How to support infant and toddler development through high-quality lesson plans [Webinar]

In this webinar we were welcomed by Teresa Narey, Director of educational content at FunShine Express! Teresa dove into the art and science of crafting effective lesson plans tailored to the unique needs of infants and toddlers. She shared the importance of aligning lesson plans with developmentally appropriate expectations and how to offer hands-on learning at every stage of development.

🎤Our Special Guests:

Teresa Narey – Director of educational content at FunShine Express

Teresa Narey is the Director of Educational Content at FunShine Express and has been in the field for 17 years. She is passionate about social-emotional learning, professional development, understanding theories of child development, and neurodiversity. Prior to joining FunShine, Teresa held various roles in ECE, including assistant director, lead toddler and pre-K teacher, Title I tutor, after-school program instructor, and nanny. Teresa believes high-quality curriculum can be a powerful training tool and equip educators with the knowledge necessary to advocate for the childcare profession. Her educational background includes an MEd in ECE with an Administration specialization from Champlain College, an MFA in Creative Writing: Writing for Children from Chatham University, and a BA in English from Rutgers University.

🧪Key takeaways from Teresa!

  • Our brains grow fastest from birth to age three. Early experiences and relationships stimulate neural connections that lay the foundation for emotions, language, behavior, memory, physical movement, and more.
  • Creating developmentally appropriate learning experiences for infants and toddlers involves: building relationships, creating a “yes” environment and flexible routines.
  • A “yes” environment doesn’t mean avoiding “no.” It promotes exploration, independence, and positive behavior and involves understanding the space from the child’s perspective.
  • How we communicate makes a lasting impact. “Serve and return” interactions shape brain architecture
  • 5 Steps for serve and return communication. Step 1: Share the focus. Step 2: Support and encourage. Step 3: Name it. Step 4: Take turns back and forth. Step 5: Practice endings and beginnings


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Maddie Hutchison

Maddie is a Registered Early Childhood Educator with a Master's in Early Childhood Studies. Her specialty is in Children's Rights and she is currently a Content Strategist for HiMama!