Our infant classrooms were created with clear sightlines and visibility in mind. Our infant program from 6 weeks to 12 months has its own en-suite with a refrigerator, sanitization dishwasher, built-in changing tables, sanitization guidelines, a personal place to put their belongings, as well as age-appropriate toys and interactive materials.
Our philosophy of Whole Child Curriculum creates a warm and compassionate environment that enables each and every infant and teacher to create a warm and everlasting bond. The infant teachers are creating a firm foundation for all children to succeed in the next steps of their life. They are there for them when they are learning how to sit up and walk and will be there to cheer them on when they learn to read their first book.
Our infant classroom ranges from the ages of 6 weeks to 12 months. It’s during this time that we see some really exciting growth and development. The very beginnings of intentional communication, cause-effect relationships, joint attention, and object permanence begin here.
This is such an exciting development time for infants. They are learning who they are, who their family members are, and how everyone responds socially to events going on around them. They show preference to their main caretaker and start showing fear of strangers. They will also imitate other children and mimic simple actions.
Children will also display affection in hugs, kisses, pats, and smiles and seek comfort when they are upset. It is important that all caregivers in the child’s life show that they will respond quickly to signals for help/attention to build trust. Cuddles and eye contact are a great way to create strong bonds. Talking through emotions as they arise and working through distressing moments together will form a firm foundation for children to explore their emotional and social growth.
Social and Emotional
Fine and Gross Motor Skills
Motor skills are just one part of a child’s development. Mastering both fine and gross motor skills are important for a child’s whole growth and independence. Having good motor development helps children achieve their cognitive development goals and explore the world around them.
Fine motor skills involve those smaller muscles in the hand and wrist. Activities such as raking (picking up cereal with fingers and palm, transferring objects from one hand to another, dropping objects, and using thumb and forefinger to pick up smaller objects are among many ways to give the practice needed to develop skills.
Gross motor skills involve the larger muscles in the legs, arms, and main trunk of the body. Having a child work on sitting alone unsupported, standing while holding on to an adult, crawling/creeping, and playing with toys while in an upright position are great ways to let children explore their world around them and gain independence.
Infants are trying hard to make sense of the world around them. Music is a great tool to utilize to create linguistic synapses in their brain. Beat, rhythm, tonality, meter, and expressiveness are all aspects that music and natural movement bring to an infant's developing mind. Gentle bounces, wiggles, tickles, rhythmic tapping, clapping, and lullabies are natural ways to develop strong bonds between caregiver and infant while also providing growth and development.
Music and Movement
The development of senses is crucial during this developmental timeline. As a baby's sense develops and becomes more refined, they start showing their full personality. Eye control, hand-eye coordination improves as well as depth perception. Sense of smell plays into effect as they expand their tastes, discriminating the direction of sound, textures, and temperature differences in objects, and interest in other foods are all ways that infants expand their world.
Art is a great time for infants to explore the world around them. Here at Wellspring Preparatory Academy, art time is filled with sensory activities, fine and gross motor skills, cognitive developments, and is a great way to capture developmental milestones.
Wellspring Preparatory Academy is Whole Child-focused. We believe that all children do best when they are allowed to explore nature and are exposed to different situations in a safe and secure environment. Our infant program has an outside space where all children get to explore the outdoors. We explore nature and work on physical development by using crawling obstacle courses, pull-up opportunities, and sensory exploration with the encouragement of attentive staff.