Read through the following scenarios and then answer the questions below. Think about the unique ways the infants and toddlers are interacting and developing thinking skills. Think about how you might respond as an infant and toddler caregiver.
You were recently hired as an infant and toddler caregiver. As part of your orientation, your director asks that you spend time observing throughout the care setting and getting to know the other caregivers, families, infants, and toddlers. You feel quite excited about the opportunity and begin right away. The list below highlights some of your observations:
- A 4-month-old boy lies on his back on the floor and reaches to touch the hanging toys on the play gym around him. A caregiver sits beside him and says, “You are reaching so far. Did you get the bell? I hear it jingle. Oh, now you made the red wheel spin with your foot. It’s going so fast!”
- During drop-off, a mother plays peekaboo with her 1-year-old daughter. You hear both the mother and the daughter
- A caregiver is changing the diaper of a young boy, 18-months-old. She talks about what she is doing, “Benjamin, first we are going to change your I’m going to try to do this as quickly as I can as I know you want to get back to playing.” Benjamin is making eye contact with his caregiver and holding his clean diaper.
- A toddler is struggling to pull a chair out from the snack table. It keeps getting stuck on the other chairs. She tries again and again, but she cannot figure out a way to sit in the chair. Finally, she tries crawling under the table. A caregiver has been watching. She touches the toddler’s shoulder and quietly asks if she needs some help sitting down for snack.
What thinking skills do you think each child is developing or showing?
How is each infant’s and toddler’s cognitive development being acknowledged and responded to by their caregivers?
Would you do anything differently? What experiences might you offer?