The Mezzo, Bounce & Zest Rooms
We have three toddler rooms at KIDS R KIDS. All of these rooms are established with a variety of equipment to develop specific skills in the children: water play, textured play, art, science, math, dramatic play, library, blocks, table top, puzzles, etc. The rooms are laid out for developmentally appropriate activities relative to: gross motor, fine motor, social, emotional, linguistic and cognitive.
Our first one is our MEZZO ROOM. This room is located adjacent to our Tangible Room (infants). We designed, added and implemented the MEZZO ROOM a couple of years ago when maternity leaves were lengthened to twelve months. The MEZZO room runs a small program that prepares young toddlers for the move down the hall to our main toddler rooms. The children graduate into MEZZO and begin to get used to cups, no longer sleeping in cribs (sleep mats), having an established schedule for activities, snacks, lunch & nap. They also begin to spend time with the older toddlers on the playground. As space becomes available for them to graduate to BOUNCE or ZEST, they begin having visits to make the transition as smooth as possible. This room sometimes operates at the ratio of 1 teacher to 4 toddlers if they are very young but if they have been in MEZZO for a while and are waiting for a BOUNCE or ZEST spot, then we operate at 1 teacher to 6 toddlers (maximum of 6 in the room).
The BOUNCE and ZEST room programs are both geared for 18 months to 3 years. These rooms operate at the ratio of 1 teacher to 6 toddlers (maximum of 18 in the room). The children in have Circle Time (stories, discussions, songs), enjoying structured planned activities such as Art, as well as learning about tidy up time, snack time, essentially understanding routine. The structured aspects of the day as quite short for toddlers as the understanding of routine taking place is a big concept they are all developing in their own way. Their attention spans are much shorter and their primary care is still a very big part of their day. Diapering, dressing for outside, and transitioning from one activity to another with toddlers takes up a large part of the day. We also teach them to respect each other. Toddlers are naturally egocentric so explaining for them to be gentle with their friends, to encourage sharing, to begin to understand turn-taking and to encourage the use of words. These concepts are reinforced not only daily, but hourly. They are such big ones for such little kids to get a great understanding of and to use. The rewards of this are monumental! The key to future successes in life hinge upon socialization ---- and the toddler room is where socialization forms its firm foundation.