“In every child is the seed that will mature to an adult.” ~ Maria Montessori
Areas of Learning for Toddlers
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.