Physical Environment for Infant and Toddler
General purpose: Acknowledge my audience on the importance of creating good environment for physical and psychological growth of infants and toddlers.
Central idea: Growth of toddlers and infants is determined by the conditions in which they are raised.
- According to Lally, Mangione, and Greenwal (2006), toddlers and infants even at tender age have a preparedness, potential and curiosity in developing a relationship with their surroundings.
- First months of infants’ life form a development of the body and mind. Physical sustenance and sensory motivation are major developable traits at this tender age.
- They laugh to express their joy with things the environment presents, identify voices and faces, and use cries to express needs, anticipate routine activities in their surroundings, and repeat activities that yield interesting results.
- A child’s environment should initiate a sense of venture, provide measureless opportunities towards advancement of hearing, feeling, touching, and movements.
- Therefore, as I present these truths to you, I will also be expanding my knowledge on what the environment presents to infants and toddlers at that tender age.
I. An infant is a child in the age bracket of a day after birth to 24 months old.
- Infants are categorized into two groups: children from birth to around 12 months and children from 12-24 months.
- At the age from birth to 12 months babies are called young infants, while children from 12 to 24 months are called mobile infants or young toddlers.
- Children falling in the age group of 24-36 months are referred to as toddlers.
- All these sub-groups have different needs and understanding of their environment, therefore, requiring different settings.
- The different age groups have different senses that they develop as they advance to the next group.
(Transition: with the infant being merely less than 24 months old, the environment of his/her upbringing plays a pivotal role in his/her growth
II. The environment in which a child is brought up encourages independence and competence (Lally & Stewart, 1990).
- This and many other advantages that an environment presents are what most of us fail to comprehend.
- Herr & Swim (2002) stated that apart from affection from parents, secure environments, presence of playthings and other materials that meet the needs of children are important in their growth.
(Transition: regardless of the role of environment in shaping their competence and independence, young infants still need their parents’ help)
III. Young infants are still dependable on the parents’ help.
- Their senses are still developing and record the affection that parents provide for them.
- Their environment is characterized by face-to-face and skin-to-skin contact with their parents (Schaefer & DiGeronimo, 2000).
- Their environment is to be filled with exciting spaces to give them a better view from one position (Wise & Sanson, 2003).
(As young infants grow to mobile infants, their interest in the environment increases because of mobility)
IV. Mobile infants (young toddlers) show an interest in exploring their environments since they can move. They want to develop their senses to a new level.
- The environment for this group is to give them a sense of autonomy and independence.
- Security in their environment is to be emphasized to reduce accidents and being hurt while playing or moving.
- More playthings to be added to their environments. They look for interesting toys to which they can become attached (Wise & Sanson, 2003).
(Transition: there is no doubt that an increase in mobility is likely to result in an increase in social interaction)
V. Toddlers, with advancements in their senses, improve social interaction with people around them.
- Their environment should allow them interact with other toddlers.
- Since they are able to move easily, their environment setting should provide them with enhanced tools to strengthen their limbs.
- Toys like climbing structures, pedal riding tools or push toys are common tools associated with their environment.
- Accessible furniture and materials to play with are provided in their environments to improve their independence.
It is the role that we play in upbringing of an infant or toddler that defines the future that every human has. Different stages of development have different traits to develop. Let us, therefore, see to it that they have good background to mould their future.