Highlight: Green Room (Toddlers) - Rock Island
While cleaning up, a child had two baby dolls in her arms. The teacher asked the child to put them away and she did not. The teacher then offered the choice of hopping or skipping with the teacher to put them in the shelves. The child chose hopping and hopped along with the teacher to put the baby dolls away. The teacher said “Way to go, you did it!” and gave the child a high five. The child then told the teacher to give the baby a high five as well and the child told the baby doll “You did it!”
Choices provide the option of cooperating with adult wishes while still maintaining the ‘last word’ for the child. First thinking about what you want the child to do (help clean up by putting away the baby dolls), then offer two positive options (hopping or skipping) and letting the child select which is best for them (hopping). This moves us from commanding children to comply (put away your toys) to engaging children to cooperate (it’s time to clean up, here are your choices, which is best for you?). Choices motivate from within, enhance decision-making skills and focus attention.