With a room full of toddlers it can get quite hectic from time to time. While it is important to provide time for them to spontaneously explore & play I believe it is just as important to provide structure throughout their day. Many of these children come to me via the nursery, an environment in which they have little experience with structured group experiences. As these children often have difficulty remaining focused for even a few moments I have started beginning each group time going over the expectations during group = using their eyes looking at who is talking & their ears to listen. How they position themselves is not so important unless they obstruct the view of others.
I see these times as opportunities to begin their preparation for school. Yes, that's right. If I help them build foundations now by encouraging the development of their attention span, then as they move into older group they should be better equipped to meet the challenges that face them.
I'm sure there are people who will read this & be outraged that I introduce structure to children so young & that's ok. Everyone has their own philosophy. However, we are aware that the early years are crucial for brain development so why not include these social & receptive language skills in their repertoire. Afterall, the more children learn during this stage of their development, the better prepared they will be to learn & build on other skills in the future.
Tell me what you think.