Experiences during infancy set the foundation for all future learning
An infant room is a special place where your babies are nurtured, loved, and are given opportunities to learn! Infants are learning about themselves and their world every single minute of every single day. Providing variety of opportunities to explore themselves and others throughout their day is so important for healthy development.
Creating Meaningful Experiences for Infants
1. To prepare an infant lesson plan, the first thing I like to consider is the developmental stages of an infant. Each stage brings about new understanding and abilities. Because you may have a variety of developmental stages in your care at one time, you will want to create a plan that is flexible and easily adjusted to meet the developmental needs of each child.
Here is a brief overview of the four developmental domains to include….
- Physical – Development of Fine (small) and Gross (large) Motor Skills.
- Cognitive – The process of making sense of the world around them.
- Social – The awareness of others around them and the interaction with others around them.
- Emotional – Development of self-awareness and self-confidence
2. You will want to repeat the activities you plan. I plan a weekly lesson plan and apply the activities with each child as the opportunity arises. Sometimes I am able to repeat an activity many times and other times I can’t get to an activity at all. Infants need repeated opportunities to try the activities you plan in order to foster growth in all developmental domain areas.
3. Evaluate your lesson plans regularly. Each month you will want to adjust the level of ideas you plan to match the rapid growth and development of the babies in your care.
4. Including other areas. I also make sure I include music, sensory play, and creative expression.
5. Infants need time to explore. Don’t feel you need to plan something for every waking minute. Infants also just need time to explore their world without constant interruption.
6. A schedule is not the same as a lesson plan. Don’t confuse the infant’s schedule with the lesson plan. The lesson plan is a set of ideas you hope to include throughout the week but the infant’s schedule (sleeping, feeding, diaper changing) will always dictate how much time and when you will be able to present the ideas you have prepared in your lesson plan.
Here is a template that I often use to help me with my planning.
Learn a little bit about Baby Signing!
Infant lesson books available on Amazon…