At Big and Tiny our toddlers explore the world around them through experiential learning. Through a wide variety of materials and opportunities, we encourage creative expression and learning and promote the making of independent choices. The Toddler Program is built to foster independence, self awareness and respect for others through social interaction, physical activity, experiential learning, and plenty of play time

Program Objectives

Independence & Autonomy.

Building independence and autonomy allows your little one to create a sense of mastery over their body and their environment.  Fostering independence supports critical thinking, encourages intrinsic motivation and inspires confidence.  

Motor Skills

Fine and Gross motor skill development is important for a baby’s physical growth. Developing fine motor skills assists in building muscles that will be used for grabbing toys, using utensils and eventually holding a pencil. Developing gross motor skills will assist in building muscles that help with crawling, walking, head control, and balance. 

Language, communication & socialization. 

Language development during the first 2 years of a child’s life is an imperative part of their development. During these critical months a baby learns how to communicate, express, and understand their feelings. The Toddler Program will introduce your child to new vocabulary and appropriate interpersonal communication skills that will prepare them for a lifetime of friendships and making their needs heard. 

Sensory Stimulation.

Infants and toddlers learn about the world around them and develop skills through the use of their senses. Sensory play develops and stimulates a baby’s sense of touch, hearing, smell, taste, and sight. It is a great way for babies to create, investigate, and explore the world around them. This type of development aids in enhancing memory functioning and allows babies to learn important sensory attributes such as hot, cold, wet, sticky, dry, etc. 

Creative Expression.

The capacity to feel self-assured, compassionate, and in control of oneself begins with the discovery that emotions are mentionable and manageable. At Big and Tiny, your little one will explore the boundless spectrum of emotion inside them and will practice limitless forms of analyzing and expressing them. As they take part in theatre, singing, dancing, painting, meditation and more, your child is bound to discover the form of creative expression meant for them.

A Day in the Toddlers

Program runs Monday to Friday from 8 am to 3 pm, and 8 am to 6 pm (extended day). Lunch is included in the program daily, courtesy of Tiny Spoon. Families can choose to enroll 5 days a week (Monday to Friday), 3 days a week (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays) or 2 days a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays).

Let’s say hello! – Arrival

When children first arrive to Big and Tiny, they store their belongings in their cubby, remove their shoes, say goodbye to their grown-ups for the day and greet their friends. Practicing this transition from home to school everyday helps your little one discover the excitement of healthy independence.

Let’s move! – Circle time!

Time to move, play instruments and sing along followed by an interactive story time with props and songs.  

Let’s get messy! Sensory play and exploration

Time for activities that activate the senses: touch, smell, taste, movement, balance, sight and hearing. Sensory activities facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore. Together with the toddlers, we create sensory bins for them to manipulate and explore. Some of these activities include finger painting, playing with food, sound tubes, calming bottles, sandbox, edible play dough, foams, balance beams, and more.

Let’s eat! – Snack 

Let’s read! – Interactive story time 

Time for classic children’s books, bringing them to life with active music, movement and more. Interactive story time is led by the Master Teaching Artist in residence.

Let’s make! Constructive play and other STEAM activities

Constructive play will allow children develop fine motor skills and control their hands and fingers as they move. It also helps them improve their problem-solving skills. 

Let’s eat! – Lunch & play

Children come together for a nutritious and healthy meal provided by Little Spoon. See samples here.

Let’s take a rest! – Nap time 

Playing can be exhausting! Big and Tiny knows how important sleeping is for a young child’s growth, development, and knowledge synthetization. That’s why our toddler educators work closely with parents to maintain every toddler’s unique nap schedule throughout the day.

Let’s play! – Outdoor play & active learning (if weather permits)

Children develop large motor functions through group games, outdoor play, dancing, and community walks around the neighborhood and Rockefeller Park. Appreciation for the natural world is developed through gardening, observation of seasonal changes, and exploration of living things. 

Let’s reflect! – End-of-day reflections

Group gathering to reflect on their work and possibilities for the next day. This time often incorporates an exercise in mindfulness, gratitude, and guided movement.

Let’s say goodbye! – Dismissal routines

To transition to go home at the close of the day, children work together to tidy up, change their shoes, gather their belongings and say goodbye. Children are encouraged to share their various projects from the day with their grown-ups.

Documentation. Using a variety of media, teachers give careful attention to the documentation and presentation of the thinking of the students. The teacher inquires and listens closely to the children. An example of documentation might be a book or panel with the student’s words, drawings, and photographs. By making learning visible, the student’s thinking and feeling can be studied while the documentation serves to help with evaluation of the educators’ work and refinement of the curriculum, improve teaching methods and provide excellent care for all infants and toddlers programs.

For Parents: Toddler Program FAQs

The Big and Tiny Brookfield studio in Battery Park, NYC is scheduled to open in early May of 2022. Our full-time Toddlers Program is slated to begin September 2022.

Families are welcome to pre-register starting in March to reserve their spots. Due to limited capacity, we recommend reserving your spot immediately. Our programs operate on a September to June school year (10 month) schedule and enrollments are accepted on a rolling basis, subject to availability.

The Toddler Program runs 5 days a week (Monday to Friday), 3 days a week (Monday Wednesday and Friday), and 2 days a week (Tuesday and Thursday) from 8am to 3pm every day, with additional options for late pickup as late as 6pm.

Big and Tiny’s Toddler Program is open to families with children ages 12 months to 24 months. 

The Toddler Program group size is never larger than 10 children and we only have one group. The program is led daily by a certified group teacher and a master teaching artist as support. 

Prior to enrollment, Big and Tiny asks that your family schedule a virtual or in-person tour with our team to learn more about our studios and services.

To reserve your little one’s spot in the Toddler Program, the first month’s membership payment is required as deposit. This deposit is refundable until June 1, 2022. Upon commencing the Toddler Program, monthly payment will be charged to your credit card on file every first of the month beginning October 1, 2022.

Memberships for enrollment to the Toddler Program renew every 30 days. Please note that Big and Tiny requires families to commit to the duration of the school year (September to June). By enrolling in the Toddler Program, you understand that you are responsible for continuing monthly membership payments until June of 2023.

Please fill out an inquiry form so that we may send you additional information about the program, pricing, and registration/enrollment process.

Separation is undoubtedly one of the most important and difficult developmental processes for both children and parents, and can take anywhere from one day to several weeks. While some children experience an easy transition, others have a much harder time adjusting. The majority of children fall somewhere in between.

Prior to your little one’s start of program, our toddler educators will create a personalized plan with your family to identify which best practices are most appropriate for your unique situation to ensure a successful separation process where both parent and child feel comfortable.

No, your little one does not need to be potty trained to be enrolled in the Big and Tiny Toddler Program.

Children’s diapers will be checked at least every two hours and upon waking, and will be changed promptly when soiled or wet. Please note that Big and Tiny educators do not apply baby powder for safety and health reasons. Parents are to supply diapers and any diaper cream for their children. Diaper cream must be labeled with the child’s name and is for individual use only. A form must be completed by the parent granting permission to our staff to apply diaper cream.

In order to maintain consistency between your home and Big and Tiny – and to meet the individual needs of each child – children at Big and Tiny are put to sleep according to their own unique schedule.

Toddlers are put to sleep on their backs. For children who are not able to climb out of a crib, we provide dedicated cribs with organic cotton sheets for the maximum comfort of the child. For children with the capacity to climb out of a crib, cots or mats with cotton bedding will be provided.

Although we understand that many children require comforting items when sleeping in a crib, it is at the sole discretion of the educator team to determine whether a comfort item may put the child’s safety at risk.

Any personal belongings must be labeled with your child’s full name.

Here is a list of personal items you are allowed to bring to the center:

  • Extra clothing. Children have accidents and their clothes become dirty. Please make sure to include an additional set or two with each article labeled with your child’s name.
  • Milk or baby formula. Snacks and lunch (including some baby food options) will be provided daily by Little Spoon. If you prefer to pack your own snack or lunch options, you are more than welcome to do so.
  • Diapers and wipes.
  • Diaper cream, if applicable.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Comforting toy for nap-time (e.g. blanket or pacifier, etc.).
  • Medications, if applicable.

Please make sure you do not bring any of the following:

  • Toys. Children should not bring personal toys, books, or stuffed animals. We cannot ensure that these items will not be lost.
  • Large backpacks or bags. Our cubbies are small and storage space is limited, so please do not bring more than is necessary.
  • Car seats cannot be left at the center. There is very limited stroller parking available and is subject to availability. 

During extended hours children engage with multiple age appropriate enrichment classes, led by our Master Teaching Artists in residence.

Yes! Our educators and staff document program activities daily, summarized by a collection of photos and descriptions at the end of each day. Educators also include individualized notes specific to your child.

Daily reports are shared with you privately and securely via the Brightwheel app. There you will also be able to save photos, comment or reply to reports received.

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