4 weeks to 1 year
Adult to Child ratio 1:3
During the first year of life, young children’s physical development is very rapid and they gain increasing control of their muscles. They also develop skills in moving their hands, feet, limbs and head, quickly becoming mobile and able to handle and manipulate objects. They are learning from the moment of birth. Even before their first words they find out a lot about language by hearing people talking, and are especially interested when it involves themselves and their daily lives. Sensitive caregiving, which responds to children’s growing understanding and emotional needs, helps to build secure attachments to special people such as parents, family members or carers. Regular, though flexible, routines help young children to gain a sense of order in the world and to anticipate events. A wide variety of experience, which involves all the senses, encourages learning and an interest in the environment.
Learning and Development
The outdoor environment gives the infants chance to explore, use their senses and be physically active supported by their key person.
The activities and resources in this age group include the following themes:
- Messy Play – To encourage fine motor exploration of objects using all the senses.
- Sensory Play – To encourage all aspects of sensory development, attention and concentration skills including the ability to make simple choices.
- Family Books/ Scrap Books – To encourage a child’s own self esteem, positive self image and links between home and nursery.
- Book Area – To encourage an early love of books sharing them with a caring adult.
- Treasure Baskets – To encourage early object explorations of different texture, colour, patterns, shape, size and weight.