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Infants and Toddlers: Learning spaces for the young

Watch a child under the age of two and you will ultimately observe their wide-eyed wonder of the world. Each experience holds new impressions, as they absorb sights, smells, tastes and sounds. All senses are open; all motors are on. It’s time to start deciphering a new, confusing environment.

To accommodate this crucial period, we consider a stimulating yet comforting environment to be essential. A space that is as perfectly equipped for exploration while also fostering emotional security and a sense of calm. Infants need time to process everything they encounter, just as their bodies need to relax in order to sustain accelerated growth and activity. Every Bear Park space for infants and toddlers is in keeping with this balance. Environments are warm, spacious and safe, much like an inviting home.

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Earth tones and a muted palette reign supreme, along with natural building materials. Doors and walls have glass windows, so children can easily see from inside to outside, or room-to-room. Mirrors reflect light in multiple directions, supporting the child’s construction of their own self-image while encouraging group play.

Stimulating material is on hand to further motor skills and creativity, while technology is interwoven where appropriate. An afternoon could be spent experimenting with shadow play courtesy of an overhead projector, or a group may spontaneously gather around a light box, prompting an investigation into the illuminating effect on everyday objects.

All children have the ability to discover the world they have entered, provided they feel safe and well supported. At Bear Park we make this our primary intent, happily acknowledging the magic and importance of these early years.

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