Adaptation…Toddler Style!

As a teacher and a mother I know that adaptation can be hard sometimes, but you can be rest assured that we have many techniques to make the first transition into school go as smoothly as possible.

It’s okay to cry.

It’s normal for toddlers to cry when they first arrive at school. They are filled with emotions about having to leave their parents and many of them still lack the language skills to fully express how they are feeling, so instead they cry. But once the initial separation from the parents happens and they enter the classroom, we have many strategies to sooth those tiny tears. We cuddle them, we play with them, we read to them, basically we try to find out what they like in order to calm them and it always works.

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Trust and bonding

Before we can get to the fun part of learning, we first have to bond with the child. For the most part this happens naturally as we change their diapers, feed them, and are taking care of them. But sometimes a child needs extra one-on-one time with us in order to bond and that is okay because that is what we are here for!

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Transitional Objects

A great way to ease the transition to school is the children bring things from home that are familiar to them, a “transitional object.” Transitional objects can be anything from a toy to a pacifier; it is anything that sooths the child while they are away from home. For example, Fred brings his water bottle and fraldinha to school every day. As he enters the classroom he holds them tight, but as the day goes on he often leaves these things behind to play. Another example is Luisa who brings a different toy to school to share with her friends; this is her way of transitioning from home to school.

We find out what they like

Another strategy for adaptation is finding out what the child likes and having it ready the moment they enter the room. When Eduardo arrived, we found out that he likes dinosaurs, so we got a big bag and spread them all over the floor so when he entered the room that was the first thing he saw. Helena on the other hand, really liked bubbles; we would blow bubbles every day for her until she felt more comfortable with us.  Julia likes arts and craft, we take her to the arts table and soon she is playing with no problem. And finally, Joao loves to be read to, his favorite book is “Yummy, Yucky,” teacher Fufi reads it to him every time he comes!


Every child has their own time frame

Adaptation takes times, the longer and more consistently a child attends school, the easier the transition is because it becomes part of their routine. But don’t be distressed if your child is taking longer than others. Every child has their own time frame but eventually every child adapts!

See you soon!

Teacher Terea

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