Safety • Kindness • Play-based Learning

1. Safety and kindness first. Always.
2. Play-based learning.

We believe that children should be allowed to be children.

We respect their choices and physical space, which means we do not force toilet training or demand eating 100% of their lunch. We do not employ punitive strategies such as isolation (time outs), shouting, withholding, shaming or threatening. We are not dismissive of children’s emotions but introduce tools for naming and understanding feelings. We are guardians and guides, not disciplinarians. Our job is to establish trust with each individual and to teach safety, self-care and concern for others.

Our Presence conveys messages of peace, protection, and caring
Our Hands convey messages of connection, support, and kindness
Our Words convey messages of encouragement, respect, and nurturing
Our Eyes convey messages of warmth, reassurance and understanding


We believe that play is a child’s work; learning should always be enjoyable and age-appropriate.

As evidenced in Finland’s school system, which is ranked among the world’s best and does not introduce literacy until the age of seven, early introduction of formal study doesn’t equate to smarter children. We will never test your child or train them to be show ponies. You will recognise your child’s progress as they start to speak and understand English, singing songs from school in the bath; when they tell you about the crafts they bring home and all the fun facts about dinosaurs, oceans and houses they learn through curriculum-based, structured play. We want your child to feel as comfortable, safe and happy learning at Ryozan Park as they do playing at home.

Classroom Interactions

We would like your support in working with our toddler class with social interactions, specifically physical aggression.

There are many ways children try to understand the world as they grow. One way and stage would be at around 9 months when they put everything into their mouths. Another way and stage to explore their world would be at 12-36 months when they hug, pull, or push others.

Our goal is to allow the children to develop self-control, something that continues well past preschool. In Ryozan Park, a minimum number of rules are used to set and maintain limits since our students are still babies and toddlers. This is done in a consistent and positive manner with simple reasons and explanations.

Here are some tips:

Teach alternatives before situations happen

When your child is calm, read stories or look at pictures about feelings. How does he feel? He’s angry. He wants the toy. (gestures) Encourage them to use words or ask for help from an adult. Say, “Toy, please.”

Reinforce good behavior

Try to catch your child being good. Reinforce good behavior with lots of physical (high fives or hugs) and verbal praise. “I like how you gently hugged your friend.”

Keep your cool

Verbally or physically intimidating (shaking, pushing, threatening tone) only reinforces misbehavior.

Set clear limits

When your toddler is aggressive, immediately and calmly remove them from the situation. Start counting silently to yourself and avoid eye contact. After a minute, offer correct behavior “Be gentle, okay?” Gesture on yourself and invite them to copy. Return the child to the activity and support or model proper behavior.

Give logical consequences

Avoid lecturing since they only understand simple consequences. “Do you want to play?” “We don’t hit/ grab/ bite.” (Gesture with yourself). Apologies should be quick to reduce attention. She is sad. Say “I’m sorry (name).” Return to the activity and quickly praise them for appropriate behavior.

Be consistent

As much as possible, respond to each episode the same way each time. Set up a pattern that your child eventually learns to recognize and expect. Increase the connection between desired behaviors and consequences.

“The best way to make children good is to make them happy.”

Oscar Wilde
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