world with their senses when developing motor skills. Long before they understand a concept like “under” or “far” with their minds, their bodies are learning to navigate the up and down, over and under of the physical world: their perceptions are sorting out sizes, colours, and shapes.
Within our indoor environment we have a black, white and red area to help support the children’s sensory awareness we are now beginning to add in more colours to develop the children’s colour awareness. Children develop through sensory exploration so on a daily basis we provide a variety of materials to enhance their development and support their fine motor skills, e.g. gloop, and foam; our babies love to add different elements to enhance their experience. The children are encouraged to use our large sheltered decked area where they can investigate and explore, mark making, sand and water play and much, much more.
We provide babies and toddlers with what they need: a safe world, rich with opportunities to actively explore, with books, songs, and a lot of listening and responding to their vocalisations and words.