Young Toddlers - Newsletter
Young Toddlers - sue rochefort
The Young Toddlers have been venturing out into the woods for over a month now. ITC prides itself on getting our children outside of our fences and into the surrounding woods. The YT’s are no exception. We have a hearty group of children who are always up for an adventure. Even putting on all of our snow gear is fun for them (unheard of in past YT groups). As soon as we say we are going for a walk in the woods (Big or Little) the children run to their cubbies to get their parts and they even help their friends collect their parts as well. They try their best to get dressed, but they still need just a little help from their teachers (but we are working on it). Often they put on their boots before their snow pants and then we have to start over (which they willingly do). Once everyone is ready, they huddle at the door and wait for their teachers to collect all of the parts. Once the door opens, they run to the gate and we get into the wagons or meet at the boat depending on which woods we are going to.
We go to the Big Woods on most Wednesdays. We have encountered all kinds of weather and again we are amazed at the children’s ability to adapt. It has been beautiful, warm and sunny. It has been cold and windy, muddy and icy. On our way over we talk, sing and notice everything that is happening in the neighborhood. Once there, we choose which path to use depending on the weather and what condition the paths are in. One of our most challenging walks was when it was particularly icy. We talked to the children about walking on the edges of the path where there was less ice. We held hands and walked slowly, but we still encountered some spots where the ice was inevitable. The children braved through it and some slipped and landed safely on their padded bottoms (yay, snow pants)! This was mostly met with good humor and trust in their teachers to help them through. Some of the children are very comfortable in the woods and want to lead the group, running out in front. Others want to stay close by their teachers as they are just learning about being out in the Big Woods. Still others want to doddle along the way and stop to notice, touch, smell and pick up everything they see…so many personalities. When it is time to come back we have a wagon full of very hungry, tired and satisfied toddlers.
If your child does not come on Wednesday, no worries, we go to the Little Woods at any time during the week. We stop at the boat, climb in and sing “Row, Row, Row, Your Boat”. When the children feel ready to move on, they climb out and head down the path. Similar to the Big Woods some children run ahead, some stay close to their teachers and some doddle behind. Along the path the children encounter a big rock, a steep hill, climbing ladders, logs and a slide. Often when we approach the slide at the end of the path we see (and hear) the train go by. The tracks are not far away and this is always an added treat for the children. When we come out of the path we are in the teacher’s parking lot, so we have to hold hands and listen carefully to directions (which they do)! The children ask about the teachers cars and point out the ones that they recognize. We gather at the preschool gate and go in the back door then we walk all the way down the hall to find our classroom. I cannot stress enough how proud we are of our little group that is so willing and able to travel so far (for them it really is far). They work hard, have fun and enjoy every minute!