During their first 12 months, infants learn, change, and grow quickly. There are distinct differences in developmental milestones between younger and older infants. This growth can be challenging to plan for when you have very young, immobile infants, as well as those who are older and have a bit more independence and mobility. With “Learning Beyond Paper” curriculum, Little Duckling caregivers have the information they need to plan engaging activities for babies. Caregivers understand what to expect from infants of different developmental levels as they expose them to engaging activities and interactions.

Curriculum goals & objectives

Cognitive and language skills

  • Respond to words or gestures
  • Recognize familiar objects, people, and voices
  • Orient to sounds in the environment
  • Discriminate sounds in the environment
  • Use facial expressions to communicate
  • Use vocalizations to communicate
  • Express sounds and patterns of home language
  • Respond to songs
  • Demonstrate interest in hearing a familiar story or book
  • Attend to a caregiver’s voice while being held and/or read to
  • Use objects such as a crayon to make marks

Math skills

  • Indicate a desire for more

  • Give more when asked

  • Show interest in visual, auditory, and tactile patterns

  • Explore how things fit and move

  • Put objects in, out, on, and off of other things

  • Explore objects with different shapes and sizes

  • Understand that different size containers hold more or less

  • Predict the sequence of events (like running water means bath time)

  • Understand basic cause and effect (shaking a rattle makes noise)

  • Classify things in simple ways (some toys make noise and some don’t)

  • Understand relative size (baby is small, parents are big)

  • Begin to understand words that describe quantities (more, bigger, enough)

Social & emotional skills

  • Respond to own name

  • Show interest in environmental choices

  • Communicate to indicate physical and emotional needs

  • Communicate to express pleasure or displeasure

  • Use cues to signal overstimulation

  • Respond positively

Approaches to play & learning

  • Respond to a stimulating environment
  • Show curiosity and interest in surroundings
  • Show eagerness and delight in self and others
  • Show budding interest in how objects work
  • Try a variety of approaches to get desired outcomes
  • Physically explore new ways to use objects and observe results
  • Manipulate objects
  • Imitate actions
  • Examine objects for brief periods of time
  • Repeat actions to make something happen again

Scientific thinking

  • Observe and experience the environment using all five senses

  • Focus attention on sounds, movement, and objects

  • Notice cause and effect within the physical environment

  • Perform actions with objects and observe results

  • Establish activity patterns based on day and night

  • Explore and react to indoor and outdoor surfaces

  • Observe and experience the difference in climate/weather

  • Demonstrate interest in and interact with plants, animals, and people

  • Discover body parts

  • Demonstrate an interest in, explore and manipulate human made objects

  • Repeat actions that causes an interesting effect

Social studies

  • Respond to celebrations and cultural events

  • Separate self from others

  • Show affection and bonds with familiar adults

  • Demonstrates comfort in familiar routines, objects, and materials

  • Respond to adult guidance about behavior

  • Discover use of body and objects in the environment

  • Demonstrate preference for specific objects and people

  • Interact with the environment to make needs known

Creative arts

  • Experiment with vocalizations

  • React to familiar songs or music

  • Respond to music with body movements

  • Explore simple art materials

  • Respond to various textures and sensory materials

  • Show preference for particular visual stimuli

  • Imitate the actions and expressions of caregivers

  • Recognize that certain actions will draw responses


Physical health & growth

  • Passively participate in health and hygiene-related behaviors initiated by caregiver

  • Use key adults as a secure base when exploring the environment

  • Seek reassurance from a trusted caregiver when encountering an unfamiliar object or person

  • Show food preferences

  • Follow regular meal routines

  • Demonstrate awareness of different textures of food

  • Help with self-feeding

  • Manipulate objects to see what will happen

  • Show awareness of own body and start moving intentionally

  • Interact with adults in physical activities

  • Demonstrate hand-eye coordination and practice in a variety of activities to enhance coordination

  • Develop coordination and balance often with support

  • Develop control of head and back, progressing to arms and legs

  • Demonstrate continual progression in oral muscle tone, strength, and range of motion, leading to more complex oral movement and control

  • Participate passively in dressing and undressing self

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