When I decided that I was going to start a blog and group dedicated to play based learning for ages 0-5, I did a lot of research and reflection. I knew that I wanted to focus on our littlest learners, but I wasn’t quite sure how to classify them. I knew there were many differences between a baby and a preschooler, but where did the ages blur and where did they separate? This is where the “research” came into play.
I searched Pinterest, blogs, and even polled some friends to figure out where the lines are drawn for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. My reading and searching showed me that these were the best terms to use and my random polls of friends and fellow moms gave me some insight on the age brackets for each group.
Today, I’m sharing how we define babies, toddlers, and preschoolers here at Little Learning Moments. I’m hoping that this will help you as you navigate through the activities on the site and in the accompanying Facebook group.
Babies are the youngest of our learners. They cover the age bracket of newborn to one year old. It’s important to note that one year old doesn’t end when your little one turns a year old. Even those in the 13-23 month range can be classified as a baby in some aspects. In fact, Susie of Busy Toddler has a special term for those that are no longer a baby, but aren’t quite a toddler yet either. She refers to these little ones as “taby” and I think it’s the perfect description for this in between age. If you have a taby (one year old) at home, then I recommend browsing through baby and toddler activities on the site to get ideas for your little one.
Toddlers are our little learners that are constantly changing and learning in so many ways. This is an age when learning is happening at a pace that is much faster than we realize. Toddlers are constantly discovering new things in the world around them. They also tend to have a natural curiosity that we can use and build upon with activities and learning opportunities centered around play. You’ll notice a cross over in ages for toddlers. Some of our youngest toddlers may still enjoy the activities from the baby section, while others might be pushing for the preschooler section. It’s important to remember that even though there is a special toddler section, every child is different and you are the expert when it comes to your child.
Preschoolers might seem like a deceiving label since not every child attends preschool. For the purposes of this website, I use preschooler as a way to describe our little ones that will be school aged in a year or two. A child does not have to be in a formal preschool setting to enjoy the activities in the preschool section of the site. In fact, many of these activities are designed to expose them to some of the skills and concepts they’ll see in Kindergarten.
I tried to keep it simple by limiting our age brackets to three sections. I feel that each of these groups of learners are quite different in their abilities and needs. Every child is different though and you should keep that in mind as you browse through the site. Every child learns at a different pace and this is especially true in the early childhood years. Keep this in mind as you browse for ideas and don’t limit yourself or your little one to a specific category.
Do you currently have a baby, toddler, preschooler, or multiples at home? I’d love to hear about your little learners in the comments below!