Supporting Children's Behavior

With adult support, infants and toddlers can learn how to express themselves in positive ways 

Child and teacher high five and smile

What You Need to Know

Infants and toddlers rely on behavior to express themselves and communicate with others. Teachers play the important role of external regulators for young children. When adults tune in to children’s behavior, they can respond to children’s needs and help children express themselves in positive ways.

What It Looks Like

A quick glance at how you can help infants and toddlers express themselves positive ways

Provide Effective Instructions

Give simple and clear instructions that focus children’s attention on what to do, rather than what not to do. When this teacher says, “Get down please,” the young child is able to adjust her behavior and use the bike safely.

Offer Choices

Provide options whenever possible, like this teacher does by placing various activities around the room. This gives children a say in what they can do and minimizes potential conflicts that may arise when children have to share or wait turns.

Use Cues

Use simple cues, like lights and songs, to signal that it’s time to transition. These help children prepare to move on from one activity to the next and remind children of important steps or directions.

SUPPORTING BEHAVIOR WITH BOOKS

Hands Can

Hands Can, written by Cheryl Willis Hudson and illustrated by John-Francis Bourke, features repetitive text and photographs of real children to highlight positive ways to use our hands.

hands can cover

Activity Cards for Infant and Toddler Classrooms

Part of the STREAMin3 curriculum, these activity cards provide simple and fun ways you can help children to practice focusing their attention, movements, and behavior.
Move and regulate

Freeze

Encourage children to engage in various movements and “freeze” when you call out.

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AIM AND FOCUS

Buckets

Practice concentration and coordination by squeezing water into buckets.

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Rise Up
Breathe it out

Breathing: Rise Up

Use breathing exercises to help children calm down and develop body awareness.

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breathe and move

Yoga: Animal Poses

Calm down by connecting movement with breath in an animal yoga flow.

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Get Our Resource Guide

Includes questions and activities to guide your use of the videos, book suggestions, and activity cards featured for each of our core social-emotional skills