(18 – 36 months)
The toddler environment is a nurturing place for the child to begin what Montessori referred to as the “Education for Life”. Our toddler community welcomes children ages 18 months to 36 months. This is a good opportunity for your child to begin attending school if you are interested in a program that can stimulate and begin socialization skills. Children are able to separate from their parents in a positive enjoyable way and benefit from new experiences where their needs are met in a loving and secure atmosphere.
Our beautiful Montessori classroom and materials aid in the child’s desire for knowledge and growing independence. Toddlers enjoy freedom of movement and choice to explore the specially prepared environment that is characterized by order, simplicity, and beauty. In the toddler program, practical life activities are particularly emphasized as they give children the chance to develop skills to care for themselves and the environment.
The goals for our toddler community are: to help the children work by themselves and with each other, to promote independence and language acquisition, and to emphasize respect for the environment, self and others. The Montessori classroom also allows the children to experience music, stories and art while promoting large and small motor development. Along the way, we help your child to succeed in toilet training. Smiles and hugs are part of our everyday activities, too!
The children enjoy their beautiful environment furnished with tables, chairs, shelving, sinks, counters, and toilets just the right size for them. Well planned materials to work with meet their growing needs for exploration, movement, practical life, language, socialization, personal care, wonderment of nature, independence, and self awareness. The atmosphere is stimulating, nurturing and respectful, allowing each child to experience learning through exploration, while feeling safe, confident, and as a participating member of their community.
We offer a year round program for children ages 18 months through 36 months. Each of our locations have two Montessori toddler environments; one for younger toddlers ages 18-30 months and the other for older toddlers ages 24-36 months. Our minimum staff ratio for the younger toddlers is 5 children for every 1 teacher. Our minimum staff ratio for the older toddlers is 6 children for every 1 teacher. Children do not need to be walking or toilet trained to enter our program. We offer a half or full day option.
The foundation of our toddler community is our very dedicated Montessorians that are nurturing, supportive, and respectful of the children. Their skills in observation allow them to give the children just the right work or assistance they need.
The bathroom is a social area where children gain experience with dressing and undressing themselves, using the toilet that is just their size. The children’s spare clothing and underwear/pull ups are at their level. Staff helps the children help themselves. This may mean helping children gain confidence, dexterity, and muscle strength to dress and undress themselves, or simply to observe a child struggling to pull their pants over their feet and allow them to experience success with minimal interference and guidance.
Our outdoor toddler environment is an extension of our classrooms; they allow freedom to explore and express. Our large yard is a generous space for activities like riding tricycles and playing basketball. We have additional areas for playing on the grass and climbing on the gym. The children also have a garden where they love to help plant, weed, water, and pick fruits, flowers, and vegetables. They enjoy putting food out for the birds and squirrels. Worms, snails, and butterflies are daily favorites to observe.
Daily parent communication sheets inform you of your child’s feeding, sleeping, and diaper changing/potty training schedule as well as any special activities or milestones that occurred each day. Parents may schedule an appointment anytime after 3:30pm to speak directly with a teacher. Observation windows are available and encouraged for parent usage.
Dr. Maria Montessori recognized the spontaneous interest that arises within each child at this age. It is through the child’s interest and active engagement that the love of learning arises. The following areas of learning in our Montessori environment are designed to satisfy the needs of a young child’s sensitive periods of order, independence, concentration, coordination, and exploration.
Exercises such as pouring, spooning, dusting, buttoning, zipping, and table setting are introduced early, providing opportunities for children to care for themselves and their environment. Lessons of grace and courtesy are practiced daily to help toddlers learn about sharing and how to be considerate of others. The children care for the outside environment through gardening activities such as planting, digging, raking, and watering.
Aids to Independence
These exercises help the child gain independence and develop the powers of focus and concentration, along with fine and gross motor movement.
Toddlers learn very effectively through their senses. Our materials and activities stimulate sensory discovery and description, while exploiting the child’s natural desire to explore, classify, and order their surroundings. Some of these activities include: knobbed cylinders, puzzles, stacking exercises, and matching by shape, size, color, and texture.
Toddlerhood is a sensitive period for language. The toddler classroom has many creative and unique materials that aid the child to expand their growing language skills. Sandpaper letters help the child learn the phonetics of the alphabet. By participating in conversations, listening to stories, classifying objects, and learning songs and poems, they nurture their budding language skills.
The toddler uses hands on materials for learning concrete math concepts. He is introduced to numerals 1-10, quantities, symbols, and the meaning of zero.
Toddlers experiment with many different art mediums to express creativity and to develop fine motor skills. Language skills are further enforced through the child’s description of the art and its personal meaning.
Children acquire new languages most naturally at this age. During the infant and toddler phase of brain development, music is another “language” that stimulates mathematical ability and promotes vocabulary acquisition and speaking skills. Music is played throughout the day. Children learn new songs, old favorites, and play instruments.