Our children

Tiny Tots (age 1–2)

At this age children learn to develop gross motor skills through movement. Children are emotional and spontaneous, but need consistency and rituals.

When we play story-telling games with children we encourage the power of imagination.

From baby to Tiny Tot

With their play skills growing, our Tiny Tots are no longer babies.

Tiny Tots:

  • start using toys not only for the obvious purpose, e.g. a block can also be a telephone
  • start to play a role and adhere to it, e.g. one becomes a mother and takes care of her baby
  • understand that their play partner is real but can take a role
  • start to construct play environment
  • understand that lay action connects multiple operations, such as: drive the car, get a flat tyre, drive car to place to be fixed
  • learn to improvise life episodes
  • know that role-playing prevails.

Skills of self-regulation

Likewise, during play children expand their own self-regulatory skills.

Up to the age of two years old, children:

  • become involved in joint play after several invitations
  • try to take the initiative and change play in a way that favours them
  • make suggestions and give directions to others
  • adopt proposed solutions and demonstrate initiative in solving problems
  • during play express more joyful than negative emotions, and match emotions to roles
  • are able to apply for help, and when they receive it have the ability to organise themselves and play with others and alone
  • withdraw from the game for a short while if interrupted, but, if encouraged, to return and continue.

About the Kimochis Program

The Kimochis Emotional-Social (Character) Curriculum is an evidence-based, widely accepted and respected approach to teaching young children how to be respectful, responsible, resilient, compassionate, kind and courageous. This is why we include emotional-social education in the early learning stages as part of the Kimochis program.

Through playful characters children learn to understand their own feelings and those of others, thereby helping to mould their character.

The Big Kids (age 3–5)

From age three years children start to establish a sense of independence. They are bursting with ideas and imagination, but at the same time are learning how to moderate their behaviour, especially with friends, and during play. At this stage they develop empathy – the desire to consider and care for others. We explore values, rules and responsibilities.

Children under the age of six must learn to focus, learn how to get along with others in the team, as well as manage their emotions when things change unexpectedly.

Through narrative play, children at this stage of their development achieve the highest level of play and:

  • play with imaginary objects, freely change roles and improvise
  • allow a partner to play a role or sometimes they even have an imaginary (invisible) partner
  • quickly model the playing space
  • create a consistent chain of play events, including complex events (e.g. fire, hurricane, etc.)
  • create imaginative storylines no matter who joins in play.

In games with other children, and where lessons in self-regulation are being learned, children age five to six years old:

  • are flexible in how they adapt their actions, sometimes without taking their own interests into account
  • provide suggestions that require effort
  • show initiative in solving problems, finding a solution that satisfies all participants of the game
  • express more joyful emotions, react calmly to interruptions, notice the emotions of others, and are able to rejoice
  • are able to focus and play on their own.

Resolving arguments

Playing together in harmony is something that we can teach the child who builds on this as they continue to play. Sometimes, arguments may arise which bring to the surface psychological issues and issues of personal values.

Using Kimochis tools with children age three and upwards we learn to solve problems independently and communicate positively and courageously. At this stage, children are curious, but also responsible and respectful.

Through Kimochis we learn to better manage emotions and relaxation strategies through a variety of techniques. These include: speaking in a quiet voice, relaxing the body, expanding the vocabulary to express feelings, creating a caring culture, and using non-verbal body language.

Children learn life skills when they play together, which transforms into life-long learning.