Infancy is the stage between birth and one year, and children in this category learn motor skills for the first time. The curriculum design for these babies must consider the exploratory nature of infants, their reasoning capacity, and their ability to recognize people and things in their environments. The proposed program will explore the cognitive, physical, socioemotional aspects of development. Teachers must demonstrate the awareness of the growth milestones expected at this stage. Age-appropriate curriculum for babies can help them achieve holistic growth through cognitive, bodily, and socio-emotional activities. The preferred curriculum standard for the design of the curriculum is the Oklahoma Academic standards, 2015.
The preferred exercise for this aspect is playing music for the child as this enhances their cognitive growth. Music helps the baby appreciate sounds and achieve brain development. Infants experience significant brain development, enabling them to strengthen their auditory, language, and speech capabilities. Van Eeden and van Vuuren state, “the first year of life is critical for intellectual growth as this is the time when many of the sensitive periods for connection of the neural pathways overlap” (2017, 2). Reasoning refers to the processing of information and knowledge and is a critical aspect of development. Newborns develop the essential abilities in their first year, and the caregiver must ensure that he monitors critical milestones in their growth.
Children between birth and one year develop their physical abilities by making limb movements. The proposed activity for this stage is helping them to play with plastic blocks. The caregiver must ensure that the blocks are large enough to avoid swallowing accidents. The baby can play along with these blocks in a safe environment. The learning activity derives from studies that reveal that infants between 2-8 months develop both primary and secondary circular reactions. “Primary circular reactions (Reaction first round; 2-4 months) have the same characteristic reflection behavior appear again ruling such as closing and opening again and ruling grip” (Fahmiyati, 2020, 136). Playing with blocks will help toddlers exercise their grip and perform leg movements.
The care can develop the emotional growth of the child by reciting sounds. Toddlers between 2-3 months make vocal sounds in response to the environment (Zeanah, 2018). During this stage, the child is primarily awake and learns to recognize the phenomenon. Parents can notice emotional reactions through baby smiles. As babies advance to seven months, they begin to express their emotions. Zeanah proposes that caregivers introduce these activities in the routines of the newborn to elicit consistent emotional responses. “Advancement in memory and cognition permit more anticipation or expectation regarding social routines and interactions” (Zeanah, 2018, 97). Through this activity, the child feels the warmth and developed his social, emotional abilities.
Children with development challenges experience difficulties in communication, behavioral adaptation, and connection with the environment. Caregivers must engage them in activities that relate to their conditions to enhance their cognition. The proposed action for this strategy building blocks accommodates babies with diverse learning abilities from different cultures. Vreman defines differentiation by stating that “At first, differentiation starts with regular monitoring of levels of progress, so teachers can meet individual needs” (2019). The caregivers for the infants can therefore observe how the preschoolers arrange the blocks and the length of concentration-time to establish whether the technique is suitable for the toddler’s abilities.
Within their first year of growth, caregivers of children must keenly observe their developmental milestones to design appropriate activities. Newborns can achieve better learning capabilities through cognitive, physical, and socio-emotional activities. The OAS model adopted for this study provides guidelines for language development. Stakeholders in infant development can gain must developmental needs of toddlers through continuous research. The OAS model, therefore, forms a foundational guide for learning for infants.
Fahmiyati, D. T. (2020). Scientific thinking characteristics of early childhood. In 6th International Conference on Education and Technology (ICET 2020), pp. 135-138. Atlantis Press. Web.
van Eeden, R., & van Vuuren, J. (2017). The cognitive processing potential of infants: exploring the impact of an early childhood development programme. South African Journal of Childhood Education, 7(1), 499. Web.
Vreman, L. (2019). Differentiation in kindergarten: a cognitive task analysis of kindergarten teachers’ thinking and acting in providing differentiated early numeracy education (Master’s thesis, University of Twente). Web.
Zeanah, C. H. (Ed.). (2018). Handbook of infant mental health. Guilford Publications.